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Town meeting Sept. 26 to discuss national security challenges

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- "National Security Challenges for the 21st Century" will be the focus of a town meeting Sept. 26 at the University of Illinois.

The public forum beginning at 2 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, is co-sponsored by the UI Office of Continuing Education and the U.S. Department of State.

The keynote speaker will be Michael Lekson of the State Department. He is the deputy assistant secretary for multilateral and conventional arms control.

State Department town meetings, held throughout the United States, provide a forum to increase understanding of foreign policy issues, encourage public engagement in the policy process and provide an opportunity to exchange views with State Department officials.

The program also includes a 3:15 p.m. panel discussion on the theme "Pillars of a Strategy," moderated by UI political science professor Paul Diehl.

Featured topics and speakers include "Freedom Versus Fair Market Share," Marvin Weinbaum, analyst, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State, and UI professor emeritus; "Food Security: Its Role in National Security," Earl Kellogg, UI associate provost for international affairs; and "The Technology of National Security," Jeremiah Sullivan, UI professor of physics and chair of the U.S. Department of Energy's advisory committee on nonproliferation and national security.

A closing address on "Transnational Security" will be given at 4:50 p.m. by Richard Jaehne, an adjunct professor in the UI's Russian and East European Center, and former NATO commander. A question-and-answer session will follow. The town meeting is free and open to the public, but participants should register from 1 to 2 p.m. the day of the event at the auditorium.