South Africa’s Ambassador to the U.S. to Deliver 20th Annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy on April 8

Author: Joan Fallon

Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States, will deliver the 20th Annual Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy at 4 p.m., April 8 (Tuesday), in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame.

Rasool’s lecture, “Relic of the Past or Template for the Future: Nelson Mandela’s Impact on Peacemaking and Statecraft in the 21st Century,” is free and open to the public. 

Before his appointment as Ambassador to the U.S., Rasool held numerous positions in the South African government, including Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, Special Advisor to the State President of the Republic of South Africa, and Premier (governor of the Western Cape Province).

He has a long history of involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle and has been active in both the Islamic and interfaith movements, including efforts to mobilize Muslims and the broader faith communities for a deeper understanding of Islam and faith. Among his many awards, he is the recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, presented to him by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1998. 

“I am delighted that Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool has accepted our invitation to deliver the 2014 Hesburgh Lecture,” said Scott Appleby, the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute. “Like his mentor and friend, the late Nelson Mandela, Ambassador Rasool was a courageous leader in the anti-apartheid struggle who was imprisoned and also placed under house arrest by the government.

“In addition to his diplomatic and political skills, he comes to us as an Islamic peacebuilder, experienced in mobilizing people of faith in the nonviolent struggle against oppression. We look forward with great anticipation to his presence among us.”

The annual Hesburgh Lectures in Ethics and Public Policy, established by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in 1995, honor the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame, a global champion of peace and justice, and the founder of the Kroc Institute. Each year a distinguished scholar, policymaker, and/or peace advocate is invited by the Kroc Institute director to deliver a major lecture on an issue related to ethics and public policy in the context of peace and justice.

Past Hesburgh lecturers have included:

  • Jessica Tuchman Mathews (2013), President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Amartya Sen (2012), 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University
  • Francis Deng (2011), Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities
  • Martha Minow (2010), The Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School
  • Shirin Ebadi (2009), 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, lawyer and human rights advocate in Iran
  • Rev. Bryan Hehir (2008), Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
  • Shashi Tharoor (2007), author and former Under-Secretary-General, United Nations
  • Mary Kaldor (2006), Professor of Global Governance & Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics
  • Congressman Lee Hamilton (2005), former vice-chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks and former chairman/ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Kenneth Roth (2004), executive director, Human Rights Watch
  • Michael Walzer (2003), Professor Emeritus, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
  • Freeman Dyson (2002), Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
  • Anthony Lake (2001), Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, and former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Saskia Sassen (2000), Professor of Sociology and the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
  • Martha Nussbaum (1999), Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago Law School
  • Michael Ignatieff (1998), Member of Canadian Parliament and former director of the Carr Centre for Human Rights and Policy, Harvard University
  • Richard Falk (1997), Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain (1996), Laura Spellman Rockefeller Professor of Social Political Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School
  • Stanley Hoffmann (1995), Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor, Harvard University

Contact: Joan Fallon, 574-631-8819,