Donald Blinken served as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 1994-1998 and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He will speak on October 22 at 5:30 pm in Rockefeller Hall (room 300). This event is sponsored by the Department of History and the Office of the President. This C. Mildred Thompson Lecture is free and open to the public.
Blinken is the current Ambassador-in-Residence at the college. He follows Nicholas Platt, a three-time ambassador who accompanied President Nixon to China in 1972, and David Scheffer, the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues. Blinken was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Hungary by President Clinton and served during a critical time. His memoir, written with his wife, Vera, a Vassar alumna, details their experiences advancing America’s interests in Eastern Europe during his tenure as ambassador. The book, Vera and the Ambassador: Escape and Return, was published by SUNY Press in 2009.
Blinken graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in economics and co-founded the investment banking and venture capital firm E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. He was chairman of the board of trustees of the State University of New York, president of the Mark Rothko Foundation, president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and served on the board of the New York Public Library. He is currently co-chair of Columbia University’s European Institute and is a member of the advisory board of its School of Public and International Affairs. He also serves on the boards of the New York Philharmonic, the Council of American Ambassadors, the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, the Project on Ethnic Relations and Central European University in Budapest. Ambassador Blinken resides in New York City.
The C. Mildred Thompson Lecture Series honors a Vassar alumna who went on be a professor of history and dean at her alma mater.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.