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Middle East security panel at NDSU to feature two renowned experts

Two internationally known policy specialists on the Middle East and security issues in the region will conduct a panel discussion and question and answer session on U.S.-Iran relations and the ongoing nuclear crisis with Iran at NDSU. The discussion, “Diplomacy and War: Prospects for U.S.-Iran Relations and the Nuclear Issue in the Coming Year,” is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Minard Hall room 222. NDSU’s Northern Plains Ethics Institute is hosting the event, which is free and open to the public.

Panel members include Allen Keiswetter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs and now senior consultant at the international law firm SNR Denton, and Roby C. Barrett, a former Foreign Service officer and a senior fellow for strategic studies and applied intelligence at the Joint Special Operations University of U.S. Special Operations Command. Both are scholars at the Public Policy Center of the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

The panel discussion will focus on the questions of Iran and its nuclear program, and address broader regional security issues including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Gulf and Israel within the context of the current crisis between Iran, its Arab neighbors, the European Union and the United States. The topics of war and diplomacy will be central to the discussion.

Keiswetter is a former Senior Foreign Service officer and Minister Counselor at the Department of State. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and the senior consultant at the international law firm SNR Denton. In his 36 years in the State Department, he also was senior adviser to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly on Middle East Issues, director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, director of the Office of Intelligence Liaison and NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs.

He has taught courses on global security and the Middle East at the National War College and National Defense Intelligence College. Keiswetter earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, certificate from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.

Barrett is a senior fellow with the Strategic Studies Department and an instructor of applied intelligence in irregular warfare at Joint Special Operations University of U.S. Special Operations Command. Barrett also supports the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Office of Secretary of Defense. Barrett also is president of a consulting firm specializing in the operational integration of technology applications and systems for national defense and security. He is an authority on security issues in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, including Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.

Barrett earned a bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and a master’s degree in political science and Russian history from Baylor University. He has a doctorate in Middle Eastern and South Asian History from the University of Texas-Austin.

Public parking is available in the visitor’s lot to the west of Reineke Fine Arts Center. Special needs requests or questions can be directed to Dennis Cooley at or 701-231-7038.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 2:38:50 PM
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