The World Affairs Council hosts a national conference on Islam and the West featuring renowned journalists, scholars and political figures.
Speakers include Dr. Henry Kissinger, Walter Russell Meade, Francis Fukuyama and Akbar Ahmed. The conference is moderated by Judy Woodruff.
Dr. Akbar Ahmed
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC. According to BBC, he is considered "the world's leading authority on contemporary Islam."
He is former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. His numerous books, films and documentaries have won prestigious awards and his books have been translated into several languages including Chinese and Indonesian. Ambassador Ahmed is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC, the BBC, ARY TV and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Night Line.
In February 2005, the National Cathedral held a special Evensong Service to honor him. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Case Foundation in Washington, D.C. He spoke at the Chairman's Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series at the Pentagon and gave the inaugural lecture for the first Chair in Jewish-Muslim Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Ambassador Ahmed is the Principal Investigator for the "Islam in the Age of Globalization" project, sponsored by the Brookings Institution, American University and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in addition to his tenure appointment at American University. He was nominated as the "Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005" and a finalist in the poll conducted by BeliefNet.
Dr. Francis Fukuyama
Professor Francis Fukuyama has worked at several prominent think tanks and public policy organizations, he has served the U.S. Department of State in posts related to Middle East affairs, and is a 2002 appointee to the President's Council on Bioethics.
Until 2010 Francis Fukuyama wass Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Director of its International Development Program. He is now Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow and resident in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man.
Dr. Henry Kissinger
Henry Alfred Kissinger was the 56th Secretary of State of the United States from 1973 to 1977, continuing to hold the position of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs which he first assumed in 1969 until 1975.
After leaving government service, he founded Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, of which he is chairman.
Walter Russell Meade
Walter Meade is Project Director, Religion and Foreign Policy, Pew Forum (2003-present); founding Board Member, New America Foundation (1999-present); Project Director, Study Group on History of U.S. Foreign Policy, Phase II (current); Senior Contributing Editor, Worth (current); Contributing Editor, Los Angeles Times (current); Project Director, Working Group on Development, Trade and International Finance, Phase II; President's Fellow, World Policy Institute at the New School (1987-97); Contributing Editor, Harper's Magazine (1986-91).
Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS.