The Annual Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series

The Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series, more commonly known as the Eizenstat Lecture Series, is comprised of an annual, free public event featuring well-known speakers addressing current and thought-provoking issues. Past speakers include national and international political, legal and economic leaders such as Wolf Blitzer, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Shimon Perez, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore, Alan Dershowitz, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Herman Wouk.

2022 marked the 33rd year of the the Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series. This prestigious event has featured three Nobel Peace Prize winners, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two United States Presidents, two United States Vice Presidents, two United States Supreme Court Justices and two Israeli Prime Ministers among other national and international eminent guests.

2022 Guest

Antony Blinken

Antony J. Blinken is the 71st U.S. Secretary of State. He was nominated by President Biden on November 23, 2020; confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 26, 2021; and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris the following day.

Over three decades and three presidential administrations, Mr. Blinken has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people. He served as deputy secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama's principal deputy national security advisor. In that role, Mr. Blinken chaired the interagency deputies committee, the main forum for hammering out the administration's foreign policy.

During the first term of the Obama Administration, Mr. Blinken was national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002, when Mr. Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.

During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Blinken served as a member of the National Security Council staff, including two years as the senior director for European affairs, the president's principal advisor on the countries of Europe, the European Union, and NATO. He also spent four years as President Clinton's chief foreign policy speechwriter, and he led the NSC's strategic planning team.

Mr. Blinken's public service began at the State Department. From 1993 to 1994, he was a special assistant in what was then called the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Now he is proud to lead the department where he got his start in government nearly 30 years ago.

Outside of government, Mr. Blinken has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He was a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining government, Mr. Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris. He was also a reporter for The New Republic magazine and is the author of Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis (Praeger, 1987).

Mr. Blinken attended grade school and high school in Paris, where he received a French Baccalaureat degree with high honors. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He and his wife Evan Ryan have two children.

Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat

Stuart Eizenstat, a native of Atlanta and lifelong member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, currently heads Covington & Burling's international practice. He has practiced law more than 30 years in Atlanta and Washington.

Ambassador Eizenstat has held a number of key positions during his decades of government service. From 1977 to 1981, he was President Jimmy Carter's Chief Domestic Policy Adviser and Executive Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff. In the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Treasury Secretary, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, as well as Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996. He received the highest departmental awards for his service from Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of State Albright, and Secretary of the Treasury Summers.

Much of the recent interest in World War II issues and justice for Holocaust survivors and the memory of the Holocaust, is as a result of his work. In 1978, he recommended to President Carter the creation of a Presidential Commission of the Holocaust, chaired by Eli Wiesel, which led directly the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of States on Holocaust Issues. In this capacity, he led two landmark U.S. reports on the role of Switzerland and other neutral countries during the War; and led negotiations that produced major agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrians, French, and Central European governments for bank accounts, slave and forced labor, insurance policies, Nazi-looted art, worth more than $8 billion to Holocaust victims and their families and other non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He published a book on these events, "Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor and the Unfinished Business of World War II" (2003) which has been translated into German, French, Czech and Hebrew. He has also published a book, "The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel and its Relationship with the United States" (2012). Ambassador Eizenstat is now working on a book on a comprehensive assessment of the Carter Administration, which will be published in 2018.

During the first term of the Obama Administration, he served as Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, negotiating, among other things, the 47-nation Terezin Declaration of Looted Assets and a $50 million agreement with the Lithuanian government. During the second term of the Obama Administration, he held the same position for Secretary of State John Kerry, during which he successfully negotiated a $60 million agreement with the French government for deportees and their families on the French railway during World War II. Since 2009, he has led the negotiating team for the Jewish Claims Conference and has negotiated more than $2 billion in additional benefits with the German government, including for flight victims, home care for needy Survivors around the world, and a new Child Survivors program. He is co-chair of the Jewish People's Policy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank, dealing with strategic issues facing Israel, the U.S.-Israel Relationship and the Diaspora. HE also chairs the Defiant Requiem Foundation, which sponsors concerts in the U.S. and the world over honoring a Jewish prisoner chorus in the Theresenstadt concentration camp (Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin), and a new concert honoring Jewish composers who wrote original musical scores at Theresenstadt, called "Hours of Freedom". The Defiant Requiem documentary, recognizing the artistic revolution at Theresenstadt received Emmy nominations in 2014 as Best Full Length Documentary and Best Script.

He has received eight honorary doctorate degrees from universities and educational institutions, and some 75 awards and citations, including the Legion of Honor from France, and high civilian awards from Israel, Germany and Austria. A chair in his name has been created in modern Jewish History and Culture at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In May, 2017, he received Tel Aviv University's highest award.

Ambassador Eizenstat received his J.D. from Harvard University in 1967. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Newell Edenfield of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Prior to entering law school, Mr. Eizenstat earned an A.B., cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his late wife, Frances Eizenstat, have two sons, and eight grandchildren from Jay and Jessica and Brian and Erin.

Past Lectures

The 28th Annual Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Memorial Lecture Series Featuring Michael Bloomberg

The 26th Annual Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series Featuring Thomas L. Friedman