The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB inaugurated the Bill and Sally Hambrecht Distinguished Peacemakers Lecture Series in October 2007 with conflict mediator Alvaro de Soto. In the course of two years, 10 - 12 speakers who have mediated national and international conflicts around the globe will be invited to spend 2-3 days in the country to give a public lecture at AUB. These speakers will either be individuals who have mediated conflicts, or practitioners in international organizations who deal with conflict resolution. The speakers are respected individuals who have substantial experience and knowledge to share with the AUB community and the world leading to a better understanding of the enduring lessons to be learnt from successfully or unsuccessfully mediated conflicts.
The speakers will also be involved in a course series to be launched in fall 2008, thematically structured around the speakers' experiences. The idea to create a dynamic atmosphere for faculty members and students aim is to engage both formally and informally with such imminent individuals. This will help students obtain both theoretical and practical experiences in the field of conflict resolution.
To capitalize on the speakers' presence in the country, Issam Fares Institute will organize meetings and workshops for the speakers with professors and conflict resolution experts and practitioners in Lebanon and the region. This allows an exchange of ideas, skills and knowledge obtained from working on the ground between all participants; in turn, generating valuable lessons for everyone to be learnt when dealing with future conflict situations.
Finally in order to establish a wider impact, a book or series of monographs will be published at the end of the lecture series. Videos of the events will be posted on the website for anyone to access. In order to render the series more accessible, web-conferencing will also be set up during some of the events which will engage international audiences in the program.