Robin Wright
Book Speaker
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Robin Wright

Fee Range1: $ 7500 - $10000

International Affairs Expert


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Washington, DC


Robin Wright

Robin WrightInternational Affairs Expert

Robin Wright is a contributing writer to The New Yorker and a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents; she has covered a dozen wars and several revolutions and uprisings. She is a former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs and many others. Wright has also been a fellow at the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as well as Yale, Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of California.

Among several awards, Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award for reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas Press Club Award for “best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initia­tive” for coverage of African wars. The American Academy of Diplomacy selected Wright as the journalist of the year for her “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs.” She also won the National Press Club Award for diplomatic reporting. She has been a television commentator on morning and evening news programs on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and MSNBC as well as “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week,” “PBS Newshour,” “Frontline,” “Charlie Rose,” “Washington Week in Review,” “Hardball,” “Morning Joe,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” “The Colbert Report” and HBO’s “Real Time.”

Wright’s most recent book is “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic world.” It was selected as the Best Book on International Affairs by the Overseas Press club. Her other books include “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East” (2008), which The New York Times and The Washington Post both selected as one of the most notable books of the year. She was the editor of “The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and U.S. Policy” (2010). Her other books include “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran” (2000), which was selected as one of the 25 most memorable books of the year 2000 by the New York Library Association, “Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam” (2001), “Flashpoints: Promise and Peril in a New World” (1991), and “In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade” (1989).


“Ten Global Flashpoints” 

In this talk, Robin explores the hottest political trends, such as North Korea, the Iran nuclear deal, Russia, the Middle East and international terrorism, and their repercussions for the future.  Wright has covered every US president since Richard Nixon and traveled with or interviewed every secretary of state since Henry Kissinger, so she’ll take a look at how the Trump administration’s policies are impacting with the global flashpoints.  What’s combustible?  Where are the next confrontations?  And where is there potential for reconciliation?

“A New War on Terrorism: What’s Next?”

The rise of the Islamic State is a greater threat than al Qaeda. This bizarre Caliphate – which has swept across one-third of Iraq and one third of Syria in the past year – now threatens a new war in the Middle East even more challenging than the two conflicts that the United States has waged in the past decade. Leaders around the world concede the threat now extends well beyond the region.

Robin Wright will explore the basic questions: Who are they? In what ways are they a threat—and how are they different? How are the new generation of extremists changing the Middle East? And why? Who is the leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, a former law student who was once in US detention and who is now the new version of Osama bin Laden? And what are the U.S. options.

Robin Wright was in Kurdistan in March after ISIS moved from bases in Syria into Iraq. She has first-hand experience on the front-line.

“Iran and the US: A New Era or a New Showdown?”

After 35 years of tensions, the United States and Iran have engaged in the first meaningful diplomacy over its nuclear talks. The deadline for a deal is November 24. It may herald a new era. After a decade of intensive and sometimes deadly rivalries, Washington and Tehran now share common goals in Iraq and Afghanistan – to prevent the Sunni extremist movements from assuming power. But without a deal, the United States and Iran could instead be headed toward a new showdown.

Robin Wright has been to Iran more than any American since the 1979 revolution—and twice since last December on assignment for The New Yorker (piece ran in May 2014) and TIME (piece ran in January 2014). She’s interviewed the past five Iranian presidents and has known the foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator since he was a student in the United States (where he studied under some of the same professors who taught Condolezza Rice). Having covered the American hostage crisis from 1979 to 1981, she finally managed to get back into the old U.S. Embassy last December for a surreal tour by a Revolutionary Guard.

“The New Map of the Middle East—and how it affects us.”

The map of the modern Middle East, a political and economic pivot in the international order, is in tatters. Syria’s ruinous war is the turning point. But the centrifugal forces of rival beliefs, tribes and ethnicities — empowered by unintended consequences of the Arab Spring — are also pulling apart a region defined by European colonial powers a century ago and defended by Arab autocrats ever since. A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too. The most fantastical ideas involve the break-up of Saudi Arabia, already in the third iteration of a country that merged rival tribes by force under rigid Wahhabi Islam. The kingdom seems physically secured in glass high-rises and eight-lane highways, but it still has disparate cultures, distinct tribal identities and tensions between a Sunni majority and a Shiite minority, notably in the oil-rich east. Other states lacking a sense of common good or identity, the political glue, are vulnerable, particularly budding democracies straining to accommodate disparate constituencies with new expectations.










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