SPOKANE, Wash. — When the elephants dance, everyone else gets out of the way. That could be a description of United States dealings with China and Russia, two of America’s biggest partners on the world stage. From international relations to trade to tense standoffs in potential theaters of war around the globe, the actions of the three nations can affect all of us.

“China, Russia, and the United States: Challenges and Opportunities” will be the topic of a Feb. 25 presentation by Thomas R. Pickering, former ambassador to six countries and the United Nations. Pickering will speak at 7 p.m. at Spokane’s WestCoast Grand Hotel, 303 W. North River Dr.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. To reserve a seat, persons can call (509) 358-7550, or e-mail communications@wsu.edu. The event is presented by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University in cooperation with WSU Spokane.

Pickering served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Madeleine Albright, who later held the post and went on to be named U.S. Secretary of State, described him as “a legend” at the U.N.

As an ambassador, Pickering was stationed in countries critical to U.S. interests. While serving in the Russian Federation (1993-1996, the early post-Cold War years), India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, he was a key member of the U.S. foreign policy team. In his last position with the State Department, he served as U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, leaving that post in 2001. He is now the Boeing Corp.’s senior vice president for international relations.

“A key part of the Foley Institute’s mission is to engage the public in discussion of important public policy matters,” said Edward Weber, associate professor of political science and director of the Foley Institute. “Ambassador Pickering’s presentation couldn’t be more timely, given world events and the significance of our relations with China and Russia.”

The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service was established at WSU to honor Tom Foley’s more than 30 years of public service to both state and nation and as the 49th Speaker of the House of Representatives. The mission of the institute is to foster civic education, public service, and public policy research in a nonpartisan, cross-disciplinary setting.

Related web sites:
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu
Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service: libarts.wsu.edu/foleyinst/