Three peace leaders headline Vanderbilt’s Impact Symposium

(L-R) Ehud Barak, George Mitchell, and Leymah Gbowee
all photos courtesy of Vanderbilt

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former Sen. George Mitchell, who served as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011, will appear at Vanderbilt University on Monday, March 18. Leymah Gbowee, winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, will speak on Tuesday, March 19. Both events are part of Vanderbilt’s 2013 Impact Symposium. The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Dimensions of Peace and Conflict.’

Barak and Mitchell will participate in a discussion beginning at 7:30 pm, March 18, in Langford Auditorium. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, who is a writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt this semester, will moderate.

Gbowee will speak at 7 pm, March 19, in Langford Auditorium. Both events are open to the public.

Barak served as Israel’s minister of defense and deputy prime minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, retiring in January 2013. Before that he was the 10th prime minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001.

For his service, Mitchell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2000 and 2001, at the request of President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Mitchell served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The committee’s recommendation, widely known as The Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush Administration, the European Union and other governments.

Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel laureate, is a Liberian peace activist, social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia.

Now in its 49th year, Vanderbilt’s Impact Symposium is one of the oldest university lecture series of its caliber in the nation. The Vanderbilt University Speakers Committee, a student-run organization, hosts the event. For more information, visit the Vanderbilt Speakers Committee website.

Tickets are free to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff. Pick up two tickets with a Vanderbilt I.D. at the Sarratt Student Center box office. Tickets for the general public are $10; $5 for non-Vanderbilt students with a college or university I.D. They can be picked up at the Sarratt box office or any Ticketmaster outlet or purchased on line at