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Holland-Harrell Foreign Affairs Speakers Program

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 7:30 p.m. Free

Retired U.S. Ambassador Larry C. Napper, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, will be the featured speaker for the 2023 E. James Holland-Roy A. Harrell Jr. Foreign Affairs Speakers Program.

Napper’s presentation, titled “Putin’s War on Ukraine: The Challenge to American Statecraft,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center and is free and open to the public. 

Napper will also speak to several classes and meet with various student and faculty groups while on the ASU campus.

About the Speaker

Portrait of Ambassador Napper

A former U.S. ambassador to Latvia and Kazakhstan, Napper also served as director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Soviet Union Affairs from 1991-94, restructuring the office following the breakup of the Soviet Union. He led in establishing diplomatic relations with the independent states that emerged from the Soviet collapse, opening embassies in each of the new capitals. He served as U.S. ambassador to Latvia from 1995-98 and helped that country make decisive strides toward membership in NATO and the European Union. As U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan from 2001-04, when American investment exceeded $6 billion, he oversaw major projects in energy and transportation, as well as the groundbreaking on a $100 million new embassy compound.

In 2008, Napper served as co-leader of the Iraq Governance Assessment team, and he later served on the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Turkey. He has also held Foreign Service posts in Russia, Romania and Botswana, and he served in the U.S. Army in Okinawa.

From 2009-13, Napper was director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Relations in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he is now a professor of the practice of international affairs. His teaching and research interests include the history and practice of American diplomacy and Russia, Ukraine and the other states of the former Soviet Union.

Among his many U.S. State Department honors and awards, Napper received the State Department Distinguished Honor Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award and State Department Career Achievement Award. A native Texan, he earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas A&M and his master’s degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

About the Symposium

The E. James Holland-Roy A. Harrell Jr. Foreign Affairs Speakers Program is dedicated to providing ASU students and the community with a broader worldview and exposing students to potential career opportunities in the Foreign Service. The program is sponsored by the ASU College of Arts and Humanities.


C.J. Davidson Conference Center, Houston Harte University Center

Event Contact

College of Arts and Humanities