USFSM will host Ambassador Eric Rubin on Jan. 16, 5:30 p.m., at the Selby Auditorium.

Former U.S. ambassador highlights new USF Sarasota-Manatee Diversity Lecture Series

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: December 16, 2019

Eric Rubin

SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2019) – Don’t miss a unique opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading foreign policy experts when Eric S. Rubin, the former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, kicks off USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Diversity Lecture Series on Jan. 16.

Rubin, president of the American Foreign Service Association and a veteran of extensive foreign policy assignments all over the world, will lead off the series, speaking on the topic of “Diplomacy: Our First Line of Defense.”

“Mr. Rubin’s presentation promises to actively engage our students, faculty, staff and community in necessary conversations about diversity in all its forms and to promote global citizenship and cultural understanding,” said Amela Malkic, director of the Office of Global Engagement and president of the Mid-Florida Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

USFSM’s Office of Global Engagement and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are partnering to host the lecture, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at USFSM’s Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and reception.

The event is free with registration and open to the public.

“USFSM is extremely fortunate to host Ambassador Rubin,” USFSM Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, said. “His experience with diplomacy in many high-level U.S. government positions around the world will inform, inspire and engage our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

Rubin will discuss how America’s diplomats, assigned to more than 270 embassies and consulates globally, promote U.S. global leadership and safeguard our national security interests.

Since joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1985, Rubin has lived and worked in Honduras, Ukraine, Thailand and Moscow, and most recently he served as ambassador to Bulgaria from January 2016 to July 2019.

While in Ukraine with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Soviet Union Affairs, Rubin monitored and reported on the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and later served as security affairs officer for Central and Eastern Europe.

He has also held key posts in Washington, D.C., including as an assistant White House press secretary for foreign affairs and as a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

“An important component of embracing diversity is the ability to connect and learn from cultures different from your own,” USFSM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Corey Posey said. “Mr. Rubin’s presentation will provide valuable insights into how diplomacy is essentially diversity education in practice.”

Rubin will be joined by Rebecca Kimbrell, the diplomat-in-residence in South Florida, who will discuss career and internship opportunities with the Foreign Service.

To register for the event, or for more information, visit

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit

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