September 5, 2006

HARRISONBURG—The Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University is pleased to announce the Wednesday, September 20, 2006, visit to JMU by David Baker, senior foreign press coordinator for the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, who will deliver a public lecture in HHS 2301 at 7:00 p.m.

Baker’s JMU lecture, the first in the Nelson Institute’s 2006-2007 Guardian Lecture Series, will be on “The Other Middle East Conflict: Israel and the Battle for the Media and World Opinion” and will be co-sponsored by JMU Hillel. The lecture qualifies as a Wellness Passport event for JMU students. More...


Baker, a native of New York City, has held his current position in the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel since August 2000. His duties include liaison between the Israeli government and the international press corps. According to Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute, “This visit represents a wonderful opportunity for JMU faculty and students to encounter someone who has been serving essentially on the front lines of the Middle East media battleground, a field which, as we saw during the recent conflict in Lebanon, almost as bitterly contested as a combat zone. And, coming as it does just one month after a still shaky ceasefire, Mr. Baker’s visit could not be timelier.” More...


Baker’s visit to JMU was originally scheduled for last year, but was twice postponed, first when then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke and then due to transportation delays. During his visit, in addition to the public lecture, Baker will participate in a faculty roundtable organized by the Nelson Institute.


Named after James Madison’s famous observation to his friend George Thompson that “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty” (Letter, June 30, 1825), the Guardian Lecture Series will bring scholars and practitioners distinguished in the Nelson Institute’s four principal areas of interest—terrorism and national security, Africa, religion and global politics, and international ethics and justice—to James Madison University. During their visits to the Harrisonburg, Virginia, campus, the lecturers not only present a public lecture, but also have an opportunity to encounter JMU faculty and studies both in the classroom and in more informal “off the record” discussions.