“WikiLeaks and its Impact on U.S. Diplomacy”
In early 2010, WikiLeaks, a non-profit whistleblower organization, began releasing classified U.S. diplomatic cables.
By the end of 2011, over 250,000 cables had been leaked, constituting the largest security breach in U.S. State Department history. The cables were widely disseminated and provoked significant criticism of U.S. foreign policy.
Ambassador Ron McMullen will discuss the circumstances leading up to these events and their subsequent impact on U.S. diplomacy.
McMullen, currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Eritrea. Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in 91 countries. In Burma he worked closely with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. While posted in Fiji he helped prevent civil conflict after an armed takeover of parliament. He was shot at during a riot in Sri Lanka and helped train mongooses to detect heroin. He survived a voodoo curse in the Dominican Republic and took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
Between foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin 2010-2012. He has authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa.