“Elephants, Ivory & Yao Ming”
Africa’s remaining elephants are being machine-gunned so China’s burgeoning middle class can buy ivory knick-knacks for their living rooms. Can 7’6” former center of the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming, save the day? Ambassador McMullen will explore the fate of Africa’s elephants in the hands of a former NBA star.
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 Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa.