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Former CIA director John Brennan to speak at the U on cybersecurity, terrorism, biotechnology threats and the importance of shared intelligence between allies.

By Jana Cunningham, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications

The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, in partnership with World Trade Center Utah, presents the 2018 World Leaders Lecture Forum with former CIA Director John Brennan. His discussion, “The Gritty Truth: Counterterrorism in an Era of Instability” will be held Wednesday, March 14, at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts-Dumke Auditorium at 11 a.m. Tickets are not required but seating is limited.

Brennan’s discussion will center on the current geopolitical landscape. With 36 years of intelligence agency experience, he will offer the “gritty truth” about national security, terrorism hot spots, foreign affairs and the “War on Terror.” He will examine the future of cybersecurity and the challenges posed by international instability and biotechnology threats.

“John Brennan has long been at the center of America’s security response to international threats,” said Bob Goldberg, director of the Tanner Humanities Center. “He comes to us at a time when such dangers not only menace our physical safety, but strike at the very heart of our democracy.”

Brennan was sworn in as director of the CIA on March 8, 2013. As director, he managed intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence and liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services.

Before becoming director, Brennan served at the White House for four years as an assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. During that time, he advised President Barack Obama on counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the U.S. government’s approach to homeland security, including its policies for responding to terrorism, cyberattacks, natural disasters and pandemics.

About the World Leaders Lecture Forum

Launched in 2007, the World Leaders Lecture Forum brings to Utah individuals of international stature and global impact whose influence shapes world events. The series serves as a catalyst for discussion of global concerns with both immediate and long-term consequences and enables students and the general public to become socially, politically and intellectually focused on events beyond America’s borders. Past lecturers include Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mohamed ElBaradei and Shirin Ebadi, former Doctors Without Borders President James Orbinski, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

World Leaders Lecture Forum Advisory Board

Sheri Bolding, philanthropist; Zach Berger, president, Associated Students of the University of Utah; Anne Dolowitz, philanthropist; Spencer P. Eccles, managing director, The Cynosure Group; Bob Goldberg, director, Tanner Humanities Center; Page Juliano, realtor, Page Juliano Real Estate; Derek Miller, president and CEO, World Trade Center Utah; Mike Morris, executive vice president and chief credit officer, Zions Bank; David Peterson, partner and CPA, Haynie and Company; Naoma Tate, philanthropist.

Community Sponsors

Anonymous, Anne and Darrel Brodke, Brigham Young University, Chevron Corporation, Kathy Christiansen, Deseret Management Corporation, Salt Lake Community College, The Semnani Family Foundation, The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, Utah Valley University and XMission.

University of Utah Sponsors

Asia Center; Associated Students of the University of Utah; Center for Latin American Studies; College of Humanities; Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the David Eccles School of Business; David Eccles School of Business; Department of Communication; Hinckley Institute of Politics; International Studies Program; Marriott Library; Middle East Center; Office of Global Engagement; Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Office of Institutional Advancement; Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights; University Information Technology.

About the Tanner Humanities Center

Since 1988, the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center has promoted humanities inquiry and exchange by supporting innovative scholarly projects and creating opportunities for interaction among scholars, students and lifelong learners. They offer 20 programs in three major areas, research support, public lectures and programs, and faculty outreach. Their activities reflect a vision of the humanities as not only relevant, stimulating and cutting-edge, but also essential for developing critical thinking, tolerance and respect at the University of Utah and in the community.