Former Ambassador Benjamin Speaks February 6 as New Dickey Center Director


Daniel Benjamin, the new Norman E. McCullough Jr. Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, will deliver a February 6 lecture entitled “Fighting Terror:  New Challenges and Evolving Strategies in the Second Obama Term.”

Daniel Benjamin comes from the U.S. State Department, where he served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and coordinator for counterterrorism. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

“There are tremendous opportunities for the Dickey Center, with a faculty and student body as rich as Dartmouth’s,” says Benjamin. “It is a center for discussion and debate and developing scholarship, and also the home to a lot of student organizations.”

The talk, free and open to the public, is a welcoming event for Benjamin. It begins at 4 p.m. in the Haldeman Center 041 with a reception to follow in the Russo Gallery, also in the Haldeman Center. Benjamin began work at the Dickey Center this month.

Ross Virginia, the director of the Dickey Center’s Institute of Arctic Studies, is looking forward to working with Benjamin.

“Dan has a wealth of global experience from his career path as a journalist, writer, policy maker, and now leader of the Dickey Center,” says Virginia, the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science. “I look forward to his perspectives and wisdom about how Dartmouth can build on its legacy as a center for Arctic studies and in the process engage students, faculty, and the policy world in finding a just and sustainable future for the North.”

Benjamin says he has met many students on campus, meeting with the Dickey Center’s Great Issues Scholars program and listening to panels at the Student Forum on Global Learning.

“I’ve been really impressed,” Benjamin says. “I am hoping to do some teaching myself in the not-too-distant future, and broaden those interactions with students.”

Benjamin comes from the U.S. State Department, where he served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and coordinator for counterterrorism. Benjamin worked for more than five years on the National Security Council in the 1990s, serving as a foreign policy speechwriter for President Clinton and director for transnational threats.

“I am really looking forward to learning from Mr. Benjamin,” says Feyaad Allie ’16, a Great Issues Scholar. “He has a great deal of experience with counterterrorism which is a topic that interests me.

An award-winning writer, Benjamin co-authored The Age of Sacred Terror (2002) and The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right (2005). Benjamin began his career as a journalist, working for The Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine. He holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

The Dickey Center, founded in 1982, was directed by Ken Yalowitz for more than eight years until his retirement in December 2011. Christianne Hardy Wohlforth, associate director of the center, served as acting director during 2012.

Keith Chapman