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A new perspective on strategy in King's east coast US trip

Posted on 17/11/2014

Rose Gottemoeller, US State Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security

High-profile speakers have been addressing King’s alumni at a series of events on the theme of strategy on an east coast tour of the United States.

The events in Washington DC, New York and Boston were the first to be hosted by King’s President and Principal, Professor Ed Byrne. They listed Rose Gottemoeller, US State Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, PepsiCoSenior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Simon Lowden and King’s War Studies Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman.

All tackled the theme of ‘Strategy: New Perspectives’ from very different approaches in looking at the issues and challenges currently facing the US and beyond.

Addressing the Washington event at the Library of Congress, Professor Byrne said: ‘It is just fantastic to see so many alumni and friends of King’s at this occasion, the room is full, spectacular.’

Strong links

‘King’s has huge links to the US and the university values these links enormously. We have well over 5,000 alumni in the US – the highest proportion outside the UK. Also this number is likely to increase quite rapidly as we currently have over 1,000 students from the US studying at King’s in London.’

Professor Byrne said partnerships with major institutions in the States were developing well including with DC’s Georgetown University – with whom King’s has the only joint international masters (in history) and strong relations with both UNC Chapel Hill and UC San Francisco.

 'World university'

‘International alumni are important at King’s, our focus is increasingly as a world university and we define ourselves in significant part by not only what our alumni achieve in the UK, but around the world.’

He added that with the addition of a recently established US office, King’s was aiming to ‘accelerate our ties with this great nation.’

‘I’ve only been in my new role for two months but everything I thought has really come to pass- the university is in great shape, it’s had super leadership over the past decade which has taken it well up in the top 20 in the world in some of the world rankings and it’s going ahead in some of the major areas.’

Professor Byrne said he hoped to change the shape of King’s a little, in particular increasing the number of international students.

Introducing guest speaker Rose Gottemoeller, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman said ‘Washington has probably after London, the highest concentration of War Studies alumni and it’s good to see so many of you here.’

Candid comments

On the topic of arms control in the 21st Century, Ms Gottemoeller gave a frank talk addressing many international issues,including candid comments on relations with Russia and the situation in Syria.

Giving thanks she said: ‘This is, I will say, is a wonderful, wonderful, university so you are lucky to be associated with it – and I wish you all the best in everything you do into the future.’

Simon Lowden is a King’s alumnus holding a Bsc in Geography and Geomorphology. He has been Chief Marketing Office of Pepsi International since 2007. His talk at the Harvard Club of New York City was entitled ‘Who is the marketer of the future?’

Previously Mr Lowden was VP of Marketing and responsible for developing and executing marketing programs around the world. He also talked about his journey from King’s to his current post with Pepsi.

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman’s most recent book is entitled: ‘Strategy, A History.’ He has written regularly on a wide range of defence and foreign policy issues and is a regular commentator on security issues. He gave an engaging and entertaining talk on how strategy applies to many different situations and why it is so difficult for many people.

Over 200 people attended the alumni events, including the Washington DC event which saw the largest attendance for an overseas event to date.

During the New York event, Byrne also presented Mr David Martinelli, President of the New York Alumni Committee with the Helen Hudson Award – which recognises exemplary individuals working in alumni and community development.

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