October 19, 2006

SIUC to host United Nations adviser

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- United Nations adviser Gillian M. Sorenson will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week, as part of the fall lecture series sponsored by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

After meeting with students and faculty on campus during the day on Tuesday, Oct. 24, Sorenson will speak in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend a news conference featuring Sorenson at 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the lobby of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. For more information, contact Institute assistant director Matthew C. Baughman at 618/453-4009.


Sorensen is a senior adviser at the United Nations Foundation and a national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and the United States-United Nations relationship.

"Given that new points of foment are developing throughout the world with alarming frequency, I cannot think of a more appropriate time to have someone with Gillian Sorenson's excellent credentials provide her insights on the relationship between our nation and the United Nations," institute Director Mike Lawrence said.

Olga D. Weidner, president of United Nations Association of Southern Illinois, added, "We are fortunate that Gillian Sorensen, with her unique experience on matters related to the U.N., and a tireless advocate for peace, progress and justice around the world, will be here to address the complexities of the U.S.-U.N. relationship and the future of the U.N."

The association is a co-sponsor of Sorenson's visit.

From l997 to 2003, Sorenson served as assistant secretary-general for external relations on appointment by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She was responsible for outreach to civil society including non-governmental organizations around the world. As a member of the secretary-general's inner circle, Sorenson had a role in his communications strategy as well as schedule planning.

Prior to that assignment Sorensen served for four years (1993-1996) as special adviser for public policy to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Her duties included directing the U.N.'s worldwide 50th anniversary observances in l995.

From 1978 to 1990, Sorensen served on appointment by Mayor Edward I. Koch as New York City Commissioner for the United Nations and Consular Corps, head of the city's liaison with the world's largest diplomatic community.

Sorensen holds a bachelor's degree from Smith College. She was also a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.