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Distinguished Lecture Series

The Honors College sponsors and presents Boise State University’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Twice a year, the Series brings eminent speakers to Boise State from the realm of politics, academics, and humanitarian activism to promote the discussion of important issues.

Spring 2020 Speaker

H.R. McMaster will speak at the Morrison Center at 7:00pm on March 2nd, 2020.

H.R. McMaster

Until recently, H. R. McMaster was the 26th Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future Army as Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command. As Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the Army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. His extensive experience leading soldiers and organizations in wartime includes Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 -2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990-1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

H.R. led important strategic assessments including the revision of Iraq strategy during the ‘surge’ of 2007 and efforts to develop security forces and governmental institutions in post-war Iraq. In 2009-2010 he led an assessment and planning effort to develop a comprehensive strategy for the greater Middle East.

McMaster was as an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996 where he taught undergraduate courses in military history and history of the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well as a graduate course on the history of military leadership for officers enrolled in the Columbia University MBA program.

H.R. has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He was a contributing editor for Survival magazine from 2010-2017, and is a current Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution. His award-winning book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam, is a New York Times bestseller.

H.R. was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His military awards include the Silver Star Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart.

Past Speakers

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: Best-selling author, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones: American investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights in the United States
  • Antony J. Blinken: Former Deputy Secretary of State
  • Werner Herzog: Award-winning screenwriter, film director, author, and actor
  • Sarah Lewis: Bestselling Author and Assistant Professor at Harvard University
  • Carl Wieman: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University
  • Julia Gillard: Former Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion, public speaker, and member of the United Nations Security Council
  • Margaret Atwood: Literary influence, Booker Prize winner, and distinguished author of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction
  • Sir Salman Rushdie: Distinguished author, public intellectual, and free-speech proponent
  • Richard Heinzl: Founder of the first North American chapter of Doctors Without Borders
  • Jonathan Spence: Respected Historian and China Expert
  • Louis Menand: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar of American studies
  • Steven Pinker: Cognitive scientist one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature