LAWRENCE – The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will welcome Dirk Wouters, ambassador of Belgium to the United States, for a public program this summer.
Wouters will deliver remarks at the institute at 2 p.m. June 13. The program is free and open to the public, and a free livestream of the event will be available.
In his talk, Wouters will highlight some of the current challenges facing the European Union and developments in the U.S. that have affected transatlantic relationships. This will include the current U.S. presidential administration’s approach to relations with Russia and China, trade deficits, NATO and Europe’s energy dependence.
The ambassador was appointed to his position in September 2016. He represents the king of the Belgians and Belgium’s federal government in the U.S. and in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He is responsible for the direction and work of the embassy and its consulates, including bilateral political and economic relations.
Prior to his current assignment, the ambassador was permanent representative of Belgium to the European Union (EU). Wouters has served his nation’s international interests extensively, having joined the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980. In 1986, he began his efforts representing Belgium in European affairs, and he later received an assignment in Rome dealing with political and economic issues. Beginning in the mid-1990s, he served as deputy permanent representative of Belgium to the United Nations (UN) in New York City.
The ambassador’s work would shift to the EU in 2003-2009, where he served as permanent representative of Belgium to the Political and Security Committee. He would later join the office of the Belgian prime minister as a diplomatic adviser, and later, the office of the minister of foreign affairs as chief of staff.
The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU’s West District and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.
More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website, www.doleinstitute.org.