Former ambassador to speak about Syria in Oak Ridge Wednesday afternoon

Former Ambassador Margaret Scobey will discuss Syria at Roane State Community College in Oak Ridge on Wednesday. Her talk is titled “Syria: Challenges to U.S. and Regional Interests.”

The community lecture is sponsored jointly by ORICL (Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning) and Roane State. According to a press release, it is free and open to the public.

Scobey’s appearance will begin with a reception at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Visitor’s Lobby of the Coffey/McNally Building, a press release said. Following the reception, Scobey will speak in the City Room, A-111, of the same building. After her presentation, Ambassador Scobey will respond to questions from the audience.

Scobey retired as career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service following a 32-year career, the press release said. She served as U.S. ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 2008 until July of 2011. Prior to that, she served as the U.S. ambassador to Syria from late 2003 until early 2005, when she was recalled in protest to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Her last assignment in the Foreign Service was as deputy commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

During her career, Scobey served as political counselor in Baghdad, 2006-2007; deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from September 2001 through November 2003; and deputy chief of mission in Sanaa, Yemen. In addition, she was assigned earlier to posts in Jerusalem, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Peru, the press release said.

At the Department of State, Scobey was staff assistant to the assistant secretary of Near East and South Asian affairs, watch officer in the Operations Center, political military officer in the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs, deputy director of the Secretariat Staff, and director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs.

Scobey was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in history, where she also earned her master’s degree, the press release said. She pursued doctoral studies in history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before joining the Foreign Service. Scobey has received several awards, including the Department of State Award for Distinguished Service and a Presidential Award.

Since retirement, Scobey has resided in Farragut. She has become involved in local community activities, including serving on the Board of Directors of Bridge Refugee Services Inc., a nonprofit that resettles refugees in the Knoxville and Chattanooga areas.

“ORICL and Roane State proudly present this opportunity to meet and hear Ambassador Margaret Scobey, as she shares her expertise, insights, observations, and experiences gleaned over a richly credentialed career in foreign service,” the press release said.

For more information, contact the ORICL office at (865) 481-8222.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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