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Jon M. Huntsman, former governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China, will deliver the Weil Lecture on American Citizenship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jon M. Huntsman, former governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China, will deliver the Weil Lecture on American Citizenship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The free public talk, hosted by UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in Hill Hall Auditorium. Huntsman will address the topic “America 2012 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities” through a discussion with Hodding Carter, UNC professor of leadership and public policy and former State Department spokesman for President Jimmy Carter.  

Huntsman will also participate in a question and answer session open to the public from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in the University Room of Hyde Hall.

Following on the heels of the Nov. 6 election, Huntsman will converse with faculty, students and community members about the results and his view of the implications of this important election on both domestic and foreign policy, specifically regarding China.

He recently stated that the U.S. relationship with China is “the [one] that will matter the most in the 21st century” (Foreign Policy, October 2012), and he has remained committed to encouraging and engaging in this critical conversation following his tenure as an ambassador.

“The Weil Lecture has brought key national figures to campus since 1915,” said John McGowan, institute director, “and we are pleased to have a statesman of Jon Huntsman’s stature coming to UNC this fall.”

Huntsman began his career in public service as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has since served four U.S. presidents in critical roles around the world, including ambassador to Singapore, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, trade ambassador and, most recently, ambassador to China.

Twice elected governor of Utah, Huntsman was chair of the Western Governors Association, serving 19 states throughout the region, and also served on the executive committee of the National Governors Association.

Huntsman ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, withdrawing in January. He currently serves on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Corporation, the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania; as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institute; and as a trustee of the Reagan Foundation. He is also chair of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he has seven honorary doctorate degrees.

The Weil Lecture, established in 1915 by brothers Henry and Solomon Weil, aims to widen discussion of the American scene. President William Howard Taft delivered the first Weil Lecture and other distinguished speakers have included President Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. Senators J. William Fulbright, Nancy Kassebaum and John Kerry, and most recently, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Other speakers have been members of Congress, diplomats, political commentators and renowned scholars. The institute has hosted UNC’s Weil Lecture on American Citizenship since 2000. 

Each succeeding Weil generation has continued a tradition of philanthropy and community involvement, leading in causes including women’s suffrage and civil rights and serving as UNC trustees. The Weil Lecture is one of many contributions to the University by the Weil family.

Institute for the Arts and Humanities website:

Weil Lecture website:

Institute for the Arts and Humanities contact:
Elaine Erteschik, (919) 843-2654,

News Services contact:
Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595,      

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