2023 Hagel Lecture Series to Focus on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

February 23, 2023

Michael McFaul
Michael McFaul


Prof. Bob Pape will moderate a discussion between former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel

By Sarah Steimer

As the world marks the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, questions continue to loom around democratic stability in the region. As part of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST)’s annual Hagel Lecture series, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will explore the uncertainty, using their combined expertise to move the discourse forward.

The 2023 Hagel Lecture: Ukraine, Russia, & the Future of the Liberal Orderwill be moderated by its Director Robert A. Pape, and held Friday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Rubenstein Forum.

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel


“This year’s event with Ambassador McFaul and Secretary Hagel will offer discussion and insights informed by years of distinguished public service, deep knowledge of the issues at play, and engagement with global figures — including when Russia seized Crimea,” Pape says.

“As with the 2019 event with Secretary Madeleine Albright, I am pleased the CPOST can bring this convening to the UChicago community, and more broadly, to the public seeking to better understand the forces shaping the world in which we live.”

McFaul brings extensive international affairs experience to the conversation, having spent five years in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House from 2009 to 2012, and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2012-2014. At Stanford university, McFaul is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He’s also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, and author of several books — including From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.

Robert A. Pape
Robert Pape


Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who served from 2013 to 2015, is the only Vietnam veteran to serve in this role. He also served two terms as Nebraska’s senator (1997-2009), during which he was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees, and also chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee, among others. He was a distinguished professor at Georgetown University, co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, chairman of the Atlantic Council, and a member of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter.

RSVP for the in-person event here.