Having lived and worked for several years in Washington, DC, I quickly concluded that American corruption runs deep.

But unfortunately, the scandals that eventually make it into the mainstream media and public consciousness only scratch the surface. Indeed, from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon, there is no shortage of Beltway Bandits.  

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Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva and Publisher: Vintage

So it's exciting to share that Sarah Chayes, an internationally recognized expert on corruption and a former top Pentagon official, will speak in Dubuque. She is the author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security and On Corruption in America: What is at Stake.

Chayes cautions that much is at stake for the United States and around the globe. "Behind almost every crisis confronting the world today – from hot wars in Ukraine or Yemen to mass migration, violent extremism, and ecological disaster – are the workings of corruption," says Chayes. 

Is geopolitics something you'd like to learn more about? In that case, you can join Chayes for a fascinating and inciteful discussion of patterns in countries she has examined across five continents, including the United States.

A Paris correspondent for National Public Radio, Chayes covered France, the European Union, North Africa, and the Balkans. Along with members of the NPR team, Chayes earned the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards for her reporting on the Kosovo war. 

Additionally, Chayes covered the fall of the Taliban in 2001, then stayed to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, tapped her to serve as a special assistant for her insight into the realities of Afghanistan. Post time at the Pentagon, she spent five years at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Chayes continues to write and provide media commentary on international corruption and its implications.

Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva
Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva

"It's not about need; it's about winning. To compete in this race -- for zeroes, in bank accounts -- elites in countries rich and poor are rewriting the rules in their favor. They are rigging the system. That is what ordinary people mean by corruption. And it is the existential threat facing our generation." - Sarah Chayes

It's sure to be a fascinating conversation as Sarah shares her time in Afghanistan, her work advising the military, and her knowledge of corruption at every power level. Anticipate a philosophical talk about how insidious insiders affect people, politics, and places around the globe.

The free event is hosted by Loras College and Iowa State Representative Chuck Isenhart. It's part of the college's annual Ahlgren International Affairs Lecture to highlight the importance of global engagement. 

The presentation is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27. It will be in the Alumni Campus Ballroom, Loras College, 1450 Alta Vista. This Free Event is open to the public.

Sara Chayes's books will be available for sale. For further information: www.sarahchayes.org


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