Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tony Blair to teach at Bush's alma mater

He's still Tony to his diplomat croniess, but American students will call him Professor Blair. According to the Agence France Presse, the former British Prime Minister has accepted a Yale position. As Middle East envoy, Blair has been uncommonly silent about the mayhem in Gaza that left 126 Palestinians dead overfive days as well as the shooting spree inside the Yeshiva in Jerusalem. This may explain why he's biting his tongue:

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is to take up a post teaching at Yale, one of the top educational institutions in the United States, the university said Friday.

Blair, who stepped down as prime minister last year after 10 years in power, was to lecture on faith and globalization as the Howland Distinguished Fellow, and would start in the next academic year, the university said.

His work at the university would relate to the work of his Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which he is due to launch later this year.

"The appointment of Mr. Blair provides a tremendous opportunity for our students and our community," Yale President Richard Levin said in a statement.

"As the world continues to become increasingly interdependent, it is essential that we explore how religious values can be channeled toward reconciliation rather than polarization.

"Mr. Blair has demonstrated outstanding leadership in these areas and is especially qualified to bring his perspective to bear. We are honored that he is planning to join the Yale community," he added.

According to British media reports, Blair would continue in his role as special envoy to the Mideast Quartet working towards Palestinian statehood, a role that reportedly takes up around 10 days of every month.

There has also been speculation that Blair could be made the future EU president, a role enshrined in the European Union's reforming Lisbon Treaty that the 27 member states hope to ratify by the end of the year.

However, some members are known to oppose his candidacy partly due to his role in supporting the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Former holders of Yale's Howland fellowship include composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, BBC journalist Alistair Cooke and late Indian leader Indira Gandhi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Uniquely interesting blog; a good read.