The new international security environment

Former US secretary of defence William J. Perry, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University in California, will present this year’s John Holmes Memorial Lecture at Glendon. The lecture, titled “The New International Security Environment”, will take place on Monday, March 7, at 7:30pm. Perry holds a joint appointment in the School of Engineering and the Institute for International Studies at Stanford.

Right: William J. Perry

He was the 19th secretary of defence for the US, serving from 1994 to 1997 under President Bill Clinton. Perry’s previous government experience was as deputy secretary of defence (1993-1994) and undersecretary of defence for research and engineering (1977-1981). Perry has received numerous awards and decorations from US and foreign governments, non-governmental organizations and the military, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997.

When he left the Pentagon, Perry listed what he thought were his most important accomplishments. These include establishing effective working relationships with US military leaders; improving the lot of the military, especially enlisted men and women; managing the military drawdown; instituting important acquisition reforms; developing close relationships with many foreign defence ministers; effectively employing military strength and resources in Bosnia, Haiti, Korea, and the Persian Gulf area; dramatically reducing the nuclear legacy of the Cold War; and promoting the Partnership for Peace within NATO.

His disappointments included failure to obtain Russian ratification of the START II treaty; slowness in securing increases in the budget for weapon systems modernization; and the faulty perceptions of the Gulf War illness syndrome held by some of the media and much of the public.

More about the John Holmes Memorial Lecture

The annual John Holmes Memorial Lecture honours the late John W. Holmes, O.C., Canadian diplomat, writer, administrator and teacher who was a professor of international relations at York’s Glendon College from 1971 to 1981.

Right: John Holmes

Shortly after his death in 1988, a memorial fund was set up at Glendon under the chairmanship of Albert Tucker, University Professor in the Department of History, to make possible a series of annual lectures sponsored by Glendon’s International Studies Program.

Glendon’s International Studies Program is a multidisciplinary program which aims at delivering a sound liberal arts education to its students, with special emphasis placed on the theories and practices of international relations. The program is offered by three different departments, Economics, History and Political Science, with relevant courses contributed to it by other academic departments at Glendon. In keeping with the academic policy of Glendon, the courses in this program are taught in both English and French.

John Holmes took a keen interest in this program and enthusiastically helped in its development. Under its auspices he himself taught courses in Canadian foreign policy, international organization, and diplomacy.

The first John Holmes Memorial Lecture was delivered in 1989 by Brian Urquhart, retired under-secretary general of the United Nations.

For more information call 416-487-6824 or e-mail