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Chayes to address Alabama World Affairs Council on Sept. 11

August 29, 2019

Sarah Chayes, an author and former National Public Radio reporter, will discuss the impacts of corruption during her presentation to the Alabama World Affairs Council on Sept. 11.

The event, which will take place in the Gold Room in Whitley Hall at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus, will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by Chayes’ presentation, “International Corruption and Its Discontents.” The presentation is free to members of the Alabama World Affairs Council and $20 for guests. To register for the event, visit the ALWAC website.

Chayes was originally scheduled to address the council in April, but was forced to cancel the engagement.   

A former senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s “Democracy, Conflict and Governance” program, Chayes is the author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.” The book won the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She also is the author of “The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan after the Taliban,” published by Penguin Press in 2006.

Chayes is internationally recognized for her innovative thinking and its implications. Her work explores how severe corruption can prompt such crises as terrorism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths and environmental degradation.

Before joining Carnegie, Chayes served as a special assistant to the top U.S. military officer, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. She focused on governance issues, participating in cabinet-level decision-making on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arab Spring, and traveling with Mullen frequently to the regions.

From 1996 to 2001, Chayes was NPR’s Paris correspondent. For her work during the Kosovo crisis, she shared the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

It was a sense of historic opportunity that prompted Chayes to end her journalism career in early 2002, after covering the fall of the Taliban for NPR, and to remain in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country. She chose to settle in the former Taliban heartland, Kandahar.

In 2005, Chayes founded Arghand, a start-up manufacturing cooperative, where men and women working together produce fine skin-care products. The goal was to revive the region’s historic role in exporting fruit and its derivatives, to promote sustainable development, and expand alternatives to the opium economy. Running Arghand in downtown Kandahar proved to be an instructive vantage point for observing the unfolding war.

The Alabama World Affairs Council sponsors lectures and programs on current and recent events of national and international interest throughout the year with the aim to increase individuals’ knowledge of world affairs and how they impact the United States. The Council also serves as a platform to showcase some of the world-class faculty at Maxwell Air Force Base’s Air University. The Council has partnered with Troy University, Alabama’s International University, bringing all Council events to the University’s Montgomery Campus.