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Dr. Rory Stewart to Speak at Emerson Center March 9

VERO BEACH — The Emerson Center proudly presents Dr. Rory Stewart, as the final speaker of its Special Engagement Series on Tuesday, March 9.  Known for his legendary trek that took him across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal  from 2000 to 2002, Dr. Stewart’s presentation is entitled  ” What’s Going Wrong in Afghanistan, and  What  We Could Do Better”.

Dr. Stewart will speak at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $50 each and will benefit the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation.  A ticketed reception ($50) will follow his presentation and will benefit the Turquoise Mountain Foundation.  Traditional Afghan crafts and Dr. Stewart’s books will be available for sale.

Dr. Stewart, the Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights, is the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He is also the founder and chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization investing in the development of Afghanistan’s traditional crafts and the rehabilitation of the commercial heart of the old city of Kabul. Turquoise Mountain seeks to preserve cultural heritage, improve living conditions and create economic opportunities – providing jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of national pride to Afghan men and women.

Dr.  Stewart earned his BA and MA in Modern History and Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford University, served as an officer in the British Army, and worked for the British Diplomatic Service in Indonesia, Montenegro and elsewhere, before taking two years to walk from Turkey to Bangladesh. He covered 6,000 miles on foot across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian and Nepal – a journey rich with experiences which he describes in his critically acclaimed book entitled The Places in Between, a New York Times bestseller.

In 2003 he became Deputy Governor of two provinces in the Marsh Arab region of Southern Iraq (Mayan and Dui War). His second book, The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq, outlines his experiences as deputy governor shortly after coalition forces entered Iraq, and describes his efforts to lead development projects and establish a functional government.  In recognition of his service in Iraq, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British government in 2004.

Dr. Stewart was appointed to a professorial chair at Harvard University as the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights in early 2009 and became Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The mission of the Carr Center is to train future leaders in careers in public service and to apply first class research to the solution of public policy problems, and to partner with human rights organizations to help them respond to current and future challenges.

He has written for a range of publications including the New York Times, the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and Granta.  He has won a number of international awards for his writing, including from the Royal Society of Literature Oondaatje award (2004) to the Radio France award (2009).  He has also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stirling. His books, translated in over ten languages and currently being developed for film, stage and TV, have been critically acclaimed.  His advice on the people and politics of the Iraq-Afghanistan region is sought by more than one government. He was elected as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate in Scotland for Penrith and the Border by an open-primary meeting in October 2009.

For tickets:  Call 772-778-5249, purchase online at, or visit the Emerson Center.

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