On March 22, the Presidential Precinct will serve as a community partner in hosting “Both Sides Now: Taking Diplomacy Seriously,” a panel discussion about the intricacies of diplomacy in our challenging world. Hosted in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, this panel brings together three academic leaders for a vibrant discussion on international relations and negotiation.

Panelists for this event include Trita Parsi, Founder of the National Iranian American Council; Todd Sechser, Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia; and Marcus Holmes, Assistant Professor of Government at William & Mary. The conversation will be moderated by Mark Habeeb, Adjunct Professor in Georgetown’s School of International Service.

“This partnership couldn’t offer a better alignment with the Precinct’s vision for visionary leaders to create thriving, just, and free societies,” said Neal Piper, Executive Director of the Presidential Precinct. We hope that our network, both around the world and here in the local Charlottesville community, will take advantage of this opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to a thoughtful discussion around the importance of diplomacy.”

The event is open to public attendance at the Charlottesville City Council Chambers. Local attendees can RSVP at this link. The discussion will also be available via livestream at www.presidentialprecinct.org/live. The conversation will begin at 4pm EST / 9pm UTC.

About the Virginia Festival of the Book: A signature program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) and the Virginia Center for the Book, the Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together for a five-day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, programs for children, and more. The 24th annual Festival will be held March 21-25, 2018, in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. The Festival has consistently attracted audiences of more than 20,000 from more than forty states each year, with an estimated local economic impact of about $4 million annually.

The Festival offers about 250 programs, most of them free, and provides book discussions in every genre and for every level of reader. In 2017 the Festival also scheduled one hundred author visits into local K-12 classrooms, providing programs for more than 10,000 students. To learn more, browse the full schedule, or purchase tickets to select programs, visit VaBook.org.

About the Presidential Precinct: From the birthplace of modern democracy, we engage and inspire emerging leaders to address the most pressing challenges in their countries. The Presidential Precinct offers an interactive and engaging learning experience that connects leaders to two premier U.S. universities: William & Mary and the University of Virginia, and four historic sites: James Madison’s Montpelier, James Monroe’s Highland, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and William Short’s Morven.

Today, we recognize around the globe the hallmarks of diverse and free societies — individual liberty, equality under law, government by consent, opportunity and entrepreneurship. These fundamental values are connected in powerful ways to the struggles of the American Founding Fathers. The Precinct was created to share this history of ideas, the rich resources of its partner sites and the Founding Fathers’ spirit of entrepreneurship with a new generation of leaders. To date, the Precinct has hosted over 650 program participants from more than 120 countries.

Press Contacts:

The Presidential Precinct
Drew Precious, Marketing & Communications Manager

Virginia Center for the Book
Sarah Lawson, Assistant Director