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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

“Cyberwarfare the topic of Nov. 29 URI Honors Colloquium lecture.”

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 21, 2011- Richard A. Clarke, who previously worked as the deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence under Ronald Reagan, will speak on Nov. 29 in the University of Rhode Island’s 2011 Honors Colloquium, which examines the question “Are you ready for the future?”

Clarke will discuss the country’s vulnerabilities to cyberwarfare and how they are likely to evolve in the future at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on the URI Kingston Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Clarke is an internationally renowned security authority with expertise in homeland security, national security, cyber security and counterterrorism. He teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is an on-air consultant for ABC News. In 2010, Clarke was selected as one of The Top 100 Global Thinkers. Along with working under Reagan, he also held high security positions under former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Clarke also wrote a memoir entitled Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror- What Really Happened after testifying before the 9/11 Commission. Cyber War, his most recent book, is the first of its kind dealing with “the war of our future.” In addition, Clarke has served in the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community for the past 19 years.

During the lecture, Clarke will focus on cyberwarfare issues today and possibilities for the future. The immediacy and capacity of the Internet has made life easier in a variety of ways, but it has also created societal dependence that could be dangerous. The power outages caused in early September by hurricane/tropical storm Irene and the impatience with those delays illustrates how everyone relies on a highly interdependent and technology-driven system. Although an attack on America that would disable the power grid, causing a prolonged outage, may seem unlikely, many nations are capable of doing it, he said.

The last program is a group presentation on (Dec. 6) by 56 honors students, who attend a class complementary to the colloquium. Their focus will be “We Are the Future.”

All of the lectures will be streamed live at www.uri.edu/hc, where the complete schedule of events is also listed. For additional information about the URI Honors Colloquium, contact Deborah Gardiner at debg@uri.edu or 401-874-2382.

Major sponsors of the Honors Colloquium are the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, the URI Honors Program, and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, with sustaining sponsors including The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment and the URI Office of the Provost and Office of the President. Additional support is provided by URI’s Harrington School of Communication and Media, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, Classroom Media Services, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, College of Human Science and Services, College of Business Administration, College of Pharmacy, Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance, University College, Coastal Institute, Division of University Advancement, College of Nursing and Department of Communication Studies.