WAYNE — Cary Memorial Library’s Williams House will host “A Conversation with Bobby Charles: Lessons from Colin Powell’s State Department,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15.

Robert “Bobby” Charles will offer a historical perspective on the current situation in the Middle East and the international struggle against terrorism and drugs.

Charles, as Colin Powell’s assistant secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, set up America’s police training programs in Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Colombia, managed rule-of-law programs in 70 countries and ran a 400-airframe global air wing. He has spent time in more than 50 countries.

Charles’ experience gives him a broad and in-depth perspective on the contemporary international quagmire. From 1998 to 2009 he served as a Navy intelligence officer. Previously he worked in the Office of Domestic Policy for both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

Later he became staff director for the House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice, and led the Speaker’s Task Force on Counter Narcotics. He is an experienced attorney who served as a clerk for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and spent 6 years as a litigator in private practice in New York and Washington, D.C.

Charles has written extensively on security and constitutional topics, including dozens of articles and book chapters. He is the author of the nonfiction book “Narcotics and Terrorism.”

His columns have appeared nationally as well as in the Kennebec Journal, the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald. He has appeared on “60 Minutes,” CNN, Fox, NPR, ABC, CBS and NBC news. His government work has been widely covered in national print media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post.

He has served on many nonprofit boards, including the George C. Marshall Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Society, Angels of America’s Fallen and various drug prevention groups. His firm currently works on security-related projects for the U.S. government, serves selected nonprofits and supports small companies tied to aviation and security.

Charles holds a B.A. in government from Dartmouth College, an M.A from Oxford University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. He taught government oversight at Harvard University’s Extension School, where he won the Petra T. Shattuck award for Excellence in Teaching.

The program will be an informal conversation with a question-and-answer session. A reception featuring light refreshments will follow.


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