On May 5, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) hosted Lord Christopher Patten for the fifth annual Sakip Sabanci Lecture. In his address, Lord Patten drew on his decades of experience in elected government and international diplomacy to discuss how Turkey, Europe and the United States can realize opportunities for multilateral cooperation in confronting the global challenges of the 21st century.
Lord Patten is one of Europe’s most distinguished statesmen and the current chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle Universities in Britain. Representing Bath, Patten was first elected to Parliament in 1979, a seat he held until 1992. From 1999 until 2004, he served as the European commissioner for external relations. He was previously the secretary of state for the environment, chairman of Britain’s Conservative Party, and the final British governor of Hong Kong.
The Sakip Sabanci Lecture is delivered annually by a leading international statesman and explores Turkey’s increasingly important role in the world. The event honors the memory of Sakip Sabanci, one of Turkey’s foremost business leaders, a visionary supporter of democratic and economic reforms and a leading advocate of Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott was joined by Ms. Guler Sabanci, chairperson of the Sabanci Group, and provided introductory remarks. CUSE Visiting Fellow Steven Pifer moderated a question and answer session at the conclusion of Lord Patten’s remarks. A live video link to Sabanci University in Istanbul provided students and a wider overseas audience an opportunity to participate in the event.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.