September 10, 2014

Former Florida Representative to Speak at Cornell

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Former Florida Representative Allen West will speak on the changing nature and future of United States foreign policy at Cornell next month, the Cornell College Republicans announced Tuesday.

West, a retired lieutenant colonel and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will focus on current topics such as the Russian invasion of Crimea and the “looming threat of ISIS,” according to Brandon Thompson ’16, chairman of the Cornell College Republicans.

“We chose Allen West because of his deep knowledge and experiences in American foreign policy, an area that we believe is particularly relevant today in light of recent international crises,” he said.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, West joined the United States Army in 1983 and retired in 2004 after 22 years of service. Some of his awards include the Bronze Star, Army Achievement Medal and a Valorous Unit Award.

He was elected to the United States Congress in November 2010 to represent Florida’s 22nd district, located in southeast Florida. As representative, he was heavily involved in the passage of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which lowered the Department of Defense’s costs, according to a Cornell College Repubicans press release.

Thompson said he hopes the event will encourage students to explore the “consequences of international affairs on American lives.”

“We [also] hope that Congressman West will inspire students to think more critically about … the importance of a strong foreign policy for the security of our nation,” he said.

The lecture, which will take place Oct. 30 in Uris Hall, is free and open to the public.

A brief question and answer session as well as a book signing will follow the lecture, according to the release.