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Richard Haass, author and foreign relations expert, to headline Civic Association event

Our Town with William Kelly: Richard Haass, author and foreign relations expert, to headline Civic Association event

Richard Haass, a veteran diplomat and esteemed voice on American foreign relations, will address a Palm Beach Civic Association audience on March 15.

Haass will be keynote speaker at the Civic Association’s Signature Series engagement, which will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Haass is in his 20th year as president of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations, which is dedicated to the study of American foreign policy.

A bestselling author, he has penned or edited 14 books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His latest, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, was published in January.

In the book, Haass argues that the idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded to place our obligations on the same footing as our rights. The United States faces numerous threats, ranging from Russia and China to terrorists and climate change. Rights alone cannot provide the basis for a functioning, much less flourishing, democracy, Haass contends.

Michael Pucillo, vice chairman of the Civic Association, said he’s heard Haass speak and watched him on television.

“He’s extremely knowledgeable about foreign policy matters,” Pucillo said. “His visit is timely, given the war in Ukraine. It should be a very interesting talk.”

Peter Gottsegen, a longtime member of the Civic Association and of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the subject of Haass’s new book, civic responsibility, is a perfect topic for a Civic Association event.

“In that, he explains the 10 responsibilities every citizen should have as a participant in our democracy,” Gottsegen said. “He is extremely knowledgeable and experienced.”

Civic Association members on the Residential Leadership and Corporate Silver levels ($1,000 and above) are invited to attend Haass’s March 15 engagement. To RSVP, contact the Civic Association at 561-655-0820 or email us at

Haass served in the State Department under presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, at the White House under George H.W. Bush, and in the Pentagon during the Carter Administration.

He was the United States envoy to the Cyprus negotiations and the Northern Ireland peace process and, after 9/11, was U.S. coordinator for the future of Afghanistan.

A Rhodes Scholar, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, a master’s and a doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University, and numerous honorary degrees.

He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Tipperary International Peace Award.

Haass was born in Brooklyn and lives in New York City.


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