Mansfield Lecture Features Condoleezza Rice, Mike McFaul

MISSOULA – The 2022 Mansfield Lecture at the University of Montana will feature two of the country’s leading voices on democracy, Condoleezza Rice and Michael McFaul, on Monday, April 18.

The two will present “Fostering Freedom at Home and Abroad: A Conversation with Condoleezza Rice and Michael McFaul” live via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. MDT. Their conversation will focus on the hard work of creating and sustaining democracy, with topics ranging from the importance of engaging rural America to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

The event is free and open to the public, but Zoom seats are limited. Advance registration is required at

Rice served as the secretary of state under President George Bush. McFaul served as ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice and McFaul will share their insights from experiences as policymakers, scholars and citizens in order to put democracy’s challenges into perspective. In keeping with the vital role of higher education in nurturing a healthy democratic society, the conversation will be moderated by UM President Seth Bodnar.

“The University of Montana embraces its role in supporting a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry,” Bodnar said. “The Mansfield Lecture is just one way we support our students and the community in engaging grand challenges of our nation and the world.”

Mansfield Center Executive Director Deena Mansour said it was an honor to host two renowned leaders in national security at this Mansfield Lecture.

“Our work emphasizes civil exchanges of ideas from a diverse range of viewpoints, the importance of democratic institutions and the role ethical values play in public life,” Mansour said. “Featuring a Republican and a Democrat in civil discourse is critical to this mission.”

From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement.

McFaul was born and raised in Montana. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, he helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset,” which fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. Then as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat to changing relations with Russia as Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency.

Both Rice and McFaul currently are based at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Founded by an Act of Congress in 1983, the Mansfield Center fosters globally minded leaders of integrity in honoring Mike Mansfield’s legacy of patriotic statesmanship. As the U.S. Senate’s longest-serving majority leader during polarizing times, Mansfield’s steady hand was a stabilizing force for our country. The Mansfield Lecture was founded in 1968 in honor of Mansfield’s critical role as a statesman. Recent speakers included Dr. Anthony Fauci and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof. Early distinguished speakers included Milton Friedman, Daniel Ellsberg and Barbara Tuchman.


Contact: Elizabeth L. Harrison, director of communications, UM Mansfield Center, 917-656-9773,