December 16, 2017
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Ambassador Don Gregg to speak at COA

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Ambassador Donald P. Gregg will speak in Bar Harbor on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 4:10 p.m. in the McCormick Lecture Hall. His Human Ecology Forum talk will deal with the ongoing international turmoil presented by North Korea and opportunities for the U.S. to normalize relations. The talk is free and open to the public.

Korea expert, former diplomat to deliver Human Ecology Forum talk

BAR HARBOR, MAINE — Ambassador Donald P. Gregg will speak at a Human Ecology Forum Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 4:10 p.m. in the McCormick Lecture Hall at College of the Atlantic. The talk is free and open to the public.

Gregg has just published “Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas,” a well-received book about his life and experiences as an intelligence officer, national security adviser, and diplomat. His Human Ecology Forum talk will deal with the ongoing international turmoil presented by North Korea and opportunities for the U.S. to normalize relations.

“Ambassador Gregg is a true statesman who has served administrations from both parties with great distinction, and I’m happy he is coming to Bar Harbor to share some of his experiences with students, faculty and friends,” said William Foulke, former chairman of the college Board of Trustees.

“‘Demonization’ is a dangerous political tendency that we Americans tend to fall into when we deal with those we neither like nor understand,” Gregg wrote in an email to the college. “Human ecology invariably suffers as a result. North Korea is a clear example of all that, and that is what I’ll be talking about, in large part.”

After serving in the United States Army from 1945 to 1947, he earned a BA cum laude in philosophy from Williams College in 1951. Gregg joined the Central Intelligence Agency immediately after graduation and over the next quarter century was assigned to Japan, Burma, Vietnam and Korea. He was special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in Korea from 1973 to 1975, and was decorated by the Korean government.

In August 1982, he was asked by then Vice President George H. W. Bush to become his National Security Adviser, in the areas of foreign policy, defense and intelligence. He then retired from the CIA, and was awarded the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal. During his service with Vice President Bush, Gregg traveled to 65 countries including Korea. From 1980 to 1989, Gregg also served as a professorial lecturer at Georgetown University, where he taught a graduate-level workshop entitled “Force and Diplomacy” to students in the Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

From September 1989 to 1993, Gregg served as the U.S. Ambassador to Korea. While ambassador, his efforts were directed toward helping the U.S.-Korea relationship mature from a military alliance into an economic and political partnership. Gregg was also active in support of U.S.-Korea business activities. Prior to his departure from Korea in 1993, Gregg received an honorary Ph.D. in international relations from Sogang University.

In March 1993, Gregg retired from a 43-year career in the United States government to become the president and chairman of The Korea Society, positions he held until 2009. In May 1996, Gregg received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters from Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vt.

Gregg remains strongly interested in establishing normal relations with North Korea, a country he has visited six times. The Pacific Century Institute actively supports unofficial meetings between Americans with significant experience in Korea with North Korean officials. Gregg led a PCI delegation to North Korea in February 2014.

Human Ecology Forums are intellectual discussions that engage students with top global thinkers in the sciences, arts, politics, humanities, and business concerning the concept of human ecology. The series is offered Tuesday afternoons from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. in COA’s McCormick Lecture Hall and all talks are free and open to the public.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit