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Alumnus, Senior International Relations Fellow Responds to American Deaths in Libya

CONWAY, Ark. (September 14, 2012) - Former U.S. Ambassador Alan Eastham '73, Senior Fellow in International Relations and International Programs at Hendrix, was interviewed this week by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about the death of four Americans in Libya, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article:

Eastham knew Stevens, both in Washington, D.C., and in Tripoli, Libya.

"He was an extremely nice fellow, very low key, very thoughtful and a little bit ironic," said Eastham, a former ambassador to Malawi, who retired in 2010 after 35 years in the Foreign Service. "He was a very popular man in the Foreign Service and will be greatly missed, including by me."

Stevens' death underscores the danger that American diplomats face, but Eastham said that's part of the job. Embassy and consular activity around the world isn't likely to be reduced nor embassies or consulates shuttered, he said.

"This is what we do. If you're not there, you can't do it," Eastham said.

When posted as principal officer to the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, in the mid-1980s, Eastham and other Foreign Service workers faced the threat of rocket attacks. But intelligence reports allowed consular officials to squelch the plan by extending the secured perimeter around the consulate beyond their range, said Eastham.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Feel about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit