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Falmouth Forum Series 2005-2006

gillian sorensen

The US and The UN: Can This Marriage Be Saved?
November 4, 2005 - Lillie Auditorium, 7:30 PM
Lectures are free and open to the public.

Gillian Sorensen, Senior Adviser and National Advocate at the UN Foundation will kick off the 2005-2006 Falmouth Forum season with a lecture on Friday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory’s) Lillie Auditorium, MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture is sponsored by the Associates of the Marine Biological Laboratory and is free and open to the public.

Gillian Sorensen is a national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and the United States-United Nations relationship. She will address the current controversies around the UN, the US role in the reform, and the stake we have in its success in her lecture titled The US & the UN: Can this Marriage Be Saved?

Sorensen has had a long career working with and for the UN. From 1997 to 2003, she served as Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations on appointment by Secretary General Kofi Annan. She was responsible for outreach to non-governmental organizations around the world, and worked closely with diplomats, academics, parliamentarians, religious leaders and others committed to peace, justice, development and human rights.

Prior to that assignment, Sorensen served for four years as Special Adviser for Public Policy to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, where her duties included directing the UN’s worldwide Fiftieth Anniversary observances in 1995. As the official overseeing the global commemoration, she led the planning of conferences, debates, documentaries, concerts and exhibits: the preparation of books and curricular materials, and the coordination of the UN50 Summit at Headquarters in New York in which 180 Presidents and Prime Ministers participated.

Sorensen is a graduate of Smith College and studied at the Sorbonne. She has been a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Women’s Forum, and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. She previously served as a Board Member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on appointment by the President of the United States. In addition to her public service, she has been active in politics and was a delegate to three national Presidential conventions.


The MBL Associates were founded in 1944 to provide an opportunity for friends of the Laboratory, both scientists and non-scientists, to support the MBL. Over the years the Associates have taken on a wide range of projects, including providing fellowships for young scientists, supporting the MBL/WHOI Library, renovating the Lillie Auditorium, and landscaping the Whitman-Loeb quadrangle on the Woods Hole campus. The Associates also help bring the work of the Laboratory to a broader public by sponsoring the Falmouth Forum Series and operating the MBL Gift Shop. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the Laboratory.

The next Falmouth Forum will take place on December 2. Ornithologist Peter Stettenheim will present the lecture Birds in Art.

Admission to this Falmouth Forum presentation is free and open to the public. A buffet dinner is available before the lecture at 6:00 p.m. in the Swope Center located near the auditorium. Dinner tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance at either Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth, or at the MBL’s Communications Office in the Candle House in Woods Hole. Dinner seats are limited and tickets are only available until they sell out or until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1. For more information, contact the MBL Communications Office at: (508) 289-7423 or