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IU Honors Former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

Adam Pinsker

Former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was honored Friday during a conference hosted at Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

During her speech, Yovanovitch said the government needs to invest more resources into diplomacy.

IU President Michael McRobbie presented Yovanovitch with the inaugural Richard G. Lugar award at the conclusion of the fifth annual America's Role in the World conference.

Yovanovitch praised the late senator for his work in helping reduce the world’s nuclear stockpile.  She recalled how Lugar, and former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, convinced Congress to pass a bill that would allocate taxpayer funds to the destruction of nuclear stockpiles around the world.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus possessed large amounts of nuclear weapons.

“We in the US had grave concerns about whether these countries could control their new found arsenals, much less keep them secure from bad actors," says Yovanovitch.

Yovanovitch says the U.S. needs to make every effort to combat the misinformation spread by totalitarian governments at home and abroad.

“We need to tend the garden, we need to invest in our relations with allies and adversaries," she said.

She told the audience that the public and the federal goverment needs to better understand the role the foreighn service plays in world affairs.

“Rigorous analysis is not the work of the deeply dedicated state,”  says Yovanovitch, quoting former Ambassador Mike McFall.

President Trump dismissed Yovanovitch last year, after accusing her of impeding a Ukraine investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.