Former UN ambassador speaks at inaugural memorial lecture, sheds light on moral global policy

The Tufts Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) hosted the inaugural Jonathan Moore Lecture on Moral Global Leadership, the beginning of a lecture series honoring the late Ambassador Jonathan Moore. The lecture was held in the ASEAN Auditorium of the Cabot Intercultural Center and over 150 people were in attendance

Ambassador Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was chosen as the speaker for the lecture. Abi Williams, professor of the practice of international politics at the Fletcher School and director of the IGL, said it was important to honor Moore for his contributions as a public servant and his years spent on the external advisory board of the IGL.

“Ambassador Power was a personal friend and protegée of Ambassador Moore and [he] had an enormous impact and influence on her life, and we also thought her career, in and out of government, as a journalist and as a public servant, exemplified both the values which underpinned Ambassador Moore’s life and the values that he tried to promote, and also the values that we try to promote in the Institute for Global Leadership,” Williams said.

According to Williams, it was important to set up the lecture series to provide a discussion platform for important global issues. As future lectures are held, there will be different speakers who will address the issue of moral global leadership from different perspectives.

Moore, who served on the IGL’s External Advisory Board, served as Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Refugee Programs Bureau in the U.S. Department of State.

The introduction of the event, given by University President Anthony Monaco, was followed by a memorial video introducing Moore, his contributions during his life and the impact he made on friends and family. Accounts of his life from close friends were interwoven with his quotes and sayings, read aloud by students. 

A second video was played to broadcast Robert Bendetson, who was unable to attend the event, and his presentation of the Robert and JoAnn Bendetson Public Diplomacy Award, posthumously, to Moore. His daughter, Jennifer Moore, accepted the award on his behalf.

Following the presentation of the award, Maria Figueroa Kupcu, chair of the IGL external advisory board, introduced Power. Power began her lecture by explaining the history of her relationship with Moore and her impressions of him. 

“One of the reasons [Moore] achieved as much as he did in his life … is [because] his focus was on what mattered. … A great writer once said that he found himself falling in love with a different face every day. … He saw people. He saw in people,” Power said. 

Power said that she leaned on Moore, who was a person with very strong views yet still a listener for advice. The lessons she learned came from ones he tried to teach her as well as ones he taught by example. Power outlined four lessons Moore taught her throughout their relationship, discussing gratitude, the importance of family and friends, the importance of dignity and having the opportunity to serve. 

When talking about gratitude, Power talked about her time in the Balkans, working as a war correspondent. She witnessed the many atrocities in the region and was able to retain perspective and be grateful for the privileges she had. When she returned to the U.S. she began to lose sight of her gratitude, but Moore reminded her of how lucky she was to live in the U.S. because, according to Power, he had the perspective of practicing gratitude.

As she continued her lecture, Power referred to dignity as an “underestimated force in politics.” She went on to explain her work as a UN ambassador, having to meet with people with whom she was not enthused about meeting. She discussed the importance of dignity as taught to her by Moore.

“Part of valuing dignity for Jonathan meant seeking out the humanity of those with whom we disagree,” Power said.  

When Power talked about the opportunity to serve, she explained how Moore’s life was one of service, and how public service offers people many opportunities to do good. Moore taught her how to make the most out of every day in her job and how to stay grateful. 

Power concluded her lecture by discussing the power individuals have and how many ways there are to serve, explaining how Moore often served locally, in government, in the community and by spreading gratitude. 

“The integrity and spirit that Jonathan brought to serving others will be sorely needed in the coming years,” Power said. “Ultimately, for all the policy prescriptions and structural reforms one can offer, Jonathan taught us never to lose sight of the fact that the direction of our communities, our country and the broader world will always come down to the actions of the individuals.”