Face to Face adjusts its November event

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will participate in the Face to Face event


Hannah Abernethy, Staff Writer

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will join former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum for a discussion hosted by the Face to Face speaker forum. 

This change was announced following the death of General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Oct. 18, which prompted questions about whether the event would go on as planned.

“We were deeply saddened to learn about the passing of General Colin L. Powell,” Sue Henderson, the executive director of Face to Face said. “During the pandemic, Powell participated in a Face to Face virtual conversation with Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright where they both shared their excitement about being together on Wake Forest’s campus this fall.”

Prior to the event, there will be a separate Q&A session for attendees at 5 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

Albright and Hagel’s conversation will proceed after a special tribute to General Powell and a recognition of veterans for their service. The tribute was planned as part of the speaker forum’s reaction to General Powell’s passing.

“General Powell led a meaningful life, and he was a gracious leader,” Henderson said. “We are so grateful for the legacy that he has left us. He was a hero and exemplar until the very end.”

According to Henderson, Paul Richter, a journalist who has reported and written extensively about foreign policy and national security, will be moderating the conversation. Richter is also the parent of two Wake Forest alums.

Hagel served in the Obama administration as the 24th secretary of defense. He also led critical initiatives in the American military including those related to mental health, sexual assault and missing personnel. He made history as the only Vietnam veteran and enlisted combat veteran to serve as secretary of defense.

Hagel is also known for his Defense Innovation Initiative that helped to prepare the Pentagon for future threats as well as his reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health systems.

A native of Nebraska, Hagel represented his home state in the U.S Senate from 1997 to 2009. During his tenure, he was praised for his bipartisanship. He is also the author of “America: Our Next Chapter,” which dives deep into America’s current foreign and defense policy dilemmas and offers some solutions.