While leading the American effort to rebuild Iraq's university system, John Agresto spent nearly a year in Baghdad following the U.S. invasion. He had high hopes, but faced daunting challenges and great danger, and returned home knowing much more needs to be done.
Agresto, Humana Visiting Professor at Centre College, will talk about his experiences Monday. His presentation, "Eyewitness Iraq: Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost," will take place in Newlin Hall at 7:30 p.m.
A former president of St. John's College in New Mexico, Agresto served as the chief U.S. adviser to Iraqi higher education. His position was as a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. agency that was responsible for the civil administration of Iraq until the U.S. handed over power to the new Iraqi regime in June.
Upon his arrival in Baghdad in the fall of 2003, six months after the U.S. invasion, Agresto found Iraq's higher education system in shambles. The colleges and universities had limited equipment, books and funds.