Secretary of State Antony Blinken converses onstage with Kay Bailey Hutchison

Secretary of State Antony Blinken Visits the Forty Acres

  • Oct 6, 2023

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited The University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday, October 4, conversing onstage with Kay Bailey Hutchison, a distinguished alumna of UT, former U.S. senator from Texas, and former U.S. ambassador to NATO. 

The event was sponsored by UT’s Clements Center for National Security and UT’s Strauss Center for International Security and Law. It was the first event held in the 90-year-old Hogg Auditorium since it closed for extensive renovations. 

Blinken spoke of the present moment as an inflection point on par with the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War — a great-power competition to shape what comes next. “At the same time, we’re having extraordinary transnational challenges, issues that are affecting people in every corner of the globe including here in the United States.”  

Food security, money, emerging technology, mass migration — “for each and every one of these issues and so many more, I think one of the recognitions we have to have is that, as strong and powerful as we are in this country, none of us — not even the United States — can effectively deal with these challenges alone.” 

Blinken said that in the two and a half years since he took office, he has noted, “No country on Earth has a greater ability to mobilize others in collective action as the United States.” 

Blinken addressed questions submitted by UT students prior to the event. He also plugged the Foreign Service as a place where virtually any student could use their passions and skill sets to serve their country and the world, adding that there was a table next door in the Flawn Academic Center for students who wanted more information on serving in the State Department.