Dinner Talk Centre for Lebanese Studies

As part of a continuing series of events to mark our 30th anniversary, the Centre for Lebanese Studies, together with the European Council on Foreign Relations’s MENA programme, are delighted to invite you to an interactive dinner talk with Ambassador Tom Fletcher on Thursday 10th December 2015 at 7:30 for 8PM.  The event will be held in the private dining room The Gallery at the Bluebird Club, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UU.  

Ambassador Fletcher, who served as HM’s envoy to Lebanon from 2011 until the summer of 2015, and prior to that was Prime Minister David Cameron’s Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs, will offer his perspective on current events in the Middle East, especially as they relate to Lebanon.  His time in Lebanon coincided with the divisions in the country and its role in geopolitical rivalries being played out across a swathe of the region and notably neighbouring countries. He will look at how these crises continue to play out in the region and in Lebanon.

Ambassador Fletcher was a unique and mould-breaking Ambassador, who calls himself the Naked Diplomat, a title that suggests a new brand of 21st century statecraft: authentic, transparent, flexible and engaged.  He used methods of communication and digital diplomacy that broke with tradition, and which proved extremely popular, high-profile and effective.   He was a prolific user of social media during his time in Lebanon, posting 10,000 tweets, almost 6 or 7 a day. These drew in approximately 48,000 followers, almost twice as many as the UK’s Foreign Secretary.  He was also an active blogger, and his final post on 31 July, A Farewell to Lebanon, So…Yalla Bye, went viral, and attracted enormous attention for its humour and candour.