Date: October 12, 2023
Location: Webb Center - North Cafeteria

Old Dominion University’s first endowed lecture series, the Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations, was established in 1985. It is modeled after the Weil Family Lecture on American Citizenship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Personal ties to the university and to the Hampton Roads community led the Waldo family to select Old Dominion as the home of their lecture series. Because of the area’s significant military presence and proximity to an international port, the family chose international relations as the lecture series’ theme. Over the years, renowned speakers in the fields of government, foreign affairs, journalism, education, and public service have visited the campus and met with students and faculty. Their evening lectures are free and open to the public. The Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations honors the memory of Loren Pierce Waldo, Jr., William Joseph Waldo, Robert Hendren Waldo, Susan Waldo O’Hara, Julia Ann Waldo Campbell, and Harry Creekmur Waldo.

Speaker: Lt. General H.R. McMaster

Topic: "Regaining Strategic Competence: Empathy as the Foundation of Foreign Policy and National Security Strategy"


McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years. He retired as a Lieutenant General in June 2018 after serving as the 25th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs.

From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general, futures, of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. He has commanded organizations in wartime including Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

McMaster holds a Ph.D. in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy. He is author of the bestselling books “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World” and “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.” His essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Survival National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

McMaster is the host of Battlegrounds: International Perspectives on Crucial Challenges and Opportunities and is a regular on Goodfellows. He is a Distinguished University Fellow at Arizona State University.