16 October 2014
Waldorf Astoria Room at the UH Hilton Hotel, 4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX 77004

Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.), was the 39th president of the United States. He counts among his administration’s significant foreign policy accomplishments the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

He championed human rights throughout the world. On the domestic side, the administration’s achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. In 1982, President Carter became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, and founded The Carter Center to address national and international public policy issues, working to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease.

The permanent facilities of The Carter Presidential Center were dedicated in October 1986, and include the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, administered by the National Archives. President Carter is the author of 28 books, most recently A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, published in April 2014. On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

Marilyn Beach has worked on social development and livelihood issues in rural China since the early 1990s. She currently directs her own consulting practice, M. Beach Consulting, to provide project impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation services in environmental and natural resources management policy, with a specialization on China’s interior regions. Her work has focused on the following industries and sectors: energy and natural resources (Shell China and Shell International, Stora Enso, CIFOR); environmental management (Fauna Flora International; Institute for Sustainable Communities; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy); and education (Yale University, University of Wisconsin). She also works in project risk assessment; corporate social responsibility; stakeholder engagement; rapid rural appraisal; social performance and social investment. Marilyn began studying Chinese in Beijing in 1986. Her undergraduate degree is in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She received an MSc in social policy and planning in developing countries from the London School of Economics, and an MA in Chinese studies from the University of Hawaii’s School for Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies. She spent one year as a graduate student in the Geography Department of Beijing University studying China’s forest policy and the development of timber resources.