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Former NATO Commander to Join UCLA as a Senior Fellow

September 18, 2006|Rebecca Trounson | Times Staff Writer

Wesley K. Clark, a former NATO commander and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, will join UCLA this fall as a senior fellow, university officials plan to announce today.

Clark, who is expected to arrive on campus about Oct. 1, will teach occasional seminars, publish policy papers and organize and hold an annual conference on national security, officials said.

He will be affiliated with the university's Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations.

The retired Army general's wide-ranging military, political and teaching background will serve UCLA and its students well, said Patricia O'Brien, executive dean of the university's College of Letters and Science.

"I am especially pleased that our students at UCLA will benefit from Gen. Clark's extraordinary experience, as well as his dynamic leadership and teaching credentials," O'Brien said in a statement.

Clark, who taught economics and political philosophy at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the early 1970s, said in a brief telephone interview that he was looking forward to returning to the classroom, although at least at first he will be a guest lecturer in other professors' courses and not teach his own.

"I'll be looking at U.S. national security in the broadest terms, including military, diplomatic, energy, environmental and trade issues," said Clark, who served as NATO's commander during the 1999 Kosovo conflict. "There's never been a time in American history when Americans have been more impacted by events abroad, and we need a strategy that touches all those areas."

Clark, 61, also said he was looking forward to living and working in the Los Angeles area, where he has a son. He said he expected to spend at least a few days a month at UCLA and sometimes more. The appointment is open-ended, he said.

Previous lecturers and scholars at the Burkle Center have included former Presidents Clinton and Carter and other U.S. and foreign officials.

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rebecca.trounson@latimes.com

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