F172. A Reading & Conversation with Ambassador Rick Barton, Alex Dehgan, Lee Gutkind, & Lola Shoneyin, Sponsored by AWP

Lila Cockrell Theatre, Henry B. González Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, March 6, 2020
10:35 am to 11:50 am


This event will feature a moderated discussion with authors of recent books related to international development. Many in the international development world have lived and traveled extensively, engaged with people from all parts of the world and in a broad range of situations, have encountered countless challenges, witnessed success and failure, and learned from it all. And some have been able to corral their experiences, insights, and ideas into books. Our panel of authors will look at their varied experiences and stories. Lee Gutkind, the “godfather behind creative nonfiction,” will moderate the discussion with Amb. Rick Barton, author of Peace Works: America's Unifying Role in a Turbulent World, Alex Dehgan, author of The Snow Leopard Project and other Adventures in Warzone Conservation, and Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives.



Lee Gutkind, recognized by Vanity Fair as the godfather behind creative nonfiction, is the author or editor of more than 30 books and the founding and current editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University.

Ambassador Rick Barton teaches at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where he serves as a co-director of Princeton’s Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative and Ullman Fellowships. His 2018 book, Peace Works: America's Unifying Role in a Turbulent World, uses a mix of stories, history, and analysis to offer an affirmative approach to foreign affairs through concrete and attainable solutions. Barton started USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives and was America’s ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York, the UN’s Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and the first Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. He led conflict management initiatives in over 40 crisis zones across the globe, from Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Burma, Pakistan to Turkey. Published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, the Boston Globe, and numerous other international outlets, Barton is a guest on news shows ranging from NPR to all of the major networks.
Alex Dehgan is the CEO of Conservation X Labs. Conservation X Labs builds new technologies through its labs, and harnesses open innovation, to create new solutions to end the sixth mass extinction. Alex previously served as the Chief Scientist of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), with rank of Assistant Administrator, and worked in multiple positions in the Office of the Secretary of State. Alex was also the founding country director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program and helped create Afghanistan’s first national park. Alex is the author of the book The Snow Leopard Project, which describes the effort.
Lola Shoneyin's works include three books of poems, So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg, Song of a Riverbird, and For the Love of Flight, and three children's books, Mayowa and the Masquerades, Do As You are Told, Baji, and Iyaji, the Housegirl. Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2019. Shoneyin is the founder of Book Buzz Foundation, an NGO that is devoted to promoting literacy, creating reading spaces, and organizing cultural and arts-focused events. In 2016, Shoneyin founded Ouida Books. She also runs Ouida House, a bookstore and a creative hub.

March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center