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Intellect

Former Tehran Embassy hostage to speak about Afghanistan at BYU Oct. 6

Michael J. Metrinko, a retired Foreign Service officer, will be speaking Wednesday, Oct. 6, at noon in 238 Herald R. Clark Building at Brigham Young University.

He was a member of the Tehran Embassy staff taken hostage in 1979 and spent 14 months as a prisoner, where he endured 261 days of solitary confinement and regular, vicious interrogation. He returned to active government service after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, with assignments to Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Metrinko will be speaking about “U.S.–Afghanistan Policy: Prospects for Success.” This event is part of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies Lecture Series.

Metrinko is a retired Foreign Service officer with more than 40 years of experience in the Islamic world, five of those in Afghanistan since 2002. In Afghanistan, Metrinko served as a senior advisor for the Dyncorp International, the U.S. Embassy and NATO forces, recently returning to the U.S.

He previously served as ministry reform advisor at the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, based at the U.S. Army War College.

His last FSO posting was as the advisor on Parliamentary Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, where he dealt directly with the new Afghan National Assembly. He served seven years in Iran before being taken hostage in 1979, spending 14 months as a prisoner. Metrinko returned to active service after the events of September 11, 2001, with assignments to Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As an FSO, he served for thee years as the office director in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, where he had responsibility for refugee programs in Europe, South Asia and the Middle East, and as deputy director for the Iran-Iraq office.

A former Peace Corps volunteer for five years in Turkey and Iran, Metrinko graduated from Georgetown University, received an MPA from Harvard and attended both the University of Teheran and the National Defense University.

The lecture will be archived at kennedy.byu.edu/archive.  For more information, contact Lee Simons at (801) 422-2652 or lee_simons@byu.edu.

Writer: Philip Volmar

metrinkomj2.jpg
Photo by Kenny Crookston/BYU Photo

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