FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2012

CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302



Vermont Humanities Council Presents First Wednesdays Lecture


Former CIA Chief Discusses Future of Middle East at Essex Junction’s Brownell Library




Essex Junction ~ Former CIA Chief of Counterterrorism Haviland Smith will consider the implications of recent developments in the Middle East in a talk at Brownell Library in Essex Junction on December 4. His talk, “What Will Follow the Arab Spring?” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series and takes place at 7:00 p.m. (Please note: This talk happens on a Tuesday on a special date.)


What can we hope for as the Middle East evolves? Smith will discuss whether greater self-determination in the region will bring democracies, military dictatorships, Islamic governance, or no clear result at all.


Smith is a retired CIA Station Chief. He was educated at Dartmouth College and London University majoring in Russian Studies. He served during the Cold War in Prague, Berlin, Beirut, Tehran, Washington and Langley, focusing on the recruitment and management of Soviet and East European sources of intelligence. He also served as Chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Staff and as Executive Assistant in the Director’s office.


The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Essex Junction are held at Brownell Library unless otherwise noted. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.


Upcoming talks in Essex Junction include “The Genius of Albert Einstein” with Middlebury professor Susan Watson on January 2; “Words, Creativity, and Spirituality” with Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine on February 6; and “Truth or Dare: Writing Historical Fiction” with author Jay Parini on March 6.


The Vermont Department of Libraries is the statewide underwriter of First Wednesdays. Brownell Library is sponsored by Brownell Library Foundation, The Friends of the Brownell Library, IBM, and Kolvoord, Overton, & Wilson, P.C.


For more information, contact Brownell Library at 802.878.6955 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or [log in to unmask], or visit


First Wednesdays is also presented in eight other communities statewide: Brattleboro (at Brooks Memorial Library); Manchester (at First Congregational Church, hosted by Mark Skinner Library); Middlebury (at Ilsley Public Library); Montpelier (at Kellogg-Hubbard Library); Newport (at Goodrich Memorial Library); Norwich (at Norwich Congregational Church, hosted by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society); Rutland (at Rutland Free Library); and at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities and open to the public.


Essex Junction First Wednesdays listing


First Wednesdays Brochure


The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.


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