Orderly migration in a disorderly world

Date & time

6–7pm Monday 6 March 2017


Finkel Theatre

John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road, The Australian National University


Ambassador Mr William Swing


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Public lecture
Ambassador William Swing

In a world characterised by disorder - protracted armed conflicts and natural disasters, record numbers of refugees and displaced people, mass flows of asylum seekers across national borders - the international community is striving towards ways to address underlying problems and to renew the focus on opportunities for safe, orderly and regular migration. The International Organization for Migration, the UN Migration Agency, is set to play a crucial role in these developments. Join IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, to hear about the challenges and opportunities in this area of global engagement.


  • Ambassador Mr William Swing »

    On 14 June 2013, Ambassador William Lacy Swing of the United States was re-elected to his second five-year term as Director General of the International Organization for Migration. Ambassador Swing first assumed the post on 1 October 2008. From May 2003 till January 2008, as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ambassador Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. Before his appointment to the DRC and since November 2001, Ambassador Swing was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission, United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.

    William Lacy Swing's diplomatic career has spanned some forty years including six postings as Ambassador to South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ex-Zaire), the former People's Republic of the Congo (Congo Brazzaville); and Haiti.

    William Lacy Swing was born in 1934 in Lexington, North Carolina. He graduated from Catawba College (BA 1956) in North Carolina, and Yale University (BD, 1960) and did post-graduate studies at Tübingen University, Germany. Ambassador Swing speaks French and German.

    He is married to Yuen Cheong, and has a son, Brian, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and a daughter Gabrielle, who is a United Nations peacekeeper in Afghanistan.

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