A tribute to the life and work of Theodore C. Sorensen

On April 21, 2003, Brandeis University and the Council on Foreign Relations co-sponsored a tribute to the life and work of Theodore C. Sorensen. Sorensen is the founding chair of the board of directors of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, a position he continues to hold. The event was held in the Council headquarters in New York City.

The event was multi-faceted, beginning with a roundtable at 4 pm on the topic of "Justice and Coexistence: Balancing Rights and Relationships in Divided Societies." Participants were Dr. Alexander Boraine, president of the International Center for Transitional Justice; Mr. Hans Corell, under secretary general for Legal Affairs at the United Nations; and Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani, permanent representative of Singapore to the United Nations. The roundtable was presided by Justice Richard Goldstone of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The discussion was lively and informative, covering issues as diverse of the rights of the Sami people in Sweden to the multi-cultural social strategy adopted by Singapore, with multiple references made to South Africa and Iraq along the way. This timely topic was chosen since it reflects both the dominant interests of the Center and a central element of Mr. Sorensen’s life work.

The Sorensen tribute continued with a panel discussion entitled "A Retrospective Look at the Kennedy Administration," which highlighted the accomplishments and challenges faced by President Kennedy and his cabinet. Guests were enthralled by the observations and frank reminiscences of eminent panelists - former Senator George S. McGovern, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and Brandeis Professor Emeritus Lawrence Fuchs. The panel was presided by another luminary of the Kennedy era, Dr. Arthur Schlesinger.

The event finished with a dinner and speeches. Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz acted as Master of Ceremonies, as guests listened to tributes to Ted Sorensen by former Senator George Mitchell, Council on Foreign Relations President Leslie H. Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations Chairman, Peter. G. Peterson, Ted’s own daughter Juliet Sorensen, and historian Arthur Schlesinger.

Roundtable participants: Richard Goldstone, Alexander Boraine,Theodore Sorensen, Hans Corell, and Kishore Mahbubani

Panel participants: Arthur Schlesinger, Lawrence Fuchs, Robert McNamara, and George S. McGovern