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College of Environment and Design

Irina Bokova Former Director-General of UNESCO to lecture Oct. 1

irina bokova

The UGA College of Environment and Design is hosting Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO for a lecture on “Preserving Global Heritage in Times of War and Conflict” on Tuesday, Oct. 1st at 5 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. A reception will precede the lecture at 3:30 in the Jackson Street Building.

Bokova served as UNESCO’s director-general from 2009-2017. She is the first woman to have held this position. Prior to her service at UNESCO, she served two terms in Bulgaria’s parliament, as well as interim deputy minister for foreign affairs. She also served as her country’s ambassador to France and Monaco.

In 2016, she was among eight candidates for the post of UN Secretary-General. She has been on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women several times. Fluent in five languages, she is a vocal advocate of European unity, gender parity, and education. Ms. Bokova has successfully pushed forward a strong UN agenda for better preservation of humanity's cultural heritage. In particular, Ms. Bokova and UNESCO have proven successful in criminalizing the illegal trade in cultural artifacts and in persecuting those that willfully destroy parts of cultural history. 

“We are honored to have Irina Bokova visit the UGA campus and address our community on this timely and complex issue. I believe her lecture will appeal to a broad audience and I want to personally encourage everyone to attend our reception for her as well as the lecture,” said Dr. Sonia Hirt, dean of the College of Environment and Design. Hirt is also originally from Bulgaria. 

The lecture is part of the College of Environment and Design’s 50th Anniversary year-long celebration and is supported by the Office of the Associate Provost, the School of Public and International Policy, the Willson Center, the UGA School of Law, and the Atlanta design firm, HGOR. The lecture is being promoted as a part of the 2019-2020 UGA Signature Lecture Series.

For more information about this lecture or the College of Environment and Design’s degrees and other events concerning its 50th year anniversary, please visit or call Andra Walton at 706-542-8113.