Dinner with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Amb. Marie Yovanovitch

  • 19 May 2022
  • 5:30 PM
  • Paradise Valley Country Club, 7101 N Tatum Blvd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253


Lessons From The Edge

with Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

A Conversation with David A. Merkel

“'Lessons From the Edge' is a brilliant, engaging, and inspiring memoir from one of America’s wisest and most courageous diplomats—essential reading for current policymakers, aspiring public servants, and anyone who cares about America’s role in the world.” —Madeleine K. Albright

Please join the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations for a reception and dinner program featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Amb. Marie Yovanovitch in conversation with PCFR member David A. Merkel on May 19th at the Paradise Valley Country Club. Amb. Yovanovitch will sign copies of her memoir, Lessons from the Edge, which is the Reading Group choice for May.

About the Book

An inspiring and urgent memoir by the ambassador who electrified the nation by speaking truth to power. By the time she became US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch had seen her share of corruption, instability, and tragedy in developing countries. But it came as a shock when, in early 2019, she was recalled from her post after a smear campaign by President Trump’s personal attorney and his associates—men operating outside of normal governmental channels, and apparently motivated by personal gain. Her courageous participation in the subsequent impeachment inquiry earned Yovanovitch the nation’s respect, and her dignified response to the president’s attacks won our hearts. She has reclaimed her own narrative, first with her lauded congressional testimony, and now with this memoir.

A child of parents who survived Soviet and Nazi terror, Yovanovitch’s life and work have taught her the preciousness of democracy as well as the dangers of corruption. Lessons from the Edge follows the arc of her career as she develops into the person we came to know during the impeachment proceedings.

Cost to attend includes bar and dinner. 


PCFR Members

$65 Early bird registration (thru May 8)

$75 After May 8



Table of 10

$1000 (includes books) (PCFR Members and Corporate Members)

$1500 (includes books) (Non-Members)

For additional sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to Tina Waddington at tina@pcfraz.org.



Thursday, May 19, 2022

5:30 PM Reception

6:30 PM Dinner and program



Paradise Valley Country Club

7101 N Tatum Blvd

Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 (map)


Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch (Ret.)

Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch (Ret.) is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a non-Resident Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University. Previously, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (2016-2019), the Republic of Armenia (2008-2011) and the Kyrgyz Republic (2005-2008). She also served as the Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State and as the Deputy Commandant and International Advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University. Earlier she served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where she coordinated policy on European and global security issues. Before that, she was the bureau’s Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for issues related to the Nordic, Baltic, and Central European countries.

In 2003-2004, Ambassador Yovanovitch was the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Within the Department of State, Ambassador Yovanovitch has worked on the Russia desk, the Office of European Security Affairs, and the Operations Center. She has also worked overseas at the U.S. Embassies in Moscow, London, Ottawa, and Mogadishu.

A Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Ambassador Yovanovitch has earned the Senior Foreign Service Performance Award eight times and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on nine occasions. She is also the recipient of two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award.  In 2020, Georgetown University granted Ambassador Yovanovitch the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy, the University of Indiana granted her the inaugural Richard G. Lugar Award, and Pen America honored her with the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award. In 2021, she received the Morgenthau Award from the Armenian Assembly of America.

Ambassador Yovanovitch is a graduate of Princeton University where she earned a BA in History and Russian Studies. She studied at the Pushkin Institute and received an MS from the National Defense University.


David A. Merkel

Associate Fellow,

International Institute for Strategic Studies

David A. Merkel is the managing director of Summit International Advisors, LLC. His expertise includes United States foreign policy, the geopolitics of energy, the Belt and Road Initiative, Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

David A. Merkel has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House, Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. He also served as international counsellor to the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior foreign and defense policy adviser to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

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