Luther alumna to give Convocation Address Jan. 31

Malta's Ambassador to Belgium Vanessa (Grima Baldacchino) Frazier to speak at Luther

Luther College alumna Vanessa (Grima Baldacchino) Frazier, Malta's ambassador to Belgium, will present the college's Spring Convocation Address at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus.

Ambassador Frazier will talk about the lessons she learned at Luther and her experiences since graduating. She will also discuss her work during the Arab Spring—an ongoing series of anti-government uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East beginning in 2010—and the Libyan crises, which led to the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

Frazier will speak further about those crises during a question-and-answer session at 4 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall titled "The Possibilities and Perils of the Arab Spring." Both the convocation and question-and-answer session are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Before her nomination as Ambassador of Malta to Belgium and NATO, Frazier was Director for Defence Matters in the Office of the Prime Minister for Malta, handling international security issues.

She formulated policy regarding Malta's involvement in crises-management operations overseas, specifically in Libya, Georgia, Uganda, and off the Horn of Africa. She advised and supported the prime minister in the management and direction of the Armed Forces of Malta, and she acted as its civilian oversight. Her efforts translated into a successful strategy to consolidate AFM air, land, and maritime assets and augment investment in the AFM.

Frazier and her directorate were part of the team at the helm of Malta's consolidated response to the Arab Spring and most particularly the crises in Libya. Her directorate's response included the creation of the Humanitarian Hub in Malta, which proved one of the most important Maltese efforts dedicated to resolving the Libyan crises. Ambassador Frazier was praised for her direction on this strategy by a number of world leaders, and her team was applauded for its "twenty-four hour availability and can-do attitude to solving problems," which was considered the driving force behind Malta's success in supporting the UN Resolutions on Libya.

Frazier obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree in business management and French from Luther in 1990, and holds the master's degree in diplomatic studies from the University of Malta, with a major in international law. She has received a number of awards and accolades, the most recent of which was selection by the European Union's Institute for Gender Equality as a "Woman Inspiring Europe 2013.