During his time as president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela from prison, and initiated and presided over the dismantling of apartheid, the adoption of South Africa's first fully democratic constitution and the first-ever multiracial elections. In 1993, Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. One of the most influential statesmen of our time, de Klerk founded and is currently chairman of the Global Leadership Foundation, a consortium of former heads of state dedicated to promoting peace, democracy and development worldwide by providing confidential peer-to-peer advice to governments around the world.
A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues began in 1988 as part of a mission to promote better understanding of world events and issues by Nebraskans. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view.