Press Release

March 7, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher

When, How, Why?

Ohio Wesleyan Event March 22 to Explore the Role of Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy

Sarah B. Snyder

DELAWARE, Ohio – U.S. foreign policy historian Sarah B. Snyder will discuss “When, How, and Why Has the United States Put Human Rights ‘at the Center’ of its Foreign Policy?” when she presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2023 Kragalott Lecture.

A professor at American University’s School of International Service Snyder, Ph.D., will speak at 7 p.m. March 22 in the Bayley Room on the second floor of OWU’s Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Admission is free.

As early as Thomas Jefferson’s 1776 Declaration of Independence, Americans discussed their “rights” and those of others. Yet, Snyder said, attention to human rights has been mixed historically, despite the leading role that an American, Eleanor Roosevelt, played in drafting the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

In her presentation, Snyder will analyze the history of U.S. human rights policy – or when, how, and why the United States has put human rights “at the center” of its foreign policy over the subsequent 60 years.

She specializes in the history of the Cold War, human rights activism, and U.S. human rights policy. Her latest book, “From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy,” explains “how transnational connections and 1960s-era social movements inspired Americans to advocate for a new approach to human rights.”

Snyder, who earned her doctorate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., also is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Her presentation represents Ohio Wesleyan’s 2023 Robert Kragalott Lecture on Genocide, Mass Atrocity, and Human Rights. The lecture honors the career, contributions, and memory of Robert Kragalott, Ph.D., a professor in the OWU Department of History from 1964 to 1991. The lecture series was endowed with a gift from 1969 OWU graduate Carroll P. “Pete” Kakel III, Ph.D. Learn more at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at