The University of California Berkeley-Haas School of Business Alumni Network is pleased to bring you an exclusive event in NYC this spring: an interview of Ken Taylor, Ambassador of Canada to Iran during the Tehran Hostage Crisis, and his wife Pat, conducted by Somini Sengupta, award winning journalist at The New York Times

Registration Link:

Have you watched the movie Argo (2012), which focuses on the extraction of 6 Americans out of Iran who managed to slip away from the American Embassy storming by militants? It turns out the movie only tells the tip of the iceberg of what happened in Tehran during those dark moments of International Diplomacy.

How did we end up with a highly unstable political situation that made the Hostage Crisis possible? Why did the crisis last so long? How was communication between high ranking Iranian and American officials maintained? How was the security of the 6 Americans maintained while making sure they had as good of a time as possible under the difficult circumstances? How is the shadow of those events impacting the ongoing negotiations between Western Powers and the Islamic Republic?

It turns out Ken Taylor, Canadian ambassador in Tehran, and his wife Pat played a pivotal role during the entire crisis, being in the middle of the action regarding all of the above questions.

35 years after the events, this interview with Somini Sengupta New York Times UN Bureau Chief, is a unique opportunity to unveil some mystery surrounding the events in Tehran from 2 brilliant UC Berkeley Alumni.

We would like to thank Ivy Cohen, a Cal Alumn, and Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications for their key contribution in making this event possible.

For those who want to know more about Pat and Ken’s experience in Iran before the event, there will be the first US Commercial showing of documentary “Our Man In Tehran” in NYC on May 15th at Cinema Village (22 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003)


Date: Wednesday May 20th

Location: The New York Times Building, 620 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018

Event Schedule:

6:15-7pm: welcome and networking

7-8pm: interview with Ambassador Ken Taylor and Pat Taylor, Ph.D.

8-8:30pm: Q&A and more networking

Ticket Price (Excluding Eventbrite Fee):

Current Students: $30

Alumni: $40

Non Alumni Guests: $45

The speakers:


Kenneth D. Taylor:

A graduate of Victoria College of the University of Toronto (BA) and the University of California, Berkeley (MBA), Ken Taylor served in the Canadian Foreign Service from 1959 to 1984. As a Diplomat, his career ranged from trade development responsibilities in Guatemala, Detroit and London; foreign aid-related matters in Pakistan; crisis management in Iran and enhancement of Canada’s image in New York. While on a home posting in Ottawa, he served as a Director-General of the Trade Commissioner Service. In recognition of his role as Canadian Ambassador to Iran he has received many US and Canadian honors, including the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Order of Canada (Officer).

Since his resignation from the Canadian Foreign Service in 1984, his private sector experience has included a Senior Vice President role at both Nabisco Brands and RJR Nabisco, counseling clients on issues of political risk with “Global Public Affair” and “Taylor and Ryan, Inc.”. He was also Chancellor of Victoria University in the University of Toronto from June 1998 to May 2004.


Somini Sengupta, UN Bureau Chief at the New York Times

Somini was born in Calcutta, grew up in Canada and California and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously the Times’ bureau chief in Dakar and New Delhi and wrote about child soldiers, receding glaciers, Himalayan monarchs, technology and law. She is the recipient of the 2004 George Polk Award for foreign reporting.


Patricia E. Taylor, PhD, LLD (hc), CM

A scientist with a PhD in Bacteriology from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Taylor was an Epidemiologist at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center in New York from 1981 to 2007 and is now retired. Prior to this, she carried out research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia and the School of Public Health in Berkeley and, in 1960, during the various diplomatic postings of her husband, Kenneth Taylor, was a medical research scientist at various institutes around the world. While in Tehran, she worked at the Iranian National Blood Transfusion Service and Pasteur Institute. She also lectured at LSHTM and the Iranian Postgraduate University for Medical Sciences. Dr. Taylor has published extensively on tropical diseases, hepatitis and AIDS. She was also awarded the Order of Canada.



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