The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Papers of George Lister: "Mr Human Rights"

  The Papers of George Lister > Lister's Style

Lister's Style

   

George Lister was an anomaly within the State Department. Although for much of Lister's career his day-to-day tasks were probably similar to those of his colleagues, his approach to his job was unique.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs William D. Rogers recently described Lister as ''an anti-bureaucrat.'' Lister was someone willing to challenge the State Department's policies and orthodoxy. His independence won him both admiration and criticism, and, at several points, nearly cost him his job. Lister's maverick qualities were less marked, however, when dealing with the outside world. As a diplomat, he worked hard to defend and explain U.S. policy and interests.

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Selected Documents:


   
     
Lister in relaxed conversation with two other men at Bethany College for Latin American Festival, 1971
Lister in relaxed conversation with two other men at Bethany College for Latin American Festival, 1971

Video Clips:
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Lister's Style

William D. Rogers on Lister as an "anti-bureaucrat"
William D. Rogers Transcript (pdf)


Joseph Eldridge on Lister's work with NGOs in the human rights movement
Joseph Eldridge Transcript (pdf)


Diane La Voy on Lister's work as a State Department Officer
Diane La Voy Transcript (pdf)


Elliott Abrams on Lister's work in bringing activists into the State Department
Elliott Abrams Transcript (pdf)


John Shattuck on Lister's "objective approach" to human rights
John Shattuck Transcript (pdf)


Harold Hongju Koh on Lister as an "institutional voice" for the Human Rights Bureau
Harold Hongju Koh Transcript (pdf)

 

George Lister Conference Clips

Streaming video of Introduction


Toast to the Memory of George Lister (audio only)