PBK Lecture: Ambassador Matthew Barzun

The Phi Beta Kappa faculty of the University of Louisville are proud to present the 2017-18 Phi Beta Kappa speaker, Ambassador Matthew Barzun. In partnership with the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana, the Dean and faculty of the UofL College of Arts and Sciences host the annual PBK lecture which is free and open to the public.  

Matthew W. Barzun was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on August 15, 2013.  He was selected by President Barack Obama as National Finance Chair for the president's 2012 re-election campaign.  He previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 2009 to 2011.  Ambassador Barzun is an internet pioneer who was the fourth employee at CNET Networks, where he worked from 1993-2004.  Ambassador Barzun served in a number of roles at CNET, including Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy officer, and member of the executive committee.

During his time there, he launched Download.Com, which grew to become CNET's biggest site and he led the effort to build one of the first comparison shopping sites on the Internet, Shopper.Com.  He went on to co-lead all of CNET's online properties including CNET.Com and News.Com.

After leaving CNET in 2004, Ambassador Barzun has advised and invested in start-up internet companies, including MedTrackAlert, which delivered consumers information about their prescription medications (it was sold to HealthCentral in June 2008), and JiWire, an advertising network for wireless devices.

Ambassador Barzun was among the first to join Barack Obama's National Finance Committee before the President's election in 2008.  In that capacity, he produced the first $25 per-person fundraiser and helped teach Obama University for campaign volunteers.

In Kentucky, Ambassador Barzun has served on the boards of many non-profits with a focus on education (the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation, Louisville Public Media, and Teach Kentucky); public policy (the Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center, and The Greater Louisville Project) and interfaith relations (Center for Interfaith Relations).

He graduated Magna Cum Laude with an A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard College.

The Phi Beta Kappa lecture series brings outstanding scholars to campus for a high-profile public lecture as well as for informal meetings with students in the College of Arts and Sciences. This lecture series has welcomed several speakers of national prominence covering a broad range of topics and intellectual interests.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:00pm

Strickler Hall, Middleton Auditorium
2010 S. Avery Court Walk , Louisville, Kentucky, 40208

Event Type

Talk, Academic


Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Arts & Sciences, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, Political Science



Contact Name

Tracy Heightchew

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