An Evening with Thomas Countryman

Former Assistant Secretary of State for ISN to speak at Bellarmine

By Marguerite Cleveland on September 27, 2018

Bellarmine Preparatory School welcomes home alum Thomas Countryman, Class of '75, to speak at the school Tuesday, Oct. 2. Countryman is a former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) with 35 years as a member of the Foreign Service. He is currently Chairman of the Board for the Arms Control Association, an organization that works to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. He will speak about the current administration's foreign policy at the midpoint of the President's term. He will also speak about Iran, North Korea and Russia and the nuclear issues involved with each country.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity for our students and community to hear from Mr. Countryman," said Robert Modarelli, President, Bellarmine Preparatory School. "As an alumnus of the school, who went on to a distinguished career in government, he is a great example to our students of how the skills and knowledge they gain here at Bellarmine can be fully employed in a life of service. Service to others is not only lived out in private life or nonprofit charities, it also can be lived out in the work of those who serve in government and other collective undertakings and organizations in our society."

With his time in the Foreign Service and in his role as Chairman of the Arms Control Association, which is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons, he is a sought after public speaker on these topics. In July of this year, he presented remarks at the International Symposium for Peace in Nagasaki on "Pathways to a Nuclear Weapon Free World."

"Halfway into the Trump Administration, this is an interesting time to take stock of how U.S. foreign policy is evolving. As a career foreign service officer, Mr. Countryman can offer a unique perspective on how the Administration is shaping its approach in foreign policy to support the President's objectives, and the prospects for success. The policies adopted today will shape the world our students will be asked to go forth and lead in -- it is important for them to gain an understanding of how what is happening today will influence the challenges and opportunities they will have tomorrow," he added.

Mr. Countryman will visit the school during the day to meet with students and share his experience. He will address the student body at an assembly, and those interested in foreign policy or pursuing careers in the Foreign Service will have an opportunity to meet with him in a small group setting.

"It is a great honor to have a distinguished alumni like Tom come back to his alma mater and give so generously of his time to benefit our students and community today. His prominent career is a fine example to our students of the values of a Bellarmine education being put into action in service to the larger community," Modarelli concluded.  

For more information, contact Craig Coovert, Communications Director at

An Evening with Thomas Countryman, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, Connelly Campus Center Bellarmine Preparatory School, 2300 S. Washington St., Tacoma, free, 253.761.3518