Joseph Baxer, executive director of the Intercultural Institute of Connecticut who has studied the history and culture of Iran, will address the Westport Rotary Club at noon Tuesday at the Inn at Longshore.

Baxer and his wife Barbara spent two weeks last spring traveling in Iran with a group sponsored by the United Nations Association. They visited cultural, historical and religious sites throughout the nation and talked with Iranians from all echelons of society, including university professors, imams, college students and young professionals.

Baxer will discuss that trip and his insights into current-day Iran, a nation of 75 million people that many Americans view with suspicion, if not hostility. His remarks will also try to dispel contradictions and misconceptions about Iran's history.

Baxer, the president of the United Nations Association of Connecticut, holds doctoral degrees in psychology and theology, along with advanced degrees in philosophy and sociology, having studied at the Gregorian University, Oxford University, Graduate Theological Foundation, Harvard and the Catholic University of America. He has led seminars and lectured internationally on conflict resolution and cross-cultural dialogue, participating in peace missions to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nicaragua.

An ordained priest with the American Catholic Church, he has ministered in multi-cultural churches, directed a large inner city homeless shelter/rehabilitation center, and while in Rome, collaborated in the leadership of an international Catholic order of 1,000 priests and brothers.

His latest book, "An Intercultural Life: Robert Vachon, A Spiritual Journal Engaging Religions and Cultures," has been published in English and French.

Guests are welcome at Westport Rotary meetings. There is a fee of $20 per person for lunch. For more information, contact Rotary Membership Chairman Dave Matlow at 203-227-3090; visit the club's website at, or come to a meeting any Tuesday at noon at the Inn at Longshore.