Past Speakers

Thomas MacAdams Deford

December 2008

Topic: Key Foreign Policy Issues for the next President

Mac Deford was a foreign service officer from the mid-’60s to the late ’70s, serving initially in Vietnam, and subsequently in the Arab World, including Beirut, Jidda, and Amman.

He joined Merrill Lynch International in 1978 and was assigned in Latin America and Asia. He ran Merrill’s Asian private banking unit from Hong Kong; after retiring from Merrill Lynch in 1997, he moved to mid-coast Maine full time.

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Michael Klare

Michael T. Klare is a Five Colleges professor of Peace and World Security Studies, whose department is located at Hampshire College, defense correspondent of The Nation magazine, and author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency (Metropolitan). Klare also teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch, and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, and is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus.

He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Shmuel Rosner

Shmuel Rosner was Chief, Washington-based Correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz..

In the years 1996-2005 Rosner was a senior editor for Haaretz, working as the head of the features department for 4 years (‘96-2000) and as the head of the news division for 5 years (2000-’05).

Previously, Rosner worked in several other Israeli dailies and weeklies as a news editor, business editor, features editor and reporter. In 1993 Rosner wrote a three-times a week column for Haaretz, covering the implementation of the Oslo accords in Gaza and the West Bank. Rosner also served as a producer and editor in the IDF radio station.

For one year (1995) Rosner took a leave from journalism and has volunteered to work as an educator in the Jewish community of Kitchener, Canada (1995).

A long-time American history buff, in the last decade Rosner has written numerous pieces about U.S. policy and politics, and traveled across the United States covering the 2000, 2004 and 2006 elections for Haaretz. He has been a frequent guest on Israeli television and radio as an analyst of American policy, and has lectured in many institutions on Israeli journalism and politics. Since he came to the US Rosner has lectured in many Jewish gatherings and communities, and also in several Universities and Think Tanks. He was invited by the State Department to speak to American diplomats and was a guest speaker at several courses in the Army War College.

Apart from reporting for Haaretz and for writing a daily blog (www.rosnersdomain.com) Rosner is also a frequent contributor to the American magazine Slate (www.slate.com).

Rosner was raised and educated in Jerusalem, and before coming to the U.S. lived in Tel Aviv. He now lives with his wife and their four children in Maryland.

William Stebbins

September 2008

Topic: The opinion, and the Other Opinion

William Stebbins, Aljazeera English Bureau Chief for the Americas, began his career as a cameraman, which took him to the former Yugoslavia. From a base in Zagreb, he spent three years covering the wars both in Croatia and in Bosnia. In 1995 he was invited to join the staff of Worldwide Television News as a journalist at their London headquarters and from there he traveled regularly on assignment to the conflict in the Balkans. In 1997 he was named Worldwide Television News Cairo Bureau Chief and moved to Egypt. As well as covering the terrorist attacks in Luxor and Cairo, Will spent a lot of time in the Gulf for the various build ups against Saddam Hussein during the Clinton administration. This was also a busy period in West Africa, where Will witnessed the fall of long time president of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko. While covering the Congolese civil war, Will contracted malaria.

One of his most exciting assignments began in 1998, when Fidel Castro invited the AP to return to Cuba after a 30 year absence. Stebbins was invited by the AP to join their operation in Cuba to set up the broadcast news gathering team. In 1999, he moved to Havana, and spent two years building the bureau. Stebbins was one of only two permanently based North American journalists covering Cuba at the time. He was there throughout the Elian Gonzalez affair and supplied the first television pictures of the boy’s return to Cuba.

In 2001 the AP asked Stebbins to take up a new challenge: to move to Miami as a Regional Executive to develop the AP’s broadcast news gathering operation throughout Latin America. He spent two years traveling the region, raising the AP’s profile, building alliances with local broadcasters, and directing the expansion of resources.

Always on the move, in 2003 Stebbins relocated once again to Washington DC to take charge of AP’s Latin America desk and direct all coverage of the region. It was in Washington DC in 2005 that he was approached by Al Jazeera and recruited to establish the Washington Broadcast Center and the news gathering operation for the Americas. As the first man on board for Al Jazeera English in the Americas, Will Stebbins built the journalistic team from scratch, leading it through the 2006 launch. In his present position, Stebbins continues to direct Al Jazeera’s expansion.

Stebbins is multi-lingual and embodies a wealth of broadcast experience from his wide-ranging international roles.

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Isobel Coleman

Dr. Isobel Coleman is senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of the Council’s Women and Foreign Policy program. Her areas of expertise include economic and political development in the Middle East, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance. She recently coauthored _Strategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security_ (Hoover Institution Press,2006).

Her forthcoming book, _Paradise Beneath Her Feet: Women and Reform in the Middle East_ (Random House, 2008), examines how women are bringing about reform in the Middle East within an Islamic framework.

Dr. Coleman’s work has appeared in publications such as:

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Foreign Policy
  • Financial Times
  • The International Herald Tribune
  • USA Today
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • Toronto Star
  • Dallas Morning News
  • Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Fletcher Forum of World Affairs

She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences. Her media experience includes interviews on CNN, CNN International, ABC, Good Morning America, BBC, PBS’s Frontline, al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and NPR. She has testified before Congress on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Coleman was CEO of a health-care services company and a partner with McKinsey & Co. in New York. She was formerly a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and an adjunct professor at American University, where she taught political economy. Dr. Coleman, a Marshall Scholar, holds a DPhil and MPhil in international relations from Oxford University and a BA in public policy and East Asian studies from Princeton University.

Philip Wheaton

Philip E. Wheaton, an Episcopal priest, Latin American historian &
Theologian.

Phil began his work as a missionary for the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic for twelve years (1952-1964); and, then served in Costa Rica & Nicaragua (1989-1991). He was director of the Ecumenical Program for Inter-American Communication &
Action (EPICA) in Washington, DC, (1968-1988), a program created and funded by the Latin American Department of the National Council of Churches. During the 1980s, he served as coordinator of the National Sanctuary Movement for the DC Metro Area.

Presently, he is co-pastor of an ecumenical congregation, the Community of Christ, in Washington, DC; regularly visits and coordinates projects for a Christian Base Community (CEB) in Northwestern Nicaragua; is a member of the Committee of Indigenous Solidarity (CIS), in solidarity with the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico and works on pro-immigrant projects in Prince William County, Virginia.

Philip Wheaton earned a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, a Masters of Divinity from the Virginia
Theological Seminary in Alexandria, and has completed his studies for a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies at The American University in Washington, DC. Besides a series of popular primers on conditions in various Latin American countries, he has authored Religion in Cuba Today (1968), Empire and the Prophetic Word in Central America, 500 Years: Domination or
Liberation?, Hope in the Midst of Chaos, (WCC Press), Faithful Community (a history of the Christian Base Community in Jinocuao, Nicaragua) EPICA Press, and co-authored with the Rev. William Wipfler the centennial history of the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic entitled, Triunfando Sobre Tragedias.

Imad Moustapha

April 2008

Topic: The Middle East Crisis

Imad Moustapha became ambassador of Syria to the United States on March 31, 2004.
Ambassador Moustapha previously served dean of the faculty of information technology at the University of Damascus and secretary-general of the Arab School on Science and Technology. He is a co-founder of the Network of Syrian Scientists, Technologists and Innovators Abroad (NOSSTIA), and was an active consultant to several international and regional organizations on science and technology policies in the Middle East. In addition, Ambassador Moustapha served as a member of the Syrian team responsible for drafting reform strategies for the ministries of culture, education and higher education.
An extensive writer with more than 200 published articles in English and Arabic, Ambassador Moustapha has also authored, co-authored and edited several books and has appeared in numerous television news programs around the world.
Ambassador Moustapha holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom and is fluent in English and French and some German.

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Thomas Powers

Topic: Geo.W. Bush and The Long War: What to expect in the First Thirty Years

Born December 12, 1940. Is an author, intelligence expert, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. His books include, The Man Who kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (1979), Heisenberg’s War: The Secret History of the German Bomb (1993), The Confirmation(2000), a novel and Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda (2002). He won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1971 and has contributed to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, The Nation, The Atlantic and Rolling Stone. In 1971 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his articles on Weatherman (organization) member Diana Oughton.

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Shaheryar Azhar

Shaheryar Azhar joined Citibank in Pakistan and retired last year after thirty-two years. In between he worked with Citi as a corporate and investment banker in four continents, the last twenty-one years in New York. He has moderated an e-mail-based forum on Pakistan, Islam and the West since 1995. He has been hosting a Pakistani cable-channel show called “The Forum from New York” that is broadcast to over a hundred countries for the last two years. He is currently the President of an eighty-year old trade association of risk managers called “The Risk Management Association, New York Chapter” where all major national and international financial institutions are members. He also volunteers his time for the Muslim Public Affairs Council , which is a US-based public policy and media advocacy group . Shaheryar is married to Tasnim, a consultant to non-profit organizations and they have a daughter Samar, who is a trade with JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Azhar was in Pakistan when former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Butto was assassinated.

Fred Hill

Fred Hill had two separate careers – 20 years in journalism and twenty-one in government. At Bowdoin College he majored in government but then wanted to be a professional baseball player, which he did for two adventurous but unsuccessful years in the minor leagues with San Francisco and Philadelphia teams. He wound up with the Baltimore Sun as an investigative reporter and state government reporter in Maryland. In Washington he covered Watergate, followed by stints a Correspondent in Paris and London, from where he covered Western Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East. He worked the last four years on the editorial page, where he had a weekly column on foreign affairs and local politics. In 1985 and 1986 he was foreign policy director to Sen. Charles MacMathias, Jr., a liberal Republican from Maryland and one of the key forces behind the imposing sanctions against South Africa. Finally, he spent nearly twenty years in the State Department where he developed the department’s policy gaming capability and later ran an office of “Special Programs” that organized policy planning exercises and roundtable discussions for senior officials on a wide range of security, political, economic, and global issues, including a considerable focus on the Middle East and East Asia.
Fred is married and lives in Arrowsic, Maine. He writes a bi-weekly column for the Bangor Daily News.
His topic will be “The Missing Piece in America’s Foreign Policy Puzzle?”

Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, December 18, 2017
    Stephen Harder
    Topic: A China/US Partnership
  • Monday, January 15, 2018
    Kerry Emanuel
    Topic: Hurricanes!
  • Monday, February 5, 2018
    Trudy Rubin
    Topic: Are we headed for the next Middle East War?: The end of ISIS, the rise of Iran, and the murky future of Syria and Iraq.
  • Monday, March 5, 2018
    Dominic Tierney
    Topic: Why America Needs an Enemy
  • Monday, April 2, 2017
    Dimitri Simes
    Topic: The Cost of Ignoring Russia
  • Monday, May 14, 2018
    Chris Miller
    Topic: Putonomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia
  • Monday, June 18, 2018
    Sarah Mendelson
    Topic: Combating Human Trafficking 2.0

Past Speakers