Past Speakers

Sarah Mendelson

Monday, June 18, 2018

Topic: Combating Human Trafficking


Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson is Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College in Washington DC.  She served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until January 20, 2017. Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, she was the USUN lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President’s Summit on Refugees. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance. A long time policy entrepreneur, she has spent over two decades working on development and human rights as a scholar and practitioner including in Moscow with the National Democratic Institute, on the faculty of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and over a decade as senior adviser and inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. There she also worked as a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program where she over saw focus groups, public opinion surveys, and social marketing campaigns in Russia on a range of issues. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of over 70 scholarly and public policy publications, Ambassador Mendelson received her BA in History from Yale University and her PhD in political science from Columbia University.

 

Chris Miller

Monday, May 14, 2018

Topic: Putonomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia

Chris Miller is Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Academic Research:  His research examines Russian history, political economy, and foreign policy. His first book, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR, was published in 2016. His second book, Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia was published in 2018.

His next book project will examine the history of Russian diplomacy and power projection in Asia, from the time of the tsars to the present day.  In addition, Chris has published multiple scholarly articles on the history of Russian economic policy, Russian intellectual history, foreign investment, and Russian-Chinese relations.

Policy Research:  Dr. Miller currently serves as Director of the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He writes regularly on Russian foreign and economic policy, with a focus on Russia and Asia. He also directs FPRI’s research into Russian-North Korean relations and the Baltic and Black Sea regions.   Previously, he was a fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy, where he researched Russia’s use of economic tools in foreign policy.   Chris also studies contemporary Chinese political economy, and has published on topics such as China’s debt burden and its Belt and Road Initiative.

Teaching:  At Fletcher, Chris teaches courses on US-Russian relations and the history of US foreign relations.

Previously, he served as Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University, where he co-taught a course in Grand Strategy as well as teaching history seminars on the history of financial crises and on Russian economic history. Before that, Chris served as a lecturer in history at the New Economic School in Moscow.

Chris received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his BA from Harvard University.

Aurora Almendral

Monday, April 30, 2018

Topic: The Philippines and the Age of Populism

Aurora Almendral is a freelance foreign correspondent, currently a stringer for The New York Times in Manila, a contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine and the producer/reporter for NBC News, covering breaking news in the Philippines and working on features for TV, as well as reporting short digital documentaries around the world.

Aurora has reported on disasterclimate changehuman traffickingimmigrationeconomic developmentpoliticscrime and culture. She was among the first foreign journalists to cover the violent drug war in the Philippines, and has gone on to produce expansive work on the subject, from its effects on communities to a profile on the 5-star general running the drug war. Aurora co-directed a 22-minute documentary tracing the human cost of the brutal policy. Aurora’s work has been published or broadcast in the New York Times, BBC World Service, National Geographic Magazine, PRI’s The World, NPR News, NBC News, NBC Left Field and VICE News, among others.

In 2018, Aurora’s work was recognized by an Overseas Press Club Andelman Award for International Reporting and a Pictures of the Year International award for Documentary Journalism. In 2017, she received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for News Documentary.

Originally from New York, Aurora graduated magna cum laude in economics and anthropology. She was a Fulbright scholar to Spain and Morocco. Before becoming a journalist, she worked in socioeconomic development at the United Nations and at a startup in New York. She speaks English natively, as well as Filipino, Spanish, Moroccan Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.

Dominic Tierney

Monday, March 5, 2018

Topic: America in an Era of Unwinnable Wars

Why has America stopped winning wars? For nearly a century, up until the end of World War II in 1945, the United States enjoyed a Golden Age of decisive military triumphs. But the decades since have been a Dark Age of failures and stalemates-in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Dominic Tierney reveals how Washington struggled to adapt to the new era of intractable civil conflicts. Weaving together compelling stories of military catastrophe and heroism, Tierney illuminates not only how America can handle the toughest crisis of all–battlefield failure–but also how the United States can return to the path of victory.

Dominic Tierney is associate professor of political science at Swarthmore, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic.

He completed his PhD in international politics at Oxford University in 2003, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Center at Ohio State University and the Olin Institute at Harvard University before coming to Swarthmore in 2005. In 2008-2009, he was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

He has published four books:

Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics  (Harvard University Press, 2006), with Dominic Johnson, which won the International Studies Association award for the best book published in 2006, and was nominated for the best book of the decade.

FDR and the Spanish Civil War: Neutrality and Commitment in the Struggle that Divided America (Duke University Press, 2007), which was described by Diplomatic HistoryJanuary 2009) as “a model of superb diplomatic history.”

How We Fight: Crusades, Quagmires, and the American Way of War (Little, Brown, & Co., 2010), which Ambassador James Dobbins, former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, described as “A great theme, beautifully written and compellingly organized, it’s a fitting update to Russell Weigley’s classic [The American Way of War] and an important contribution to a national debate over the war in Afghanistan which is only gathering steam.”

His latest book is The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts (Little, Brown, & Co., 2015).

His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and various academic journals.

Trudy Rubin

Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:30AM

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.

Trudy Rubin is the foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and travels abroad frequently to South Asia and the Middle East. Her “Worldview” column appears twice weekly in the Inquirer and runs regularly in many other U.S. newspapers. She has special expertise on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, international terrorism, and U.S. foreign policy. She visited Afghanistan and Pakistan twice in 2009, most recently for three weeks in November; between 2003 and 2008 she made ten trips to Iraq and two to Iran and also wrote from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, China and South Korea.

Before coming to Inquirer in December 1983, Rubin was Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering Israel and the Arab world, and lived in Jerusalem and Beirut.

Earlier, she was a national correspondent for The Monitor, covering election campaigns and national political and social issues. Prior to that she was a staff writer on American politics for The Economist of London. During the Prague Spring of 1968, she worked in Prague, Czechoslovakia as a radio correspondent.

In 2001, Rubin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary for her columns on the Middle East. She is also the winner of the 2008 Edward Weintal prize for international reporting.

In 1993, she served as a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. She was invited as an exchange journalist to the Moscow News in Moscow in 1990. She spent 1975-6 as a fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University as a participant in the program for senior diplomats started by Henry Kissinger. In 1974-5, she was an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow in Cairo and Beirut.

Rubin is a graduate of Smith College and the London School of Economics. Follow Rubin on Twitter @trudyrubin.

Kerry Emanuel

Monday, January 15, 2018

Topic: Hurricanes!

Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist who specializes in moist convection in the atmosphere, and tropical cyclones. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, and upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction.

Emanuel received an S.B. degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Ph.D. in Meteorology (1978) both from MIT. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences department of the University of California at Los Angeles where he remained for three years, with a brief hiatus filming tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.

In 1981 he joined the faculty of the Department of Meteorology at MIT and was promoted to Full Professor in 1987 in what had since becomes the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). In 1989 he assumed directorship of EAPS Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, a post he held until 1997. Subsequently he chaired the EAPS Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate from 2009 to 2012. He is co-founder of the MIT Lorenz Center, a climate think tank which fosters creative approaches to learning how climate works.

Professor Emanuel is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and three books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press.

Upcoming Speakers

Past Speakers