Upcoming Speakers

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.

Chris Miller

Monday, May 14, 2018

Topic: Putonomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia

Dr. Chris Miller is the Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale. He has previously served as a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow, a visiting researcher and the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a research associate at the Brookings Institution. He has held fellowships from the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. His first book, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR, was published in 2016. He received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his BA in history from Harvard University.

Sarah Mendelson

Monday, June 18, 2018

Topic: Combating Human Trafficking 2.0

Ambassador Sarah Mendelson was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Representative on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on October 8, 2015 and sworn in to her post on October 15, 2015. Ambassador Mendelson has spent over two decades working on development, democracy, and human rights as a scholar and practitioner both inside and outside of government.  From May 2010 to May 2014, Ambassador Mendelson served as deputy assistant administrator, responsible for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She was also the agency lead on combatting human trafficking. At USAID, she directed a staff of nearly 100 with an annual budget of approximately $120 million.  Ambassador Mendelson comes to USUN from the Center for Strategic and International Studies where she worked from 2014-2015 and from 2001-2010 as senior adviser and inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative.  From 1999 to 2001, she was a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is the author and co-author of over 70 publications.  Her research has included work on closing space around civil society, historical memory, public opinion in Russia, as well as knowledge and experiences with human trafficking. Dr. Mendelson received her B.A. in history from Yale University and her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. Ambassador Mendelson is married to Dr. John R. Harvey.

Ambassador Michael McFaul

September 10, 2018

Topic: Russia

Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. Dr. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).

He has authored several books, including Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; with Kathryn Stoner, Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective; with James Goldgeier, Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War; and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development.

Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991.

Upcoming Speakers

Past Speakers