Upcoming Speakers

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.

Dimitri Simes

Monday, April 2, 2017

Topic: The Cost of Ignoring Russia

Dimitri K. Simes is President and CEO of the Center for the National Interest and Publisher of its foreign policy magazine, The National Interest.  Mr. Simes was selected to lead the Center by former President Richard Nixon, to whom he served as an informal foreign policy advisor and with whom he traveled regularly to Russia and other former Soviet states, as well as Western and Central Europe.

Before the Center was established, Mr. Simes served as Chairman of the Center for Russian and Eurasian Programs and a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  Earlier, he was director of the Soviet research program and a research professor at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), at Johns Hopkins University.  Mr. Simes also ran the Soviet policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University.

Mr. Simes was born in Moscow, where he graduated from the Moscow State University.  He studied and worked at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations.  Mr. Simes emigrated to the U.S. in 1973.

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.

Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, March 5, 2018
    Dominic Tierney
    Topic: America in an Era of Unwinnable Wars
  • 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