Past Speakers

Heather Cox Richardson

Saturday, February 10, 6PM at the Camden Opera House

Topic: Democracy Awakening

Please note: this event is open only to Forum members and guests.

Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College. She has written about the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the American West in award-winning books whose subjects stretch from the European settlement of the North American continent to the history of the Republican Party through the Trump administration. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. She is the cohost of the Vox Media podcast, Now & Then.

In her compelling new book, DEMOCRACY AWAKENING: Notes on the State of America [Viking-2024], Richardson explains how a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals, leading us down a dangerous path to authoritarianism. By weaponizing language and promoting a false history, they have created a disaffected population and then promised to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. Richardson argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation’s true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld – their dedication has sustained our democracy in the past and can be a roadmap for our future. 

Ambassador Ronald Lehman

January 8, 2024

Topic: Technology and the End of the Cold War -- and the End of the End of the Cold War

The Honorable Ronald F. Lehman II is the Counselor to the Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).   For many years, he was the Director of the Center for Global Security Research at LLNL.

Ambassador Lehman has been the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy in the Department of Defense, Ambassador and Chief Negotiator on Strategic Offensive Arms (START I), and Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He has also served on the National Security Council staff as a Senior Director, in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary, on the Senior Professional Staff of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and served in Vietnam as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. In the past he has served as the Chair of the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC), on the Presidential Advisory Board on Proliferation Policy, on the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board, as chair of the NATO High Level Group, on the governing board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and as a U.S. representative to a number of United Nations disarmament and review conferences.

Ambassador Lehman co-chaired (with David Franz) the National Academy of Sciences’ study on the future of Cooperative Threat Reduction and formerly co-chaired (with Ash Carter) the Policy Advisory Group on nonproliferation for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was on the Defense Science Board Task Forces on Globalization and Security, on Tritium, on Global Strike, and on Defense against Biological Weapons. He is served on the National Research Council Committee on U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Military Capabilities in the 21st Century and served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Science, Technology, and Health Aspects of the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States and on its Committee on Alternative Technologies to Replace Anti-Personnel Landmines. He was detailed to the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration as counterterrorism coordinator after the September 11, 2001, attacks. For the Department of Energy he was the U.S.-Snezhinsk Working Group Co-Chair for the Joint Russian-American Steering Committee on the Nuclear Cities Initiative. He served on the advisory panel for USSTRATCOM’s Global Innovation and Strategy Center. He was on the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on the U.S. Nuclear Posture. He was a Public Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.

He received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University (1975) and his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College (1968).

Upcoming Speakers

  • March 11, 2024
    Ambassador Jake Walles
    Topic: Conflict in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. interests
  • April 8, 2024
    Ambassador Anne Hall
    Topic: The Baltics: Lessons in Courage
  • May 6, 2024
    Matt Goodwin
    Topic: Brexit, Trump, Le Pen and the Rise of National Populism
  • May 20, 2024
    Robert Einhorn
    Topic: Are We Heading Toward a World with Many Nuclear-armed States?
  • June 10, 2024
    Jack Goldsmith
    Topic: The Pros and Cons of Proposed Changes to the Israeli Court System

Past Speakers