Past Speakers Fall 2013-Spring 2021

List of Past Speakers that have presented at SECWAC Meetings:

2020-2021 Season

June 2021 – Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution, “The West and Russia Since the End of the Cold War / Domestic and foreign policy challenges of dealing with Putin”

June 2021 – David Abramson, Bureau of Research & Intelligence, US State Department, “Domestic and foreign policy challenges of dealing with Putin”

May 2021 – Joshua Freeman, Princeton University, “The Plight of the Uighurs in China”

May 2021 – Fearghal McGarry, Queens University Belfast & Boston College, “The Irish Revolution 1919-1921 in a Global Context”

April 2021 – Thomas Wright, Brookings Institution, “US-Europe Relations in the Context of Brexit”

April 2021 – Eileen Hunt Botting, Professor, University of Notre Dame, “The Politics of Epidemics, from Thucydides to Mary Shelley to COVID-19”

March 2021 Quarterly Colloquium – Binalakshmi Nepram, Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard Kennedy School, “The Extraordinary Non-violent Peace Movement by Indigenous Women in India”

March 2021 – Dorinda Elliott, SVP, Director of Programs and Center for Business, China Institute, “What Americans Get Wrong about China”

February 2021 – Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, “America and the Middle East in 2021”

January 2021 Quarterly Colloquium – Peter Baker & Susan Glasser, Journalists and Authors, “The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III

December 2020 – Peter Beinart, City University of New York, “America and the World in the Biden Era”

November 2020 – Marissa Turnbull, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, “Indigenous Rights in the 21st Century”

October 2020 – Michael Kimmage, Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.), “The Abandonment of the West: The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy

October 2020 – Dean Accardi, Global Islamic Studies, Connecticut College, “India, Pakistan, and the War over Kashmir”

September 2020 Quarterly Colloquium – George Packer, Author & Journalist, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century

September 2020 – David Shimer, Author, “Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference

2019-2020 Season

June 2020 – Admiral John B. Padgett III, US Navy (Retd), “US Submarine Employment and Effectiveness in a Dynamic World: Stealth, Mobility, and Firepower”

June 2020 – Dr. Saad Omer, Yale Institute for Global Health, “COVID-19 Epidemiology, Evidence-Based Policy, and Prospects for Vaccines”

May 2020 – Dr. Stephen Flynn, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University, “The Role of Resilience in Dealing with COVID-19”

February 2020 – Esam Boraey, Egyptian Political Activist, “The Development of Democracy in Europe”

January 2020 – Megan O’Neill, Imagine Scholar, “Education in Africa”

December 2019 – Sarah Williarty, Wesleyan University, “The Rise of Populism/Nationalism in Europe”

November 2019 – Joseph Cirincione, President, The Ploughshares Fund, “Great Decisions: Nuclear Negotiations”

November 2019 – Katherine Brown, President & CEO, Global Ties US, “Afghanistan: Storytelling of America’s Longest War”

October 2019 Quarterly Colloquium – Emma Sky, Jackson Institute, Yale University, “In a Time of Monsters: A Middle East in Revolt”

October 2019 – Jonathan Starr, Founder Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Somaliland, “It Takes a School: An American School in the World’s #1 Failed State”

September 2019 – Will Kneerim (IRIS, New Haven) and Mohammed Hamou (Old Lyme Resident & Syrian Refugee), “Coming to America: A Refugee Story”

September 2019 – Gordon Chang, Journalist and Author, “America’s Grandest Wager: China”

September 2019 – Syndey Williams, local author, referencing his book, “Dear Mary: Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945

2018-2019 Season

June 2019 – Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University, “Brexit: Why did it happen, and what comes next?”

May 2019 – Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Council on Foreign Relations, “America’s Abdication of Global Leadership”

April 2019 – Stephen Walt, Harvard Kennedy School, “America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy”

March 2019 – CJ Chivers, Author and former US Marine Corps Officer, “Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq”

February 2019 – Carl Zimmer, Author and Journalist, “The Deep History of Global Affairs”

January 2019 – Caroleen Sayej, Connecticut College, “Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq”

December 2018 – Rob Hernandez, local independent expert, “Cuba: The Conflicted Isle”

November 2018 – Charles Sennott, GroundTruth, “GroundTruth in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era”

October 2018 – Robert Morgus, New America, “The Battle for the Global Internet”

September 2018 – Captain Paul Whitescarver, Naval Submarine Base New London, “Forging America’s Future from Undersea”

2017-2018 Season

June 2018 – John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University, “US Grand Strategy in the 21st Century”

May 2018 – in an event co-sponsored with the La Grua Center, Anthony Pellegrini, Independent Scholar, Stonington, “China’s Belt Road Initiative: The New ‘Silk Road'”

April 2018 – Alexis Dudden, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, “Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?”

March 2018 – Charles R. Venator-Santiago, University of Connecticut, “Puerto Rico: Wrecked by Storms and Politics”

February 2018 – Chris George, IRIS, “Immigrant Resettlement in CT”

January 2018 – James Schoff, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “US-Japan Relations in a Changing Asia”

December 2017 – Chris BradfordAfrican Leadership Academy, “Africa Rising: The Changing Narrative”

November 2017 – Martha Hoffman & Chris OchaloiCallToCare Uganda, “Water Scarcity: A Global Perspective”

October 2017 – Michael Haltzel, “Trump Foreign Policy”

September 2017 – Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, “A Century of Gender Equality Activism in Ireland”

2016-2017 Season

June 2017 – Gordon G Chang, Columnist and author, “Trump and North Korea: War or Peace in Asia?”

May 2017 –  Jeremy McKenzie, U.S. Coast Guard, “The Bering Strait: Reducing Risk Through International Cooperation and Capability Improvements”

May 2017 – Jang Hyun Kim, Ronita Macklin, Mark Tokola, “The Future of Korea”

April 2017 – Eric Trager, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days”

March 2017 –  Pieter Visscher, University of Connecticut, “Lithium in the Andes”

February 2017 – Nancy Lindborg, U.S. Institute of Peace, “Building Peace in a Fragile World”

January 2017 – Dick Shriver, “The Cold War: its start, end, and aftermath, and relevance today.”

December 2016 – Jennifer Harris,Author, Council on Foreign Relations, “Geoeconomics and Statecraft”

November 2016 – Andrew J. Bacevich, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East”

October 2016 – David and Janet Carle, “Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the World”

September 2016 – Charles G. Cogan,  John F Kennedy School of Government & CIA, retired, “Saudi Arabia in the Throes of Dramatic Change”

2015-2016 Season

June 2016  – Patrick J. Sloyan, Journalist and author, “The Politics of Deception”

May 2016 – Jonathan Stevensen, US Naval War College, “Order and Chaos in the Middle East; America and the Legacy of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement”

April 2016- Curt Goering, Center for the Victims of Torture, “The Story behind the Syrian Refugee Story – the Need for Rehabilitative Care during Humanitarian Crises”

March 2016- Ed Moloney, Journalist and Author, “The Irish peace process, and how it will unite the country”

February 2016 – Professor Elisabeth Wood of Yale University, “Sexual violence in conflict:  why some armed groups engage in it and the policy implications”

January 2016 –Professor Stephen Flynn, “Extreme Weather, Pandemics, and Terrorism: Bolstering Societal Resilience in the Face of 21st Century Mayhem”

December 2015Professor Eileen Kane, Connecticut College, Europe and Islam: A Brief History of a Long Relationship

November 2015  –  William Barnes, Pfizer Director, Cybersecurity: Creating a More Secure Future

November 2015 – Cyber Security Professionals: William Barnes, Pfizer; Don L Anderson, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and April Lorenzen, Zetalytics, “A Cyber Attack Is On Its Way- Are You Prepared?”

October 2015 –  James Clad, a Senior Advisor at the Center for Naval Analyses, “The World Politics of a Changing Energy Landscape”

September 2015 – Colonel Robert Cassidy, Ph.D., U.S. Army, Senior Fellow in the Chief of Naval Studies Group at the Naval War College,  “The Wages of American War And Strategy: the Bad, the Ugly, and the Scary”

2014-2015 Season

June 2015  – Howard P.Hart, Retired, Central Intelligence Agency, “Afgan Realities and the Tragedy  of US Involvement in that Country.”

May 2015 – Patrick Cronin, Ph.D., Senior Adviser and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New America Security (CNAS), “Preserving the Rules: Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia”

April 2015 – Dorothy James, Ph.D., Professor of Government, Connecticut College, “China’s Strategic and Tactical Goals and their Implications for the US.”

March 2015 – Jeremy Pressman, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Director of Mideast Studies of the University of Connecticut, “Arabs, Israelis and the Limits of Military Force.”

February 2015 – Thomas de Waal, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide.”

January 2015 – Tristan Borer, Ph.D., Professor of International Affairs and Government, Connecticut College,  “Shock and Care: Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights.”

December 2014 – Charles King, Ph.D., Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, “a Year of Crisis in the Near East.”

November 2014 –   Alex Hybel, Ph.D., Professor of Government and International Relations at Connecticut College, “Who Got it Right and Who Got it Wrong- Approaches to Crisis Decision Making: From Kennedy to Obama”

October 2014 – Ambassador Phillip Wilcox, Founder of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, “Israel, Palestine and the United States: Any Hope for Peace?”

September 2014 – E. Wayne Merry, Senior Fellow for Europe and Eurasia at the American Policy Council, “US-Russian Relations”

2013-2014 Season

June 2014 – Senator Christopher Murphy,  “The Crisis in Ukraine and implications for Global Security”

May 2014 – Dr. Marwan Muasher, “The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism”

April 2014 – Mr. Stephen Kinzer, award-winning foreign correspondent, presented his new book: The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

March 2014 – Nina Serafina, Congressional Research Service; spoke on “Foreign Assistance in Camouflage: The Militarization of Foreign Policy?”

February 2014 – Maryam Elahi, Exec. Director Community Foundation of Eastern CT,  “Unlikely Partnerships in the Struggle for Human Rights: Reflections From a Longtime Advocate”

January 2014 – in an event co-sponsored with the La Grua Center, Ambassador Mohammed Alhakim, Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke on current events.

December 2013 – Reverend Nicholas Porter, Executive Director, Jerusalem Peacebuilders, “Devil’s Play: Conflict, Identity & Freedom in Syria”

November 2013 – Dr. Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science, the George Washington University, “After The Arab Uprising”

October 2013 – Dr. Margaret Leinen, Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography,  “Our Changing Oceans”


Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.