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Alworth Institute International Lecture Series

Past Alworth International Lectures: 2009-2010

“The World to 2025"
Presented by Erik R. Peterson, Senior Vice President of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. & Director of CSIS' Global Strategy Institute
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Bohannon Hall 90, UMD

Erik PetersonThrough a multimedia presentation, Erik Peterson will analyze the seven most important trends that he argues are shaping our world to the year 2025: population; resource management & environmental stewardship; technological innovation & diffusion; the development & dissemination of information & knowledge; economic integration; the nature of conflict; and the challenge of governance. He argues that these seven revolutions, including both opportunities and risks, will transform the way that people around the globe interact with each other, therefore requiring strategic thinking by our leaders. Peterson holds the William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, an endowed chair named in honor of Merrill Lynch chairman emeritus Bill Schreyer. Before joining CSIS, he was director of research at Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm chaired by former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger (a longstanding member of the CSIS Board of Trustees). Peterson serves on several advisory boards, including the X Prize Foundation, the Center for Global Business Studies at Pennsylvania State University, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency. He has also served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Forum’s Global Risk Network. In October 2008, he was appointed visiting scholar at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Peterson has addressed numerous groups throughout the U.S. and the world and lectures regularly for a wide array of U.S. government institutions, including the Army Medical Strategic Leadership Program, Army War College, Coast Guard, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, Internal Revenue Service, Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Defense University, Proteus, Reserve Forces Policy Board, and USAID. Together with Rachel Posner, he is author of Water and Energy Futures in an Urbanized Asia: Sustaining the Tiger (CSIS, 2007) and Global Water Futures: A Roadmap for Future U.S. Policy (CSIS, 2008). He also contributed a chapter entitled “Scanning the More Distant Future for the Common Good” in The Ethics of Leadership in the 21st Century (Praeger, 2006). Peterson received his M.B.A. from the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania, his M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and his B.A. from Colby College. He holds the Certificate of Eastern European Studies from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and the Certificate in International Legal Studies from The Hague Academy of International Law (The Netherlands).

“A Return to Global Growth, Rebalancing Still Ahead”
Presented by Keith B. Hembre, Chief Economist & Chief Investment Strategist, US Bank
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

Broadcast on KUMD Radio on Monday, October 19, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Keith HembreKeith Hembre started work in the financial services industry in 1992. He joined FAF Advisors in 1997 and is a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. Previously, he worked in the Banking Studies group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and taught economics at the St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance in St. Petersburg, Russia. He holds a Master's degree in economics and completed a program on investment decisions and behavioral finance at Harvard University. He is regularly quoted in major business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNN Money, Investor’s Business Daily, and Reuters. He has also appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and was recognized by BusinessWeek as the most accurate economic forecaster in 2007 and amongst the top five forecasters in 2008. He will discuss the recent global financial crisis and the potential for recovery.

“Gas, Renewables and Realism in European Union Energy Policy"
Presented by Dr. John Constable, Director of Policy and Research, The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), London; & former Professor of English Literature, Magdalene College
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Chemistry 200, UMD
Lecture Slides

John Constable will discuss what he sees as the EU's attempt to combine an astonishingly ambitious climate change program, largely dependent on an arguably incompatible mixture of renewables mandates and carbon trading, with a desperate scramble to mitigate gas consumption and secure supplies. He will examine whether this program is, as some claim, compatible with continuing economic prosperity. Compatibility and consilience with the policies of new administration in the United States will be also be considered.  Data regarding the performance of renewables in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany will be presented, as well as analysis of spot market prices. He will suggest that policy makers have misconceived of renewables as the royal road to a lower carbon society, and have consequently subsidized the sector, thus truncating innovation. Dr. Constable holds a PhD in English literature and was a College Lecturer and Research Fellow in English at Magdalene College, Cambridge from 2003-2005. In 2004, he became Director of Policy and Research of REF, a registered research and education charity encouraging the development of renewable energy and energy conservation, where he is responsible for authoring the Foundation’s consultation documents and publications and for the design and conception of its research programme, including the Renewable Energy Data files. Dr. Constable's energy policy interest and expertise, and thus his career change, was spurred by proposals for windmill farms in the English countryside.

“The Declining Prestige of Fiction in the United Kingdom"
Presented by Dr. John Constable, Director of Policy and Research, The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), London; & former Professor of English Literature, Magdalene College
Thursday, October 15, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

Broadcast on KUMD Radio on Monday, November 2, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

With notable exceptions, fiction is now less prestigious and less culturally salient than it was twenty years ago in the United Kingdom. Poetry, and verse poetry in particular, is practically invisible. Non-fiction, particularly popular science, history and economics, is clearly in the ascendant, and forms a common locus providing social binding and a shared starting point for discussion. In this lecture, Dr. Constable will suggest that this is analogous to the collapse of the poetry boom in the early part of the 19th Century, and may have similar causes, namely the increasing difficulty of articulating discussions of common concern. Verse became a less important vehicle because its restricted language tended to mitigate against the adoption of the many new polysyllables necessary in a vigorously expanding industrial society. Fiction, has lost share since it relies on the readership possessing near universal common ground relating to interpersonal relations and sexual morality, these being the medium through which its commentary is delivered. Data from publishing sales will be presented, and comments offered. Dr. Constable holds a PhD in English literature and was a College Lecturer and Research Fellow in English at Magdalene College, Cambridge from 2003-2005. He is the author of Selected Works of I. A. Richards 1919-1938 (Routledge, 2001) and several other books and articles offering a linguistic analysis of poetry.

“African Soul, American Heart"
Presented by Joseph Akol Makeer, Author of From Africa to America, The Journey of a Lost Boy of Sudan
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Montague Hall 70, UMD

Joseph Akol MakeerJoseph Akol Makeer, a Lost Boy from Sudan, walked away from his village in 1987 to flee the genocide occurring in Southern Sudan. He walked to Ethiopia and later to Kenya, educating himself with minimal materials and teachers, eventually emigrating to Fargo, North Dakota. To tell his story, Makeer wrote From Africa to America, The Journey of a Lost Boy of Sudan (Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2008) and envisioned the documentary Africa Soul, American Heart which follows him back to Sudan to retrace the journey of the Lost Boys and to tell the story of the orphans who still live there. Makeer will share his story and screen the film as well as answer questions regarding his experiences. He will also discuss plans to build a boarding facility for orphans in Duk Payuel, a village in Jonglei State, South Sudan. For more information on the film and related projects visit


“Humanitarian Intervention in Darfur and Gaza"
Presented by Dr. Ramon Das, Senior Lecturer of Philosophy, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

Broadcast on KUMD Radio on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Ramon DasJudging by media coverage, one could be forgiven for thinking that the current situation in Darfur is far and away the worst in the world from the standpoint of violations of basic human rights.  Hollywood movie stars have joined high ranking officials at the UN in condemning Sudanese government abuses in Darfur, and have joined the US government (though not the UN) in labelling the situation in the region a genocide.  More recently, Israel’s invasion of Gaza has highlighted and exacerbated an intensifying humanitarian crisis in that densely populated region –a crisis that has received considerably less attention here.  In the United States, armed ‘humanitarian intervention’ into Darfur has long been a live policy option.  There has been (needless to say) no question of such an option with regard to Israel’s actions in Gaza.  In this discussion Ramon Das will discuss the ethics of humanitarian intervention in Darfur through a comparative lens, in particular, by taking a closer look at the situation in Gaza.  He will argue that our thinking about the ethics of humanitarian intervention in the real world should pay at least as much attention to the prospects –and track records– of potential interveners as it does to the predicament of those in need.  Ramon Das holds a BA from Carleton College and a PhD from the University of Maryland.  He has been a visiting fellow at the Research School for Social Sciences at the Australian National University and at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland.  He is currently writing a book on Global Ethics.

“Extremist Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia"
Presented by Dr. Christopher Boucek, Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

Broadcast on KUMD Radio on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Christopher BoucekMuch attention has been focused by policymakers and scholars on how people become radicalized and why they join terror groups.  However, little effort has been given to deciphering why they leave these organizations and deradicalize.  Effective rehabilitation services are emerging as an important tool to countering terrorism particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, a hotbed of extremism.  Dr. Boucek will present his latest research on Saudi Arabia's efforts to reintegrate its citizens involved in extremism into everyday society. The discussion will include an examination of the motivations and philosophies behind these programs, as well as their effectiveness and potential for exportation to other countries vulnerable to radicalization. Dr. Boucek holds a PhD and an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and lecturer in Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School. He was also previously a media analyst at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., and worked for several years at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London, where he remains an associate fellow. From 2003 to 2005, he was a security editor with Jane’s Information Group. His publications include "The Counseling Program: Extremist Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia," and "Opening up the Jihadi Debate: Yemen’s Committee for Dialogue," written with Shazadi Beg and John Horgan, both in Leaving Terrorism Behind: Disengagement from Political Violence, Tore Bjørgo and John Horgan, eds. (Routledge, 2008), as well as “US attempts to secure Gulf energy supplies” in Jane’s Intelligence Digest (February 2008).

“Obama's Foreign Policy"
Presented by Thomas Hanson, former career U.S. Foreign Service Officer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

While serving as a U.S. Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State, Thomas Hanson's postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Georgia. He will draw upon his expertise to analyze the development of the Obama administration's foreign policy and the challenges facing the administration in the future.

“Ubuntu: I am because you are."
Presented by Anton van Zyk and Zaidi Khumalo, Journalists from South Africa
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
- 7:00 p.m. - Bohannon Hall 90, UMD

Van Zyl is the publisher of a group of independent papers in the South Africa’s remote Limpopo province. Khumalo is editor of a one-man, monthly newspaper in one of the townships of Johannesburg. In spite of their different situations and backgrounds, they are strong allies, operating in a partnership that Van Zyl describes using the Nguni word, "Ubuntu," which suggests individuals are measured by their relationships with others: "I am because you are." These two journalists will share their perspective on community media. The two will talk about their relationship; about the challenges of being a small independent publisher in South Africa; about the changes in their country in recent decades and about the importance of newspapers in communities -- especially in encouraging youth education.

"Women's Leadership & Political Participation in Iraq and Pakistan: Challenges Faced in Emancipation"
Presented by Riffat Inam Butt and Suaad Salman Allami, 2009 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows
Monday, February 8, 2010
- 7:00 p.m. - Chemistry 200, UMD

Riffat Inam Butt is a civil/family court judge in Pakistan. She is a law school graduate with a master's degree in political science. Suaad Salman Allami is a lawyer and activist for women's rights in Iraq. She operates Women for Progress, a Baghdad assistance center for women which offers free legal advocacy, medical care, literacy education, and vocational training. Each woman will discuss the status of women in their countries, focusing on the different factors that hinder women's development as leaders in their societies. They will also examine women's role in the justice system in each country.

"The Obama Administration: A New Start for Nuclear Arms Control?"
Presented by William D. Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative, New America Foundation
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

William HartungWilliam Hartung will discuss potential changes in U.S. nuclear arms control policy under the Obama administration. He will also comment on changes in the overall U.S. military budget. Before coming to the New America Foundation, Mr. Hartung worked for 15 years as Director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute at the New School in New York City. He was also a policy analyst and speech writer for New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams, and a project director at the New York-based Council on Economic Priorities. An expert on weapons proliferation, the politics and economics of military spending, regional security, and national security strategy, Mr. Hartung is the author of numerous books, reports, and chapters in collected works on the issues of nuclear weapons, conventional arms sales, and the economics of military spending. He has served as a featured expert on the major network and cable news outlets, and has written for national and international newspapers and magazines on a variety of national security issues. For more information on William Hartung and samples of his analysis go to or

Three lectures at the end of March and beginning of April 2010 will be presented by the Alworth Institute's first Diplomat in Residence. Thomas Hanson, former career U.S. Foreign Service Officer, will be at the Alworth INstitute from Monday, March 29th through Friday April 2nd. He will meet with students to advise them on careers in the Foreign Service and will also make several visits to classrooms to speak on policy issues. While serving as officer with the U.S. Department of State, Thomas Hanson's postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Georgia. He also assisted in opening new embassies in Mongolia and Estonia. Mr. Hanson has worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  Most recently, he was Director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.  Currently he serves as Program Secretary of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations and as a lecturer/consultant for the Great Decisions program at the Minnesota International Center.  He is an occasional foreign affairs commentator on Minnesota Public Radio. Mr. Hanson is also working with the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Right to establish a center in Minneapolis. He will make three presentations while at the Alworth Institute:

Monday, March 29, 2010 - 4:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD
The History of the Foreign Service

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 4:00 p.m. - Solon Campus Center 22, UMD - Reservations required for this presentation by e-mail to
A Day in the Life of a Foreign Service Officer

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:00 p.m. - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD
A World in Flux: The U.S. and the Rising Powers

Three lectures in April 2010 will be presented by the Alworth Institute International Fellow, Dr. Oktay Tanrisever. Dr. Tanrisever is an Associate  Professor and Chairperson of the MSc. Program in Eurasian Studies and Vice-Chairperson of the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, Ankara-Turkey.  He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of London in 2002 with his dissertation on the politics of Tatar nationalism and Russian federalism between 1992 and1999. He has published on Turkish energy policy, Russian foreign policy, the politics of the Back Sea region, and the relationship of Turkey and Russia.  He is actively engaged in research concerning Turkey and the European Union.  Dr. Tanrisever will present the following lectures:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 7:00 PM
Turkey's Energy Security and Its Policy towards the Caspian Region

All three lectures are in the Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, 2008) - Library 4th Floor Rotunda, UMD

2009-2010 Special Events:

United Nations Day Celebration, Friday, October 23, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Visit the UN table in the Kirby Student Center to learn about UN affiliated organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR and WHO.  Test your knowledge of World Heritage Sites and win a prize!  

St. Andrew’s Night, Thursday, December 3, 2009, 6:00 p.m., UMD Ballroom, $25 per person
Evening includes local Scottish entertainment and a presentation by Dr. William Henderson, Director of the Alworth Institute, entitled, "Burns' Country: A Photographic Portrait." Reservations for this event can be made by calling 218-726-7493 or by e-mailing

For the second year, the Alworth Institute is sponsoring the WorldQuest Trivia competition. This year's event will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2010 in the UMD Ballroom (Buffet dinner & registration at 6:00 p.m.; Game from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.).  WorldQuest is an international quiz game that is played in teams of eight. Teams compete against one another on subjects with an international flavor: flags and capitals; geographical features and international borders; people and events in the news. To register a team fill in the registration form and send to the Alworth Institute at 109 Cina Hall, 1123 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 or e-mail it to For more information, call (218) 726-7493 or send an e-mail to

Alworth International Lecture Archives