Spring 2013 Program Events
Sat. Mar. 2, 9:00 a.m., Academic WorldQuest
Henry A. Wallace Center of the FDR Museum
[High school team competition on international topics]
This year’s winner, Roy C. Ketcham HS
Fall 2012 Program Events
Thurs. Oct. 4, 7:00 p.m. “Presidential Debate: Obama vs. Romney: Whose Foreign
Policy Will Keep or Make the U.S. Stronger?”
Representing Pres. Obama: Juris Pupcenoks, PhD., Marist College
Representing Mitt Romney: Edward M. Cox, Chairman, NYS Republican State Committee
The Henry Wallace Center of the FDR Library
Wed. Oct 17, 5:45 p.m. “Portrait of Turkey”
‘U.S. Turkish Relations: Challenges & Opportunities.‘ Gunay Evinch, Esq.,
Former Pres. of Assembly of Turkish American Associations and
Presentations by Area High School Teachers returning from Study Tour of Turkey
Dutchess Community College, Bowne Hall, Room 122
Thurs. Nov. 15, 7:00 p.m. “Myths vs. Realities of Pentagon Spending”
William Hartung, Director, Common Defense Campaign: Arms & Security Project
Center for International Policy, Washington, D.C.
Vassar College, Rockefeller Hall, Room 300
A program of the World Affairs Councils of America and the
Center for International Policy. Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Political
Science of Vassar College and the Gillespie Forum
Thurs. Dec. 6, 6:00 p.m. Annual Meeting and Members’-only dinner
Educators and students who have returned from WAC-sponsored tours
Culinary Institute of America, Caterina de Medici *
*Note change from earlier listing
Reservations required – invitation forthcoming.
Spring 2012 Program Events
Sat. Mar. 24, 9:00 a.m.: “Academic WorldQuest,” flagship area high school team competition on world affairs questions. The Henry Wallace Center of the FDR Library, Hyde Park. [Snow date Sun. Mar. 25th, 1:30 p.m.]
Wed. Mar. 28, 7:00 p.m. Award-winning playwright, J.T. Rogers, author of “Blood and Gifts”, Admissions Theatre [to right off Atrium of Student Center], Marist College
Sat. Mar. 31, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p. All-day workshop; “Spotlight on Turkey”
Hancock Center, Room 2023, Marist College
For directions and campus map go to http://www.hvworldaffairscouncil.org/2012-workshop
Thurs. Apr. 26, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m . “The Cultures, Politics and History of Oman.” Symposium with area professors who visited Oman in January, 2012 and other experts. Studley Theater, SUNY New Paltz.
Thurs. Apr. 26, 7:30 p.m. “Omani Quartet,” presented through generosity of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center of Oman. Studley Theater, SUNY New Paltz.
Tues. Jun. 5, 6:00 p.m. Members’-only dinner. “The Balkans.” Shinasi Rama,
Clinical Associate Professor of Politics; Director of MA Programs at the
NYU Department of Politics.
Escoffier Room of the Culinary Institute of America. Reservations required.
November 9, 2011, Wed., 5:30 p.m. - Robert Pringle, retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Historian, author of Understanding Islam in Indonesia: Politics and Diversity. “Understanding Islam in Indonesia.” 5:30 p.m. at the Villard Room, Vassar College co-sponsors, Dept. of Political Science, and the Asian Studies Program, Vassar College.
October 17, 2011, Mon., 7:00 p.m. – Prof. Peter Schoenbach, The Curtis Institute of Music, “World Music” lecture and live performance by gamelan group 7 p.m. at Olin Hall, Bard College co-sponsor, Dept. of Music, Bard College.
October 4, 2011, Wed., 7:00 p.m. – Steven Cook, Council of Foreign Relations, and author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square, “Egypt and the Future of the ‘Arab Spring.’” 7 p.m. at the Villard Room, Vassar College co-sponsors, Dept. of Political Science, and the International Studies Program, Vassar College and The Gillespie Forum.
September 20, 2011, Tue., 6:00 p.m. – Hon. Prof. Talat Halman, First Minister of Culture of Turkey, formerly of Princeton University, currently Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Turkish Literature and Dean of Humanities and Letters, Bilkent University, Ankara, “Turkish Arts Through the Ages,” and presentation by area teachers who participated in Summer Program in Turkey; 6:00 p.m. in Room 200 Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College; co-sponsor, Dept. of Political Science, Vassar College.
June 6, 2011, Mon., 7:00 p.m. – “The Future of the Smart Grid for Electric Supply,” Cheryl Warren, V. President, U.S. Smartgrid, National Grid Corp. Henry Wallace Visitor Center, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY.
April 13, 2011, Wed., 7:00 p.m. – Panel on “Crisis and Promise in Southern Africa,” John Peters (Marist College), Ishmael Rashid (Vassar College) and Tim Longman (Boston University). Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
March 23, 2011, Wed., 6:00 p.m. – WAC-MHV Members’-only meeting. Youth Ed. Programming re European U.N., Academic World Quest, Oman, Turkey. Escoffier Room, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY. Reservation required.
March 10, 2011, Thu., 7:00 p.m.- “The Greek Financial Crisis and the Future of the Euro Project,” Dimitri Papadimitriou, Executive Director of the Levy Institute at Bard College. James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY.
March 5, 2011, Sat., 9:30 a.m. – Academic WorldQuest (AWQ). Interscholastic Competition at High-School level in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY. (Snow date: March 6, Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)
March 1, 2011, Tue., 5:30 p.m.- Stephen J. Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, will speak about achieving justice for victims of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Touching upon his personal experiences as a special prosecutor in Sierra Leone and Rwanda, Ambassador Rapp will examine ways that nations are trying to bring war criminals to justice and deter such crimes in the future. His presentation is the history department’s annual C. Mildred Thompson Lecture, which is free and open to the public. Sanders Classroom Building auditorium (room 212), Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Events for 2010
Nov. 23, 2010, 6:30 p.m. Annual Meeting and Discussion of Great Decisions topic: “Russia and Its Neighbors,” video, followed by discussion led by Martin Charwat and Dr. Joel Diemond. Vassar College Alumnae House.
Nov. 18, 2010, 7:00 p.m. “5 Keys to U.S. Competitiveness in the Global Economy in the 21st Century.” Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Washington-based Council on Competitiveness. Ms Wince-Smith has served on four Cabinet-level advisory groups, including the Secretary of Energy’s Task Forces on the Future of Science and Nuclear Energy. Co-sponsored with the Political Science Department of Vassar College. Villard Room,Vassar College.
October 28, 2010, 7:00 p.m. “Real Democracy,” Prof. Frank Bryan, Professor of Political Science, Univ. of Vermont. Co-sponsored with CRREO [Center for Research, Regional Education, & Outreach], Coykendall Science Bldg. Auditorium, SUNY, New Paltz.
October 18, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, October 18, 2010
CHINA TOWN HALL: Local Connections, National Reflections
Mid Hudson World Affairs Council local partner
Poughkeepsie, NY – The Mid-Hudson World Affairs Council will be the local partner for the National Committee on United States-China Relations October 18th 2010, webcast entitled, “ CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections.” CHINA Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving 50 cities throughout the United States. The live webcast speaker will be Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, and the webcast moderator will be Stephen A. Orlins, President, and National Committee on U.S. –China Relations. Local speakers will be Professor Fubing Su, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY. , and a Research Associate at the China Center for Public Economics & Governance, Renmin University, Beijing, China, and Dan Rosen, (pictured above) of the Rhodium Group. Mr. Rosen is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, where he taught a graduate seminar on the Chinese economy at the School of International and Public Affairs since 2001. He is a fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington D.C., and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He serves on the board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations.
The live webcast will be will be broadcast from the Marist College Campus and will begin promptly at 8:00 PM, in the Cabaret Room, 2nd floor of the Student Center. It is suggested that arrival time for attendees be at 7:45 PM. There will be a 15 minute break after Ambassador Huntsman presentation and the program will resume promptly at 9:00 PM with guest speakers, Professor Su and Mr. Rosen.
For additional program information, please contact Glen Johnson, Pres., World Affairs Council MHV at email@example.com, or (845) 471-2914.
Oct. 5, 2010, 6:30 p.m. – “ Uneasy Neighbors, The U.S. and Canada”, Daniele Ayotte, Canada’s new Deputy Consul General in New York. Members’-only dinner at the Escoffier Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of America. Reservations required. Invitation to follow.
Canada’s new Deputy Consul General in New York has worked with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for more than 23 years. Prior to coming to New York in September 2010, Ms. Ayotte served as Regional Executive Coordinator, Latin America and Caribbean, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (2008-2010), and as Director General and Deputy Executive Coordinator, Secretariat for the Americas Strategy, in Ottawa (2007-2008). In both capacities, she played a key role in developing and implementing Canada’s enhanced engagement in the region.
Prior to those assignments, Ms. Ayotte was Director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Division (2003-2007) and Director for the Trade Policy Consultations and Liaison Division (1999-2003). These positions allowed her the opportunity to work with officials from all levels of government, as well as a wide range of partners and stakeholders from the business, academic, labour, non-governmental, and multilateral communities, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the Summit of the Americas.
In addition to her work in Haiti, Ms. Ayotte’s experience abroad has included postings to Peru as Head of the Trade Program at the Canadian Embassy (1995-1998) and to Costa Rica where she also held responsibility for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama (1989-1991). In the years prior to these postings, Ms. Ayotte worked in Ottawa, participating in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, assuming responsibility for bilateral commercial relations with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, and acting as an official spokesperson on trade issues.
Ms. Ayotte served on the Board of Directors of the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in International Business at Laval University in Quebec City from 2004 to 2007. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in 1978 and speaks French, English, and Spanish fluently.
Events for 2009
Sun. Dec. 6, 2009 - 2:00 p.m. [snow date Sun. Dec. 13 – 2:00 p.m] “Academic WorldQuest” [an area high school team competition] Joseph Lombardi, coordinator, at The Henry A. Wallace Visitor & Information Center, FDR Library. For a map and directions, click HERE
Tue. Dec 1, 2009 - 7:15 p.m. ”Turkey – A Mosaic” – Our Turkish Program participants in last summer’s trip to Turkey will be telling and showing us about their experiences at SUNY New Paltz in Lecture Center 108. Patrick Healy, Maryann Williams, Karen Nichols, James Daley and Danielle DuBois will speak for about an hour and take questions for an additional hour. Go to http://www.newpaltz.edu/map/ for a campus map and directions.
Thurs. Nov. 12, 2009 - 6 p.m. Annual Meeting and presentation: “Healthcare Lessons from Overseas and Canada: Is There Something We Can Learn?”, at the Escoffier Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of America. After dining at the Escoffier [in Roth Hall, the Main building], we will adjourn to the Ecolab Theatre, in the Admissions Building (across from the Caterina de Medici Restaurant) for a brief annual meeting, followed by the program presentation.
Our speaker will be Dr. Stephen C. Schoenbaum, Executive Vice President for Programs at the Commonwealth Fund and Executive Director of its Commission on a High Performance Health System. For Dr. Schoenbaum’s bio, curriculum vitae, and a list of his publications click HERE.
This is a Members Only event. Reservations are required! Dinner is $35.00 per person and
your reservation must be received by October 29th. Make checks payable to “World
Affairs Council, MHV” and mail to: John Moriarty, Treasurer, 167 Apple Hill Rd., Hurley, NY 12443. You can make a tentative reservation by e-mail
to firstname.lastname@example.org but your check will be your confirmation.
Tues. Oct. 27, 2009 - 7 p.m., Panel Discussion: “Is Today’s U.N. Prepared to Handle the
New Dynamics of Multilateral Diplomacy?”, at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor & Information Center, FDR Library. Presenter: James P. Muldoon, Jr., senior Fellow of the Division of Global Affairs of Rutgers University (formerly known as the Center for Global Change and Governance), Respondents: Glen Johnson, Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of Political Science, Vassar College; Stephen Rock, Professor of Political Science, Vassar College; David Woolner, Sr. Vice President of the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Associate Professor of History at Marist College. WAC member Richard Reitano served as our moderator.
Mr. Muldoon is the author of “Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today” (2005) and lectures on diplomacy and international affairs around the world. He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (1999-2000) and was Visiting Scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in China (1996-1999). He lives in Toronto, Canada.
The program was jointly sponsored by the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
Speaker James Muldoon, New Paltz High students, & Moderator Richard Reitano
Shahid Javed Burki, a professional economist and Rhodes Scholar who served as Finance
Minister of Pakistan, is currently a visiting fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C. He served at the World Bank for 25 years (1974-99) and is the author of “Changing Perceptions, Altered Reality: Pakistan’s Economy under Musharraf, 1999-2006” (2007). Mr. Burki is a frequent visitor to Pakistan and writes a weekly opinion column for one of its leading newspapers.
May 9, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. “Contemporary Developments in Turkey” at Vassar College presented by Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, Juanita and Joseph Leff Professor of Political Science at SUNY Purchase, where she has taught since 1989 and also served as Chair of the Women’s Studies Program. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Bagazici University, in Turkey, had one-year of doctoral studies at the School of Political Science at Ankara University, and obtained M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Binghamton University. Her research focuses on democracy and human rights, with an emphasis on women’s rights. She is the author of Deconstructing Images of “The Turkish Woman,” (1998) and Human Rights in Turkey (2007), among other books. Prof. Arat is the Founding President of the Human Rights Section of the American Political Science Foundation and is currently working on a project that examines the changes in human rights discourse and practices in Turkey since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
The talk is free and open to the public and is part of the orientation for 6 area high school teachers who will be departing for Turkey this summer on a Mid-Hudson Valley World Affairs Council and Turkish Cultural Foundation sponsored study tour for area high school educators.
For directions and a campus map, go to Vassar College Map & Directory. The Multi-Purpose Room is located in the Main Building, #22 on the map.
April 21, 2009 at 6:00 p.m “Afghanistan on the brink: Political turmoil, rising insecurity and shrinking humanitarian space” presented by Alex Mundt.
The meeting will be at the St. Andrews Café of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. This is a Members Only event. Reservations are required! Dinner is $35.00 per person and your reservation must be received by April 12th. Make checks payable to “World Affairs Council, MHV” and mail to: John Moriarty, Treasurer, 167 Apple Hill Rd., Hurley, NY 12443. You can make a tentative reservation by e-mail to email@example.com but your check will be your confirmation.
Afghanistan emerged from its bloodiest year since the fall of the Taliban with few certainties, except the widespread agreement that things will get worse before they get better. The past several years have witnessed the re-emergence of the opium-based economy, rising criminality, government inefficiency, endemic corruption and warlordism. Nearly 40 aid workers were killed in 2008, and more than half the country is inaccessible to humanitarian relief workers as a result of insecurity. With the deployment of an additional 17, 000 U.S. soldiers expected and a wide-ranging policy review currently under way, Alex will offer his insights on what went wrong and why and the challenges of assisting some of the millions of returned refugees and internally displaced persons in one of the world’s most insecure environments.
Alex Mundt is a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow based at the Brookings Institution-University of Bern Project on Internal displacement in Washington DC. Currently on leave from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Mundt recently completed a two-year assignment in Afghanistan, where he served as head of office for the northeastern region. Previous assignments for UNHCR have included work in Sierra Leone, Darfur, and South Sudan, where he focused on developing reintegration projects and improving the protection of refugees and internally-displaced persons. Prior to joining UNHCR, he worked for the International Rescue Committee in Burundi and Macedonia and as a program officer for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Washington D.C. Take a look at some of Alex’s comments on some issues of the day at Politico.com.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.
In more than five decades, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people restart their lives. Today, a staff of around 6,300 people in more than 110 countries continues to help 32.9 million persons.
March 25, 2009 – 5:30 p.m. Vassar College, Villard Room (Main Bldg.). “Helping the Obama Administration Achieve its Global Agenda and Meet is Commitment to Girls’s and Women’s Health and Human Rights” presented by Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition.” Co-sponsored with Vassar College Women’s Studies Program.
The World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley is presenting this program with co-sponsorship from departments, programs, offices, and student organizations at Vassar College. These include the Vassar College Economics Department, Health Service, Health Education Office, International Studies and Women’s Studies Programs, Vassar College Amnesty International, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Operation Donation, P.E.A.C.E., UNICEF, and the Vassar Uganda Project. Co-sponsors from the Hudson Valley community include the American Association of University Women, Poughkeepsie Branch; Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill; Hudson River HealthCare; League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region; and Planned Parenthood of the Mid-Hudson Valley.
To view our program flyer, click Adrienne Germain Program Flyer
For directions and a campus map, go to Vassar College Map & Directory. The Villard Room is located in the Main Building, #22 on the map.
“Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: the New Geopolitics of Energy” Michael Klare, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Co-sponsored with academic departments at Marist College.
January 28, 2009 – 7:00 p.m. Dutchess Theater, Dutchess Community College Theater
“A Stable and Progressive Middle East: More than a Dream?” Haviland Smith, retired C.I.A. station chief, who served in the Middle East and as chief of the counter-terrorism staff. Co-sponsored with the History, Government, & Economics Departments of Dutchess Community College.
Events for 2008
December 2, 2008 5:30 p.m. Presentation on Climate Change and World Security with Marc Levy in the auditorium of the Coykendall Science Building on the campus of SUNY New Paltz. (Refreshments available at 5:00 pm outside the auditorium).
Marc Levy serves as Deputy Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He will speak on climate change trends and how they impact the stability of nations and the well-being of populations.
There is growing recognition that climate change can have significant impact on world security, particularly in regions that are already prone to instability. Multi-year droughts, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures are climate change trends effecting food and water resources, and the health and well-being of populations around the world. For example, the greatest number of people exposed to sea-level rise are in China, the Philippines, Egypt and Indonesia. China and the Philippines alone have 64 million people in the lowest elevation zones (1 meter above sea level).
Marc Levy has published on environmental sustainability indicators, environment-security connections, and the effectiveness of international environmental institutions. The common thread running through his work is a desire to deepen our ability to understand and manage the complex interactions between humans and their environment. He leads CIESIN’s work on climate-security connections, conflict early warning, environmental sustainability indicators, and poverty mapping. He serves as Lead Project Scientist of the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center; and was a Convening Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is currently serving as a Convening Lead Author for the UN Environment Program’s Fourth Global Environmental Outlook. Before coming to CIESIN Mr. Levy had teaching appointments at Princeton University and Williams College.
The public is cordially invited to participate.
DIRECTIONS: From Route 299 in New Paltz, go south on Route 32 to the main entrance of the University (on the right). Park in Administrative Parking Lot (#15) just to the right as you enter. To get to the Coykendall Science Building (CSB) walk to the back of the parking lot (Administration Building on your left), up the stairs (a ramp is available), and then take the right diagonal sidewalk which leads to CSB. The Coykendall Science Building is located on the main campus quad near the northerly end. Go to http://www.newpaltz.edu/map/ for a campus map and directions.
Nov. 12, 2008 6:00 p.m. “The Current World Economic Crisis: Political and Economic Implications.” a panel discussion with Tim Koechlin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics at Vassar College, Joel Diemond, retired Professsor of Government, Dutchess Community College, and Elmore Alexander, Ph. D., Dean, School of Management at Marist College. Martin Charwat, Moderator at the Vassar Alumnae House, 161 College Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. This will also be our Annual Meeting and is for members only and their guests.
Oct. 14, 2008 7:00 p.m. “Where the Candidates Stand on Foreign Policy”, Representatives of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Jeh Charles Johnson and Andrew Hruska, will participate in a debate moderated by Joel Diemond, a member of the WAC board of directors and Professor Emeritus of Dutchess Community College, at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center of the FDR Presidential Library and Home, Hyde Park.
Jeh Charles Johnson, an American civil and criminal trial lawyer, served as an Assistant United States Attorney, General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force under President Clinton and is currently a partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He is active in Democratic Party politics, as a fundraiser and advisor to presidential campaigns, served as special counsel to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and is currently active in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign as a foreign policy advisor and as a member of the Obama/Biden national finance committee.
Andrew C Hruska (Drew). Andrew Hruska is a partner in the New York office of the national law firm of King & Spalding LLP where he specializes in complex litigation and defending government investigations. He has served as the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Senior Counsel to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson, and an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan D.A.’s office. Mr. Hruska has extensive experience in international criminal enforcement issues and national security law. Mr. Hruska is currently active in the McCain/Palin presidential campaign as New York City co-Chair of New York Lawyers for McCain.
For a map and directions, click HERE
Sep. 9, 2008 7:00 p.m. “Turkey, a Mosaic” with Elizabeth Shelton and returning participants in the teacher’s study trip to Turkey, at Marist College in the Performing Arts Room, Student Center, 3rd floor. This is a follow-up program to our Summer Study Tour to Turkey program. Ms. Shelton is a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served in Turkey
May 10, 2008. Summer Study Tour to Turkey Professional Development Workshop. Fellowships winners will attend this workshop on Turkey hosted by the World Affairs Council. The day-long workshop titled “Turkey: Ancient Civilization, Modern Nation” will take place on May 10, 2008 in the Multi-Purpose Room [2d floor of Main Building] at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie. WAC Members and the Vassar community are invited to attend the afternoon program is as follows:
1:30 – 2:50 p.m. “Modern Turkey, from Ataturk to Today”, “Turkey’s Relations with the U.S.”, “Turkey’s Relations with the European Union.” Prof. David C. Cuthell, Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, Georgetown University.
3:00 – 4:20 p.m. “Turkey and Its Neighbors,” and “Democracy in Turkey” Ambassador Robert C. Finn, Ertegun Visiting Professor in Near East Studies, Princeton University.
The foregoing are among the foremost American scholars of Turkey today. Information on them is available at www.rumiforum.org and www.princeton.edu.
Apr. 3, 2008, 6 p.m. “The Lula Regime in Brazil: a Giant Awakes” Paulo Sotero, Director of the Brazilian Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C. and formerly Washington correspondent for Estado de Sao Paulo, a leading Brazilian daily newspaper. For Mr. Sotero’s biography, click HERE.
Mr. Sotero will discuss Lula Ignacio da Silva, President of Brazil’s policies to promote Brazil in international arenas, including its role as leader in Latin America and its new and growing voice as an emerging power – a part of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Brazil’s economy has been growing steadily over the past 6 years, and Lula’s programs for aiding the poor have reduced the number and percentage of poor in Brazil as well as increasing the availability of health services to the population as a whole. For years dubbed the “country of the future,” Brazil seems poised to finally realize that future.
The meeting will be at the St. Andrews Café of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. This is a Members Only event. Reservations are required! Dinner is $35.00 and your reservation must be received by Wed., March 26. Send your check, payable to WAC-MHV, to PO Box 1055, New Palz, NY 12561. Need DIRECTIONS or a CAMPUS MAP?
Mar. 8, 2008, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. “The U.S.’s Place in the World in Light of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” A community forum with panel discussions. Co-sponsored with the Gillespie Forum and Dutchess Community College. at the James & Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Community College. Visit the DCC web site for a MAP of the campus and DIRECTIONS from just about anywhere you might happen to be.
Feb. 7, 2008, 7 p.m. “Will America’s Changing Face Change the Face of U.S. Foreign Policy?” Francis D. Gomez, formerly at NY Univ. at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, Hyde Park. For a map and directions, click HERE
Events for 2007
Dec. 15, 2007, 9:30 am Academic WorldQuest 2008 at the Henry A. Wallace Visitors and Education Center of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY for area high schools. Rain Date: Dec. 16. For a map and directions, click HERE
Dec. 6, 2007, 7:00 pm, Dr. Scott Silverstone, author and presenter, will speak on “Preventive War and American Democracy” at the James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall, Dutchess Community College. There will also be a book signing. Visit the DCC web site for a MAP of the campus and DIRECTIONS from just about anywhere you might happen to be.
Be sure to visit the publication announcement for “Preventive War and American Democracy” at the Carnegie Council where Dr. Silverstone was a Research Fellow in 2003-2004. You might also want to read his paper presented at the Carnegie Council Fellows’ Conference 2004 entitled “The Ethical Limits to Preventive War“.
For a brief biography of Dr. Silverstone and abstract of his book, visit the Creighton University Asian World Center’s Distinguished Lecture Series page or read his Curriculum Vitae at the US Military Academy at West Point. (Please Note - the Curriculum Vitae will open a Microsoft WORD document.)
Why not print out our program FLYER and post it around the community for us! Click HERE
Can’t make the presentation? Watch a video presentation of Mr. Cirincione’s talk at MIT on February 22, 2007 or read an abstract of his book at MIT World™.
Oct. 24, 2007, 6:00 p.m. Annual Members Meeting & Dinner with Ned Sullivan, Executive Director of Scenic Hudson, “Climate Change: Hudson Valley Impacts and Strategies for a Global Problem” at Vassar Alumni House (a members’ only dinner), 161 College Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603-2804.
The presentation will be the first of a series examining the consequences of global warming, beginning with a look at the Hudson Valley and how the challenges our region faces reflect larger trends around the globe.
You might want to visit the United Nations Environment Programme and read up on the developments at the 20th Montreal Protocol Meeting of the Parties, September 12-21. Take a look at theMontreal Protocol official web site and an informative Yahoo News article, ‘Historic’ Deal reached on cutting ozone threats published September 22, 2007.
Sept. 19, 2007, 7:00 pm, a panel from the Korea Economic Institute on ‘The Future of Korea” at the Vassar College Center
April 24, 2007, 7:00 p.m., Amb. Marilyn McAfee, former US Ambassador spoke on “Venezuela: What’s Chavez Up To?”. Location: St. Andrews Café, Culinary Institute of America. (Members Only dinner) NeedDIRECTIONS or a CAMPUS MAP?
April 11, 2007, 7:00 p.m., Kevin Klose, President of National Public Radio, discussed “Broadcasting’s Impact on International Affairs”. Location: Henry A. Wallace Center of the FDR Library, Hyde Park. For a map and directions, click HERE
February 5, 2007, 5:30 p.m., Prof. Robert Brigham at Vassar College, presented a lecture on “Is Iraq Another Vietnam?”. Read selected excerpts from his provocative argument in Vassar The Alumnae/Alumni Quarterly Fall 2006 issue.
Events for 2006
Annual Meeting: St. Andrews Café of the Culinary Institute of America and a Panel on Reflections on Root Causes Driving International Issues; Election of new officers and directors and announcement of programs for spring 2007 The cost of the program is $35.00 per person. Dinner entrée will be a choice of chicken or salmon.
At the Henry A. Wallace Visitor & Education Center of the F.D.R. Museum, “Academic WorldQuest 2007.” Teams of Mid-Hudson Valley high school students will competed a competition testing their knowledge of global affairs in ten categories. Spackenkill High School took top honors and will represent our Council at the National Competition in Washington, D.C. in April, 2007. Two teams from Roy C. Ketchum took second and first place followed closely by teams from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, John Jay High School, Kingston High School, Marlboro High School, Oakwood Friends School, and Pawling High School. For a map and directions, click HERE
At the College Cabaret of the Student Center, Marist College, Dr. Gilbert Brown, Professor & Chairman of Engineering Dept. at the U. Mass, Lowell, MA. “Nuclear Energy: Poised for a Renaissance.” Dr. Brown spoke on why nuclear energy can be used in the fight against global warming. A lively discussion of the issues followed.
At the James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall, Dutchess Community College, Nathaniel Fick, author of “One Bullet Away: the Making of a Marine Officer” discussed his acclaimed book on his experiences as a combat officer in Iraq. His topic will be: “Who Will Fight? A Marine Officer’s Journey from College to Iraq.” Book-signing to followed.
May 2, 2006
Michael DiTullo, Pres. and CEO of Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress and Stephen Cole, Program Director for Regional Initiatives for the IBM Corp., spoke at a Members-Only dinner at the Vassar College Alumnae House on “The Global Hudson Valley Initiative,” a program to educate and involve Hudson Valley residents about the opportunities to promote the region as a locus for international trade and investment.
March 31-April 2, 2006
“Academic WorldQuest 2006″ A team of 4 students from Roy C. Ketchum High School, winner of the Mid-Hudson Valley Competition, accompanied by their teacher, Karen Minervini-Whelan, went to Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley and the Robert Chapman Fund of the Community Foundation of Dutchess County, they competed against 48 teams from across the U.S. in a current events and geography competition consisting of 100 questions. The team came in 11th. The event was sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America.
March 16, 2006
Michael Maibach, Pres. and CEO of the European-American Business Council, spoke at SUNY New Paltz, on “Can the West Remain Competitive in a Global Economy.” Citing statistics on economic growth in Europe and the U.S. vs. growth in Asia, especially China and India, and demographic trends in both areas, Mr. Maibach made the case that Europe and the U.S. are likely to remain major trading partners and major engines of economic growth, even as Asia’s importance continues to increase in the 21st century.
February 23, 2006
Andrew Davison, Associate Prof. of Political Science at Vassar College, spoke at the Villard Room, Vassar College on “Turkey: the View from Hollywood and the West Wing.” Prof. Davison discussed the distorted view that Americans have of the city of Antalya, Turkey, as the result of a the t.v. program “The West Wing’s” portrayal of it as the site of a bombing by terrorists.
Events for 2005
Dec. 3, 2005
“Academic WorldQuest # 2” – A dozen teams of area high school students will competed in a game testing knowledge of history, current events, geography, etc. The winning team, Roy C. Ketcham High School, represented our region at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
Location: the Henry A. Wallace Center of the FDR Library
Nov. 17, 2005
“The European Union in Crisis? A Nuanced View”
Martin Charwat, President of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley, will discuss why the E.U. is so important to the U.S. and what the implications are of the “no” vote for the future of the E.U. Mr. Charwat attended a week-long mission in Brussels, Belgium in June, 2005 as one of ten delegates of the World Affairs Councils of America to the European Union. He met with leaders of the European Parliament and Commission, journalists, economists, and military leaders, during the same week that voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the proposed European Union constitution.
Location: The St. Andrews Cafe of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY
Oct. 23, 2005
“The United Nations at 60.” This major event features 3 panelists:
· Stephen Schlesinger, Director of the World Policy Institute, author and historian will speak on the role of FDR in creating the U.N.;
· Gillian Martin Sorensen, Senior Adviser to the United Nations Foundation and former U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations will discuss U.S.-U.N. relations;
· Shashi Tharoor, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Communications and
Public Information will address current issues facing the U.N.
Location: the Henry A. Wallace Center of the FDR Library
Sept. 13, 2005
Dr. Glen Johnson, Prof. Emeritus of Political Science at Vassar College and Director of the American Studies Program at the American University of Cairo will speak on “Democracy in the Arab World: a View from Egypt.”
Location: the Villard Room, Vassar College
David Woolner, Ph.D., Executive Director, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, Ass’t. Professor of History, Marist College.
“Reflections on the Challenges Facing Russia Today”
Meeting on June 9, 2004. 6 P.M. at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Dr. David Woolner spoke at a dinner meeting of the World Affairs Council on June 9. at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He had been invited to Russia in the fall of 2003 to join a diverse group of Americans and Russians to examine possible applications of New Deal programs to improve life for the Russians. In particular, he mentioned the American rural banking system which emerged to help the farmer in the 1930′s. At present, Russia’s banking system does not have the trust of the public and requires extensive reform.
After the collapse of the Communist government, Russia experienced a much greater decline in GNP than America did in the 1930′s. Between 1992-’98, the Russian GNP plunged 44%. Based on his frequent trips to Russia between 1994 and the present, Dr. Woolner stated that the Russians despised the havoc and suffering perceived to be caused by the free market and capitalism. They seek stability and economic security.
In Dr. Woolner’s view, Putin is not a reformer. Putin wants to retain the power of an autocrat who can act immediately and vigorously. Putin’s two major goals are to restore the power of the Russian state and to lure foreign investment. There is tremendous wealth and tremendous poverty in Russia today. Bribery is a way of life. However, Dr. Woolner believes that the people like Putin. They are not focused on democracy but on bread and butter issues. The speaker surmised that Gorbachev was despised, Yeltsin was disliked, but in the last 1 1/2 years life has improved. The arms industry is on the rebound. The Russian army is becoming a more effective fighting force, yet Putin understands the necessity of not alienating the West. There seems to be considerable opportunity for the Russian-American relationship to develop in positive ways.
Dr. Jon. B. Alterman
“Is the Worst Over? The Future of the Middle East.”
Lecture on April 20, 2004 at 5:30 P.M. in the Villard Room at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Unrest in the Middle East may not worsen, but conflict in the area is unlikely to go away in the near future, according to a lecture by Dr. Jon B. Alterman to the World Affairs Council. Alterman’s talk in the Villard Room at Vassar College drew an audience of approximately 300. He presented both a focused analysis of the current situation in Iraq and the surrounding states, as well as a description of broader trends underway in the Middle East irrespective of events in Iraq.
According to Alterman, Iraq’s neighbors fear instability in the country—both in positive and negative directions. Neighboring states of Iraq are concerned that Iraq could turn into an Afghanistan, an unstable wilderness where their enemies can train & plot against them. On the other hand, a strong democratic Iraq that is a regional powerhouse and that inspires neighboring populations to overthrow their governments is not in the interests of neighboring states, either. What they prefer most is something in between, Alterman said, something like a “slow boil” rather than complete success or failure.
On the popular level, there is incredulity that the U.S. cannot do a better job on Iraqi reconstruction, and a suspicion that the U.S. is less than successful because it wants to be. After all, the U.S. military defeated a strong and repressive regime in a matter of weeks; how can it fail to carry out the mundane tasks of governance as well as the regime did?
Dr. Alterman then discussed four kinds of changes underway in the Middle East that are completely unconnected to the war in Iraq. First, media & technology has transformed the way information is disseminated & digested. Traditionally, the government bureaucracy controlled information. Today, satellite television, video cassette players & tapes, & the photocopier are accessible to millions. It’s a buyer’s market. The size of one’s audience is no longer determined by who sits where in an information ministry in the Arab world, but by how much appeal an audience finds in one’s message. Censorship is much harder to do, and it is harder for governments to gain publics’ attention through the mass media.
Second, there are demographic factors. While most analysts point to high numbers of the population under the age of 18, Alterman said the important number was that 25-30% of the population in most Arab countries are young adults 15-30, many of whom are not integrated into their society. They are jobless, alienated, and without responsibilities. They can’t afford to get married. What is their stake in the status quo?
Then Dr. Alterman reminded the audience of the age of many key leaders in the region. The president of the most populous Arab state, Egypt, is 76. The leader of the Palestinians is 74. The heads of the Saudi royal family are in their 80′s. Succession is not clear.
The last environmental change mentioned is geopolitical. The Cold War is over, and Arabs are debating where the international fault lines run and where they should align themselves. Now there is internal debate on what it means to be an Arab. How much is one’s identity tied to Islam? Who defines Islam? What is our future? People are hearing different messages & they determine what is authentic, what is appealing. The ferment is there & it is not centralized.
All of this is in addition to the persistence of long-running conflicts in the Middle East, among them the Arab-Israeli conflict. The violence of the last 3-1/2 years and subsequent hardened in attitude among Israelis and Palestinians makes a solution in the near term extremely unlikely.
Alterman cautioned that there is no easy way out of the current dilemmas. America needs to embrace Arab reform without smothering it, and it needs to nurture the emergence of an indigenous Iraqi leadership far more successfully than it has been able to do thus far. The Iraqis desperately want peace & security but they have to feel the winners will be around a long time before they risk their support & their lives. In the short term, Dr. Alterman thinks things will get worse before they get better. American troops will probably be needed for 3 – 5 years, serving in a hostile environment. Eventually a strong central government may emerge, resembling somewhat the previous government.
Alterman also suggested that the U.S. needs to work with Europe to reach different groups in different ways. The governments there are facing new challenges & could be attracted to an alternative vision. We must think of new ways to bring about change. The problem, however, is comparable to trying to change an engine while the car is still running.
Eileen Heaphy, Exec. Dir., World Affairs Council, Stamford, CT.
“Mexico – So Far from God, So Close to the United States”
Meeting on March 8, 2004 at the 96 Main Restaurant and Bar in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
2003 Inaugural Event
As an inaugural lecturer, the Hon. Benjamin Gilman, a member of Congress from 1973 to 2003, and former chairman of the House International Relations Committee, will speak on a topic much in the news, “U.S. Relations with the United Nations–as seen from Congress.” His talk is scheduled for Dec.5. 2003 at 7 p.m. at the new Henry A. Wallace Visitor Center, at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. For information about membership and about this event, and others, contact Martin Charwat, president of the Mid-Hudson World Affairs Council, at 845-546-2118 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org The public, including high-school students, their teachers, college students, families, businesses, and non-profit organizations, is urged to attend the December event.
Summary of December 5, 2003 Event
The scheduled speaker, the Hon. Benjamin Gilman, was unable to attend due to weather conditions. In his absence, a panel addressed the announced topic “U.S. Relations with the United Nations as Seen from Congress.”
Joel Diemond, Professor of Political Science at Dutchess Community College, provided a framework for the discussion by describing the realist and idealist approaches in American foreign policy. A realist explains international politics as the pursuit of national security and self-interest in an anarchic world through gaining and wielding power. The idealist approach emphasizes international law and international organizations over military force alone. Idealists also believe that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, can belong to a single community with universal human rights. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a key architect of the United Nations, blended both approaches: United States membership in the United Nations was intended both to advance universal values and to promote American self-interest.
Professor Diemond noted that U.S. public is ill informed about the work of the United Nations system. As a result, some members of Congress level short-term self-serving attacks on the organization. The speaker deplored this practice and noted that if the United Nations did not exist, it would have to be invented. The U.N. probably prevented World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963 when the U.N. helped to defuse the crisis by providing channels for behind-the-scenes communication.
Stephen Rock, Professor of Political Science at Vassar College, described American public ambivalence regarding the United Nations. Although public opinion polls show widespread support for the ideal of international cooperation through the United Nations, there is also much mistrust or antipathy.
Several factors contribute to these attitudes. First, there is a long history of U.S. official and public distrust of international organizations. This distrust is evident in the Charter provision giving the United States and the Security Council’s other four permanent members, the power to veto Council resolutions and thereby block Council action. Second, Americans generally harbor three misconceptions about the United Nations: (1) it is ineffective; (2) it is too expensive; and (3) it is Anti-American. To counter these misconceptions, Professor Rock cited the work of the United Nations in Korean and the 1991 Gulf War as examples of collective action under U.N. auspices, figures showing that the U.N. budget is less than state and city budgets, and illustrations showing that the U.N. often advances U.S. priorities and interests.
Martin Charwat, the President of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley and a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, traced the history of congressional attitudes toward the United Nations. He described how President Roosevelt “romanced” Congress by including members of both parties and the former isolationist Senator Vandenberg in the U.S. delegation to the Charter conference in 1945. Congressional attitudes have generally mirrored the perceived level of U.S. influence in the United Nations, with broad support in the 1950’s and a subsequent decline. Mr. Charwat pointed out that members of Congress often lack a full, informed view of the United Nations system or international issues. For example, Congress hesitated to “call a spade a spade” in the face of genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda.
James Olson, a former Vice President of the United Nations Association of the USA, noted the appropriateness of having the first meeting of the World Affairs Council at the FDR library. He recalled that Mrs. Roosevelt also playing an important role in the early years of the United Nations, serving, for example, as the Chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
He noted that while 75% of the public claim to support the United Nations, they know very little in general. They do not know about the accomplishments of the United Nations in setting international norms, negotiating treaties, providing a voice for traditionally “voiceless” groups (for example, women, children, the disabled); the work of the U.N. agencies in the areas of health, education, and economic development; or even the work of the U.N. in the great issues of war and peace. He recommended that audience members keep informed through the Websites of the United Nations (www.un.org) and the United Nations Foundation (www.unfoundation.org).