Great Decisions 2021

Great Decisions 2021: Schedule of Topics and Speakers

Feb. 2–Brexit and the European Union.  Speaker: Dr. Jeffery A. Stacey. Stacey is a national security consultant, a former State Department official in the Obama administration, the author of the book, “Integrating Europe”, and a frequent commentator of international affairs.

Feb. 9–China’s Role in Africa.  Speaker: Ambassador David Shinn.  Shinn, a State Department Foreign Service Officer for 37 years with significant service in Africa, is currently an adjunct professor at George Washington University in the Elliott School of International Affairs.  He is just completing a co-authored book on China and Africa.

Feb. 16–The Role of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic.  Speaker: Professor Iyabo Obasanjo.  Educated in Nigeria and the US, Obasanjo served as the Commissioner for Health in Ogun State of Nigeria in 2003 and was elected to the Nigerian Senate in 2007, where she was the Chair of the Health Committee.  Returning to the US in 2011, she explored the issues of governance, leadership, and public health as an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University and held several academic appointments before coming to William and Mary.

Feb. 23–Persian Gulf Security Issues.  Speaker: Dr. Trita Parsi.  Executive Vice-President of the Quincy Institute, Parsi is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel.

Mar. 2–Struggles Over the Melting Arctic.  Speaker: Col. Larry Wilkerson.  The Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, the College of William & Mary, Wilkerson, a frequent speaker at Great Decisions, served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff.  His six-year membership in the Climate and Security Working Group (CSWG) gives him special insight on this topic.

Mar. 9–Global Supply Chains and National Security.  Speaker:  Mr. Frank Samolis.  Partner and co-chair of the International Trade Practice for Squires, Patton, Boggs, Samolis has represented foreign sovereigns or foreign multinationals from Asia, Europe, Central and Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, in addition to US companies seeking expanded market access in major export markets.  He spoke in the 2019 Great Decisions program.

Mar. 16–The Korean Peninsula.  Speaker: Ms. Jessica J. Lee.  Senior Research Fellow in the East Asia Program at the Quincy Institute, Lee focuses her research on U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on alliances and North Korea.   She previously led the Council of Korean Americans, a national leadership organization for Americans of Korean descent.

Mar. 23– The End of Globalization.  Speaker: Professor Michael N. Barnett. University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, Barnett’s research interests span the Middle East, humanitarianism, global governance, global ethics, and the United Nations. Among his many books are Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda; Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order; Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism; and Rules for the World: International Organizations in World Politics (with Martha Finnemore).