Andrea Cohen, Thursday, October 26, 2017

edited pic“The UN is Our Greatest Hope for the Future”

Andrea Cohen is a passionate human rights defender and supporter of the UN. She is Executive Director of the Iowa United Nations Association whose mission is to promote, educate about, and advocate for the entire United Nations system. Ms. Cohen attended the United Nations International School in New York, giving her a special connection with the organization. Ms. Cohen has a Bachelors in Anthropology from Barnard College and a Masters in Anthropology and Education, from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She also has a Master of Science in Teaching (Social Studies and Civics) from the Free University in Amsterdam. Originally Dutch, Ms. Cohen moved to New York City in the early 1960s, living there for 28 years before moving back to The Netherlands. She came back to Iowa City with her family in 2012. She is an Iowa City Human Rights Commissioner and a member of the Board of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.

The fundamental principles of the United Nations are as vital today as they were in 1945; perhaps even more so. Focusing inwards is not a solution when the world is so interconnected. The 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development provide a framework for tackling sticky problems together: for Iowa, the US, and the world. Her remarks will explore why and how the Global Goals urge cooperation and collaboration on a global scale. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Domestic Issues, Fall 2017, Governance Issues, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Juan R.I. Cole, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

la-ca-jc-juan-cole-20140720“The New Arabs: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East”

Juan R. I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He received his B.A. in History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University, his M.A. in Arabic Studies / History from American University in Cairo, and his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from UCLA. Juan speaks Arabic and possesses skill in Persian, Urdu, and reads Turkish. He is the author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon’s Egypt. He has been a regular guest on PBS NewsHour and has also appeared on ABC World News, Nightline, the Today show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report, Democracy!, Al Jazeera America, and many other programs. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Iraq, Egypt, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Syria, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs.

For thirty-five years, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His deep knowledge of language, Middle Eastern Culture, and the differing theological traditions of Islam, have made him an authority on the region. Professor Cole will be discussing his most recent book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East will be the focus of his presentation.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Karen Wachsmuth, Thursday, October 12, 2017

 Karen in Japan 2“Why the Japanese School Year Begins in Cherry Blossom Time”

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Karen Wachsmuth will share her recent experiences as a Fulbright International Education Administrator awardee to Japan. While in the country, she met with Ministry of Education officials, top-level university administrators, professors, high school teachers, guidance counselors, students, and job placement agencies. She will share with us how their differing viewpoints reflected unique and sometimes contradictory aspects of Japanese culture and history. She will also discuss the context of her travels to Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Kyoto, which took place during a year in which U.S.-Japan relations were undergoing epic, positive change.

Wachsmuth is a Juilliard-trained conductor, musician, and scholar. Under her dynamic and innovative leadership as the UI Fulbright Program Advisor, the University of Iowa was named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2016-17, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. This is the second year in a row that UI has achieved this elite ranking.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

 

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2017, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Steve Schulz, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

      EP-170119847 (1)“Travel Bans: Uncertainties and Real World Consequences”

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Steve Schulz is the Senior Director for the Global Talent Acquisition and Mobility organization at Rockwell-Collins.  His responsibilities include all recruiting efforts across the globe, foreign national employee strategy, contract labor, relocation, mobility, short and long-term assignments, K-12 STEM efforts, and external diversity partnerships.  Steve has been a leader in the talent acquisition efforts for more than two decades spending half his time in the external agency industry and the other half leading talent acquisition functions.

Rockwell-Collins employs 30,000 people worldwide and is one of Iowa’s largest employers with 8,700 employees in Cedar Rapids plus another 1,200 employees in other Eastern Iowa locations including Iowa City.  Founded in 1933, Rockwell-Collins is the industry leader in advanced avionics for commercial and military aircraft.

This presentation will focus on Rockwell-Collins foreign national employment strategy and why it is a critical element for our company’s people strategy.  Changes to the program including current global and political challenges confronting our organization will be discussed.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, Technology, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ubah“To Leave in the Afternoon: Inheriting the Language of a Civil War”

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Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a Somali-Italian novelist, performer, teacher and social activist. Her two novels, Madre piccola [Little Mother, Indiana UP 2011] and Il Comandante del fiume [The Commander of the River] tell stories of the Somali civil war and its refugees in Italy. In 2006, she was awarded the Lingua Madre National Literary Prize, and in 2008, the Vittorini Prize. She has a PhD in African Studies from the University of Naples; currently she lives in Brussels. She is participating in the International Writing Program’s 2017 Fall Residency courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Born in Italy to a Somali father and an Italian mother, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah grew up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, attending an Italian school there until the Somalia Civil War broke out in 1991.  Ali Farah and her family subsequently relocated to Pécs, Hungary, and then later moved back to her birthplace, Verona, Italy.  In the intervening years, she has carried with her a Somali language that was radically re-shaped by the conflict and stories that seem like her own memories.  Farah draws on Eva Hoffman’s concept of “postmemory” to describe the effect of these traumatic experiences on the entire generation born after the Civil War.  In this lunchtime lecture, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah will share her experiences as a writer addressing violence, civil division, and national memory.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Uncategorized, War & Conflict

Greg Carmichael, Wednesday, September 20, 2017

“Current Environmental Challenges”gcarmich

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Gregory R. Carmichael is the Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa and he is the Co-Director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.  Greg also serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research for the College of Engineering.

He has done extensive research related to air quality and its environmental impacts with over 280 journal publications, and he is a leader in the development and application of chemical transport models at scales ranging from local to global. The majority of his recent papers deal with the development and application of chemical transport models (CTM) to studies in regional atmospheric chemistry, air quality and climate. He is a member of the scientific steering committee for the UNEP ABC Asia project. He also serves as chair of the Scientific Advisory Group for the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch Urban Meteorology and Environment project, which is focused on building capacity worldwide to improve air quality forecasts and related services.

Much has changed since the 2015 historic Paris Climate Accord.  Even though the U.S. has expressed its plan to withdraw from the agreement, there remain many efforts at local, regional and global scales to address climate and environmental change. Post-Paris opportunities for addressing climate and the challenges to come with them will be discussed.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2017, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Technology, Uncategorized

Ted Powers, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Theodore Powers

“Public Health in Post-Apartheid South Africa: HIV/AIDS, Primary Care & Social Inequality”

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Ted Powers is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the dynamics of health, politics, and social inequality in post-apartheid South Africa. Ted received his B.A. in Political Science (2001) at Bates College in Maine as well as his Master’s (2007) and Ph.D. in Anthropology (2012) at City University in New York. Ted has written numerous pieces of literature discussing the subject of HIV/AIDS for publications such as the Journal of African History, the AIDS Legal Quarterly, the Journal of Southern African Studies, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and The Human Economy Book Series. Before coming to the University of Iowa, Ted taught at Hunter College, Columbia University, Pace College, and the University of Pretoria.

The post-apartheid era has seen improvements in public health provision in South Africa, with the expansion of primary care and development of the world’s largest HIV / AIDS treatment program.  However, the country also has a high burden of disease, with the world’s largest HIV / AIDS epidemic and a growing drug-resistant Tuberculosis epidemic. Amid the threat of declining donor funding for HIV / AIDS and other global programs, the question of how public health will be maintained in the world’s second most unequal society looms large. Key public health trends will be discussed alongside the implications of declining resources for public health programs in South Africa.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events

Jonathan Hollander, Thursday September 7, 2017

10686686_10153064077701410_5106998071599227401_n “Dance Diplomacy”

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Jonathan is one of the world’s outstanding choreographers, a man committed to international cultural exchange and social activism through dance. He is the Founder of Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect. Jonathan Hollander is the founder of Battery Dance, a group that teaches, performs, and advocates for the area of dance. Currently he serves as its President and Artistic Director.

In 1982, he created Downtown Dance Festival, New York City’s longest-running dance festival. Jonathan and his organization are very active in NYC’s public schools with the objective of reaching at risk youth and fostering a love of dance. His work has brought him to diverse locations such as Japan, France, Greece, India, Mongolia, Paraguay, Poland, Malaysia, Russia, and the Philippines. His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of State, the National endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation. Jonathan founded Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect to bridge divides, unite communities, empower youth, combat bullying and xenophobia. Jonathan will speak to how dance can ease conflict, breed trust and represent American values abroad.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2017, Past Events

Hans House, Thursday August 31, 2017

HansHouse_LabcoatHeadshot.jpeg“Avian Flue H7N9 and the Risk of the Next Great Pandemic”

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Hans House is Professor, and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa.  He received his undergraduate degree, Cum Laude, in Marine Biology from University of Southern California.  He then received his MD degree from USC in 1997.  He subsequently received a Diploma of Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine, and an MA in Academic Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at USC.  Dr. House holds Board Certifications as Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Avian Flu was first identified in Hong Kong in 1997.  Despite fears that this virus might mutate and spread rapidly around the world, it has smoldered and persisted in nature, eventually causing a few hundred deaths.  More recently, a new strain, H7N9, has become established in China and has led to five seasonal waves of illness.  How do new strains develop?  What factors lead to their severity or spread?  Why do they always seem to start in East Asia?  I will explore the nature of the influenza virus and examine the latest epidemiological evidence, trying to determine the risk of H9N9 developing into the next great pandemic.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events

Peter Damiano, Thursday August 24, 2017

Picture1“Health Care- Lessons from Abroad”

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Presentation slides can be downloaded here!

Dr. Damiano received his BS from the University of Iowa in 1982, and his DDS from Iowa in 1986. He received his MPH from the University of California in 1990. Dr. Damiano joined the UI College of Dentistry in 1990. In 1993, Dr. Damiano received a Certificate from the Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar Program, and a Certificate in Public Health Service, AACPR Primary Care Policy Fellowship. Through his work as Director of the UI Public Policy Center, Dr. Damiano studies access to and quality of primary health services. He is conducting studies in the areas of health care reform, health insurance coverage, health disparities, and health care for the uninsured. He is the author of more than 200 journal articles and has been the principal investigator on more than 75 funded research studies. Through the UI Public Policy Center he regularly shares research findings with policymakers and the public through talks and symposia to help them understand the nuances of challenging policy issues.

With all the changes underway in the financing and delivery of health care in the U.S., many are looking to models in other countries for ideas. Dr. Damiano will provide an overview of the financing and delivery of care in the U.S., and several other industrialized countries. Included in this discussion will be the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches and what lessons we might be able to learn from the experiences of these countries.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events

ICFRC will return August 24!

Thank you to all of our summer program attendees!

ICFRC will return on Thursday, August 24 with a lecture entitled “Health Care– Lessons from Abroad” by U of Iowa Professor Peter Damiano.

In the meantime, are you a U of Iowa student interested in helping ICFRC put together weekly luncheon lectures on international issues? ICFRC will be losing several key interns after the 2017-2018 school year and we are more than interested in taking on fresh talent ASAP!

FullSizeRenderCome learn the logistics of working with a non-profit organization right on campus! Internships with ICFRC are unpaid, but provide numerous opportunities for networking with our speakers, board members, and other interns! Also, if you like free lunch from Masala, India Cafe, Vesta, Oyama, Oasis, or any of our other frequent caterers, ICFRC is the place for you!

Application can be downloaded here!

Send any inquires to icfrc@uiowa.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Filed under Summer 2017, University of Iowa

Mandela Washington Fellows, Tuesday July 11, 2017

“Young Entrepreneurs Challenging the Political and Economic African Status Quo: How and Why?”

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The U.S. State Department’s  Mandela Washington Fellowship, started in 2014 as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative created by President Obama, empowers young people from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. This year the Fellowship is providing 1,000 young ambassadors  with the opportunity to hone their skills at  U.S. higher education institutions. The Iowa delegation of  Fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa taking entrepreneurial classes and touring the state.

leslieLeslie is a broadcast journalist based in Zimbabwe. Leslie is currently a producer and presenter of The Quest on Breeze FM, a mid-morning radio show that deals with business, health, and environmental issues, while also building social entrepreneurship skills to address unemployment challenges within the Victoria Falls community.

maphanoMaphano has four years of experience in the beauty industry. Maphano is currently the Manager and Owner of Phano Ea Bophelo Beauty and Rehab Spa, where she works as a nail technician, makeup artist, leader, administrator, and supervisor.

adewaleAdewale has over five years of experience in middle management and business consulting, with special interest in business development and marketing. Currently, Adewale is the Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Heenspire Foods, a snack and beverage company that focuses on locally made and packaged products from farm produce that could have gone to waste.

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Filed under Africa, Business, Education, Past Events, Summer 2017

Fulbright Student-Awardees, Thursday July 6, 2017

“UI Fulbright Student-Awardees Discuss Their International Assignments”

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The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government The University of Iowa has been recognized for being a top producer of Fulbright Students. This year sixteen students have been awarded the prestigious grant, setting a new record for the University. Last year fourteen students received Fulbright awards resulting in a tied ranking for 27th on a list of peer institutions.

McCarty Nicholas (2)Nicholas “Niko” McCarty grew up in Geneva, Illinois, and moved to Iowa for his BS in Biochemistry. Niko graduated High Distinction and was an Iowa Biosciences Academy Scholar.  In 2016 he was recognized as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.  Niko will study at the Imperial College London to pursue a one-year Master of Research in Systems and Synthetic Biology.  As an avid communicator and writer Niko will also create a student magazine for scientific writing.

IMG_4289.jpg O'DonnellKelsey O’Donnell, from Sargeant Bluff, Iowa, graduated from Iowa with a BA with Honors with High Distinction in International Studies, and Anthropology.  Kelsey served as an ICFRC Intern, and was active with the Organization for the Active Support for International Students.  With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan, Kelsey will teach English at a school in Kinmen, Taiwan.  She also plans to volunteer for a local Girl Scouts of Taiwan chapter to assist with community-based activities that focus on life skills, leadership, and decision-making.

Lexi KochAlexis “Lexi” Koch, from Solon, Iowa, graduated from Iowa with a BS with Honors in Human Physiology on a pre-med track with minors in Spanish, psychology, and chemistry.  With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Spain, Lexi will teach and tutor children with hopes that interacting with people in another culture will improve her ability to communicate complicated ideas.  At Iowa Lexi did a great deal of research and tutoring.

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Filed under Past Events, Summer 2017, University of Iowa

ICFRC will be back in July!

A big thank you to everyone who attended our programs this Spring!

ICFRC will return with the start of our Fall 2017 schedule with two summer programs on July 6th and July 12th!

The July 6th program will feature UI Fulbright Student-Awardees speaking about their Fulbright International Assignments. This talk will feature one of our very own interns, Kelsey O’Donnell!fulbright_logo

The July 12th program will feature several Mandela Washington Fellows speaking about their roles as young entrepreneurs challenging the political & economic status quo in the continent of Africa!

Mandela_logo

More information and a registration link will appear here and on our Facebook page at the end of June. Until then, enjoy your summer!

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Filed under Summer 2017, University of Iowa

Stella Burch Elias, Thursday May 11, 2017

6a00d8341bfae553ef01b7c8d0d159970b-800wi“Immigration and the Trump Administration’s First 100 Days”

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During the 2016 presidential elections, candidate Trump made immigration law and policy a cornerstone of his campaign. Since assuming office on January 10, 2017, the Trump Administration has begun a far-reaching program of immigration reforms. The immigration policy choices that the new administration has made including those affecting refugees, asylum seekers, international students and scholars, and undocumented immigrants will have far-reaching impact in the years ahead. There will also be major implications for U.S. foreign policy, and our relationships with other countries because the administration’s actions call into question international legal commitments that have been binding on the U.S. for many years. This program will explore these recent developments in immigration law-making with an emphasis on how they are likely to affect our community here in Iowa City and communities like ours throughout the United States.

Stella Burch Elias joined the Iowa Law faculty in 2012, after a two-year appointment as Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard University Law School. Stella teaches civil procedure, foundations of international law, and immigration law.
In 2013, Professor Elias founded the College of Law’s Advanced Immigration Law and Policy Project, which enables law students to work on innovative legal policy projects for organizational clients in Iowa. In 2015 she was awarded the James N. Murray Faculty Award, a University-wide award given each year to a tenure-track faculty member in recognition for outstanding teaching, assistance to students, exceptional research and writing and dedication to the University and surrounding community. Prior to Law School, Professor Elias served as a diplomat in the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She Clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Filed under Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy

Monica Correia, Wednesday May 3, 2017

Monica-Correia3“Exploring the World of 3D Design”

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Monica Correia will discuss the art of designing and detail the many sources of inspiration for her work. Themes will include the intersection of art, technology, and nature. Monica will demonstrate the power that organic forms have to evoke emotions and express the ephemeral qualities of movement seen in dance, music, and nature. She will detail her creative process and how she uses computer technologies to generate her design. The artistic freedom available through design will be demonstrated through Monica’s choice not to limit her work to preconceived forms, scales, or trends.

Monica Correia received Bachelors of Architecture degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before Monica’s moving to the United States, she taught at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro School of Architecture. She also designed interiors for businesses in Brazil and Portugal. She received her MFA degree in 3D Design from the University of Iowa. She has had multiple exhibitions in London, Milan, New York City, and Ljubljana Slovenia. Her work has also been displayed at the “Salao Design Casa Brasil,” “Abiplast Design Award,” “Liceu de Design Award,” “The Skin of Corian,” the Krasl Art Center ArtLab, Chico Art Center, and the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, among others. Her work as Associate Professor and head of the 3D Design Program at the University of Iowa School of Art & Art History was awarded the “ICFF Editor’s Award for Best School” in New York City in 2015. With her students, she also received the “SOFA CNNECT” award for best design environment in Chicago for two consecutive years (2014/2015).

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Past Events, Spring 2017

Keith Porter & Jen Smyser, Wednesday April 26, 2017

JenniferSmyser“The International Order Under Fire: Old Problems and New Threats”

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Jennifer Smyser is  Vice President and Director of Policy Programming for the Stanley Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s team of policy professionals in advancing multilateral action to create fair, just, and lasting solutions to critical issues of peace and security. Foundation programming is currently focused on nuclear security, genocide prevention, and climate

change. Smyser oversees implementation of the foundation’s programming efforts, which include identifying policy gaps and commissioning relevant analysis, developing and participating in coalitions and working groups, organizing roundtable and other policy dialogues, engaging the media and broader public, and establishing networks.

Before assuming her current position becoming Jen was Director of Policy Programming  for more than six years, overseeing the Foundation’s nuclear security policy programming as well as citizen leader outreach. She played a key role in the
creation of the Fissile Materials Working Group and the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group, and fostered the foundation’s involvement in the Nuclear Security Summit process. Smyser also led an effort to improve and refine the
Foundation’s engagement with citizen organizations focused on international affairs and US foreign policy. Smyser spent a decade working in US-based nongovernmental organizations focused on US global engagement and citizen diplomacy. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Iowa State University and a  Master’s in Public Administration from Drake University.

KeithPorterKeith Porter is President and CEO  of the Stanley Foundation. Previously, he was the Director of Policy and Outreach for the Foundation. In that post, he played a leadership role in the Foundation’s transition toward a dynamic advocacy organization focused on specific multilateral policy-change goals. This included developing and implementing a new strategic plan, creating work plans , evaluating progress, and maximizing the foundation’s impact through increased networking and collaboration with a wide range of institutions and individuals.

Porter was Co-Producer and Co-Host of the Foundation’s nationally syndicated public radio program on world affairs, Common Ground, from 1988 to 2004. He also served as Co-Producer and reporter for a number of radio documentaries on international issues. Keith has been recognized him for excellence in broadcast journalism, including the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Headliner Awards, the New York Festivals, and the United Nations Correspondents Association. He was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Porter holds a graduate degree from Illinois State University.

The post– World War II international order has fostered ongoing cooperation and progress toward shared peace, prosperity and dignity for more than 70 years. Fault lines and fractures in the order are not new– for years rising powers have been
looking for an equitable piece of the decision-making process,
non-state actors have been challenging the systems in unique ways, and many states have been assaulting the system’s founding pillars of international law. However, new threats to the system’s stability have cropped up in recent years. Keith Porter and Jen Smyser will share how the international system can be preserved and improved.

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Filed under Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

James “Woody” Watson, Thursday April 20, 2017

“Culinary Nationalism: Fighting with Food”

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woody_headshotJames Watson was one of the first students to study Chinese at the University of Iowa, earning a B.A. in 1965, and received his Ph.D. in 1972 at UC Berkeley. He was, until his retirement in 2011, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He also taught at the  University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, and Houston. Together with Dr. Rubie Watson, he has conducted anthropological research in Hong Kong’s New Territories since the late 1960s. His publications include Emigration and the Chinese Lineage, Kinship Organization in China, Death Ritual in Chinese Society, The Cultural Economy of Food and Eating, and Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. The Watsons’ current project is a jointly authored book entitled The Last Colony: Everyday Life in British Hong Kong, 1898-1997.

In an ever globalizing world, food still operates today as a way of expressing cultural distinction and nationalism. Through globalization, distinct culinary practices are being shared and exchanged in an international market, competing against one another.  James Watson will discuss the idea of Culinary Nationalism including the impact of rice, the global anti-GMO food movement, as well as “American” fast foods and food conglomerates. He will also share his insight into the effect food globalization will have on countries like China. Will China “eat our lunch in respect to food globalization?”

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Past Events, Spring 2017

H.S. Udaykumar & Jerry Anthony, Thursday April 13, 2017

“Women’s Health and the Environment: Going Up in Smoke”

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About one-third of the planet’s people use wood every day for fuel. Jerry Anthony and Udaykumar, along with colleagues across the University of Iowa, have been researching causes and consequences of firewood use in the developing world. This talk will focus on the many multi-disciplinary and global issues that interweave into a web of complex problems stemming from a simple act of sustenance: cooking. The daily harvesting and burning of biomass by women for cooking purposes half a world away
connects to us due to its impact on climate, forest loss, environmental degradation and health affects. Anthony and Udaykumar will discuss the importance of this problem not only to women and children in the global south, but to all of us.

[This year’s Provost’s Global Forum will feature “Women’s Health and the Environment: Going Up in Smoke” from April 12-14! More information is available here.]

Picture1H.S. Udaykumar received a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India, in 1988 and went on to pursue a Master’s and PhD from the University of Florida. He works with the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research in Hydroscience and Engineering, and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institue of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. Udaykumar is passionate about implementing sustainable designs not only in developing countries, but also shifting policies and energy choices in an industrial setting. He initiated and led the India solar cook-stove project, bringing groups of UI students to rural areas in Rajasthan to develop and implement more efficient designs for cooking.

Anthony HSJerry Anthony received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kerala, India, in 1989 and went on to pursue a Master’s in Town Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India, and a Ph.D. in 2000 in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. Anthony’s major research and teaching interests center around housing and community development issues, particularly affordable housing policies; growth management, where he is concerned with the benefits and costs of growth management distribution across different income populations; and land, infrastructure and housing market issues in the developing regions of South Asia and Latin America. He has served as chair of Iowa City’s Housing and Community Development Commission and member of the Iowa City Sit Housing Taskforce, and Director of the Housing Policy Program at the PPC.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, South Asia, Spring 2017

Howard Kerr, Tuesday April 4, 2017

Picture1“Vietnam: 1968-1969, New Leadership, Same Stalemate”

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In mid-1968, President Nixon appointed Rear Admiral Elmo Zumwalt as the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, with a promotion to Vice Admiral. The Navy had been in Vietnam since 1954 and this was the first Commander with a three-star rank. Howard Kerr accompanied the Admiral to Vietnam and served as his personal aide. General Creighton Abrams was the Senior Military Commander and Ellsworth Bunker was the U.S. Ambassador. The United States had over 500,000 uniformed military in Vietnam and had been fighting there with significant forces since 1965. Despite the escalation, the Vietnam war was already being lost in the minds of Americans.

After earning his UI degree, Iowa native Howard Kerr served as a U.S. Naval Officer from 1960-1981. During his time as a naval officer, he earned his MA and MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. From 1973-1975, Kerr served as a Military Aide to Vice Presidents Agnew and Ford, and as a Naval Aide and Deputy Presidential Counselor to President Ford. From there he went on to serve as a Military Fellow on the Council of Foreign Relations in 1978-1979. Upon leaving the military, he developed a successful private-sector career, becoming President and CEO of Custom Technologies Corporation, Grabill Aerospace Industries, Ltd., and Pocklington Financial Corporation. In his former hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois, Kerr served on the City Council and as Mayor. Through Rotary International, he is instrumental in providing scholarships to local high school students, and he has returned to the UI campus regularly to speak with students in the Department of Political Science and is a member of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board.

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Filed under Past Events, South Asia, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Karim Abdel-Malek, Thursday March 30, 2017

Picture1“Jordan: People, Culture, Challenges”

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As a native from Jordan, Karim will share his experience growing up in the capital city of Amman. Jordan has historically been a strong ally of the US. Situated in the center of the Middle East’s many conflicts, bordering countries with significant turmoil, Jordan has accepted over one million refugees. Jordan’s economy and political topography has significantly changed. The presenter will first share the beauty of Jordan, its people and provide insights into how Jordan has survived in peace for so many years. He will provide his own personal view of the country’s significant challenges. Because of its strategic location, Jordan’s significance in today’s political scene is paramount to the future of the region.

Dr. Abdel-Malek is internationally recognized in the areas of robotics and human simulation. He is the Director of the Center for Computer Aided Design, a world renowned research center with 7 units and 150 researchers. Dr. Abdel-Malek has led projects with all services of the US Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines), and industry partners including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Rockwell Collins, Caterpillar and others. He received his Ms  and PhD  in robotics from the University of Pennsylvania and his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Jordan. He has published over 220 technical articles, a book and serves on the board of three companies.  Dr. Abdel-Malek is the Senior Associate to the Provost.

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Filed under Past Events, Spring 2017, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy

Masa Yamamoto, Thursday March 23, 2017

Masa Yamamoto 111_300“Bushido (Samurai Spirit) in Modern Japanese Culture, Sports, and Military”

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Masamichi “Masa” Yamamoto is a lawyer qualified in New York, an Adjunct Lecturer of Keio University Law School in Japan, and a former Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission of Japan. He is currently enrolled in the S.J.D. program of the University of Iowa College of Law, focusing on his dissertation about international securities enforcement. He has an extensive background in both law and business, working for a Japanese company, U.S. law firms, a French company, and the Japanese government. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and LL.B. and B.A. from Keio University.

Bushido is a code of moral principles that the knights (Samurai or Bushi) were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code, but an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career. Although there are no more Samurai in Japan today, Bushido is deep-rooted in modern Japanese people in both positive and negative ways. Masa will describe how Bushido was born and developed and explain how Bushido has influenced modern Japan by illustrating recent issues in culture, sports, and military.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Past Events, Spring 2017

Douglas Jones, Thursday March 9, 2017

Doug Jones“The Election 2016: Was It Hacked?”

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In the lead-up top the presidential election of 2016, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were quoted saying “the system is rigged.”  They meant very different things, but the as the election grew closer it became evident that hackers, probably Russian, were actively attempting to break into state voter registration databases as well as engaging in an orchestrated “fake news” campaign with carefully curated and well-timed leaks of hacked e-mails.  Conspiracy theories from the left and right pointed to massive voter fraud. What really happened?
Douglas Jones is an Associate Professor in the University of Iowa, Department of Computer Science. Douglas received his B.S. in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is a Member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Honor Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  Douglas received the University of Iowa, Office of Services for the Handicapped Certificate of Recognition. He has participated in several non-governmental organizations including Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Douglas has studied, commented and published extensively on voting systems in Iowa and many other states plus several foreign countries.

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Filed under Domestic Issues, Governance Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy

Blake Rupe, Thursday March 2, 2017

080415rupe“Health, Wealth, and Waste: Social Entrepreneurship in Global Health and Beyond”

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Each person in the U.S., on average, creates 4.6 pounds of waste each day. What happens to that waste? It affects everything we do in several ways, ranging from human health to environmental wellness. This lecture will define the social and cultural aspects of garbage as well as develop an understanding of the link between garbage, human health and environmental health. The life cycle of our modern waste products, their detrimental impacts on human populations and ecosystems, and implications for the future of global sustainability will be explored. The lecture will end with discussing the past, present and future solutions to the growing environmental threat.

Blake Rupe is an Iowa-based digital content manager, editor, instructor and passionate conservationist. As the digital content strategist for the University of Iowa, Blake publishes web content and tracks data points that drive collegiate efforts. Her strengths lie in identifying trends and providing insights for the management team. As an Adjunct Instructor, Blake uses her tech skills to research, develop and teach tech courses for the Global Health Department that focus on the intersection of entrepreneurship, sustainability and global health.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017

Tama Baldwin, Wednesday February 22, 2017

tama-baldwin-photo“Landscape in the Anthropocene: The High Arctic in the Time of Climate Change” 

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Tama will speak about the landscapes experienced though her work, which includes a book about wilderness civilizations, a collection of photographs of the far northern biome, as well as bodies of work on the absence of natural darkness and landscape as experienced at a high rate of speed. These photographed stories are derived from her experiences in the high arctic and the recent #NoDAPL movement. Her works have been exhibited in the Royal Photographic Society, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and the Minneapolis Photo Center.  In the fall of 2015 she was an artist-in-residence at the Carpenter Ranch on the Yampa River as part of a collaboration between the Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Arts Ranch. Last December she documented the Standing Rock protests.

Tama Baldwin is a photographer and writer with degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Salisbury State University, The State University of New York and Ohio University.  She has received an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artists Fellowship, a Fulbright, as well as residencies at Yaddo, McDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Environmental Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017

Corey Creekmur, Wednesday February 15, 2017

coreycreekmur“The Invisibility of Popular Indian Cinema in America”

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Why is what is often identified as the “world’s largest cinema” virtually unknown in the United States?  This presentation will consider some of the circumstances that have allowed popular Indian cinema (somewhat controversially labeled as “Bollywood”) to be neglected or invisible in America, despite its worldwide popularity.  The presentation will raise questions about the forms that globalization may take and not take in the international circulation of popular cinema.

Corey Creekmur is an Associate Professor of Film Studies (with appointments in English and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies) at the University of Iowa.  His research and teaching interests include American and Indian cinema, American popular culture (including crime fiction and comics), and representations of gender and sexuality in popular media.  He serves on a number of local boards including Filmscene and he edits a book series on comics for Rutgers University Press.

More information on the films discussed in Corey’s presentation can be found here!

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Past Events, South Asia, Spring 2017

Maria Filippone, Thursday February 9, 2017

picture1“Gaza: To Exist is to Resist”

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Gaza, often referred to as the Gaza Strip, is a narrow piece of land approximately 24 miles long and four to seven miles wide. This home to 1.85 million persons is bound by a border closure by Egypt to the south, Israel to the west, and an Israeli air and sea blockade. Its residents are not free to leave this very hot, arid land which lacks clean water. Founded in 1949 as a self-governing Palestinian Territory, Gaza is part of the wide Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A report release last year by the United Nations stated that if conditions remain unchanged, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020.

Maria Filippone, D.O., is a family physician practicing in Des Moines. She received her degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-sciences. Maria has participated in medical delegations visiting Gaza which were sponsored in part by Physicians for Social Responsibility. She is currently pursuing a life-long dream of learning Arabic at Drake University. Maria is co-founder of the Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre and co-owner of Noce, Des Moines’ premiere jazz club. Maria has also taught yoga for more than two decades.

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Filed under Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Don Letendre, Wednesday February 1, 2017

picture1“The Global Impact of Drugs”

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From small communities to corporate enterprises, drugs and their impact are reshaping the healthcare and economic landscape, making the educational journey of today’s pharmacists highly demanding and competitive. Peoples’ perceptions about drugs and their impact on society are limited to what they see and read. During this lecture Dr. Letendre will shed light on some of the new and fascinating ways in which drugs are impacting society, positively and negatively, including astonishing new medications that are helping to treat and cure maladies that were once thought untreatable and incurable.

Donald E. Letendre is Dean and Professor, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Following completion of his Doctorate in Pharmacy and clinical residency at the University of Kentucky, he served as Assistant Director and Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center; spent nearly two decades on the staff of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) serving, for much of that time, as Director of Accreditation Services; and, was Dean and Professor at the University of Rhode Island and Executive Secretary of the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory Commission immediately prior to his responsibilities at Iowa. As a clinical practitioner, educator, association staff member, and now academic administrator, Dean Letendre has been privileged to serve countless students and postgraduate residents throughout his career, and has actively participated in the development and implementation of standards that have helped shape pharmacy practice and residency and technician training programs worldwide.

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Filed under Economics, Health & Medicine, Past Events, Spring 2017, U.S. Foreign Policy

David Wu, Wednesday January 25th, 2017

dave-wu-photo“The Evolving Global Commercial Aircraft Industry; Emerging Competitors from China and Russia”

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This presentation will provide an overview of the current global commercial aircraft industry and potential future evolution. The current Mainline aircraft market is dominated by Boeing and Airbus, while Bombardier and Embraer dominate in the Regional category. The lecture will cover new entrants such as Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft, China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation, and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation. A future scenario on the potential challenge posed by a combined effort from China and Russia will also be discussed.

David Wu is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Iowa with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. With an extensive background in aerospace material design, he has held management positions at engineering firms for the last three decades. He received his MBA from Arizona State University in 1997 and has expertise in strategic development, product marketing, and international
business.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Economics, Past Events, Russia and Central Asia, Spring 2017

Elizabeth Onasch, Wednesday January, 18th, 2017

picture1“Excluded by Definition: Representations of Immigrants in the French Civic Integration”

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France established the “Reception and Integration Contract” for non-European migrants in the context of a perceived crisis of integration and a rise in right-wing populism. While the official purpose of this civic integration program is to facilitate migrants’ entry into society by teaching them about French history, laws, and values, the program may actually reinforce the symbolic boundaries, or conceptual distinctions that separate migrants from the national community. This lecture presents data from an ethnography of the program and interviews with program staff and migrant participants to describe how the program discourse draws different combinations of boundaries based on language, religion and culture between the French nation and migrants from three regions: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia.

Elizabeth Onasch is a Visiting Assistant Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh, with a Ph.D. in Sociology. Her teaching and research interests are race and ethnicity, immigration, political sociology, critical race theory, ethnography and comparative historical methods.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2017, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Jim Leach, Thursday December 15, 2016

picture1“Post-Election Perspectives for International Relations”

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James A. Leach joined the Iowa College of Law after serving most recently as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Leach is best known for his 30 years of service as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Following his time in Congress, he was a Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and Interim Director of the Institute of Politics and Lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Under his leadership at the NEH, they created a Bridging Cultures program designed to promote understanding and mutual respect for diverse groups within the United States and abroad. As part of this effort, NEH-supported programs designed to expand citizen understanding of American history and values, the civil rights movement, and foreign cultures. In addition, the agency helped launch a National Digital Public Library to establish a unified gateway to digital collections of books, artworks, and artifacts from libraries, museums, and other cultural sites across the country. Leach presided over the culmination of decades-long projects such as the publication of the Autobiography of Mark Twain and the Dictionary of American Regional English.

He holds thirteen honorary degrees, has received decorations from two foreign governments, and is the recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Norman Borlaug Public Service Award, and the Woodrow Wilson Medal from Princeton. He has served on the board of several public companies and a series of non-profit organizations, including the Century Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Kettering Foundation, Pro Publica and Common Cause, which he chaired.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Zubair Shafiq, Thursday December 8, 2016

picture1“Tracking and Surveillance in the Online Advertising Ecosystem”

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A large fraction of services on the Internet are supported using online ads. Websites such as Google and Facebook rely on online advertising to support free services such as search, email, social networking, video, etc. In this talk, Zubair will highlight a new tussle in the online advertising ecosystem. Online publishers track user activities, e.g., using cookies, to target customized ads. The online advertising ecosystem has come under fire recently. For example, latest research has shown that most ads degrade user experience and some even spread malware. Furthermore, Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed large-scale surveillance programs by government spy agencies that use cookies to profile individuals. To counter the negative impact of online advertising, ad blocking tools have become increasingly popular over the last few years. The rise of ad blocking tools has started an arms race between end-users and publishers.

M. Zubair Shafiq is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Iowa. He is also a part of the Iowa Informatics Initiative. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree from National University of Sciences and Technology Pakistan in 2008.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Past Events, Technology

Moe Shakally, Thursday December 1, 2016

Monzer Moe Shakally“Bullets and Bombs: The Background Music for an Average Day in Damascus, Syria”

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As the Syrian civil war continues, the average Syrian person is dehumanized to a number, a casualty, or a cost on a neighboring state. While the media has mainly been focused on the outflow of refugees, little is known about what daily lives look like in the capital Damascus; a place where contradictions occur at every corner.

Monzer “Moe” Shakally. UI junior and Asylum seeker from Damascus, Syria. Evolutionary Biology major and a minor in International Relations, pursuing a career in dentistry. Activist in the Syrian conflict in Damascus and has been in the United States for 4 years.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Janice Weiner, Wednesday November 16, 2016

Picture1“The Sad State of Turkish Democracy: Why We Should Care”

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Just a few short years ago, Turkey was viewed as an anchor of stability in the Middle East, a situation that is now changing rapidly. Following coups in 1960, 1971, and 1980, a new constitution designed to bring democracy and stability was enacted in 1982. Turkey also has the misfortune to share a border with Syria and Iraq. Democracy has now eroded, especially following an attempted military coup against President Recep Erdogan in last July in which 240 persons died. Following the failed coup, more than 100,000 citizens, military personnel, and journalists have been arrested jailed or suspended, and more than 170 media outlets have been shuttered.

Janice G. Weiner was a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 26 years. She then worked for two years as professional issues and policy adviser for the American Foreign Service Association. From 1993-1996, she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as embassy human rights officer, where she won AFSA’s Rivkin Award for her work. She returned to Ankara from 2005-2008, where she worked as the U.S. Embassy’s Political Counselor. She returned to Washington to work as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs until her retirement in September 2013. She speaks German, French, Turkish, Polish, and conversational Spanish and Dutch. Ms. Weiner was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, where she recently returned. She graduated from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Comparative Literature, and earned a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East

Janet Lyness, Liz Dupuich, David Gonzales, and Andy Rich, Thursday November 10, 2016

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“Murder to Justice—Iowa to China: A Cross-National Collaboration”

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“Tong Shao, a Chinese student, attending Iowa State University, was murdered in September 2014.  Her body was found on September 26, 2014 in Iowa City where her boyfriend, Xiangnan Li, lived.  The police investigation lead to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office obtaining an arrest warrant for Xiangnan Li, for the murder of Tong Shao.  Mr. Li, a Chinese student at the University of Iowa, fled back to China within 2 days of when Tong Shao was last seen alive.  Because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with China, there were fears that Mr. Li would not be brought to justice.  Not to be deterred, Iowa authorities requested the Chinese prosecute Mr. Li in China for Tong Shao’s death.  Iowa City Police Det. David Gonzalez, Det. Andy Rich, Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness, and  Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich will discuss the investigation of Ms. Shao’s death, how they coordinated with Chinese authorities to have Mr. Li found and prosecuted in China, and the actual trial in China.

Janet Lyness is serving her third term as Johnson County Attorney, having been first elected in 2006.  Prior to that she was an Assistant Johnson County Attorney, working in both the criminal and civil divisions.  She clerked from the Seventh Judicial District Court of Iowa following law school.  Janet received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.

Liz Dupuich has been with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office since November of 2013. She currently supervises the marijuana diversion program, is the lead prosecutor assigned to the Johnson County Drug Treatment Court, and prosecutes a majority of the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Cases in Johnson County. Prior to coming to Johnson County, Liz worked as a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.

Det. Rich has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 13 years and has been assigned to the investigations division for 5 years of his 13 years as a police officer. Det. Rich is currently assigned to Investigation Division working general crimes. Det. Rich has worked in the following capacities: patrol division, sex crimes, financial crimes, crimes against children, violent crimes, death investigations and robberies. Det. Rich is also a board member with the Iowa Sex Crimes Investigators Association.

Det. Gonzalez has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 21 years and has been assigned to investigations division for 16 of his 20 years as a police officer. Det. Gonzalez is currently assigned to the investigations division working general crimes. Det. Gonzalez is currently a board member with the IDIA (Iowa Death Investigators Association).

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Michael Zmolek, Thursday November 3, 2016

mikezmolekatstus“Seven Myths About Immigration”

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Immigration flows and their regional impacts are increasingly taking center stage in global politics. With mainstream journalism focusing more on the reaction to immigration than on its causes, the result is that immigrants are widely vilified as (potential) criminals or even ‘rapists’, or more specifically as people who want to take your jobs. This talk will challenge seven myths fueling the rising tide of hysteria by exploring often-ignored truths about immigration, starting with the re-structuring of the global labor market during the past several decades of neoliberal globalization. Mass movement of peoples across borders, we will argue, is here to stay, and the numbers are only bound to increase even more dramatically. Also, given the built-in contradictions of neoliberal economic policies in relation to immigration, the pursuit of policies aimed at achieving ‘stabilization’ are also unlikely to succeed in the short term.

Michael Žmolek teaches World History, International Studies and Development Studies at the University of Iowa. He received a BA in Linguistics and a Certificate of African studies at Iowa before going on to complete his Ph.D in Political Science at York University in Toronto, where he served as an executive of the Graduate Students’ Association for four years. As a legislative assistant in Congress, his work focused on addressing the plight of Gulf Coast survivors of Hurricane Katrina and on drafting articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for representatives Cynthia McKinney (GA) and Dennis Kucinich (OH). As an activist he has worked on the campaign to abolish apartheid in South Africa; opposing tuition hikes for students in Canada; and opposing the bombing, sanctions and military occupation of Iraq.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Ambassador John Lange, Tuesday October 25, 2016

picture1“Global Health and Sustainable Development”

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From 1991 to 1995 at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Lange managed humanitarian and refugee assistance channeled through international organizations.  He also had tours of duty in the State Department Bureaus of African Affairs, Western Hemisphere Affairs and Management in Washington and at U.S. Embassies in Togo, France and Mexico. The United Nations Foundation was launched in 1998 with a $1 billion gift from Ted Turner to support the United Nations causes. The United Nations Foundation links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations.    Ambassador Lange’s visit to Iowa is sponsored by the Iowa United Nations Association, the state affiliate of the United Nations Association of the USA, a program of the United Nations Foundation.

Ambassador John E. Lange (Ret.) serves as the primary focal point for the UN Foundation’s global health diplomacy activities. Prior to joining the Foundation in July 2013, Lange spent four years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working with African governments to improve public health.  He has served as co-chair of the Global Polio    Eradication Initiative’s Polio Partners Group since its launch in April 2012. Ambassador Lange had a 28-year career in the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, including service as Special Representative on Avian and        Pandemic Influenza; Deputy Inspector General; Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the inception of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and Associate Dean at the Foreign Service Institute. He was Ambassador to Botswana from 1999 to 2002 and simultaneously served as Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2016, Health & Medicine, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

zp dala, Thursday October 20, 2016

picture1“Sister Wives: Female Comrades in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Struggles”

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South Africa’s long struggle to transcend Apartheid has been widely documented, both pre- and post-democracy (1994), with an enduring focus on figures such as the late Dr. Nelson Mandela and the late Dr. Walter Sisulu. Less well-known are the stories of the women comrades of the African National Congress, activists or loyal wives, or both, whose lives and losses have drawn too little notice. Such is the case with the personal story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, “Mother of the Nation,” whose multiple arrests, extended time in solitary confinement, and torture at the hands of the governing National Party took an enormous toll. And there are many Winnies who built the history of modern South Africa. Author zp dala will explore their stories.

zp dala is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first nove, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African Novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Love, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times.

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Filed under Africa, Arts & Culture, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Women's Issues

Valon Murtezaj, Friday October 14, 2016

picture1“U.S.-Kosovo Relations”

Valon Murtezaj was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo in March 2016. Dr. Murtezaj was appointed to this position after a long and successful, professional and academic, experience. Before being appointed to this position, Murtezaj was Principal Advisor for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Isa Mustafa  Professor Murtezaj, among others, is a permanent professor in the prestigious IESEG School of Management in Paris, France, being the first Kosovo Albanian lecturing on diplomacy and international negotiation in a world diplomacy centre such as Paris.  His education and work and life experience is inter-disciplinary, multicultural and global.

The United States has been joined by over 100 countries in its recognition of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Kosovo and international partners to strengthen Kosovo’s institutions, rule of law, and economy and build a democratic, law-abiding, multi-ethnic, tolerant, and prosperous country. U.S. policy priorities are: ensuring improved rule of law and governance that meets citizens’ needs; ensuring Kosovo has sustainable, inclusive economic growth that supports its stability and integration with Europe; ensuring Kosovo contributes positively to regional stability, including by legally transforming its security sector, countering violent extremism, promoting minority rights, and integrating into Euro-Atlantic structure.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

H. Glenn Penny, Wednesday October 5, 2016

picture1“German Iowa & the Global Midwest: How to Do Global History Locally”

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German immigrants consistently accounted for the largest number of foreign-born people in Iowa from the 1850s through the 1970s. While today we focus on recent immigrants from Latin America and Southeast Asia, our state remains deeply impacted by an earlier group of newcomers. This lecture presents the efforts of H. Glenn Penny in teaching his students about Germany, and in turn the Professor learned about Iowa and it’s history. Through the Iowa/Germany case study we can see that it is not only possible to do globally history locally, it is also imperative if we want to better understand the place in which we live.

H. Glenn Penny is a Professor of Modern European History at the University of Iowa. Much of his work is focused on relations between Germans and non-Europeans over the last two centuries. He has written many books on the topic. Currently, he is engaged in an in-depth study of German interactions with Guatemala and completing a book manuscript titled: Networked Spaces: German Schools in Latin America since the 1880’s.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Janine di Giovanni, Thursday September 29, 2016

picture1“The Human Face of Middle East Refugee Crisis”

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Janine di Giovanni, Middle East Editor of Newsweek, contributing editor of Vanity Fair and contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian, is one of Europe’s most respected and experienced reporters, with vast experience covering war and conflict. Her reporting has been called “established, accomplished brilliance” and she has been cited as “the finest foreign correspondent of our generation”.

She recently became an Ochberg Fellow at Columbia University in recognition of her work on violence and war and the trauma it brings to society, and has been named as one of the 100 most influential people reducing armed conflict by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). She is also an Associate Fellow at the Geneva Center for Policy Studies. Her themes are conflict, stability, transitional justice and security.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Anna Barker & John Kenyon, Wednesday September 21, 2016

“Celebrating the City of Literature”

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Iowa City is the only “City of Literature” in the United States, and the Iowa City Book Festival will celebrate books and writing by leveraging the unique mix of local resources that helped earn that designation. The oldest creative writing program in the country, and is regarded as the best. With more than forty Pulitzer Prize winners from Iowa City, and featured program partners like the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop and International Writing Program, this years’ book festival celebrates the enigmatic academic culture found in Iowa City.

anna-barker-photoAnna Barker is an Assistant Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature. In addition to being involved with the book festival each year, Anna has taught courses in the English Department, in Cinema and Comparative Literature, in Asian and Slavic Languages, and in the Honors Program. This fall’s book festival public reading will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Crime and Punishment.

john-kenyon-photoJohn Kenyon is the Executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization. John spent 20 years in journalism in the Corridor, most recently as editor of the Corridor Business Journal. He is a Des Moines native, graduate of the University of Iowa and currently lives in Iowa City.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2016, Past Events

Marina Zaloznaya & Bill Reisinger, Wednesday September 14, 2016

“Everyday Corruption in Russia & Ukraine; Who, Why and With What Consequences?”

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Zaloznaya and Reisinger have conducted first-of-their-kind surveys that reveal how Russian and Ukrainian citizens interact with a variety of officials and how often corruption plays a part. They will share their findings about which patterns emerge and why they matter politically.

zaloznaya_marina_a4x6-photoMarina Zaloznaya is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. Her Research interests include organizational and economic crime, non-democratic governance, and comparative-historical research methods. Zaloznaya’s book, The Politics of Bureaucratic Corruption in Eastern Europe explores the impact that hybrid political regimes of Ukraine and Belarus have on informal economies of local University.

bill-reisinger_january-2016-photo

William Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. His research concerns authoritarianism and democracy in the former communist states, especially Russia. His most recent book is The Regional Roots of Russia’s Political Regime, co-authored with Bryon J. Moraski, which will appear from University of Michigan Press later this year. This is his eighth presentation to the ICFRC since 1988.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Past Events

Raj Rajagopal, Wednesday September 7, 2016

Picture1“Iowa’s Award-Winning India Winterim Program”

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The Iowa India Winterim program is an intensive, three-week  field-based study-abroad program that provides students with the opportunity to learn from and directly interact with social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions within India’s diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and geographical mosaic. Each course in the program is based in one or several locations throughout India. This program is designed for UI undergraduate students, graduate students, and community members with related interests and experience. The India Winterim program sends about 135 students to India annually, and has sent approximately 900 students and 30 faculty members to India in the ten years since its creation. In 2016, the India Winterim program received the Heiskell Award for its efforts.

Dr. Raj Rajagopal is a Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences and Sustainability at the University of Iowa. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of environmental modeling, water quality monitoring, management, and public policy.  He has been invited to serve as a nominator for the annual Japan Prize (Japanese equivalent of the Nobel), since its inception in 1985. He is the founding editor of the journal “Environmental Practice” (formerly known as the “The Environmental Professional”) published by the Oxford University Press. His current interests include the provision of safe drinking water, reduction of adult illiteracy, and improvement of opportunities through micro-credit for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Past Events, University of Iowa

Christopher D. Roy, Thursday September 1, 2016

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“Continuity and Change in the Political and Cultural Life of a Small West African Country”

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The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council presents an expert in the field of African art, Professor Christopher Roy. In his myriad of adventures throughout the past 45 years in Burkina Faso, he has observed a multitude of changes in the cultural life of the Burkina. Professor Roy will lead a discussion on how the Burkina culture reacted to bloodshed, change of governance and development.

Christopher Roy has been teaching about art and life in Africa at the University of Iowa for 38 years. He also teaches about the art of ancient Mexico, Native American art and the art of the Pacific Islands. For many years he served as Curator of the African collection at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and was deeply involved with Maxwell Stanley and Elizabeth M. Stanley in the creation of the Stanley collection. He is currently teaching an online course on African Art that has an enrollment of 300 undergraduates.

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Filed under Africa, Arts & Culture, Fall 2016, Past Events, War & Conflict

Wenfang Tang, Tuesday August 23, 2016

Picture1“Chinese Political Culture and Authoritarian Regime Resiliency”

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Traditionalism. Communism. Liberalism.

All these values and more are evident in current Chinese political culture, but with the coming of China’s political modernization or lack thereof the cohesion of these ideologies will forever change the future of China and her global influence. ICFRC presents a master of the Chinese political landscape, UI Professor Wenfang Tang, who will address the current trends, existing government and future predictions.

Wenfang Tang is Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in academic journals icluding American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, among others.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

2016 Fulbright Student Awardees: Sarah Lucas, Lauren Darby, Amanda Kloser, Destinee Gwee, Wednesday July 20, 2016

“Fulbright Scholars Discuss Their Assignments”

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Sarah-LucasSarah Lucas is a Ph.D. candidate travelling to study and research in Hungary on Bartók’s First Piano Concerto using manuscripts, letters, scores and newspapers found only in the Bartók Archive an
d Széchényi Library. She will use her research to better understand patterns of cultural exchange between Hungary and the U.S. in the 1920s.

Lauren DarbyLauren Darby is pursing an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany where she will have the opportunity to work with a diversity program that places grantees in schools with significant numbers of students with minority backgrounds. Darby has studied German history and language and plans to become a social studies teacher.

Amanda-Kloser3Amanda Kloser is pursuing an English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey to further explore the similar literary styles she has found studying Turkish and Native American multicultural literature. As a future high school English and language teacher, she hopes to nurture her Turkish students English usage with skills she developed while pursing her Master’s degree.

DestineeDestinee Gwee is travelling to Taiwan where she will use her background in health care and athletics to promote healthy living to children in the community. As a future physician, she hopes to use her English Teaching Assistantship to learn how to effectively communicate with patients who may not speak English as a first language.

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Filed under Education, Past Events, Summer 2016, University of Iowa

Mandela Washington Fellows: Tochukwu Ikpegbu, Ameth Diallo, and Stephennette Taylor, Tuesday July 12, 2016

mandela washington fellowship“China’s Emerging Influence in Africa”

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The U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, started in 2014
as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative created by President Obama, empowers young people from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. This year the Fellowship is providing 1,000 young ambassadors with the opportunity to hone their skills at U.S. higher education institutions. The Iowa delegation of Fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa taking entrepreneurial classes and touring the state.

speaker 1Tochukwu Ikpegbu is a mechanical/production engineer from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with over seven years experience in pork production. He has won two national awards and hopes to apply his experience into growing local businesses to reduce youth unemployment.

speaker 2Ameth Diallo is a PhD student in African and Comparative Literature at Université Gaston Berger. In 2014 he ventured into an agricultural-based project in the Senegalese River Valley which earned him the Jeunes Agriculteurs prize and a grant from the US Agency for International Development. Diallo is currently working on a project he hopes to implement in his home village of Koalack.

speaker 3Stephennette Taylor holds a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and a postgraduate diploma in Procurement Management. Taylor has several years experience as a manager at New World Finance and envisions establishing a microfinance bank to support agricultural products and rural emerging markets.

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Filed under Africa, China & East Asia, Economics, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Summer 2016

Come to ICFRC with us!

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Our friends at the University of Iowa Honors Center put together a video showing what it’s like to attend an ICFRC program!

 

 

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Remember, Honors Students eat free!

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Keep checking back for more information on our first summer program on July 12th!

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See you soon!

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Filed under Information Posts, University of Iowa

Adam Bobrow, Wednesday May 11, 2016

Adam Bobrow headshot

“U.S.—China Cyber Agreement: Is It Enough of a Good Thing?”

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Cybertheft is a popular issue. I will offer my reflections on the continued need for concrete action to match the rhetoric of the norm against cybertheft. Informed observers have not yet detected a decline in the intrusions from China focused on U.S. business. Now is the time for the Administration to return to the sanctions process that was reported to be close to completion before the Xi visit several months ago.

Adam Bobrow is the President, CEO and Founder of Resilience Strategies, a strategic consultancy based in Maryland. Foresight provides advice to clients on the impact of government policy decisions and strategic decisions, particularly cyber-enabled enhancements to their products and services. Adam was recognized for his cybersecurity expertise as a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Adam served the Obama Administration in a variety of positions over five years. Most recently, he was the international lead for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Adam is an attorney, having received his JD from Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the DC Bar. Adam’s undergraduate degree is in Chinese language from Georgetown University.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Past Events, Spring 2016, Technology, U.S. Foreign Policy