WorldAffairs

The International Museum of Women in partnership with the World Affairs Council presents a conversation with author and journalist Aminatta Forna. From human rights in Africa, to the importance of education for girls and boys, Forna will discuss her newest novel, The Memory of Love. Set in post-colonial Sierra Leone a few years after the civil war, The Memory of Love offers a view of modern Africa through the eyes of both insiders and outsiders who struggle to cope with the aftermath of a war waged against and among civilians. Forna’s novel depicts a deeply hopeful and universal story about love and human resilience. Raised in Sierra Leone as the daughter of a former Sierra Leonean cabinet minister and dissident, Forna’s writing has been dominated by the tortuous events of her country’s history. She is the author of a previous novel, Ancestor Stones, and a memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water. In 2003, Forna helped build a primary school in her family's village of Rogbonko, where she is also working to establish a cashew plantation named Kholifa Estates after the fictional plantation in Ancestor Stones.

Direct download: 1_26_11_Aminatta_Forna.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), set up as a temporary organization to help resolve displacement issues after World War II, has turned 60 years old. As global displacement continues, UNHCR Regional Representative Vincent Cochetel will examine the role his organization plays, along with the international community, in protecting and assisting over 43 million forcibly displaced refugees and others in similar situations worldwide. The event coincides with the opening of photographer Zalmaï Ahad's exhibit on urban refugees. What with nearly half of the world’s refugees now living in urban areas, the exhibit is a reflection of the changing nature and complexity of displacement.

Direct download: 1_23_11_UNHCR.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Has the world entered a new dark age? What are our chances for recovery? Parag Khanna joins us to discuss his unique view of the current state of global affairs and how a new, non-traditional coalition of business executives, philanthropists, technocrats and others can bring about a modern Renaissance. Mr. Khanna will discuss how this “mega-diplomacy” has the power to improve education, protect the environment, rebuild failed states, battle terrorism, and make the global economy more just.

Direct download: 1_19_11_Parag_Khanna.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

On January 12, 2010 one of the worst natural disasters in recent history struck the island nation of Haiti. With an estimated 220,000 people killed and many more left stranded and homeless, the 7.0 earthquake brought this long-troubled country to center stage in the global arena. As nations and NGOs scrambled to deliver aid and supplies in the weeks following the disaster, they also made plans to rebuild Haiti and create a government of peace and stability. Looking back on what unfolded in 2010, three panelists will discuss how the international community and Haitian people responded to the devastating natural disaster. They will highlight how Haiti’s health infrastructure reacted to the initial dire conditions and recent Cholera outbreaks, what role NGOs and the international community can play in fostering long-term peace and recovery and how Haitian culture and political history makes this effort challengingly unique. Thomas Tighe, president of Direct Relief International, Claudine Michel, Professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara and Rick Loomis, a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist for the LA Times, will offer their perspectives into how Haiti has fared in the 12 months since the earthquake.

Direct download: 1_18_11_Haiti_Panel.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

America’s former drug czar for five years, General Barry R. McCaffrey joins the Council to discuss the challenging international environment facing the United States and our allies – and the diplomatic, economic and military tools required to secure our future. General McCaffrey’s extensive experience integrates national security, business strategies, risk assessment and narco-terrorism with the troubled regions of the Middle East, Russia, Asia and Latin America. He continues to travel extensively to Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan both testifying to Congress and briefing the White House National Security Council staff, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and senior leaders in the Department of Health and Human Services. At his retirement from active duty, McCaffrey was the most highly decorated four-star general in the U.S. Army, having served four combat tours and having received three Purple Heart medals for wounds suffered in battle. He current serves as a security analyst for NBC News, an adjunct professor of international affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and president of his own consulting firm.

Direct download: 1_13_11_Barry_McCaffrey.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Facing a new round of diplomatic negotiations in January and recent claims by Tehran that it can now mine its own uranium, the United States is weighing its options towards the Iranian government. Joe Cirincione, the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, will explore the status and prospects of Iran’s nuclear program as well as the debate in Washington about how to deal with it. Will political engagement and economic sanctions prove fruitful, or should the US consider the possibility of military intervention? While no option is without risk, American leaders face increasing pressure to make a decision within the next two years.

Direct download: Joe_Cirincione_1_12_11.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

James D. Wolfensohn joins us to discuss his remarkable life story, reflect on his time at the World Bank and share his thoughts of the future of global poverty. During his ten years as President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn traveled the globe, advancing the causes of education, basic health care, environment and stability. Born in Australia, Mr. Wolfensohn served as an officer in the Australian Air Force and was a member of the 1956 Australian Olympic Fencing Team before becoming a prominent investment banker. He served as President of the World Bank from 1995-2005, overseeing the Bank’s efforts to eradicate poverty with passion and personality. Mr. Wolfensohn is currently the head of Wolfensohn & Company, LLC, a private investment firm that provides strategic advice to governments and corporations doing business in emerging market economies. He also founded The Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution, which examines and evaluates development initiatives. He is the author of new autobiography titled A Global Life: My Journey among Rich and Poor, from Sydney to Wall Street to the World Bank.

Direct download: 1_11_11_Jim_Wolfensohn.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

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