WorldAffairs

There was a time when civility and compromise lay at the heart of politics in Washington; when political and ideological rivals could serve together to forge compromises for the benefit of the country. Today it's hard to believe that this was ever the case, and it begs the question: will civility and compromise ever return to American politics? Having served as the Chief of Staff for Tip O'Neill, Chris Matthews offers a unique perspective on a time when the Speaker of the House and the President, Ronald Reagan, were able to "temper their philosophical divide with a public, and sometimes personal, cordiality." Chris Matthews sits down with the World Affairs Council to discuss a political heroism that once was and the lessons it offers for today's political climate.

Speaker Chris Matthews is Host of Hardball on MSNBC.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/will-politics-in-washington.html

Direct download: 10_8_13_Chris_Matthews-new.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Is it possible to manipulate our environment or are we victims of forces beyond our control? Lawrence Freedman, a professor of war studies at King's College London and former foreign policy advisor to Tony Blair, will discuss how strategy has come to pervade every aspect of our lives. He provides examples ranging from Achilles and Odysseus to the military innovations of Carl von Clausewitz to today’s corporate strategy, in order to create a picture of strategy which is fluid and requires continual reappraisal.

This event is presented in partnership with the King's College Alumni Association and the Marines' Memorial Association.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/strategy.html

Direct download: 10_3_13_Freedman_Strategy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Sixty-eight years after the Holocaust, governments continue to struggle with preventing genocide and mass atrocities. In 2005, United Nations member states agreed that nations share a responsibility to protect their citizens from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Join Mike Abramowitz, Director of the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Richard S. Williamson, former presidential special envoy to Sudan, for a discussion about how the responsibility to protect has been applied in recent crises such as Libya and Syria.

This event is co-presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with promotional partner Lehrhaus Judaica.

Mike Abramowitz is the Director for the Center for the Prevention of Genocide of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Richard S. Williamson is the Former Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/preventing-genocide.html

Direct download: 9_30_13_Genocide_Prevention.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Once a quiet region mostly governed by authoritarian leaders, the Arab world since 2010 has seen profound changes, and has become a top talking point for pundits, political leaders and at dinner tables the world over. The changes brought about by the Arab Spring have forced many to reevaluate their understanding of the region and its people. For some the uprisings seemed sudden, but to Professor Shibley Telhami the Arab peoples' present-day grievances, priorities and desires have been fomenting for decades.  

Based on 20 years of public polling data from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the UAE, Professor Telhami argues the uprisings were not just in reaction to corrupt leaders and decades of perceived humiliations at the hands of the West, but fueled by a desire for respect by the outside world and for political systems similar to the West. Professor Telhami will discuss differences in Arab polling, notions of Arab identity, how no government in the Arab world is immune from revolt and how Arab public opinion will reshape the Arab world.

Speaker Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/the-world-an-arab.html

Direct download: 9_25_13_Arab_Perspective.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

With the election of a new, moderate president, questions remain over the future of Iran's foreign policy and the country's nuclear intentions. While President Rohani campaigned on a reformist platform, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Kahmenei has directed national security and foreign policy decisions in the past and there is no indication this might change. Whoever holds the reigns, the relationship between Iran and the US is complicated, with questions centering on how the US should respond to Iran's nuclear program. Are the current sanctions effective? Should the US consider a military option?

Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst, will explore Iran's nuclear capabilities, the complex US-Iranian relationship and potential options for US policymakers. This event is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.

Speaker Kenneth Pollack is a Senior Fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/responding-to-a-new-iranian.html

Direct download: 9_23_13_Iranian_Leader.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:31pm PST

In recent years we have seen diseases spread around the globe at an alarming rate, from West Nile virus to SARS to swine flu. Globalization has magnified the potential reach of these diseases, increasing the speed with which they spread and the size of the population that can be affected. Rapid transmission over a large area, rather than the severity of the disease itself, is what transforms an illness into a pandemic.

Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty emphasizes that pandemics can be fought effectively, both through simple health practices and new research. Drawing on his extensive experience in the fields of pathology and immunology, Dr. Doherty will discuss pandemics, how they spread and what we can do to prevent them.

Speaker Peter Doherty is the Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/disease-in-a-borderless-world.html

Direct download: 9_17_13_Borderless_Disease.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The world is awash in change. What can be done to re-create the relative stability which emerged from the creative efforts of statesmen after the end of World War II?

"Issues on My Mind" contains some of George Shultz's most compelling analyses on relevent topics. In this how-to guide, Shultz charts a path to a better future for the United States and the rest of the world, including how to govern more effectively, get our economy back on track, take advantage of new opportunities in the field of energy, combat the use of addictive drugs, apply a strategic overview to diplomacy and identify necessary steps to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Moderator Jane Wales, President and CEO, World Affairs Council, speaks with George Shultz, Former Secretary of State.

For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/issues-on-my-mind.html

Direct download: 9_12_13-George_Shultz.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

The 'Arab Spring' has brought both the promise of reforms around women's rights and the potential for setbacks in the movement. Human Rights Watch has documented the violations associated with the old regimes and the uprisings and has sought to make recommendations to new governments that will strengthen and protect women's rights. As political reforms take place in these transitional countries, will the status of women progress as well? And how can organizations like Human Rights Watch positively influence this progress in the region?

Liesl Gerntholtz, the executive director of the women's rights division at Human Rights Watch, and Hillary Margolis, the women's rights division's researcher on women's rights in Syria, will explore the impact of political transitions on the position of women, drawing on examples from Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Syria.

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/womens-rights-in-transition.html

Direct download: 9_11_13_Women_in_Transition.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The World Affairs Council is honored to host the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America, his excellency Ahn Ho-young. Ambassador Ahn is a graduate of the Department of International Relations at Seoul National University and Georgetown University. Ambassador Ahn joined the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978. During his career he has lead Korean Delegations to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization. He has held numerous ministry-level positions within Korea, including the Director-General of the Multilateral Trade Bureau and Deputy Minister for Trade. Prior to his appointment in the US, Ahn was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Korean Mission to the European Union.

Direct download: 8_21_13_Ahn_Ho-young.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:00pm PST

In the past few decades, China has experienced remarkable growth. It is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the G-20. It has the world's largest standing army, the world's second largest economy and has reduced national poverty by more than half. How did China emerge from the decline and unrest of the 19th century to become the global power that we see today?

According to John Delury and Orville Schell, the country's past provides an understanding of the forces that molded modern China. Many influential figures in China's history were driven by their pursuit of wealth and power, and a desire for the restoration of national greatness, ambitions that have come to define the modern Chinese character. Delury and Schell will offer insights into how China's past shaped its present, and what we might expect in the future.
Speakers: Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/orville-schell.html

John Delury, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, Yonsei University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/john-delury.htm

Moderator: Thomas Gold, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/thomas-gold.html

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/modern-china.html

Direct download: 7_31_13_Schell_Delury.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

Following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 and the subsequent worldwide financial crisis, governments began looking for ways to tighten their purse strings. Austerity (the sequester in the US) is one of the main policy options to deal with heavy public debt. Sometimes a painful process and not without controversy, austerity generates substantial cuts to many public services. According to Dr. Basu, when approached incorrectly austerity can also have deadly consequences. Drawing on case studies starting during the Great Depression up to the present day Basu has found that certain austerity measures have led to large public health problems such as HIV and malaria outbreaks, medicine shortages, increased heart attacks and even a recent outbreak of West Nile virus in California. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, according to Basu. Several countries such as Iceland and Japan have actually improved their public health situations in tough economic times. Which direction will the sequester take the US and California? Join the conversation with Dr. Sanjay Basu to find out.

Speaker: Sanjay Basu, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/sanjay-basu.html

Direct download: 7_24_13_Sanjay_Basu.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Turkey has been enmeshed in a wave of nationwide anti-government protests in recent months. The unrest began in late May when police used harsh tactics against campaigners opposed to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park. The police reaction ignited broader demonstrations against Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. The unprecedented expansion of the demonstrations and riots suggests that the outburst of anger and opposition was fueled by more than a simple determination to save a green space in central Istanbul. For many Turks, the unrest appears to have been a reaction to the perceived autocratic leanings of the prime minister and resistance to the direction of Turkish democracy, freedom of expression and the role of religion in society.

The crisis comes at a delicate time for Prime Minster Erdogan, who is in the midst of a fragile peace initiative with the Kurdish minority, dealing with an escalating war next door in Syria, and trying to convince parliament to strengthen the office of the president, which he is expected to run for as his final term as prime minister winds down.

Former White House Director for Turkish Affairs Jeffrey Collins, prominent Turkish political commentator Mustafa Akyol and Turkish academic and activist Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir will discuss the underlying causes of the recent protests, and assess their likely impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy.

Speakers:

Mustafa Akyol, Turkish political commentator and author
Jeffrey Collins, Senior Counsel for International Policy Affairs, Chevron Corporation
Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir, Lecturer, Graduate Program of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Technical University
Moderator:
Nancy Jarvis, Trustee, World Affairs Council
Direct download: 7_17_13_Edited_Understanding_Unrest_in_Turkey.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

Hurricane Sandy, record wildfires and intensified cycles of drought and flood have awakened the American public to the climate crisis at hand. What few know is that, in large part because of successful environmental activism, including the retirement of dirty coal plants, the United States has become a global leader in the fight to reduce carbon pollution, while innovations in wind, solar and other renewables are generating more power, more jobs and a healthier quality of life every day.

As  the leader of America's largest and most effective grassroots environmental organization, Michael Brune will discuss how averting the potential global catastrophe caused by climate disruption is also a historic chance to create a better world, powered by clean energy prosperity.

Speaker: Michael Brune Executive Director, Sierra Club
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/michael-brune.html

Moderator: Maureen Blanc, Trustee, World Affairs Council
http://www.worldaffairs.org/about/leadership/executive-committee/maureen-blanc.html

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/climate-crisis.html

Direct download: 7_2_13_Michael_Brune.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Iran's presidential elections take place on June 14, and it is certain that a new leader will replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is constitutionally barred from running for a third term. Of the 700 hopeful candidates who have registered, only a few will be allowed to run by the Guardian Council -- a group of twelve men mostly appointed by the Supreme Leader. What remains uncertain is which candidates will run and how contested this election might be.

In 2009, Iran's previous elections were controversial, sparking a Green Revolution and weeks of violent protests. This year, regardless of who is ultimately chosen, Iran's next president will undoubtedly inherit many challenges, ranging from the country's relations with the Syrian regime to its nuclear program to the need to bolster an economy that suffers from 30% inflation and crippling international sanctions.

Iran expert Abbas Milani will discuss the election's outcome and what the change in leadership means for the region, the US and the world.

Speaker: Abbas Milani, Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/abbas-milani.html

Moderator: Charles Frankel, Honorary Consul, Republic of Botswana

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/iranian-presidential-elections.html

Direct download: 6_27_13_Abbas_Milani.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Remarkable advances in existing technologies, from hydraulic fracturing to horizontal and deepwater drilling to renewables such as solar and wind, have brought America to a new level of energy production. However, as America's energy demands continue to grow, the debate over where this energy should come from intensifies, with some arguing in favor of fossil fuels and others championing renewable power.

Believing that this head to head clash of old versus new is unproductive, Michael Levi argues that neither side presents a perfect solution and that both emerging movements in American energy offer great opportunities for the US to strengthen its economy, bolster its security and protect the environment. Levi will discuss the future of American energy and offer a new strategy that blends the best of both sides.

Speaker: Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/michael-levi.html

Moderator: Michael Levi, Senior Adviser, TPG Capital
Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/americas-energy-opportunity.html

Direct download: 6_20_13_Michael_Levi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

In conjunction with our summer exhibition The Last Iceberg, this program is an opportunity to go in-depth behind Camille Seaman's journey of documenting the polar regions of our planet. For the last decade, she has traveled repeatedly to the Arctic and Antarctic to take portraits of polar ice, witnessing the beauty and loss of a part of Earth most of us will never see.

An award-winning photographer and Ted Fellow, Camille will elaborate on the concepts behind her portraits of icebergs and discuss her knowledge of what is happening in these fragile areas.

Speaker: Camille Seaman, Photographer
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Craig Miller, Science Editor, KQED

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_19_13_Camille_Seaman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Subnational conflict is the most widespread, enduring and deadly form of violent conflict in Asia. These conflicts are among the world's longest running armed struggles; more than half of the countries in South and Southeast Asia are affected by subnational conflicts; and millions of people in Asia are living in areas of protracted conflict. The international community has provided nearly $6 billion in official development assistance to subnational conflict areas in Asia over the past 10 years. The Asia Foundation's major new study, "Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance," assesses the impact - or lack thereof - of international assistance to these areas. The research team includes leading experts on conflict and foreign aid in Asia who use in-depth case studies, based upon extensive mixed-method research, including village-level ethnographic field work, perception surveys and interviews with key informants ranging from international donors to insurgents. The report presents case studies of conflicts in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. This event is presented in partnership with The Asia Foundation and the Asia Society.

Speakers:

Nils Gilman, Director of Research, Monitor 360

Ben Oppenheim, Simpson Fellow, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

Thomas Parks, Regional Director for Conflict and Governance, The Asia Foundation

Moderator:

Alastair Gee, Correspondent, Monocle

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/subnational-conflicts-in-asia.html

Direct download: 6_17_13_Subnational_Conflicts_Asia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

The opening of the Arctic is the most significant physical event to occur on our planet since the end of the last ice age. The changing Arctic, and the increased activity that will take place there, present challenges and opportunities in energy and mineral development, environmental stewardship, the welfare of indigenous people and national security.

What does this mean for the United States and what are the key economic and policy considerations facing the United States in the coming years?

This event is presented in partnership with the Marines' Memorial Association.


Speaker: Gary Roughead, Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Maj Gen Mike Myatt, USMC (Ret.)
President and CEO, Marines' Memorial Association

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_12_13_Gary_Roughead.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

"I have come to learn that the power of personal stories is that they can touch people deeply, with the potential to evoke great passion, dedication and commitment to a cause. I never cease to be inspired and encouraged by such reactions to my story, and this gives me further strength to continue sharing my painful past. Sharing can bring about human connection, understanding, acceptance and motivation for change. As an activist, to be able to foster love and positive action for those in need is a dream come true. I often say that 'life is love,' a meaningful life must contain love, and in order to love we must share our lives, our stories, our hearts."

These are the words of Somaly Mam, a Cambodian human rights activist and human trafficking survivor. She has been honored as one of Fast Company's 2012 League of Extraordinary Women, one of Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women in 2011, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2009, a CNN Hero and Glamour Magazine's 2006 Woman of the Year. In addition she is also the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation and The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) Award, among others.

Don't miss the opportunity to sit down for a discussion with Somaly Mam.

This event is presented in paternship with the International Museum of Women and Vital Voices.


Speaker: Somaly Mam, Founder and President, Somaly Mam Foundation
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/...

Moderator: Jane Wales, President and CEO, World Affairs Council
http://www.worldaffairs.org/about/sta...

Learn more: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/20...

Direct download: 6_11_13_Somaly_Mam.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

The ongoing nuclear proliferation issues with Iran and North Korea have put nuclear arms high up on the American foreign policy agenda. These media grabbing developments can sometimes overshadow traditional nuclear arms reduction talks and stockpile maintenance. With that said, President Obama made reducing existing nuclear weapons a foreign policy priority during his first term. Now that Obama has begun his second term with the New START Treaty between the US and Russia signed and in force, should the US consider other nuclear arms control steps to enhance American security? Can there be another major US-Russia treaty and, if so, can the tactical and surplus strategic nuclear warheads that have so far escaped control be brought into such a framework? Ambassador Steven Pifer will discuss the differences between Washington and Moscow over missile defense, the proposal to ban further production of fissile materials and the challenges facing the Obama administration in pursuing this agenda.

Speaker:

Steven Pifer, Director, Arms Control Initiative, Brookings Institution

Direct download: 5_30_13_Steven_Pifer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Armed conflict, weak states and transitional societies are a central security challenge for the United States; the State Department’s new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) works to break these cycles of violent conflict by mitigating crises in priority countries. They engage in conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization, aiming to address the underlying causes of destabilizing violence.

Speaker: Rick Barton, Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, US Department of State

Direct download: 5_28_13_Rick_Barton.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00am PST

About 40 children under the age of five die every three minutes, 40% of whom are less than a month old. In the same time frame two women die in child birth. These are startling statistics, but in fact, they have fallen by 35% over the past 20 years. Over the same period malaria deaths have dropped by 50% in eight African countries. And many more could be saved by simple things such as providing prenatal and postnatal care, educating mothers on the importance of clean drinking water and through vaccinations. If these solutions are so simple why are they not being implemented? Dr. Eric Bing has a solution: scale down the healthcare system to help more people. By encouraging people's natural entrepreneurial spirit and training them to open micro-clinics and micro-pharmacies in the hard to reach and most affected areas, these important health education services, medications and treatments can be made available to the most vulnerable at a fraction of the cost of current aid packages. With new technology and a scaled-down bottom-up healthcare strategy, Bing argues we can make these startling statistics a thing of the past.

Speaker: Eric Bing, Senior Fellow and Director of Global Health, George W. Bush Institute


Moderator: Stephen Kahn, President, Abundance Foundation

Direct download: 5_20_13_Eric_Bing.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

American foreign policy can —and needs to—begin at home, according to Richard Haass. A rising China and a nuclear Iran, along with a turbulent Middle East and a reckless North Korea are just a few of the serious global challenges currently facing America. However serious those may be, Haass argues that the biggest threats to US security and prosperity come not from abroad but from within. America's burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second-class schools and outdated immigration system all contribute to decreased competitiveness and increased vulnerability. America needs to adapt quickly to a changing global landscape, one in which power is widely diffused as a result of globalization and revolutionary technologies. Returning the United States to a leadership role in the world will require a new foreign policy doctrine of Restoration, in which the United States limits its engagement in foreign wars and humanitarian interventions and instead focuses on restoring the economic foundations of its power.

Speaker: Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations

Moderator: Michael Nacht, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Direct download: 5_16_13_Richard_Haas.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

It is often assumed that the advancement of technology will give rise to solutions for all of humankind's problems. With the rise of smart phones and wearable technology we are now able to track everything about ourselves, from our health and biological functions to our work, exercise, sleep and eating habits. Soon technology will go even further in its integration in every facet of our lives. Everything about us will be recorded, saved and made available to us anywhere at any time. Long gone will be the days of waiting in line to vote, instead selections will be made instantly on your phone or computer. Crime prevention will not need people, but will be left to complex algorithms that predict who, where and when crime will occur. Newspapers will be fully customized to each individual reader's views and preferences. Some say this is the way of the future and the path to an efficient, transparent and perfect society. One of today's most respected cyber-philosophers, Evgeny Morozov, takes a different view. While technology can improve our lives, it is not a panacea for all our problems, and the blind acceptance of the technological elimination of the frictions, opacity, ambiguity and imperfection inherent in human life poses a serious threat to society and the democracy we cherish.

Speaker: Evgeny Morozov, Contributing Editor, The New Republic

Moderator: Andrew Woods, Cybersecurity Fellow, CISC, Stanford University

Direct download: 5_15_13_Evgeny_Morozov.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

The civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria has produced more than 1 million refugees, and within this staggering statistic is a more troublesome number: 51% of those refugees are children. Other recent disasters, from the earthquake in Haiti to flooding in the Philippines, have produced similar situations. As UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection, Susan Bissell has seen firsthand how children in disasters and humanitarian crises become easy targets for human trafficking, recruitment by armed forces, and child labor. Working across 170 countries, Bissell guides UNICEF’s programs which work to prevent and respond to children affected by armed conflicts and humanitarian disasters.

Speaker: Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF

Direct download: 5_9_13_Susan_Bissell_v2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:00pm PST

On March 5 Hugo Chávez passed away after succumbing to a long battle with cancer, leaving behind a complex legacy, a political movement often referred to as 'Chavismo.' Many around the world mourned the loss of the leader, while others looked ahead to a new future for Venezuela. Indeed his rise to fame and eventual occupation of Venezuela's most powerful position was nothing short of legendary. Democratically elected by wide margins, Chávez was president for fourteen years. During this time he pulled thousands of citizens out of poverty with his '21st Century Socialism' mandate that provided, among other things, healthcare to the poor and massive gas subsidies. Throughout this time he also consolidated government authority under the presidency, jailed and excommunicated political opponents, and courted world leaders such as Ahmadinejad, Gadhafi and Castro. Even though the country sat atop vast oil wealth, Chávez presided over a crumbling infrastructure, a significant rise in crime rates and food shortages. His successor will have huge shoes to fill, and will face the challenging task of rebuilding the country. Rory Carroll, the former Latin America Bureau Chief for The Guardian, is well positioned to speak about the future of Venezuela after Chávez.

Speaker: Rory Carroll, US West Coast Bureau Chief, The Guardian

Moderator: Terry Vogt, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 5_6_13_Rory_Carroll.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest exporter of oil, a key US ally and one of the last absolute monarchies. It is a country of extremes; while it is controlled by a small group of ruling princes with an average age of 81, 60% of its population is under 20. Healthcare and education are free, gasoline is cheaper than water, there are no taxes and everyone receives subsidized energy. It is considered key to stability in the Middle East, yet it is known for producing terrorists, most notoriously Osama Bin Laden. Only recently were women granted the right to get photo identification and start a business, but they are still not allowed to drive or take on most jobs. Despite all of this Karen Elliot House argues that the majority of Saudis do not want democracy per se, but more transparency and a government based on law instead of royal fiat. House will discuss her assessment of Saudi Arabia's future and the choices facing the next generation of Saudi ruling princes.

Speaker: Karen House, Adjunct Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Direct download: 5_2_13_Karen_House.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

Reviewing the past few decades of Burmese history, 2012 might come to pass as one of its most significant years. What started with a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quickly evolved into a historic visit by President Barack Obama this past November, and as political prisoners have been released and US sanctions eased Burma has shown signs of improved respect for democratic values, but continued ethnic conflict and military resistance to civilian authority still threaten progress. Tom Malinowski will discuss his recent trip to Burma and what the US can do to encourage a full transition to democracy.

Speaker: Tom Malinowski, Washington Director, Human Rights Watc

Direct download: 4_30_13_Tom_Malinowski.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:30am PST

Eighty five percent of the world’s population has access to mobile networks, with emerging economies representing the fastest growing markets. China and India alone account for 30 percent of the global subscribers, and there were more mobile connections than people on Earth at the end of 2012. The rapid spread of wireless technology across the planet has the potential to foster economic development in myriad ways, opening students to new avenues of learning, giving entrepreneurs unprecedented access to capital and market data and helping grassroots organizations more effectively agitate for change and transparency. Carriers, developers, electronics makers and equipment manufacturers are harnessing this expansion and adapting their services to reach billions of users, many of them new. Yet barriers remain - be they government restrictions on the wireless Web, a dearth of locally relevant mobile applications or a pervasive mobile gender gap that limits women’s access to mobile technology in some regions.

Speakers: Nelson Mattos, Head of Emerging Markets, Google Katie Jacobs Stanton, Head of International Strategy, Twitter Rodger Voorhies, Director of Financial Services for the Poor Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Moderator: Tom Giles, U.S. Technology Editor, Bloomberg News

Introduction by: Former Ambassador Terry Kramer, U.S. Head of Delegation for the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012; Trustee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_23_13_Bloomberg_Event.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30am PST

In the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis, many argued for stronger banking regulations and more fiscal oversight; yet as the recession carried on some worried that new regulations would hamper an economic recovery and dissuade banks from lending. Are fiscal oversight and a strong banking system mutually exclusive?

Anat Admati suggests that a safer and healthier economic system will not require a sacrifice of our current institutions and can come at no cost to society. She will explore how weak regulations and ineffective enforcement led to a buildup of risks that unleashed the financial crisis, as well as what lessons we have, and have not, learned.

Speaker: Anat Admati, George Parker Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Moderator: Sedge Dienst, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_23_13_Anat_Admati.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00am PST

Climate change presents the global community with one of its greatest challenges and one of its greatest opportunities. The choices we make today will determine the future state of the environment, for good or ill.

Christiana Figueres will discuss her unique perspective on what changes will transform the world of tomorrow and how we can make a positive impact.

Speaker:

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Direct download: 4_18_13_Christiana_Figueres.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:00pm PST

Power was once concentrated in the hands of a few dominant players, the political, business and social elite who held significant amounts of control within their respective circles. In the modern day, however, power is shifting to a smaller level, wielded by start-ups, revolutionaries and activists, who have less control and influence than the larger players they are supplanting. Moises Naim argues that these "micropowers" have the ability to disrupt the establishment, as seen in the success of the Arab Spring uprisings or in successful Silicon Valley start-ups, but they can also pose a threat to order and political stability.

What is the future of power? What players will we see gaining control and what impact will these changes have? Naím will discuss the new opportunities as well as the potential threats posed by this power shift.

Speaker: Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/moises-naim.html

Moderator: David de Wilde, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 4_10_13_Moises_Naim.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am PST

There is no doubt that the Arab Spring was a fascinating period on the historical record, with unprecedented changes taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Dictators were toppled, fair elections were administered and political freedoms returned. It appears now, however, that further democratization has slowed and initial expectations may have been too high. The political situation in Egypt remains uncertain with riots and protests continuing, Syria continues to spiral out of control and Islamist rebels with ties to Al Qaeda have wreaked havoc in Mali, Algeria and Libya. What are the implications from the Arab Spring in these regions? Will Al Qaeda, damaged but certainly not dead, regroup in North Africa and what influence will it continue to have?

Seth Jones, Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation

Direct download: 4_9_13_Seth_Jones.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

The energy mix is evolving and so is the world in which energy is supplied and consumed. Major progress is being made in developing oil, gas, renewable and other clean energy resources, but the increase in population coupled with the industrialization of developing countries will cause energy demand to more than double by mid-century. The international community is grappling with the trade-offs between development and the environment and climate change has fundamentally shifted the nature and urgency of the debate. Historically, it requires decades to explore and produce existing energy resources and to develop new ones. What is a realistic view of the energy mix over the next thirty years and what are the roles for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear? Join us for a panel discussion of the outlook for the global energy mix over the next 30 years.

Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability, Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Daniel Kammen, Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Company

Direct download: 4_1_13_Jaffe_Kammen_Rogers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

With the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and other insurgencies, the tactics of guerrilla war are again at the forefront of modern military strategy, but this is not a new development. From the time of Alexander the Great to the post-9/11 battlefields of today, guerrilla uprisings have had a large impact on warfare. Max Boot assesses this impact through an in-depth look at nontraditional fighting throughout world history. Drawing from aspects of the Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire, the French-Indochina war and the revolution in Cuba, Boot will provide a new perspective on unconventional warfare and present new ways of thinking about the threats of the future.

Speaker:Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/max-boot.html

Direct download: 2_27_13_Max_Boot_KQED.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

In 2004, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (formerly the ‘alternative’) was established under the leadership of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Several countries from Latin America and the Caribbean signed on, including Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. This seemed to have ushered in the era of a left-leaning Latin America that is a greater challenge for US policy in the region. How have these leftist governments in Latin America fared, and how has US policy toward the region adapted?

Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue

Julia Sweig, Director of Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_07_13_Left_Leaning_Latin_America.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Since December 2010 societies across the Middle East and North Africa have experienced social and governmental upheaval ranging from protests, change in governance, civil war, and the complete toppling of government. Among myriad changes taking place, many hope that this is also the beginning of a new era for human rights, governance, and freedom of expression in the region. These transitions have undoubtedly affected millions of people’s lives, but specifically how have the lives of women changed? Are women in the Middle East and North Africa better off than before, has there been no real change, or has life become more difficult for women in the region?

Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Chairman, BLUSA INC., Consulting

Zeina Zaatari, Independent Scholar and Activist; Lecturer, University of California, Davis

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Women_in_the_Islamic_World.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

With the world’s largest economy, arguably the best universities, and the birthplace of the modern internet-based lifestyle, one can see why the United States is often referred to as “the greatest nation on Earth.” Known for innovation in many sectors—especially technology—the US has long attracted the best and the brightest from around the world to study, invest, and live the “American Dream,” but is the US losing its edge? If experts are correct the US economy will fall behind that of China in 5 years, followed by India by 2050. What is causing the US to slide from the number one position it has held for over 100 years? This session will examine key development factors and government policies to answer the questions: is the US being out-innovated? And if so, what can be done to help the US regain its competitive edge?

Sarah Burd-Sharps, Co-director, Measure of America, Social Science Research Council

Titus Galama, Economist, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Linda Padon, General Manager, Corporate Public Policy, Chevron Corporation

Direct download: WA2013_Breakout_03_08_13_Competitive_Edge.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

A long-term activist on poverty and justice, Shetty leads Amnesty's effort to end human rights violations. Previously, he was Director of the UN Millennium Campaign and played a pivotal role in building the global advocacy campaign for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Shetty will discuss his work with Amnesty International and the organization's current campaigns around the world.

Speaker: Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/salil-shetty.html

Moderator: Hon. Rebecca Westerfield, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California

Direct download: 3_26_13_Salil_Shetty.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

The US and the other large economies of the world have been on a fragile interconnected path to recovery for over four years and the stakes are higher than ever to sustain growth. According to economist Peter Blair Henry, answers to sustained growth and fiscal prosperity can be found in the fiscal policies of former Third World nations over the last twenty years.

By analyzing income disparities in the Caribbean, "catch-up" economics from China and the wrangling of inflation in Latin America the answer comes down to developing fiscal policies that reflect prudence and self-control. Backed up by objective market analysis, Henry will discuss the prospects for long term prosperity in the First World thanks to the lessons of fiscal discipline from the Third World.

Speaker: Peter Blair Henry, Dean, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/peter-blair-henry.html

Moderator: James Manyika, Trustee, World Affairs Council
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/james-manyika.html

Direct download: 3_20_13_Peter_Blair_Henry.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:30am PST

The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to defy UN Security Council resolutions calling for an end to its uranium enrichment program. Is Iran trying to develop nuclear weapons, as many fear, or does it just want to produce nuclear energy, as the Tehran government claims? What would be the likely consequences if Iran does get the bomb? What diplomatic and military options are available to address this serious crisis? Four expert panelists will discuss this issue.

Speakers:
Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer, Assistant Professor, Norwegian Defence University College
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/malfrid-braut-hegghammer.html

Abbas Milani, Research Fellow and Co-Director, Iran Democracy Project, Hoover Institution
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/abbas-milani.html

Abraham Sofaer, George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Hoover Institution
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/abraham-sofaer.html

Moderator: Scott Sagan, Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/scott-sagan.html

Direct download: 3_14_13_Hegghammer_Milani_Sofaer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:30am PST

In honor of International Women's Day, a bright light will shine on one of the many women taking the lead to change the world. Dr. Fouzia Saeed is well known in the activist circles of Pakistan's social movement, having worked for decades on women's issues especially those linked to violence against women, prostitution, women in the entertainment business, women's mobility and sexual harassment. Her work on violence against women spans over 20 years and includes founding the first women's crisis center in Pakistan in 1991. She is currently a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy where she continues to work tirelessly to bring the issues facing women in Pakistan and neighboring countries to the forefront.

Speaker: Fouzia Saeed, Director, Mehergarh; Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/fouzia-saeed.html

Moderator: David Arnold, President, The Asia Foundation
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/david-arnold.html

Direct download: WA2013_Keynote_Fouzia_Saeed_Women.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Many are looking to the United States for its known potential to reinvent, reinvigorate and revitalize economic and political reality. How will the US harness innovation and regain its competitive edge? Chris Anderson will focus on innovation in terms of the new technology driven industrial revolution. Today's entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, are bringing manufacturing to the desktop. This DIY movement coupled with social networking is creating a new world of crowd-sourced design and production. Do It Yourself!: What are the implications of the worldwide Maker revolution?

Speaker: Chris Anderson, Co-founder, 3D Robotics; Former Editor, Wired magazine
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/chris-anderson.html

Moderator: Adam Lashinsky, Senior Editor-at-Large, FORTUNE
http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/worldaffairs-conference/2013/speakers/adam-lashinsky.html

Direct download: WA2013_Keynote_Chris_Anderson_The_Maker_Revolution.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:30pm PST

Economic challenges continue to dominate the political environment in the United States and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future. The slow pace of economic recovery and the political stalemate in Washington on fiscal and budgetary policies impact not only the US economy, but also the global economy. What are the prospects for the US economy in 2013, and how might the ripple effects of US policy impact the global marketplace. Are there other debt crises looming elsewhere in the world which may threaten the US recovery?

Speakers: Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor and Columnist, Financial Times
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/gillian-tett.html
 
Laura D'Andrea Tyson, S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/laura-tyson.html

Moderator: Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting
http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/worldaffairs-conference/2013/speakers/robert-rosenthal.html

Direct download: WA2013_Keynote_Tett_Tyson_The_Global_Economy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:30pm PST

Recent weather-related phenomena contribute to a growing sense of the world as more unstable, or at least unpredictable. Unforeseen environmental disasters like hurricane Sandy are causing major disruptions in people's daily lives, with broad economic and political implications. As the frequency of these local events increases, the debate over whether global warming is real or what are its causes may now take a back seat to the mounting evidence that the climate is indeed changing. What are the strategic implications of climate change? What are the threats which face human societies as a result, both now and in the future? Can anything be done to mitigate or adapt to these threats?

Speaker: John Steinbruner, Director, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, University of Maryland; Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/john-steinbruner.html

Moderator: Mark Hertsgaard, Author and Journalist
http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/worldaffairs-conference/2013/speakers/mark-hertsgaard.html

Direct download: WA2013_Keynote_John_Steinbruner_Climate_Change.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:00pm PST

With the ten warmest years since 1880 all having occurred since 1998 it is clear that climate change is very real. A warming planet doesn't just mean melting ice caps, rising waters and other environmental problems, according to Professor Guzman. It also means the potential for never-before-seen migration, famine, war and disease. This is not a phenomenon that we have to wait for as it is already happening.

Prolonged droughts, massive flooding and food shortages have already become the norm in certain parts of the developing world. Join the Council for a discussion on the social and political implications of climate change.

Speaker: Andrew Guzman, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International and Executive Education, University of California, Berkeley
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International and Executive Education, University of California, Berkeley

Moderator: Maureen Blanc, Trustee, World Affairs Council of Northern California
http://www.worldaffairs.org/about/leadership/executive-committee/maureen-blanc.html

Direct download: 2_25_13_Andrew_Guzman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

As the head of United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, General Keith Alexander is at the front lines of many aspects of American national security. While online life has improved many aspects of public life, it has also opened up a entirely new realm of possibilities for those wishing to do the US harm.

Drawing on his prestigious education and military career, General Alexander will discuss cybersecurity challenges facing the US in the modern era.

Speaker: Keith Alexander, Commander, US Cyber Command 

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/general-keith-alexander.html

Moderator: Anja Manuel, Principal, The RiceHadley Group, LLC

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/anja-manuel.html

Direct download: 2_19_13_Keith_Alexander.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Former Secretary of Labor, professor, author and one of Time Magazine’s ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century will sit down for a discussion on the issues at the forefront of the political debate in the US: the state of the economy, inequality in the US and expectations for Obama’s second term.

Speaker: Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley 

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/robert-reich.html

Moderator: Peter Robertson, Chairman, Board of Trustees, World Affairs Council of Northern California

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/peter-robertson.html

Direct download: 2_13_13_Robert_Reich.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00pm PST

Access to energy plays a critical role in the development of every country from the least developed to the most industrialized. The rapid development of one country in particular, China - the world's largest energy user - is predicted to have the greatest impact on global energy markets as hundreds of millions of Chinese are elevated to the middle class and China's domestic markets evolve. China is building domestic capacity and developing clean energy technologies while simultaneously looking outside its borders to invest in and secure energy sources around the world. From oil fields in Sudan, to hydroelectric power in Burma, to natural gas fields in south Texas, Canada and Australia, China is going abroad to invest in energy and bolster their reserve capacity. 

In its quest for energy, China is increasingly engaging in public-private partnerships between its state-owned companies and energy producers worldwide, creating opportunities for international cooperation and coordination. However, China's going abroad strategy has not been without problems due to political and social instability in regions of investment, or backlash due to resource nationalism or other concerns regarding resource exploitation. China is also looking to attract private investment and technological assistance in unlocking its unconventional gas and oil supplies which could be a move toward reducing China's energy dependence.

Please join us for an in-depth conversation about the opportunities and challenges ahead for China in meeting their growing energy needs and the implications for global energy markets.

This series is presented by Chevron.

Speakers: Mikkal Herberg, Research Director on Asian Energy Security, The National Bureau of Asian Research

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/mikkal-herberg.html

Seth Kleinman, Head of Energy Strategy, Citigroup Global Markets, Ltd.

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/seth-kleinman.html

Direct download: 2_12_13_Energy_Series_Herberg_Kleinman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:30pm PST

In an era of increased security threats, the US faces difficult and complex challenges. Senator Feingold, who became well versed in these challenges during his time on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, believes that due to institutional failures the US has not responded to them properly. Feingold argues that a variety of factors contributed to this failure, from the oversimplification of complex problems to the way the war on terror has been portrayed in public; from our understanding of the nature of Islam to views of American exceptionalism. More than ten years after the greatest 'wake-up call' in US history, he suggests the nation needs to move from complacency to a renewed commitment to engage with the rest of the world in a more thoughtful way.

Senator Feingold will draw from his distinguished career in public service to address what steps must be taken to address the threats America faces.

Speaker: Russell Feingold, Former US Senator for Wisconsin

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/russell-feingold.html

Direct download: 2_5_13_Russell_Feingold.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:30pm PST

For three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war. It began with the Iranian revolution in 1979 and simmers today in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. The fighting takes place in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency, and at sea, with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

A senior historian for the federal government, David Crist spent more than ten years researching and writing The Twilight War. He will discuss a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, successes and failures and their unexpected consequences.

This event is co-organized with Marines' Memorial.

Speaker: David Crist, US Government Historian and Adviser to the United States Central Command

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/david-crist.html

Direct download: 12_10_12_David_Crist.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:00am PST

From Haiti's revolutionary history, to its totalitarian dynasty that ruled for decades, to the 2010 earthquake, this island nation has become synonymous with poverty and dysfunction. Yet through it all shines a people's creative culture and resilience.

During her three decades covering the country, journalist and Haitian expert Amy Wilentz has seen Haitians overcome all kinds of hardship. Still struggling to rebuild from the 2010 earthquake, Haiti now finds itself awash with well-meaning, and sometimes misguided, characters: movie stars turned aid workers, musicians running for president and a former US president working as a house builder. Wilentz will explore the evolution of Haiti's vibrant culture and dysfunctional government.

Speaker: Amy Wilentz, Author, Farewell, Fred Voodoo
http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/amy-wilentz.html

Direct download: 1_25_13_Amy_Wilentz.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

Energy plays a vital role in all aspects of modern economies from transportation to communication, from health care to national defense systems. The reliance on energy to fuel the operations of the modern world creates vulnerabilities and competition over its supply and plays an important role in the national security of every country.

Join us for a conversation about the key drivers affecting the global energy landscape and their implications for international security. Energy security is a national as well as global priority that requires a coordinated foreign and domestic policy as well as international response. A critical question to be explored is: How will the global community collectively achieve a peaceful transition to a sustainable energy future?

This series is presented by Chevron.

Direct download: 1_15_13_Michael_Levi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Twenty months after the Assad regime began its brutal assault on its own people, the humanitarian situation is dire. Some 2.5 to 4 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, approximately 1.2 to 2.5 million people are internally displaced and over half a million people have fled to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and North Africa.

In this program, Mark Bartolini discusses the current humanitarian crisis in Syria, the US government's humanitarian response efforts and the challenges of providing aid in the midst of ongoing violent conflict.

Direct download: 1_7_13_Mark_Bartolini.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The election is finally over, so we can put all the posturing and heated campaign rhetoric behind us. What's ahead for foreign policy now that the presidency has been settled? What did we forget to talk about in the course of an election year that will now roar back onto the front pages, from China's new leadership to the advent of the cyberwar era?

We often look to Foreign Policy for the answers and the magazine's editor, Susan Glasser, will discuss what she expects will be on the foreign policy agenda in 2013.

Speaker: Susan Glasser, Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy Magazine

http://www.worldaffairs.org/speakers/profile/susan-glasser.html

Direct download: 12_13_12_Susan_Glasser.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The last four years, in comparison to the previous fifty, have seen considerable change in Cuba. In 2008, Fidel Castro stepped aside to allow his brother Raul to lead. At the same time, after a period of tight travel restrictions, the United States has made it easier for Cuban Americans to visit family and for Americans to travel legally to Cuba on cultural exchanges. This fall, President Raul Castro announced an impending end to much reviled exit visas Cubans must obtain in order to leave their own country legally for travel or work. These changes, along with experimental encouragement of private enterprise within Cuba, have renewed interest in the country and its relationship with the United States. Cynthia Gorney, a contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine, visited the island earlier this year and will share her insights into the current situation inside Cuba.

Direct download: 12_04_12_Cynthia_Gorney.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Asia’s rapid growth is leaving millions behind, causing a widening gap between rich and poor that threatens to undermine the region’s stability. Developing Asia’s growth story masks underlying, complex challenges that need to be urgently tackled by policy and decision makers.

Rajat M. Nag, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank, in conversation with Asia Foundation President David Arnold, will discuss the economic and governance challenges across the region.

Direct download: 11_29_12_Rajat_Nag.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

There are still places on the planet of staggering beauty and biological diversity that defy the imagination. Countless species have yet to be described by scientists. These very places are being gradually carved up, cleared and converted to suit economic needs, with serious environmental consequences on a local and global scale. A growing recognition of the centrality of economics to the fate of the forest and other natural areas has spurred international conservation organizations to place new emphasis on understanding and changing the economics. Can an economically informed approach make a difference?

John Reid and Marcos Amend draw on over three decades of combined experience to address that question in a session that will look at the economic fundamentals of forest conservation. Their talk will focus on Brazil, looking at the country as both a regional powerhouse and home to some of the last Indigenous, forest-based cultures. Reid and Amend will show how Brazil's economy is driving development in the Amazon Basin, shared by nine countries, with important implications for biodiversity and demanding economically smart solutions. They will also provide a glimpse into economics at a local scale, where Indigenous people are trying to plan realistic businesses that maintain a role for standing forest.

Direct download: 11_27_12_John_Reid__Marcos_Amand.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The past few years have shown that America is facing hard times with complex challenges still ahead. The unemployment rate hovers around 8%, the income inequality gap continues to widen and American students are not receiving the best education possible. To add to this, the country is in the midst of political gridlock. To surmount these difficulties, Gus Speth asserts that transformative change is essential in the American political economy.

Speth will discuss his ideas for the specific adjustments that would be needed to move toward a new system, such as the “theory of change” that explains how system change can occur in America. In presenting his vision for American political, social and economic life, Speth envisions a future that will be worth fighting for and argues that Americans are capable of using their freedom and democracy in powerful ways to create a renewed America.

Direct download: 11_26_12_Gus_Speth.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

From the outside the conflict in Afghanistan has been painted as a war between pro-democracy forces and Islamist fanaticism. It is, however only one small part of the larger and much older conflict—between Kabul and rural Afghanistan, between the attraction of the modern world on the one hand and traditional Afghanistan on the other. Drawing on his Afghan and Muslim roots, Tamim Ansary reveals a centuries-old internal Afghan struggle the world has never fully understood. Ansary sheds light on a country desperately trying to find its identity, while undermined by its own demons, plagued by a 40-60 year cycle of invasion by outside forces and constantly at the center of an ill-informed international political debate. This event is in partnership with the Asia Society and Mechanics' Institute.

Direct download: 11_14_12_Tamim_Ansary.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

For more than 25 years the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorized large swaths of Central Africa, roaming between at least four African nations with impunity. While multinational efforts have been made to stop the group and its infamous leader Joseph Kony, the communities of the Eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are left to deal with the effects.

As head of the Catholic Church’s Peace and Justice Commission in northern Congo, Abbé Benoît Kinalegu helped to create an early warning network in which local activists report LRA attacks and movements, as well as set up a rehabilitation center to help children who have escaped the LRA. Kinalegu will be joined by Human Rights Watch Africa Researcher Ida Sawyer for a conversation about the challenges of working in the Eastern Congo, and how NGOs and local communities are working to stop human rights abuses and heal a traumatized region.

Direct download: 11_13_12_Human_Rights_Central_Africa.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Helen Clark will consider the impact of growing inequality and environmental degradation and introduce poverty, inequity and environmental sustainability as inter-linked global challenges.

She will also examine how countries and communities are employing innovative, integrated approaches to simultaneously address these challenges, linking this to the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

Direct download: 11_7_12_Helen_Clark.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The revolutions that have swept over the Middle East have captivated the world and changed the lives of millions in ways that have yet to be fully understood. What started in Tunisia and quickly spread across the Arab world, while relatively peaceful in some cases, quickly led to violent conflict in others—Libya in particular.

Drawing on extensive experience in the Middle East and Libya, and interviews with loyalists, rebels and senior US, EU and Libyan officials, Ethan Chorin will break down the Libyan revolution from the Gaddafi regime’s “rehabilitation” and acceptance by the West to the regime’s fall and possibilities for the future.

Direct download: 10_25_12_Ethan_Chorin_Full.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

One year ago the grassroots “Occupy” movement spread strongly and quickly throughout American streets, media and consciousness. The movement has waned from the public eye, but the underlying ideas are still being voiced. Many are worried about inequality, poverty and the great role that money now plays in political elections.

Amy Goodman argues that these issues are a threat to American democracy. She will explore the causes of this sentiment and also touch upon a variety of other issues ranging from foreign wars to climate change and capital punishment to voting rights.

Direct download: 10_24_12_Amy_Goodman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The first program in the Global Energy Series will focus on game changing technologies that will impact the global energy landscape well into the 21st century. Technology and energy are inextricably linked, with technological innovation playing a defining role in the production systems of energy sources, energy transmission and delivery systems and how the end user manages and consumes energy.

On the supply side, technologies applied to shale and offshore oil and gas extraction are transforming the industry and global energy markets. Alongside fossil fuel developments are breakthroughs in alternative energy technologies that are critical to meeting global energy demands sustainably. For distribution and transmission, smart grid technology is revolutionizing electricity networks, providing significant improvements to grid efficiency and opportunities for increased integration of renewables. For the end-user, technology’s role in how consumers manage and use energy in their homes and businesses offers significant opportunities for energy efficiency gains, the low hanging fruit of clean energy.

Join us for a panel discussion that will feature representatives from industry and academia to provide multiple perspectives on technology’s defining role in the energy landscape.

Direct download: 10_23_12_Game_Changing_Technologies.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

What matters more in the lead up to a US presidential election, a candidate’s platform and convictions or the broader economic and demographic trends over which they have little or no control? Neither, according to Samuel Popkin, author of The Candidate: What it Takes to Win - and Hold - the White House. Instead, he argues that a candidate’s ability to delegate authority, manage time and respond effectively to the rapidly shifting demands of the campaign trail are the key factors.

Looking at three recent campaigns - George H.W. Bush’s 1992 reelection campaign, Al Gore’s 2000 run for the presidency and Hillary Clinton’s effort to win the 2008 nomination - Popkin will examine the intricacies of a presidential campaign. What makes one succeed while another fails?

Direct download: 10_15_12_Sam_Popkin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

This election season has been focused primarily on the economy and job creation, but one topic that will surely be debated in the run up to Election Day is the security challenges facing the US and how the next president will handle them. Nothing highlights the importance of this debate like recent attacks on US missions abroad and continued unrest around the world.

Drawing on decades of experience within the US government, 20th US Secretary of Defense Cohen will provide his insights into these challenges facing the next administration.

Direct download: 10_8_12_William_Cohen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

Ambassador Richard Schmierer, US Department of State's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy, will provide remarks regarding US policy, engagement with the Syrian opposition and efforts to reintegrate Syria into the international community. While the focus remains on removing the Assad regime, stopping the violence, and easing the refugee situation the State Department is also looking at what comes next for the Syrian people. Ambassador Schmierer will also provide updates on the State Department's response to recent events in Libya.

Direct download: 9_19_12_Richard_Schmierer.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

BRAC is a global development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives. What started out in 1972 as a limited relief operation called the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC has turned into the largest development organization in the world. The work of BRAC reaches an estimated 126 million people in eleven countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Among many other issues, BRAC’s diverse program portfolio focuses on income generation, health care, education and agriculture. Sir Fazle will draw from his notable career to speak about success stories in development and what some countries in Africa and Asia can learn from these examples.

Direct download: 9_10_12_Fazle_Hasan_Abed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

After the news broke in 2002 of Iran’s clandestine uranium enrichment and plutonium production facilities Ambassador Mousavian was tapped to become the spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiations team in the European Union. A former Iranian Ambassador to Germany and head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Mousavian was no stranger to high stakes international politics. Now a research scholar at Princeton University, he is telling his story: from the internal struggles in Tehran’s leadership, to dealings with the International Atomic Energy Agency, to life after the negotiations and his eventual arrest for espionage.

The personal experiences of this diplomat within Iran and the international community offer a unique perspective on the debate surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and the potential resolution of the crisis once and for all.

Direct download: 9_6_12_Seyed_Mousavian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Burma is back in the international spotlight. After more than twenty years under house arrest, pro-democracy opposition leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been released and allowed to stand for election to parliament. Her release is just the latest in a series of important events and reforms that began in 2007.  The so-called "Saffron revolution” which involved wide-spread protests by Buddhist monks, along with international pressure, have prompted the ruling military junta to loosen its grip on power by initiating government reforms and holding elections. A nation at the crossroads between India and China, Burma is composed of a mix of fractious ethnicities and has been ruled by military regimes for nearly fifty years. Many hope that Burma is finally on the cusp of true democratic change after the reforms, despite being plagued by poverty, sectarian violence and accusations of human rights abuses.

Three experienced panelists will discuss a range of issues regarding Burma. What do the current reforms mean and what impact will they have across the region? What do long-time activists foresee for the future of Burma? How will the work of NGOs be affected after changes in policy and will there be an increased focus on human rights and education? Join us for this thought provoking conversation regarding the current state of affairs in Burma.

Direct download: 8_28_12_Sze_Than_Zin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

General Raymond T. Odierno assumed duty as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army in September of 2011. Most recently General Odierno commanded the United States Joint Forces Command, and prior to that he served as the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq. While serving as the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2004-2006, General Odierno was the primary military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. During more than 35 years of distinguished service, he has commanded units at every echelon and has had duty in five different countries.

Join the World Affairs Council and the Marines’ Memorial Club in welcoming General Odierno for his remarks about "America's Army: The Strength of the Nation."

Our partner organization for this event is Association of the United States Army (AUSA): San Francisco Chapter.

Direct download: 8_24_12_Raymond_Odierno.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The way out of Iraq, and now Afghanistan, are both issues that have plagued the Obama administration since 2008, and the exit strategy for Afghanistan will surely be hotly debated in the upcoming election in 2012. Should the US continue to pour its resources into the region, having fought two wars, both of which are seemingly intractable? Or, does pulling out of Iraq and then Afghanistan in short order signal the decline of American power and influence in the region that will fuel anti-American sentiments?

According to Professor Mark Katz withdrawing troops may, in the short term seem to signal a decline of American power and influence in the region and thus be a victory for America’s enemies. Katz however argues that it would in fact put the US in a better position in the long run to overcome extremist groups in the region. Join Professor Katz for a discussion of exit strategies for the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Direct download: 8_16_12_Mark_Katz.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

It is often said that “America is the greatest nation on Earth,” but is it true? In an election year, this sentiment will be expressed even more frequently by the presidential candidates, but how well does the US stack up on key quality of life issues when compared to other nations? While complete objective comparison may not be possible, there are certain areas where quantitative analysis allows for direct comparison.

Join United Nations statistician and health economist Howard Friedman for an analysis of five key measures of quality of life—health, safety, education, democracy and equality. How well does the US compare to thirteen other countries around the world? There are valuable lessons to be learned from the experiences and solutions found in other leading countries.

Direct download: 8_13_12_Howard_Friedman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In West Africa’s Sahel region, the zone skirting the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, a combination of soaring temperatures, declining rainfall and a booming population is putting the squeeze on the area’s dwindling resources. What began last year as a bad growing season is morphing into a large scale drought and humanitarian crisis. Studies show that this huge swath of land across the African continent, once fertile farming land, is increasingly incapable of feeding the growing population. Abby Maxman, the Vice President of International Programs and Operations of CARE, has firsthand experience responding to large scale humanitarian crises across the continent. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents California’s 9th Congressional district, has played a critical role in the raising awareness and US Government support for humanitarian disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa. They will explore the challenges of working across the Sahel in communities with little or no infrastructure, how humanitarian organizations and the US government are responding to food security issues, and how lessons from past droughts are being used to prevent future crises.
Moderator:Cheryl Jennings, Anchor, ABC7 Evening News
Speaker(s):Barbara Lee, Congresswoman, 9th District of California
  • Abby Maxman, Vice President of International Programs and Operations, CARE
Direct download: 8_6_12_Sahel_Crisis.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

“Economic sanctions” are frequently employed as a tactic in international negotiations, but is this strategy always effective? How have economic sanctions evolved to address the wide range of foreign policy challenges we face?

Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez will discuss economic sanctions using case studies of on-going sanctions regimes in cases such as Libya, Iran, Syria, and Burma. He will review the evolution of U.S. policy on economic sanctions and current actions, as well as lessons learned in recent years.

Direct download: 7_25_12_Jose_Fernandez.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Join Dr. Stephen Haber, specialist in Mexican politics and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, for a post-election review and discussion about the implications of the outcome during this interesting political season in Mexico.

Direct download: 7_23_12_Stephen_Haber.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

As the world’s most populous democracy, an emerging economic leader, and an increasingly influential global actor, India has become a critical partner in building America’s presence in Asia. However, a relationship of this size and scope can be a complex one that offers as many potential pitfalls as opportunities. Recently skeptics have questioned whether the importance of the bilateral partnership has been “oversold.” India’s ambassador to the United States has rebutted these suggestions, arguing that  such claims are more myth than fact.

Join Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 1997 to 2001, to explore both the perceptions and misperceptions surrounding US-India ties. He will discuss the next steps both nations can take to overcome current obstacles and build, as President Obama put it, one of “the defining partnerships of the 21st Century.” Ambassador Inderfurth will share his views based on his extensive knowledge of the US-India relationship drawn from his distinguished career in public service.

Direct download: 7_18_12_Karl_Inderfurth.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The rogue nation of North Korea is known for its many secrets, from its nuclear program to the living conditions of the majority of its population. One of the most closely guarded secrets is that of its ill-fated labor camps. Until recently, the conditions of those living in these labor camps, often referred to as forms of modern day slavery, have scarcely been documented.

Blaine Harden, author and former East Asia bureau chief for The Washington Post, will discuss one person’s experience in a North Korean labor camp and what it tells us about living within the North Korean regime. In his new work, Escape From Camp 14, Harden documents two years of interviews with Shin Dong-hyuk in which he describes Shin’s experiences and his determination to adjust to a new life of freedom in the West. Shin is the only person born and raised in one of North Korea’s camps known to have escaped, and his story is one of intense hardship and survival. Shin’s account provides a unique perspective on the desperate conditions in these labor camps where up to 200,000 prisoners are estimated to live, and which the regime claims do not exist.

Direct download: 7_11_12_Blaine_Harden.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The idea of a “hungry farmer” should be an oxymoron. However among smallholder farmers in Africa for whom agricultural practices have not changed since the 1930’s, most do not produce enough to feed their families. Consequently every year they face what in Kenya is known as the wanjala—the hunger season—between when food from the previous harvest has run out and the next one is ready.

Join Roger Thurow for an exploration of the year he spent following four farming families in Western Kenya as they tried to dramatically change their farming techniques in an attempt to increase their harvest, and the challenges facing individual farmers striving to increase food production, as well as the macro-problems facing our global food supply chain.

Direct download: 6_26_12_Roger_Thurow.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Internationally acclaimed journalist and former member of the Brookings Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World, Mr. Rami Khouri will analyze the complexities in Syria due to the convergence of three conflicts: the domestic battle for power between several government oppositions groups; the regional cold war spearheaded by Iran and Saudi Arabia; and the revived global struggle for influence in the region between the USA, Russia and China. Syria has become the main proxy battleground for these three conflicts. Events unfolding there also help shed light on the nature of the other citizen uprisings around the region, as they enter the middle of their second year in June.

Direct download: 6_20_12_Rami_Khouri.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In order to ensure its economic development and survival, every country strives to secure and stockpile natural resources. Few countries are as aggressive with their resource campaigns as China. Join Dr. Dambisa Moyo, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Aid and How the West was Lost, for an in depth look at China’s unprecedented rush for resources and what it means for the rest of the world.

Direct download: 6_15_12_Dambisa_Moyo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00pm PST

When President Obama came to office he was confronted with a world in turmoil. With two long standing wars, an economy on the brink of collapse, and unprecedented political polarization, Obama faced a set of challenges unique to American history. In his complex three and a half years as president, he has approached external threats with new technological tools and shifting global trends with alternative forms of American soft power.

Join Pulitzer Prize winner David Sanger for a discussion of his new book, Confront and Conceal, and an inside analysis of Obama’s idealism-turned-frustration, hopes for the Arab Awakening, pivot towards the Pacific, and efforts to retain America’s influence on the global stage.

Direct download: 6_14_12_David_Sanger.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

Lindsey Hilsum arrived in Libya when the fighting began and was there when Gaddafi was killed. During this time, she found Libyans of all ages opening up to her with stories of their lives that they were previously unable to share for fear of reprisal from the government. These were stories of torture, execution, loss, and of Libya’s slow decline under the Gaddafi regime from a country rich in oil and human resources to a political pariah on the world stage.

Direct download: 6_13_12_Lindsey_Hilsum.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The top one percent of Americans controls 40 percent of the nation's wealth, and while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz argues they fail to realize that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.

Drawing on his distinguished career in economics, Stiglitz will address America’s growing inequality and why, in his view, it is not inevitable. In an increasingly divided society, finding nuanced solutions to the most pressing global issues has become seemingly impossible; Stiglitz will examine this phenomenon and explore its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization.

Direct download: 6_11_12_Joseph_Stiglitz.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In the age of nuclear nonproliferation policy, rogue nations seeking to develop their own nuclear technology, and an epic disaster in Japan, nuclear energy is a hot topic that many people are now familiar with. What many are unaware of is the story of what nuclear power could have been at the dawn of the atomic age. Join Richard Martin, Editorial Director at Pike Research and Contributing Editor for Wired magazine, for a thought provoking discussion about the history and future of thorium power.

Direct download: 6_6_12_Rick_Martin.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In late 2010, no one would have predicted the changes that lay ahead in 2011 around the Middle East. What began in Tunisia started a chain reaction and 2011 became the year of revolt and revolution across the region. Some think the Arab awakening has petered out, but according to Marc Lynch, the biggest transformations of what has been labeled the “Arab Spring” are yet to come. Join Professor Marc Lynch, an American Policy and Arab public insider, and author ofForeign Policy Magazine’s Abu Aardvark Middle East blog, for an in-depth discussion about what still lies ahead for the Middle East and what further transformations we may expect.

Direct download: 5_24_12_Marc_Lynch.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

In the US, Fair Trade USA has been at the forefront of this movement, catalyzing the growth of a market that gives citizens the opportunity to voice their choice for a fair economic system. Yet as the market has expanded, debate has grown over the limitations and scalability of the model. Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA, will discuss the successes and challenges of fair trade and his organization’s growth plan for the future.

Direct download: 5_16_12_Paul_Rice.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

What will the overall results mean for Europe’s second largest economy, and how do we explain them? Given France’s own economic woes, what are the economic challenges the next president will face? What does the strong first round showing from the far-right National Front party indicate for France, and what effect will this constituency have on the second round? After the elections, will France have a different role to play in the European Union negotiations? 

Join Dr. Jonah Levy, specialist in French Politics and Vice Chair of UC Berkeley’s Political Science Department, for a post-election review and a discussion about the implications of the outcome during this interesting time for France.

Direct download: 5_15_12_Jonah_Levy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

The World Affairs Council is pleased to welcome the Honorable Stephen Rapp, Ambassador-at-Large for the Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, to discuss how the US can further accountability for mass atrocities and crimes against humanity at a time when important tribunals and special courts are coming to a close and when the International Criminal Court has limited reach and capacity.

The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises Secretary of State Clinton and formulates US policy on prevention and accountability for mass atrocities that occur throughout the world. It also coordinates US government support for international and hybrid courts that are currently conducting trials for war crimes, genocide, and other atrocities.

Ambassador Rapp was previously the head prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and has held his current post since 2009. With ongoing wars and conflicts around the world that inevitably create tragic crimes against humanity, the work of the Office of Global Criminal Justice is ever more relevant.

Direct download: 5_14_12_Stephen_Rapp.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

What does war look like through the eyes of a 'child soldier'? This question has been investigated by journalists, yet it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured the atrocities and survived.

Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone and UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War, will discuss his story of abduction and war in Sierra Leone.

In a country ravaged by war, Beah spent several years with armed militia forces before finally being rescued and rehabilitated. Tens of thousands of children are recruited and used in various capacities by armed forces or armed groups in over 15 countries around the world. Beah will discuss the use children as a tool of war and how we can help stop it.

Direct download: 5_10_12_Ishmael_Beah.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

This election year two of the most hotly debated topics are the state of the US economy and the size of the national debt. As it stands there is more than $30,000 of debt for every person in the US, Congress is entrenched in a bitter fight over deficits, the government has been brought to the brink of shutdown multiple times, and, as a result, government approval is at an all time low.

Many politicians are calling for drastic cuts in essential public programs such as Social Security and Medicare in hopes of lowering the deficit, but will these cuts do anything other than worsen the quality of life for thousands of low-income and elderly Americans?

Join Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund, as he unravels the conundrum of the national debt, tracks the rise of the US dollar, examines the roots of the current dysfunctional and impotent Congress, and posits a solution to our debt crisis that will result in a strengthened economy without slashing social support programs.

Direct download: 4_17_12_Simon_Johnson.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

The road to economic recovery is long and difficult. Despite positive change and an unemployment rate at a three-year low, the ratings agencies are considering yet another downgrade of US credit and the world is beginning to consider the real consequences of an ongoing US economic downturn.

Long gone are the days of seemingly unending American prosperity and unquestioned US leadership against clear and identifiable enemies. Today the US and the nations that rely on its support need to make a major shift if they are to meet the economic, political and diplomatic challenges that lie ahead.

Michael Moran, one of the world’s leading geopolitical and economic forecasters and the director and editor-in-chief of Renaissance Insight, will talk about how America and its allies can successfully navigate this transition and avoid the pitfalls of clinging to the power structure of the 20th century.

Direct download: 4_12_12_Michael_Moran.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

With the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama closed one chapter of US history; unfortunately, the next is looming large.

As years of sanctions and careful diplomatic negotiations with Iran deteriorate into an increasingly fragile state of affairs, President Obama is left with few choices: attempt to restart what many consider failed negotiations or seriously consider a preventative strike.

Trita Parsi is the President of the National Iranian American Council and the author of the new book, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran. He contends that diplomacy with Iran did not fail—it was abandoned. Real diplomacy has barely been tried, he argues, and it remains the only promising option for achieving America’s goals with regard to Iran.

Parsi will examine the Obama administration's early diplomatic gestures towards Iran and discuss the best ways to move toward more positive relations between the two discordant states.

Direct download: 4_10_12_Trita_Parsi_2.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:00pm PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day.

Direct download: 3_31_12_Bolden_Thiel.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:30pm PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day.

Direct download: 3_30_12_Luce_Rothkopf.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:00pm PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day.

Direct download: 3_31_12_After_bin_Laden_Nacht_Sude.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00am PST

In this Keynote Conversation from the WorldAffairs 2012 conference, we
examine how innovation will help us find solutions to the energy
challenges we face today and expect to face going forward to 2050.  Our
energy needs are still rising in the US and are rising much faster in
many parts of the world. Many forecasters predict that global energy
demands will rise by 40% between now and 2050. Looking forward, it seems
clear that we will continue to rely heavily on conventional resources
such as oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. But, will innovation
and breakthroughs in technology allow us to capture significant amounts
of affordable energy from other sources with important environmental
benefits, and allow us to become much more efficient in our use of
energy globally?

Direct download: 3_31_12_Vaitheeswaran_Zygocki.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:00am PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day. In recognition of Earth Day, April 22. Some predict it is likely that our need for water will overcome our resources and parts of the world may soon be unfit to sustain people and food production. Imagining the world in 2050, we ask: how will we meet our rising food and water needs? Will our cities and farms look like those of today? How will we innovate and adapt to maintain the resources to sustain life on an ever more crowded planet? Two distinguished speakers will discuss these topics: Gawain Kripke, Director of Policy and Research at Oxfam America; and Peter Lochery, the Director of the Water Team at CARE.

Direct download: 3_31_12_Food_and_Water_Kripke_Lochery.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:30am PST

Recorded at WorldAffairs 2012, the World Affairs Council’s annual conference designed for global citizens seeking deeper insight, understanding and context surrounding critical issues of our day.

Direct download: 3_31_12_From_Longitudes_to_Latitudes_Dadush_Devarajan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:00am PST