PCFR: Canada's new Trudeau, Hydro-Quebec, New England ports, etc.


Feb. 12, 2016


To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com. We update the Web site frequently with news and commentary. Information in how to join (not complicated) may be found on Web site -- again: thepcfr.org


It was good to see so many of youat our Jan. 12 meeting to hear international-cyber-security expert Allan Cytryn.


And besides the officially scheduled speakers below, note that we plan in the coming season to have speakers on New England ports (see bottom of this memo), the geopolitics and economics of global warming as well as a look at global ocean-fishing issues. Also refugee, economic, security and other matters involving Germany,  probably with the German general consul speaking to us.


Speaking to us next, on  Tuesday, Feb. 16, will be David Alward, the former premier of New Brunswick and now the consul general of Canada to New England.


He’ll talk about the implications of the recent change in Ottawa under Justin Trudeau, international security issues, such big trade  matters as New England’s purchase of hydro-electric power from Canada and the idea of a common market encompassing Canada, the U.S. and Europe.


The international cities expert Greg Lindsay was to have joined us  Feb. 16 but he must go to Scandinavia then. He’ll join us Wednesday, May 11.

As usual, the Feb. 16 dinner will be at the Hope Club, 6 Benevolent St., Providence. Drinks start at about 6, dinner by 7, then the talk and a Q&A and the evening ends by 9.

Please let us know whether you will join us Feb. 16 by replying to pcfremail@gmail.com or, in a crunch, calling (401) 523-3957. Thanks very much to those who have already let us know! The Hope Club needs good estimates no later than the day before a PCFR dinner.

Dues and dinner cost information may be found at: thepcfr.org. Other membership information may be found there, too.

On Tuesday, March 22, comes the very distinguished Andrew A. Michta, professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and an adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Europe Program).

He’ll talk about European politics and security, including NATO, and has a special focus on Central Europe and the Baltic States. (I hope he talks about the Russian buildup in the enclave of Kalingrad.)

In 2013–2014, he was a senior fellow focusing on defense programming at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. In 2011–2013, he was a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) and the founding director of the GMFUS Warsaw office.

He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.  

Columbia Prof. Morris Rossabi, who had been skedded for March and is one of the world’s greatest experts on Central Asia,  is  being rescheduled to September or October.

We have asked him to focus on Mongolia, whose ability to become a real democracy stuck between the great expansionist police states of China and Russia, has long fascinated us.


On Tuesday, April 12, celebrated author, TV documentary maker and former foreign correspondent Hedrick Smith will join us; he’ll talk about Russia, and the current state of America, too.

On Wednesday May 11, comes the aforementioned internationally known expert on cities around the world, Greg Lindsay.

Look at: 



He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is also a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute.


Theodore Sedgwick, former U.S. ambassador to Slovakia,  who had been skedded for May, is being rescheduled to September. (We take July and August off.)


On Tuesday, June 7, Michael Soussan, former UN whistleblower; acclaimed author; widely published journalist; NYU writing professor, and women's rights advocate, will speak. His satirical memoir about global corruption,  Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course In International Diplomacy (Nation Books / Perseus) is being adapted  for a feature film, starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Hutcherson

He will speak about the subject of his next book TRUTH TO POWER: how great minds changed the world. A brief history of thought leadership.


Evan Matthews, a key thought leader at the North Atlantic Ports Association and director of the Port of Davisville, has very kindly offered to talk to us on Wednesday, June 22, on changes in world shipping, including the widening of the Panama Canal and other changes of huge interest to New England ports. That would be two meetings in June. Can we have a show of hands on how many members can handle that? Or Evan could talk to usin the fall.