PCFR

PCFR speakers for new season

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Here’s the speaker lineup for the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations for its 2019-2020 season. A list of speakers in the just-completed 2018-2019 season is at the bottom.

For information about the organization, including on how to join, please send queries to:

pcfremail@gmail.com

The dinners are held at the Hope Club, in Providence.

The first speaker, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, will be Mackubin Thomas Owens, who will discuss America’s current military and geo-strategic posture in the world. A retired Marine Corps colonel and combat veteran of the Vietnam War, he’s editor of Orbis, the journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, of which he is a senior fellow, and is a former dean of academics for the Institute of World Politics, in Washington.

Dr. Owens is also a former editor-in-chief of the defense journal Strategic Review.

He has served as the associate dean of academics for electives and directed research, and professor of strategy and force planning, at the U.S. Naval War College, as an adjunct professor of international relations at Boston University and as a contributing editor to National Review, among his many other academic and journalistic activities.

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The next speaker comes Wednesday, Oct, 2, with Jonathan Gage, who will talk about how coverage of such international economic stories as trade wars has changed over the years, in part because of new technology, and how that coverage itself changes events.

Mr. Gage has had a very distinguished career in publishing and international journalism. He has served as publisher and CEO of Institutional Investor magazine, as publisher of strategy+business magazine, as a director at Booz Allen Hamilton and Booz & Company, as enterprise editor for Bloomberg News and finance editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune (of sainted memory) and as a senior writer for the Boston Consulting Group.

He is a trustee, and former vice chairman, of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

He has written or edited for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and Psychology Today magazine.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 23, comes Ambassador Patrick Duddy, who will talk about Venezuelan internal political and economic conditions and relations with the U.S., Cuba, Russia and other nations. Mr. Duddy, currently director of Duke University’s center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, served as American ambassador to Venezuela in 2007-2008, during the George W. Bush administration. The late President Hugo Chavez expelled him but eight months later he returned as ambassador in the Obama administration. He finished that assignment in 2010.

Before his ambassadorships, Mr. Duddy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) for the Western Hemisphere, responsible for the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination, which included the hemispheric energy portfolio, as well for the Offices of Brazil/ Southern Cone Affairs and of Caribbean Affairs. During his tenure as DAS, he played a lead role in coordinating U.S. support for the restoration of democracy in Haiti.

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On Wednesday, Nov. 6, comes Tweed Roosevelt, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Association and great-grandson of that president. He’ll talk about how TR’s foreign policy, which was developed as the U.S. became truly a world power, affected subsequent presidents’ foreign policies. Mr., Roosevelt is also chairman of Roosevelt China Investments, a Boston firm.

In 1992, Mr. Roosevelt rafted down the 1,000-mile Rio Roosevelt in Brazil—a river previously explored by his great-grandfather in 1914 in the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition and then called the Rio da Duvida, the River of Doubt. The former president almost died on that legendary and dangerous trip.

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On Thursday, Dec. 5, the PCFR welcomes Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, who directs the Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy, and is visiting associate professor of conflict resolution, at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She titles her talk "God, Soft Power, and Geopolitics: Religion as a Tool for Conflict Prevention/Generation".

Dr. Prodromou is also a non-resident senior fellow and co-chair of the Working Group on Christians and Religious Pluralism, at the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, and is also non-resident fellow at The Hedayah International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, based in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Prodromou is former vice chair and commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and was a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Religion & Foreign Policy Working Group. Her research focuses on geopolitics and religion, with particular focus on the intersection of religion, democracy, and security in the Middle East and Southeastern Europe. Her current research project focus on Orthodox Christianity and geopolitics, as well as on religion and migration in Greece.

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On Wednesday, Jan. 8, comes Michael Fine, M.D., who will talk about his novel Abundance, set in West Africa, and the challenges of providing health care in the Developing World. He will speak on: “Plagues and Pestilence: What we learned (or didn't) from Ebola about Foreign Policy and International Collaboration in the face of epidemics and outbreaks’’

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On Wednesday, Feb. 5, comes Cornelia Dean, book author, science writer and former science editor of The New York and internationally known expert on coastal conditions. She’ll talk how rising seas threaten coastal cities around the world and what they can do about it.

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On Wednesday, March 18, comes Stephen Wellmeier, managing director of Poseidon Expeditions. He’ll talk about the future of adventure travel and especially about Antarctica, and its strange legal status.

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On Wednesday, April 29, comes Trita Parsi, a native of Iran and founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council and author of Treacherous Alliance and A Single Roll of the Dice. He regularly writes articles and appears on TV to comment on foreign policy. He of course has a lot to say about U.S. Iranian relations.

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On Wednesday, May 6, comes Serenella Sferza, a political scientist and co-director of the program on Italy at MIT’s Center for International Studies, who will talk about the rise of right-wing populism and other developments in her native land.

She has taught at several U.S. and European universities, and published numerous articles on European politics. Serenella's an affiliate at the Harvard De Gunzburg Center for European Studies and holds the title of Cavaliere of the Ordine della Stella d'Italia conferred by decree of the President of the Republic for the preservation and promotion of national prestige abroad.

June: Keeping open for now but perhaps about China.

Speakers in the 2018-2019 season of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations included:

Miguel Head, who spent the past decade as a senior adviser to the British Royal Family, on what it was like.

James Nealon, the former U.S. ambassador to Honduras and former assistant secretary of state, on the migrant crisis.

Walter A. Berbrick, founding director of the Arctic Studies Group at the U.S. Naval War College, on “An Arctic Policy for the Ages: Strengthening American Interests at Home and Abroad’’.

Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter to Public Radio International’s The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC and PRI -- a program that he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995 on the Indian caste system, there & here.

Paulo Sotero, the director of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute on the outlook for that nation.

Historian Fred Zilian on the “Real Thucydides Trap,”—an alternate to Graham Allison’s—which threatens America’s leadership of the free world.

Dr. Teresa Chahine on international social entrepreneurship.

London-based Journalist and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb on Brexit.

Sarah C.M. Paine of the U.S. Naval War College on the "Geopolitics underlying U.S. foreign policy''.

Douglas Hsu, senior Taiwan diplomat, on tensions with Mainland and ties with the U.S.

Prof. James Green, former president of the Brazilian Studies Association, on Brazil's new right-wing populist president.


At PCFR, Taiwan diplomat to look at East Asian scene

Dragon boat in the annual Taiwan Dragon Boat Festival on the Blackstone River.

Dragon boat in the annual Taiwan Dragon Boat Festival on the Blackstone River.

Taiwan Diplomat to Discuss East Asian Trade and Security Issues

 

The last dinner of the current season of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (founded in 1928)  is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, here at The Hope Club. The new season will open in September.

 

Please consult its Web site -- thepcfr.org -- and/or send queries to pcfremail@gmail.com for more information about the PCFR, including on how to join.

 

On June 4, Douglas Hsu, a senior diplomat who currently oversees Taiwan’s interests in New England as director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, will speak about current political and economic conditions in that nation (one of Rhode Island’s largest export markets), China’s military and other threats to Taiwan and the East Asian scene in general.

 

(Taiwan sponsors the annual Dragon Boat races on the Blackstone River and indeed just gave six of them to the City of Pawtucket!)

 

Mr. Hsu, who previously served two stints in Washington, may have some perspectives on the China-U.S. trade war.  His work in Washington included being Taiwan’s liaison with Congress. (Meanwhile, a reminder that the official name of Taiwan is the Republic of China.)

                                                              

Mr. Hsu has served in multiple positions in Taiwan’s Department of North American Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, beginning as a desk officer in 1998. He was  the department’s Deputy Director-General  from 2016 to 2018, when he assigned to Boston.

 

The director general (effectively the consul general for New England) earned a B.A. and M.A. in International Relations from National Cheng-Chi University and has participated in the Diplomats Training Program at Oxford University (1998) and the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard University (2009).

 

 

 

 

 

Indian caste system, there and in America

A 1922 stereograph of Hindu children of high caste, in Mumbai (then called Bombay)

A 1922 stereograph of Hindu children of high caste, in Mumbai (then called Bombay)

A couple of upcoming dinner speakers at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com). Please consult thepcfr.org for information on how to join and/or send a query to pcfremail@gmail.com.

On Thursday, May 16 comes Phillip Martin,  senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter to Public Radio International’s The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC and PRI -- a program that he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995.  Basing his comments on his recent reporting for PRI, he’ll talk about the Indian caste system and how it extends into the Indian immigrant community in the U.S. He’ll also talk about the  very challenging role of foreign correspondents in contemporary journalism. Many PCFR members have probably often heard his resonant voice on public radio.

Mr. Martin is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Sigma Delta Chi award for Best Investigative Reporting and the 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Investigative Reporting(large-market radio ). He also was honored with 2013 New York Festivals and United Nations UNDPI Gold Awards. He was part of a team of reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award to NPR for coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the U.S. He has received numerous other journalism and civic engagement honors over the course of his career.

He earned a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School. 

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On Tuesday, June 4, Douglas Hsu, a senior Taiwanese diplomat who currently oversees that nation’s interests in New England, will speak to us about current political and economic conditions in that nation (one of Rhode Island’s largest export markets), and China’s military and other threats to Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring PCFR meetings: Central American refugees; Brazilian boss; Indian caste system there and here; Tiny, tough Taiwan

President Trump inspects prototypes for his border wall last year in San Diego.

President Trump inspects prototypes for his border wall last year in San Diego.

Next at the PCFR: Central American challenge; Brazil’s new boss; Indian caste system there and here and PRI foreign correspondence; Plucky Taiwan

 

Herewith some upcoming talks at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com), which are held at the Hope Club. Please consult thepcfr.org for information on how to join the organization and other information about the PCFR.

 

We much enjoyed the March 14 talk by Miguel Head, who spent the past decade as a senior adviser to the British Royal Family!

 

At the  next meeting, on  Thursday, April 4, James Nealon, the former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, will talk about Central America in general and Honduras in particular, with a focus on the conditions leading so many people there to try to flee to the United States – and what the U.S. can and should do about it.

A career Foreign Service officer,  Nealon held posts in CanadaUruguayHungarySpain, and Chile before assuming his post as Ambassador to Honduras in August 2014; Nealon also served as the deputy of Gen. John F. Kelly, while Kelly was in charge of the United States Southern Command.

After leaving his ambassadorship in 2017, Nealon was named assistant secretary for international engagement at the Department of Homeland Security by Kelly in July. During his time as assistant secretary, Nealon supported a policy of deploying Homeland Security agents abroad. He resigned his post on Feb. 8, 2018, due to his disagreements with the immigration policy of Donald Trump, and, specifically, the withdrawal of temporary protected status for Hondurans.

 

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Then, on Wednesday, April 10, the speaker will be Prof. James Green, who will talk about the political and economic forces that have led to the election of  Brazil’s new right-wing president,  Jair Bolsonaro – and hazard some guesses on what might happen next. Professor Green is one of the world’s leading experts on that huge country. (The PCFR strives to avoid having dinners two weeks in a row but in some rare cases the availability of expert speakers on urgent current topics forces this crowding.)

Professor Green, who teaches at Brown, is the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History and director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative, Distinguished Visiting Professor (Professor Amit) at Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, and the Executive Director of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), which is now housed at the Watson Institute at Brown.

Green served as the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown from 2005 to 2008. He was president of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) from 2002 until 2004, and president of the New England Council on Latin American Studies (NECLAS) in 2008 and 2009. 

 

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Then on May 16 comes Phillip Martin,  senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter to Public Radio International’s The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC and PRI -- a program that he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995.  Basing his comments on his recent reporting for PRI, he’ll talk about the Indian caste system and how it extends into the Indian immigrant community in the U.S. He’ll also talk about the  very challenging role of foreign correspondents in contemporary journalism. Many PCFR members have probably often heard his resonant voice on public radio.

Phillip is the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Sigma Delta Chi award for Best Investigative Reporting and the 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Investigative Reporting(large-market radio ). He also was honored with 2013 New York Festivals and United Nations UNDPI Gold Awards. He was part of a team of reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award to NPR for coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the U.S. He has received numerous other journalism and civic engagement honors over the course of his career.

 

He earned a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School. 

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On Tuesday, June 4, Douglas Hsu, a senior Taiwanese diplomat who currently oversees that nation’s interests in New England, will speak to us about current political and economic conditions in that nation (one of Rhode Island’s largest export markets), and China’s military and other threats to Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

Former adviser to British Royal Family and scholar of the sociology of what led to Brexit will speak at March 14 PCFR

British Royal Family Coat of Arms.

British Royal Family Coat of Arms.

Mark your calendars for some exciting upcoming talks at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com). Consult thepcfr.org for information on how to join the organization and other information about the organization.

Our speaker on Thursday, March 14, will be Miguel Head, now a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. He spent the past decade as a senior adviser to the British Royal Family. He joined the Royal Household as Press Secretary to Prince William and Prince Harry before being appointed in 2012 as their youngest ever Chief of Staff.

Previously, Mr. Head was Chief Press Officer at the UK Ministry of Defense, and worked for the Liberal Democrat party in the European Parliament. While at the Shorenstein Center, Mr. Head is doing research into how social inequalities in Britain are fomenting the politics of division (which helped lead to the Brexit vote) and how non-political leadership, working collaboratively with traditional and digital media, can play a role in bringing disparate communities together. At the PCFR, he’ll talk about those things as well comment on the past and current role of the Royal Family, and, indeed, life with the Royals.

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At the Thursday, April 4 ,Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org) dinner, James Nealon, the former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, will talk about Central America in general and Honduras in particular, with a focus on the conditions leading so many people there to try to flee to the United States – and what the U.S. can and should do about it.

A career Foreign Service officer, Nealon held posts in Canada, Uruguay, Hungary, Spain, and Chile before assuming his post as Ambassador to Honduras in August 2014; Nealon also served as the deputy of John F. Kelly, while Kelly was in charge of the United States Southern Command.

After leaving his ambassadorship in 2017, Nealon was appointed assistant secretary for international engagement at the Department of Homeland Security by Kelly in July. During his time as assistant secretary, Nealon supported a policy of deploying Homeland Security agents abroad. He resigned his post on Feb. 8, 2018, due to his disagreements with the immigration policy of Donald Trump, and, specifically, the withdrawal of temporary protected status for Hondurans.

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Then, on Wednesday, April 10, the speaker will be Prof. James Green, who will talk about the political and economic forces that have led to the election of Brazil’s new right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro – and hazard some guesses on what might happen next.

Professor Green is the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History, director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative, Distinguished Visiting Professor (Professor Amit) at Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, and the Executive Director of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), which is now housed at the Watson Institute at Brown.

Green served as the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown University from 2005 to 2008. He was president of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) from 2002 until 2004, and president of the New England Council on Latin American Studies (NECLAS) in 2008 and 2009.

Speakers for May and June will be announced soon.

Feb. 20 PCFR speaker to address U.S. challenges in the warming Arctic

The dots identify human population centers in and around the Arctic.

The dots identify human population centers in and around the Arctic.

The speaker at the Feb. 20 dinner meeting of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations  (thepcfr.org) will be Prof. Walter Berbrick, founding director of the Arctic Studies Group at the U.S. Naval War College. He'll talk about future U.S. policies and programs for that region, which is increasingly affected by great power politics.

For more information and to sign up, please hit this link.

PCFR to soon launch new season

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To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations,

The PCFR returns for the 2018-2019 season, and we are excited to share our lineup of notable, expert presenters with you.

Thank you in particular to all members who shared feedback and speaker suggestions. Your input is valued as we aim to provide events that are edifying to our members.

We invite you to attend all these events, and encourage members to bring guests, especially as prospective new members.

Just a reminder, we are collecting 2018/19 member dues. Thank you to those who have already sent them in.

We have four membership categories:
 
Sustaining: Annual dues are $120. We much encourage your becoming a sustainingmember for the additional resources that it gives us to bring in good speakers and  boost our related services.
Regular:  Annual dues are $90.
Associate: For spouses of regular or sustaining members annual dues are $50. Thus, for example, the total dues for a sustaining member and his or her spouse would be $170. For a regular member and spouse, $140.
Student: Current full-time students may join for $50.

To pay your dues and dinner charges via credit card, please visit our website at thepcfr.org. Otherwise, please mail your checks, made out to “PCFR,’’ for dues to:

Hannah Hazelton
PO Box 146
Fiskeville, RI 02823
 
Dinners and dues can also be paid for at the welcome table on the night of a dinner by check, credit card or cash.
 
The cost of dues and dinners may be deductible for business reasons in some cases. Consult your tax adviser.
 
Please get your dues in for the 2018-19 season. The earlier we get them, the easier it is to plan for the new season. Thanks to everyone who has already sent them in.
 
Regards,

Hannah Hazelton
Chairperson
Providence Committee on Foreign Relations
pcfremail@gmail.com

Thursday, September 13

Paulo Sotero, Director, Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute

6:00, The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence

Paulo Sotero, the Director of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute, has covered the evolution of his native Brazil and U.S.-Brazilian relations for nearly forty years as a journalist and analyst. An award-winning reporter, he worked for publications across his country before serving as the longtime Washington correspondent for O Estado de S. Paulo, one of Brazil’s top dailies. A frequent guest commentator for the BBC, CNN, NPR and major newspapers in Latin America and beyond, Sotero has taught at Georgetown University and The George Washington University.

If you're paying at the door, please RSVP by replying to this email.

Wednesday, September 26

The Good Citizen and American Civilization
Fred Zilian

6:00, The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence

American Civilization is under stress and therefore also its exceptional leadership of the free world. Since the divisive 1960s, its basic building block—the good citizen—has been buffeted by at least seven factors: the legacy of the Sixties, the breakdown of the family and community, changes in our public education system, the rise of the Wild-West digital world, the degradation of cultural ethical standards, under-regulated capitalism, and a decline in leaders of character. This talk will explore the roles and responsibilities of the good citizen in historical perspective, those of the good citizen today, and the seven stresses on the good citizen today. It will then propose a partial solution: a universal national service program. Finally it will relate these challenges to the “Real Thucydides Trap,”—an alternate to Graham Allison’s—which threatens America’s leadership of the free world.

After graduating West Point in 1970, Fred Zilian completed a 21-year career as an infantry officer in the Army, a career that included four years teaching international relations at the U.S. Military Academy and four years teaching “Strategy & Policy” at the Naval War College. His second career was as an educator at Portsmouth Abbey School, 1992-2015, where he taught history, ethics, and German. Currently he is an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, where he teaches history and politics, and also a monthly columnist for the Newport Daily News.

Zilian holds a Ph.D. in international relations/strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Wednesday, October 3

Social Entrepreneurship with Dr. Teresa Chahine, Harvard

6:00, The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence

Dr. Teresa Chahine is the author of “Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship,” based on her course at Harvard. She is the Innovation Advisor at Alfanar Venture Philanthropy, which she helped launch in her home country of Lebanon. Alfanar provides tailored financing and technical support to social enterprises serving marginalized populations in the Arab world.

Dr. Chahine divides her time between Beirut and Boston, where she leads the social entrepreneurship program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Wednesday, October 17

Two Paths to Brexit: Michael Goldfarb

6:00, The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence

On the eve of an EU summit where the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, hopes to present a draft treaty for Britain's withdrawal from the EU former NPR correspondent, Michael Goldfarb, who covered the creation of the euro and the border free Europe, looks at the details of the deal: the rights of millions of British and European citizens now living in what have become "foreign" countries, how to keep the Irish border fully open, maintaining supply chains, and the time frame for transition.

It is also possible talks will have collapsed.  In that case, Goldfarb will explain the likely impact on UK, Europe and global economy of a no-deal Brexit.

Michael Goldfarb is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He has written for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post but is best known for his work in public radio. Throughout the 1990’s, as NPR’s London Correspondent and then Bureau Chief, he covered conflicts and conflict resolution from Northern Ireland to Bosnia to Iraq for NPR.

Thursday, November 8

Geopolitics Underlying US Foreign Policy
Sarah C. M. Paine

6:00, The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence

Sarah C. Paine is a professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College located in Newport, Rhode Island. She has written or co-edited several books on naval policy and related affairs, and subjects of particular interest to the United States Navy or Defense. Other works she has authored concern the political and military history of East Asia, particularly China, during the modern era. She is the author of the 2012 award-winning book, Wars for Asia 1911–1949.


Suggestions for speakers and topics are always much appreciated.
We’re all in this together.

We want your feedback.

Do you have ideas for PCFR? Thoughts? Opinions? Please share your feedback with us by sending an email to pcfremail@gmail.com

Hannah Hazelton
Chairman
Providence Committee on Foreign Relations

Greek island confronts the Syrian refugee crisis

Lesbos (in red), right off the Turkish coast.

Lesbos (in red), right off the Turkish coast.

Next at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com:

On Thursday, Nov. 16 (note change from the previously announced Nov. 15), Maria Karangianis will speak on the refugee crisis in the Aegean:

In May 2015, she traveled to the Greek Island of Lesbos, within sight of Turkey. At that time, hundreds of thousands of refugees were spilling onto the beaches in leaky boats, many of them dying, trying to find freedom from war-torn Syria. The Greek people of the island, who have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity, have faced an economic catastrophe with tourism, their main source of income. Maria is currently a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow and has traveled across the United States speaking at colleges and universities. She is a former guest editor and an award-winning writer on the editorial board of The Boston Globe.

 

 

 

PCFR talk on Syrian refugees on Lesbos

Next at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com:

On Thursday, Nov. 16 (note change from the previously announced Nov. 15), Maria Karangianis will speak on the refugee crisis in the Aegean:

In May 2015, she traveled to the Greek Island of Lesbos, within sight of Turkey. At that time, hundreds of thousands of refugees were spilling onto the beaches in leaky boats, many of them dying, trying to find freedom from war-torn Syria. The Greek people of the island, who have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity, have faced an economic catastrophe with tourism, their main source of income. Maria is currently a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow and has traveled across the United States speaking at colleges and universities. She is a former guest editor and an award-winning writer on the editorial board of The Boston Globe.

 

 

Nov. 1 PCFR talk on what a war with North Korea might look like.

missile.jpg

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com):

Harry J. Kazianis (Twitter link: @Grecianformula), director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, will speak on Nov. 1 on how a U.S. war with North Korea might proceed.

He also serves as executive editor of the center's publishing arm, The National Interest, the largest online publication focusing on foreign-policy issues.

Mr. Kazianis is a well-known expert on national-security issues involving North Korea, China, the broader Asia-Pacific region as well as U.S. foreign policy in general. He is also  a Fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the University of Nottingham (UK). He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Harvard University.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Maria Karangianis will  speak on the refugee crisis in the eastern Mediterranean.

In May 2015, she traveled to the Greek Island of Lesbos, within sight of Turkey. At that time, hundreds of thousands of refugees were spilling onto the beaches in leaky boats, many of them dying, trying to find freedom from war-torn Syria. The Greek people of the island, who have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity, have faced an economic catastrophe with tourism, their main source of income. Maria is currently a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow and has traveled across the United States speaking at colleges and universities. She is a former guest editor and an award-winning writer on the editorial board of The Boston Globe. 

 
On Wednesday, Jan. 17, comes Victoria Bruce, author of Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home.  This is about, among other things, China’s monopolization of rare earths, which are essential in electronics.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, comes Dan Strechay, the U.S. representative for outreach and engagement at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who talk about the  massive deforestation  and socio-economic effects associated with producing palm oil in the Developing World and what to do about them.

 
 

What would war with N. Korea look like?

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com):

Harry J. Kazianis (Twitter link: @Grecianformula), director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 1, on what a U.S. war with North Korea might look like.

He also serves as executive editor of the center's publishing arm, The National Interest, the largest online publication focusing on foreign-policy issues.

He is a well-known expert on national-security issues involving North Korea,

China, the broader Asia-Pacific as well as U.S. foreign policy in general. He is also a Fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the University of Nottingham (UK). He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Harvard University.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Maria Karangianis will speak on the refugee crisis in the eastern Mediterranean.

In May 2015, she traveled to the Greek Island of Lesbos, within sight of Turkey. At that time, hundreds of thousands of refugees were spilling onto the beaches in leaky boats, many of them dying, trying to find freedom from war-torn Syria. The people of the island, who have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity, have faced an economic catastrophe with tourism, their main source of income. Maria is currently a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow and has traveled across the United States speaking at colleges and universities. She is a former guest editor and former award-winning writer on the editorial board of The Boston Globe.

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, comes Victoria Bruce, author of Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home. This is about, among other things, China’s monopolization of rare earths, which are essential in electronics.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, comes Dan Strechay, the U.S. representative for outreach and engagement at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who talk about the massive deforestation and socio-economic effects associated with producing palm oil in the Developing World and what to do about them.

Prior to joining the RSPO, he was the senior manager for Sustainability Communications for PepsiCo.

 

Graham Allison to speak at the PCFR: Are China and America destined for war?

Coming up at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com):

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, comes Graham Allison, who will talk about, among other things, Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea. He'll discuss his new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

Graham Allison was director of Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 1995 until July 2017. Allison is a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy, with a special interest in nuclear weapons, terrorism and decision-making.

On Wednesday Nov. 15, comes prize-winning journalist Maria Karagianis, who will talk about the refugee crisis on the Greek island of Lesbos.

In May 2015, she traveled to Lesbos, which is within sight of Turkey. At that time, hundreds of thousands of refugees were spilling onto the beaches in leaky boats, many of them dying, trying to find freedom from war-torn Syria. The Greek people of the island, who have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity, are now facing an economic catastrophe with tourism, their main source of income, which is now destroyed. She is currently a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow and has traveled across the United States speaking at colleges and universities. She is a former guest editor and award-winning writer on the editorial board of The Boston Globe..

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, comes Victoria Bruce, who will talk about China's near monopoly of rare-earth elements.

She is the author of Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home. This is about, among other things, China’s monopolization of rare earths, which are essential in electronics.

Victoria Bruce holds a master's degree in geology from the University of California, Riverside, where she researched the chemistry of volcanic hazards on Mount Rainer in Washington State. She has directed and produced four documentary films, earning the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. She also received the Duke University Human Rights Book Award for Hostage Nation.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, comes Dan Strechay, who will talk about the environmental and socio-economical effects of the vast palm-oil agribusiness.

He is the U.S. representative for outreach and engagement at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). He'll discuss, among other things, the massive deforestation associated with producing palm oil in the Developing World and what to do about it. Prior to joining the RSPO, he was the senior manager for Sustainability Communications for PepsiCo.

Explaining Putin; Will China and U.S. go to war?

The friendly face of Vladimir Putin.

The friendly face of Vladimir Putin.

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com).o.

With Russian intrusion into American politics and government such an issue, we thought it would a good idea to recruit a Russia expert to start off our season. Thus we have the distinguished Prof. David R. Stone of the U.S. Naval War College lined up for Wednesday, Sept. 13.

He'll explain Putin  and the new Russian nationalism and how it affects us.

Professor  Stone received his B.A. in history and mathematics from Wabash College and his Ph.D in history from Yale University. He has taught at Hamilton College and at Kansas State University, where he served as director of the Institute for Military History. He has also been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His first book Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933 (2000) won the Shulman Prize of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Best First Book Prize of the Historical Society. He has also published A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya (2006), and The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (2015). He also edited The Soviet Union at War, 1941-1945(2010). He is the author of several dozen articles and book chapters on Russian / Soviet military history and foreign policy.

 
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Graham Allison, who has been running Harvard’s Belfer Institute, will talk about, among other things, Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.   He'll talk about his new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? 
 

PCFR new season; watching Venezuela

 

The Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com) is watching events in Venezuela, now being dragged into all-out dictatorship. Hit this link:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-ushers-in-new-pro-government-chamber-as-opposition-vows-rebellion/2017/08/04/9c0c71e2-7883-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.abb99f0a3bea

 

Much of New England’s heating oil has come from once-prosperous Venezuela, now facing economic collapse and political violence.

 
Meanwhile, with Russian intrusion into American politics and government such an issue,  PCFR planners thought it would a good idea to recruit a Russia expert to start off its 2017-2018 season. Thus it has the distinguished Prof. David R. Stone of the U.S. Naval War College lined up for  its Wednesday, Sept. 13 dinner.

He'll explain Putin  and the new Russian nationalism and how it affects us.

Professor  Stone received his B.A. in history and mathematics from Wabash College and his Ph.D in history from Yale University. He has taught at Hamilton College and at Kansas State University, where he served as director of the Institute for Military History. He has also been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His first book Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933 (2000) won the Shulman Prize of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Best First Book Prize of the Historical Society. He has also published A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya (2006), and The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (2015). He also edited The Soviet Union at War, 1941-1945 (2010). He is the author of several dozen articles and book chapters on Russian / Soviet military history and foreign policy.

 

The rest of the PCFR fall season:


French Consul General Valery Freland will talk about how the French presidential-election outcome might change that nation’s foreign policy and the Western Alliance, on Wednesday, Sept. 27. By the way, he went to school with French President Macron.
 
Then on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Graham Allison, who has been running Harvard’s Belfer Institute, will talk about, among other things, Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.   He'll talk about his new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? 
 
On Wednesday, Nov. 1,  comes Michael Soussan, the writer and skeptic about the United Nations. He’s the author of, among other things, Backstabbing for Beginners, about his experiences in Iraq, which is being made into a movie starring BenKingsley.


 

PCFR season opener on Russia; watching Venezuela

 

The Kremlin.

The Kremlin.

The Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com) is watching events in Venezuela, now being dragged into all-out dictatorship. Hit this link:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-ushers-in-new-pro-government-chamber-as-opposition-vows-rebellion/2017/08/04/9c0c71e2-7883-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.abb99f0a3bea

 

Much of New England’s heating oil has come from once-prosperous Venezuela, now facing economic collapse and political violence.

 
Meanwhile, with Russian intrusion into American politics and government such an issue,  PCFR planners thought it would a good idea to recruit a Russia expert to start off its 2017-2018 season. Thus it has the distinguished Prof. David R. Stone of the U.S. Naval War College lined up for  its Wednesday, Sept. 13 dinner.

He'll explain Putin  and the new Russian nationalism and how it affects us.

Professor  Stone received his B.A. in history and mathematics from Wabash College and his Ph.D in history from Yale University. He has taught at Hamilton College and at Kansas State University, where he served as director of the Institute for Military History. He has also been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His first book Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933 (2000) won the Shulman Prize of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Best First Book Prize of the Historical Society. He has also published A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya (2006), and The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (2015). He also edited The Soviet Union at War, 1941-1945 (2010). He is the author of several dozen articles and book chapters on Russian / Soviet military history and foreign policy.

 

The rest of the PCFR fall season:


French Consul General Valery Freland will talk about how the French presidential-election outcome might change that nation’s foreign policy and the Western Alliance, on Wednesday, Sept. 27. By the way, he went to school with French President Macron.
 
Then on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Graham Allison, who has been running Harvard’s Belfer Institute, will talk about, among other things, Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.   He'll talk about his new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? 
 
On Wednesday, Nov. 1,  comes Michael Soussan, the writer and skeptic about the United Nations. He’s the author of, among other things, Backstabbing for Beginners, about his experiences in Iraq, which is being made into a movie starring BenKingsley.

 

 

The North Korean threat

The Korean Peninsula at night. Note the brightness of Seoul, the South Korean capital, and the darkness of North Korea.

The Korean Peninsula at night. Note the brightness of Seoul, the South Korean capital, and the darkness of North Korea.

May 19, 2017



To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (pcfremail@gmail.com; thepcfr.org).

Our next dinner meeting comes on Thursday, June 1, with our speaker Terence Roehrig,  of the U.S. Naval War College, where he is a professor of National Security Affairs, the Director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group, and teaches in the Security Strategies sub-course.  He has been a Research Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University in the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom and a past President of the Association of Korean Political Studies.   

As usual, the event will be in the Hope Club, at 6 Benevolent St., Providence, across the street from the Unitarian Church. Drinks start at 6, dinner by about 6:40, the talk starts at or a little before dessert, followed by a Q&A and the evening ends at 9 (except for those who wish to repair to the bar). .

Joining us on Wednesday, June 14, our last dinner meeting of the season, will be Laura Freid, who has been serving as CEO of the Silk Road Project,  founded and chaired by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, promoting collaboration among artists and institutions and studying the ebb and flow of ideas across nations and time. The project was first inspired by the cultural traditions of the historical Silk Road. Ms. Freid was recently named president of the Maine College of Art. There will be visuals and perhaps music.
 
 

 

Fishing out all the seas' fish? North Korean conflict; happy Silk Road



To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (pcfremail@gmail.com; thepcfr.org).

Our next meeting comes Wednesday, May 17,  with James E. Griffin, an expert on the global food sector. He's a professor of culinary studies at Johnson & Wales University and an international business consultant. He's particularly well known for his knowledge of global food sourcing and sustainability.


Professor Griffin will focus in his talk on seafood sustainability, looking at it with New England, national  and international perspectives. It will be based on international research he and his colleagues have conducted in recent years.

You might to look at this New York Times story about rapacious Chinese overfishing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/world/asia/chinas-appetite-pushes-fisheries-to-the-brink.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


On Thursday, June 1, comes Terence Roehrig,  of the U.S. Naval War College, where he is a professor of National Security Affairs, the Director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group, and teaches in the Security Strategies sub-course.  He has been a Research Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University in the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom and a past President of the Association of Korean Political Studies.   

 
Joining us on Wednesday, June 14, will be Laura Freid, who has been serving as CEO of the Silk Road Project,  founded and chaired by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, promoting collaboration among artists and institutions and studying the ebb and flow of ideas across nations and time. The project was first inspired by the cultural traditions of the historical Silk Road. Ms. Freid was recently named president of the Maine College of Art. There will be visuals and perhaps music.
 
We are already working on the fall season. There may be an expert on Mexico (perhaps Jorge Castenada) or Putin’s foreign policy (perhaps Dmitri Trenin) coming to speak early in September. Will advise.
 
Already scheduled is French Consul General Valery Freland, who will talk about how the French presidential-election outcome might change that nation’s foreign policy and the Western Alliance. He’ll speak on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
 
Then on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Graham Allison, who has been running Harvard’s Belfer Institute, will talk about, among other things, Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.   He'll talk about his new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap
 
On Wednesday, Nov. 1,  comes Michael Soussan, the writer and skeptic about the United Nations. He’s the author of, among other things, Backstabbing for Beginners, about his experiences in Iraq, which is being made into a movie starring Ben Kingsley.
 
Meanwhile, we’re trying to keep some flexibility to respond to events. Please send along ideas.

 

Fighting global disease threats

The various   influenza  viruses in humans. Solid squares show the appearance of a new strain, causing recurring influenza pandemics. Broken lines indicate uncertain strain identifications.

The various  influenza viruses in humans. Solid squares show the appearance of a new strain, causing recurring influenza pandemics. Broken lines indicate uncertain strain identifications.

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com):

The next PCFR dinner meeting comes on Wednesday, April 19, with Dr. Rand Stoneburner,  M.D., the distinguished international epidemiologist. Dr. Stoneburner, who has done extensive work with the World Health Organization, among other public health organizations,  will talk about Zika, Ebola and the biggest threat – a global influenza pandemic. He’ll have some graphics.

 

Tonight's PCFR: French elections, Brexit, Trump & other adventures

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (pcfremail@gmail.com; thepcfr.org):

 
Jean Lesieur, one of Europe’s most distinguished journalists, will be the speaker at tonight's (April 5) Providence Committee on Foreign Relations’  dinner. Mr. Lesieur is a novelist, a co-founder of France 24 (the French version of CNN), a former foreign correspondent and a former senior editor at the magazines Le Point and L’Express, among other publications.  Among other things, he’ll talk about Europe in the Brexit/Trump eras, the state of the Western Alliance and, of course, the wild French election campaign.

The road from Rio

March 12, 2017

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (thepcfr.org; pcfremail@gmail.com).

New England’s bizarre climate – the worst part of the winter comes near its end this year!
 

Distinguished Brazilian political economist and commentator Evodio Kaltenecker will speak on Thursday, March 16, about the challenges and opportunities for that huge nation as well as conditions in South America’s Southern Cone – Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. The recent past has been very tumultuous in Brazil particularly. Will the instability continue?

The title of his talk:

Brazil: 2018 and beyond and the pro-market wave in Latin America.