Coming up at the PCFR: War with China? Refugees on Lesbos; Selling out U.S. tech

Coming up at the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (;

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.