Great Decisions
WORLDQUEST COMPETITON
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Luncheon Lectures
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BREAKFAST MEETINGS
2017 EXCURSION TO WEST POINT
Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, November 8th 2017

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org
For Prepaid Reservations, click HERE

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley

Red Line: Foreign Policy in a Time of Fractured Politics and Failing States

Sponsored by Mountain Springs Restaurant and Captains Cove Bar and Lounge

In this book, RedLine -Foreign Policy in a Time of Fractured Politics and Failing States, former Deputy Secretary of State P. J. Crowley, one of America’s most insightful national security commentators, unpacks the legacy of American triumphs and failures in Iraq . He argues that presidents have fallen victim to the Iraq Syndrome—the disconnect between politics, policy, strategy, and narrative—that has hampered America’s foreign policy in the Middle East and hotspots throughout the world. In order to maintain America’s global leadership role, Crowley argues that the next president must realign American’s national security politics, policies, strategies, and narrative for the long term. 

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at The George Washington University, where he currently teaches courses on public diplomacy and crisis communications. P.J. appears frequently as a national security commentator on national and global television networks. His opinion pieces have been published in a wide range of print and on-line outlets, including The Washington Post, The Guardian and the BBC.

He served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State between 2009 and 2011 under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was the primary U.S. government interlocutor with major media regarding the impact of the release of classified diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. He resigned from that position after making public comments critical of the government’s pre-trial treatment of Private First Class Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Atlantic Magazine named him as one of 21 Brave Thinkers in 2011.

After leaving the State Department, P.J. held the 2011-2012 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and School of Public Affairs, Dickinson College and the Army War College. While there, he authored The Rise of Transparency and Decline of Secrecy in the Age of Global and Social Media for the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs.

Before joining the Obama administration, P.J. was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, with a particular focus on homeland security in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He authored a number of detailed analyses on security issues, including Safe at Home, a national security strategy to protect the American homeland, improve national preparedness and rebuild the U.S. standing in the world. He remains engaged on these issues as a member of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group. His most recent analysis in this area is Homeland Security and the Post-9/11 Era, published by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

P.J. is a retired Air Force colonel and is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. He served on the National Security Council staff at the White House as a special assistant to President Clinton and deputy press secretary. He deployed to NATO Headquarters in Brussels during the 1999 Kosovo crisis to support then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, helping to develop a strategic communication capability in support of the NATO campaign.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, November 15th 2017

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery

Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Penn State University

Student's Studies Abroad

Four Penn State Berks students will relate their study abroad experiences.

 

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, December 13th 2017

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7886 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Dr. Paul Esqueda

Venezuela - Derailed Democracy?

Sponsored by PennState University/Berks

Dr. Paul D. Esqueda is the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Penn State Berks and a Professor of Engineering. His areas of interest are project management, negotiations, and operations management. He has a particular interest in developing negotiation case studies. For the last 30 years, Esqueda has been primarily dedicated to administration in academic institutions. Past positions include Division Head of Engineering, Business, and Computing at Penn State Berks; Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Administration (IESA) in Caracas, Venezuela and President of the Engineering Research Institute also in Caracas. Esqueda served as a consultant for the European Union to review the European Union Latin American Scholarship Program from 2003-2008. He was part of a 20 expert panel (10 from Europe and 10 from Latin America) that met every year in Brussels to audit the program and advise the EU on the development of the program.

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, January 10th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Dr. Shreeyash Palshikar

Dangerous Neighborhood: A Historical Background of the India-Pakistan Tensions

Sponsored by Weik Capital Management

Dr. Shreeyash Palshikar is an Assistant Professor of History at Albright College. He received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago, where he received a Fulbright fellowship to research in India. He also holds a B.A. from Amherst College, and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University. Before coming to Albright two years ago, he served in the intelligence community as a South Asia political analyst. 

Dr. Palshikar works on language politics and democracy in South Asia, with a focus on modern India. He is currently completing a manuscript analyzing how formation of linguistic states relates to the development of India’s democracy with a special focus on the area around Bombay/Mumbai city. He has previously analyzed how vernacular propaganda helped create emotional appeal for an opposition political coalition, and revealed how a contemporary political party appropriated rhetoric of a 1950s regional-linguistic movement. He teaches courses on World History, South and East Asian History and the global history of magic

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, January 17th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Judge Jeffery Sprecher

Sentencing Reform & Prison Overcrowding

Judge Sprecher will be discussing what improvements have occurred in the six years since the publication of his book, Justice or Just This?. This will be an update on a presentation he delivered to the World Affairs Council several years ago.

Judge Sprecher presides on the Berks County Court of Common Pleas since 1991.

 
Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, February 14th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservatons: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Dr. Nina Kollars

War and Technology

Sponsored by Sam Delal

Dr. Nina Kollars is Assistant Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College. As a graduate of Ohio State University’s Department of Political Science, Kollars’ most recently published research has been featured in Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, & Survival. Central themes in her work are innovation, adaptation, and organizational design. She is currently working on a book manuscript that focuses on the efforts of war practitioners and organizational responses to their insights and creativity. She is a non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point Military Academy, a member of the Committee for the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy, an editorial board member of the Special Operations Journal and a committed professor to her students. Before entering academia, Kollars completed analyses for the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress and the World Bank. 

Breakfast Meeting
Thursday, March 8th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - INN AT READING

Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

International Women's Day Event

Women's Economic Development Around the World

This will be a panel discussion with panelists to be decided.

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, April 18th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Thomas Wright

International Order: Trump's Foreign Policy

Thomas Wright the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously, he was executive director of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and senior researcher for the Princeton Project on National Security.

Wright works on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Donald Trump's worldview, the future of Europe, and Asian security. His book “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and Future of American Power” will be published by Yale University Press in May 2017.

Wright has a doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a bachelor's and master's from University College Dublin. He has also held a pre-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a post doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Wright's writings have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Orbis, Survival, The Washington Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as a number of international newspapers and media outlets.

Wright’s affiliations include the Fulbright Commission, Ireland, vice chair and board member International Politics Reviews, Palgrave Macmillan, editorial board.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, April 25th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Dr. Stepanka Magstadt

Human Trafficking

A migration historian educated in the U.K., the United States, and the Czech Republic, she is currently teaching courses dealing with Global Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence she developed. Stepanka is the Director of the Center for the Study of Human Trafficking in South-Central Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on identifying vulnerabilities to Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence.

 

 

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, May 9th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Dr. Tara O

North Korea

Dr. Tara O is an Adjunct Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS. She is the author of The Collapse of North Korea: Challenges, Planning, and Geopolitics of Unification. She serves on the board of directors of the International Council on Korean Studies and was the editor-in-chief of its journal International Journal of Korean Studies (IJKS). A retired Air Force officer, she worked on national security, intelligence, alliance, and political-military issues at the Pentagon, the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea, and the U.S. European Command, as well as intelligence agencies. She also worked counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and satellite issues. She worked in a variety of capacities, including analysis, liaison, and leadership.

As a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, she taught strategy and military operations. She was a faculty researcher at the Institute of National Security Studies. Her research areas include the Korean contingency and unification, U.S. alliance relationships in Asia, human rights in North Korea, and the social integration of North Korean defectors.

Prior to the military, she also worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development in Nairobi, Kenya, working on drought assessment and food aid; the Asia Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos, assisting the Laos Central Bank as it transitioned from a centrally-planned to a market-oriented economy; Bank of America, managing syndicated loans to Latin America; the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, assessing potential global flash points; and the United Nations Association of the USA in New York,analyzing international economic institutions.

She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of California at Davis, an MPA in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, June 20th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery

Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email contactus@wacreading.org

Brentwood Industries Speaker

International Business