World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Upcoming events

    • 01 Oct 2019
    • 03 Dec 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Fall Forum 2019 (more information)

    Group 1: TUESDAYS, 10:00 am to noon
    Location: Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd, Hilton Head Island,
    Dates: October 1, 22, November 12, December 3

    Registration: Members only, deadline September 27
    Advance Registration is required. If you need assistance with registering, please email wachhi@gmail.com.


    • 01 Oct 2019
    • 03 Dec 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • ire Station #5, 20 Whooping Crane Way, Hilton Head Island
    • 11
    Registration is closed

    Fall Forum 2019 (more information)

    Group 4: TUESDAY EVENINGS, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM*
    Location: Fire Station #5, 20 Whooping Crane Way, Hilton Head Island
    Dates: October 1, 22, November 12, December 3

    Registration: Members only, deadline September 27
    Advance Registration is required. If you need assistance with registering, please email wachhi@gmail.com.

    *We will be provisionally offering a Tuesday evening session each series. If the minimal enrollment number is not met the Tuesday evening classes will be canceled.


    • 02 Oct 2019
    • 04 Dec 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Tide Pointe, 700 Tide Point Way, Hilton Head Island
    • 5
    Registration is closed

    Fall Forum 2019 (more information)

    Group 2: WEDNESDAYS, 10:00 am to noon
    Location: Tide Pointe, 700 Tide Point Way, Hilton Head Island
    Dates: October 2, 23, November 13, December 4

    Registration: Members only, deadline September 27
    Advance Registration is required. If you need assistance with registering, please email wachhi@gmail.com.


    • 03 Oct 2019
    • 05 Dec 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Unitarian Universalist Church, 110 Malphurs Rd., Bluffton
    • 15
    Registration is closed

    Fall Forum 2019 (more information)

    Group 3: THURSDAYS, 10:00 am to noon
    Location: Unitarian Universalist Church, 110 Malphurs Rd., Bluffton
    Dates: October 3, 24, November 14, December 5

    Registration: Members only, deadline September 27
    Advance Registration is required. If you need assistance with registering, please email wachhi@gmail.com.


    • 25 Oct 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    30 years have passed since the heady days of German re-unification. The generation whose world-view was shaped by comradeship in arms between Germany and America in the Cold War is slowly fading away. With the UK leaving the European Union, and populist parties triumphant in the East and the South of the bloc, this historic project, once masterminded and critically supported by the US, is at a dangerous juncture. Further to the East, an opportunistic Russia is filling the space where the West withdraws, and an increasingly authoritarian China is pursuing its long-term plan of taking the pole position in the world.

    Today, both the German and the US society are internally divided by new fault lines, some cultural, some economic, some political in nature. The vision of a transatlantic free trade and investment partnership is dead. In the foreign policy debates, short-term gain trumps long-term strategic thinking, thus producing dangerous narratives of neglected self-interest on both sides. The US-German relationship is in crisis and needs fresh thinking.

    Biography

    Ambassador Peter Ammon served as German Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2014-2018) and to the United States (2011–2014) and as State Secretary (US equivalent: Deputy Foreign Secretary) at the German Foreign Office in Berlin (2008–2011). In 2007 and 2008, Ammon was appointed German Ambassador to Paris, France.

    His prior diplomatic career included postings to London (1980-82), Dakar/Senegal, New Delhi, and Washington, D.C. (1999-2001). From 1996 to 1999, he was Head of Policy Planning and speech writer to the then President of Germany, Roman Herzog. A staunch advocate of free trade, Ammon worked as Director General for Economics at the German Foreign Office from 2001 to 2007, helping German "Mittelstand" companies build a global presence. Also from 2001 to 2007, he was tasked to prepare the G7/8 world economic summits for German chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel. While in London, Ammon's agenda was shaped by the British Brexit referendum to leave the EU.

    Peter Ammon is married to Marliese Heimann-Ammon. They have two grown daughters, Ariane and Christina. His personal interests include music, science and hiking. He studied mathematics and holds a doctorate in economics from Berlin's Free University. 

    Honors: Freeman of the City of London; Honorary Ph.D., University of Huntsville/Alabama; Cross Federal Order of Merit (Germany); Officier de la Légion d'honneur (France); Grand Cross Order of Merit (Portugal); Commander Ordre Bernado O'Higgins (Chile).

    A program hosted in partnership with Wunderbar Together, World Affairs Councils of America, and the American Council on Germany.



    • 01 Nov 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Costa Rica: A Small Country with Big Ideas

    Abstract

    The talk will discuss whether Costa Rica will become the world´s first fossil fuel free country and why this is relevant even if the country is small. We will discuss the national plan to go fossil free and what needs to happen to deliver this vision in particular how to engage the public and the private sector.


    Biography

    Monica Araya is an advocate, adviser and communicator who has incubated several initiatives in Latin America. She founded Costa Rica Limpia (costaricalimpia.org) to bring people closer to clean, smarter technologies that improve their everyday life. Her work focuses on consumer and citizen engagement in the shift toward renewable energy and zero emissions electric mobility.

    Her group pioneered www.movilidadelectrica.org – the first electric mobility platforms in Latin America devoted to the education of consumers about electric vehicles. She also co-founded the Electric Mobility Association in Costa Rica and is Vice President of the Board.  Her blog, “Essentially Electric” is hosted at the business newspaper La República. She writes frequently for international and local media and has given talks in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Her TED talk fossil-free Costa Rica that has over one million views and has been translated into 30 languages. 

    In 2017 she was mentor to the Next Visionaries, a TED & BMW’s initiative about the future of mobility.  In December 2016, she joined the world´s largest all-female expedition to Antarctica and was the first Latin American member of this global “women in STEM” leadership network.  The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs named her “Personality of the Future”.  Her work has been mentioned TIME magazine, the Financial Times, Hindu Times, The Independent, National Geographic, El País, Repubblica, and The Guardian.  Her articles and videos are available at www.monicaaraya.org









    • 15 Nov 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Before the CCP came to power, China lay broken. Today it is a force on the global stage, but its leaders remain haunted by the past. Sulmaan Khan will tell the story of the grand strategies pursued by China’s paramount leaders: the shrewd, dangerous Mao Zedong, who made the country whole and kept it so; the caustic, impatient Deng Xiaoping who dragged the country into the modern world; Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao who served as cautious custodians of Deng’s legacy; and Xi Jinping who combines assertiveness with insecurity. For all their considerable costs, China’s grand strategies have been largely successful. But whether or not they can meet the challenges of the twenty-first century remains to be seen.   

    Biography

    Sulmaan Wasif Khan teaches international history and Chinese foreign relations at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he also directs the Water and Oceans Program at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy. He is the author of Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping (Harvard University Press: 2018), which was named a top book of 2018 by The American Interest, and Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy: China’s Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press: 2015). He has written for The Economist, Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, and Yale Environment 360.

    Purchase HAUNTED BY CHOAS in advance at the special member price of $20 and we will have your copy waiting for you at the Speaker Meeting on November 15.

    Purchase now

    More information about the book

    • 06 Dec 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract and Biography to come.

    • 10 Jan 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    China continues to advance in so many areas including its Belt and Road initiative.  That effort is supported by a growing military capability that is not restricted to terrestrial earth as China is making significant investments and has sophisticated capability in both space and cyber space.  At the same time China has significant capability in its nuclear arsenal which it continues to modernize while also pursuing hypersonic glide vehicles.  Giving Chinese doctrine associated with these trends, is the United States, its allies and key partners doing enough?


    Biography

    Cecil Eugene Diggs Haney (born December 1, 1955), is a retired United States Navy admiral who previously served as Commander, United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) from November 15, 2013 through November 3, 2016. Prior to STRATCOM, he served as Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. He received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.

    Haney was born and raised in Washington DC, graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1978, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering. He holds master's degrees in Engineering Acoustics and System Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a master's degree in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University.

    Haney completed operational assignments in USS John C. Calhoun in various division officer assignments and in USS Frank Cable, where he completed surface warfare qualifications while serving as radiological controls officer. He served as engineer in USS Hyman G. Rickover, executive officer in USS Asheville, and assistant squadron deputy at Submarine Squadron 8 before taking command of USS Honolulu in June 1996. Haney commanded Submarine Squadron 1 from June 2002 to July 2004, and Submarine Group 2 from October 2006 to March 2008.

    Haney's shore duty tours include administrative assistant for enlisted affairs at Naval Reactors, and congressional appropriations liaison officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Deputy Chief of Staff of Plans, Policies and Requirements, U.S. Pacific Fleet (N5N8); and director, Submarine Warfare Division (N87); director, Naval Warfare Integration Group (N00X) and deputy commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

    He assumed his assignment as Commander, United States Pacific Fleet on January 20, 2012. He relinquished command of the U. S. Strategic Command on November 3, 2016 to General John E. Hyten. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at General Dynamics .

    • 21 Jan 2020
    • 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd. Suite 100, Hilton Head, SC
    • 43
    Register

    Subscribe to all four events in the 2020 Evening Speaker Series. 

    Location: Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd. Suite 100, Hilton Head, SC

    The 4-part series subscription fee of $80.00 includes hors d’oeuvres, coffee, soft drinks, and a cash bar. Welcoming reception begins at 5:15 p.m. with presentation and discussion from 6:00-7:15.

    • January 21, 2020: Bing West - Call Sign Chaos
    • February 18, 2020: Alex Kershaw - The First Wave 
    • March 5, 2020: Kathleen Biggins - Climate Change
    • April 2, 2020: Janet Billson Mancini- Immigration and Migration
    • 21 Jan 2020
    • 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd., Hilton Head, SC 29928
    • 58
    Register

    The Honorable Bing West is the co-author, with General Jim Mattis, of Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, the New York Times leading bestseller. Bing is a combat Marine grunt, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and bestselling author of ten books about our wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

    As our 2020 Evening Speaker Series Opening Speaker, Bing West will discuss both leadership in national security and the process of writing about combat and wars. We will have copies of the book Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead available for purchase at the event.

    Biography

    A graduate of Georgetown and Princeton Universities, Bing West served in Vietnam with Marine infantry and was later the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He has made dozens of trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, embedding with more than fifty front-line units. His many books include The Village, that has been on the Marine Commandant’s Reading List for 40 years; the New York Times Bestseller The Strongest Tribe, a History of the Iraq War; No True Glory: the Battle for Fallujah; and Into the Fire, also a New York Times Bestseller. His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

    A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Infantry Order of St. Crispin and the Stanford/Hoover Military History Panel, West is the recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Colby Military History Award, the Marine Corps Heritage Award (twice), the Goodpaster Prize for Military Scholarship, the Father Clyde E. Leonard Award, the Free Press Award, the Marine Corps Correspondents' Distinguished Performance Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ National Media Award, and the Marine Corps Russell Award for Leadership. He and his wife Betsy reside in Newport, RI and Hilton Head, SC.



    • 24 Jan 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Some of the principles of warfare are ancient, others are new, but all described in Sean McFate’s book The New Rules of War will permanently shape war now and in the future. By following them Sean McFate argues, we can prevail. But if we do not, terrorists, rogue states, and others who do not fight conventionally will succeed—and rule the world.

    War is timeless. Some things change—weapons, tactics, technology, leadership, objectives—but our desire to go into battle does not. We are living in the age of Durable Disorder—a period of unrest created by numerous factors: China’s rise, Russia’s resurgence, America’s retreat, global terrorism, international criminal empires, climate change, dwindling natural resources, and bloody civil wars.

    This devastating turmoil has given rise to difficult questions. What is the future of war? How can we survive? If Americans are drawn into major armed conflict, can we win? McFate calls upon the legends of military study Carl von Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and others, as well as his own experience, and carefully constructs the new rules for the future of military engagement, the ways we can fight and win in an age of entropy: one where corporations, mercenaries, and rogue states have more power and ‘nation states’ have less.

    Biography

    Dr. Sean McFate is an author, novelist and foreign policy expert. He is a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. Additionally, he is an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.

    A specialist in national security strategy, McFate was a think tank scholar at the RAND Corporation, Atlantic Council, Bipartisan Policy Center, and New America Foundation. Recently, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Program, where he conducted research on future war.

    McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division. He served under Stan McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as Jungle Warfare School in Panama. He was also a Jump Master.

    McFate then became a private military contractor. Among his many experiences, he dealt with warlords in the jungle, raised armies for U.S. interest, rode with armed groups in the Sahara, conducted strategic reconnaissance for oil companies, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Rwanda region.

    In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich. Additionally, he was a manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting), and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

    He has appeared before the British House of Commons, top universities and popular audience venues and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Politico, Daily Beast, CNBC, Vice Magazine, Aeon, War on the Rocks, Military Review and African Affairs. He has appeared on CNN’s Amanpour, Morning Joe, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, Fox, NPR, BBC, Economist, Vice/HBO, The Discovery Channel, and American Heroes Channel. As a scholar, he has authored eight book chapters in edited academic volumes and published a monograph for the U.S. Army War College on how to raise foreign armies.

    McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He lives in Washington, DC. For more information, see www.seanmcfate.com.

    • 03 Feb 2020
    • 23 Mar 2020
    • 8 sessions
    • Community Room at the Hargray Building, 862-A William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island
    • 15
    Register
    Note:  
    • Registration for Great Decisions is limited to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head members only. Members cannot bring guests.
    • Two members from the same household can register together. Register the second member as a guest.  


    Meeting Dates:

    • February 3
    • February 10
    • February 17
    • February 24
    • March 2
    • March 9
    • March 16
    • March 23
    • 04 Feb 2020
    • 24 Mar 2020
    • 8 sessions
    • Unitarian Universalist Church at 110 Malphrus Rd., Bluffton, SC
    • 24
    Register
    Note:  
    • Registration for Great Decisions is limited to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head members only. Members cannot bring guests.
    • Two members from the same household can register together. Register the second member as a guest.  

    Meeting Dates:

    • February 4
    • February 11
    • February 18
    • February 25
    • March 3
    • March 10
    • March 17
    • March 24
    • 05 Feb 2020
    • 25 Mar 2020
    • 8 sessions
    • Wesley Room in the Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd., Hilton Head, near Coligny Circle
    • 24
    Register
    Note:  
    • Registration for Great Decisions is limited to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head members only. Members cannot bring guests.
    • Two members from the same household can register together. Register the second member as a guest.  

    Meeting Dates:

    • February 5
    • February 12
    • February 19
    • February 26
    • March 4
    • March 11
    • March 18
    • March 25
    • 06 Feb 2020
    • 26 Mar 2020
    • 8 sessions
    • Community Room at the Hargray Building, 862-A William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island
    • 16
    Register
    Note:  
    • Registration for Great Decisions is limited to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head members only. Members cannot bring guests.
    • Two members from the same household can register together. Register the second member as a guest.  

    Meeting Dates:

    • February 6
    • February 13
    • February 20
    • February 27
    • March 5
    • March 12
    • March 19
    • March 26
    • 07 Feb 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Fifty years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union conducted the only significant national space programs, and only a small number of commercial entities were involved in space activities. Since then, the space sector has grown to include more countries, and it has diversified to integrate technologies and innovations from other sectors. Private funding for space-based ventures has increased dramatically over the past decade, and there has been a rapid growth of a private space sector, which now includes familiar companies such as SpaceX, as well as less familiar but equally innovative ones, such as Planet Labs and Spire, among others. As a result, major parts of the space sector are changing, from being largely driven by government and several large commercial enterprises to being more segmented—and therefore more open to participants—and globally integrated. These changes are electrifying for many people, raising new hope that the vision of incorporating the solar system into the economic sphere may finally be feasible. But the changes are wrenching for the old guard that created and nurtured the first government-led wave of the space enterprise. What do these trends mean for the US government agencies and departments that spend in excess of $40 billion annually on space-based activities? This talk will explore the globalizing and democratizing landscape of space.

    Dr. Bhavya Lal

    Biography

    Dr. Bhavya Lal leads strategy, technology assessment, and policy studies and analyses at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Space Council, and Federal space-oriented organizations including NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Intelligence Community. She has applied her expertise in engineering systems and innovation theory and practice to topics in space, with particular focus on commercial activities related to small satellites, space nuclear power, on-orbit servicing assembly and manufacturing, human exploration, and space science.

    She is currently serving on a National Academy of Science (NAS) committee on assessing the relative merits of infrared vs. visual observations by a space-based telescope to detect and characterize asteroids that might prove an existential risk to life in Earth. She recently co-chaired a NAS Committee on the State of U.S. Electronic Parts Radiation Testing Infrastructure for Space Applications, and was previously vice-chair of the NAS committee on Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats, and member of the NAS committee on 3D Printing in Space. She is serving a second term on the NOAA Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES), and participated on the UN Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) to develop an international scientific roadmap for small satellites. She co-organizes a seminar series on space history and policy with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She co-founded and is co-chair of the policy track of American Nuclear Society’s annual conference on nuclear and emerging technologies for space.

    Before joining STPI, Dr. Lal was president of C-STPS LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates. Dr. Lal holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a second M.S. from MIT’s Technology and Policy Program, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University.

    • 18 Feb 2020
    • 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd., Hilton Head, SC 29928
    • 62
    Register

    No popular historian captures the grit and heroism of WWII like Alex Kershaw, and The First Wave is a culmination of over twenty years of passionate research, built on close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the men who carried out D-Day’s most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the first US soldier to wade ashore on D-Day; the first officer to lead men off bloody Omaha; the young lieutenant whose unsung heroics made all the difference at Pointe du Hoc; and others among the Allied forces who fought hardest when it mattered most, when the stakes were highest and the odds longest. These were the extraordinary warriors who determined the fate of the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century.

    Biography

    An honorary colonel in the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Division, Alex Kershaw is the widely acclaimed and award-winning author of several New York Times best-selling books about WWII, including The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, The Few, Escape from the Deep, The Liberator, and Avenue of Spies. A graduate of University College, Oxford, he worked as a journalist for The Guardian and other newspapers before moving to the US in 1994. His latest book is The First Wave, published in May 2019 to mark the 75th anniversary of D Day. He lives in Savannah and regularly leads battlefield tours and lectures on WWII. His 2012 book, The Liberator, is being made into a drama series to be aired by Netflix in 2020.


    • 21 Feb 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Forever Wars in a Time of Fraying Alliances

    Abstract

    The collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate in 2018 was not the end of a terrorist group, but rather another turn in a cycle. Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist Joby Warrick illuminates the surprising roots of some of the most dangerous Islamists movements and explains how past policy decisions inadvertently contributed to their global expansion and, in the case of ISIS, remarkable rebirth. Projecting forward, he shows how the weakening of Western alliances and international institutions is speeding ISIS’s resurgence as a deadly insurgency in Iraq and Syria and the rise of regional affiliates in the Middle East and beyond.

    Joby Warrick

    Biography

    A national security reporter covering terrorism, rogue states, and weapons proliferation, Joby Warrick joined The Washington Post’s National staff in 1996. He has covered national security, the environment and the Middle East and writes about terrorism. He is the author of two books, including 2015’s “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” which was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. His first book, “The Triple Agent,” recounts the 2009 suicide attack by an al-Qaeda informant on a CIA base at Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven U.S. intelligence operatives.

    Before joining The Post, Warrick covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe as a UPI correspondent and worked as a reporter at the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. While in Raleigh, he co-authored “Boss Hog,” a series of investigative stories that documented the political and environmental fallout caused by factory farming in the Southeast. The series won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for public service.

    Honors & Awards:

    • Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, 2016
    • Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for public service, 1996
    • White House Correspondents Association Edgar A. Poe award, 1996
    • Overseas Press Club of America Bob Considine Award for best newspaper interpretation of international affairs, 2003

    Education: Temple University, BA in journalism


    • 05 Mar 2020
    • 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd., Hilton Head, SC 29928
    Register

    Curious about climate change but turned off by the politics? “The C-Change Primer” presentation is non-partisan and provides an accessible overview of the science behind climate change and a clear-eyed assessment of the potential risks ahead. It answers the questions most Americans have about climate change, such as: How do we know climate change is real and is caused by humans? What is the scientific consensus? What are the dangers? Is there hope?


    Biography

    Kathleen Biggins founded C-Change Conversations to bring moderates and conservatives into the conversation about climate change. Kathleen is a Southerner who grew up in New Orleans and has a strong appreciation for the economic value of the coal, oil and gas industries. While attending a conference in Washington D.C., she was surprised to hear from a military general, business leaders, and renowned scientists that climate change was a real issue with far-ranging implications. Kathleen began to study the issue and recognized it was a complex one that was not being communicated well in the press or in her peer groups. When Hurricane Sandy devastated her hometown of Princeton N.J., she decided to take action.

    Kathleen recognized that the issue was perceived as a "liberal" one, which prevented many of her colleagues, peers and loved ones from learning about it and understanding how it could impact them directly. She searched for a way to wake them up without turning them off.

    She invited a group of like-minded citizens from across the political spectrum to join her in creating a speaker series that would showcase non-partisan experts whom moderates and conservatives would find credible. Experts have been chosen for their ability to explain how climate change will impact the economy and jobs, our physical health and well-being, and our geopolitical security. They included a former Republican governor, a rear admiral, major energy company CEOs, financial analysts, a climate expert from the reinsurance industry, and world-class scientists.

    Seeking to deepen her community's understanding of the issue, Kathleen worked with climate and energy experts to develop a non-partisan, scientifically based presentation—the C-Change Primer—providing a 360° view of the issue's scientific, economic and policy ramifications. She presented it to her local community, who recommended the presentation to The Garden Club of America.

    Since presenting the Primer at GCA’s national conferences, she has been invited to give the presentation to more than 6,000 people in 28 states, with more presentations planned in the coming year. The Primer has been heralded for its non-partisan and comprehensive approach and has been enthusiastically received by conservative audiences. Kathleen is now training others to present the Primer around the country, and the initial team of C-Change Conversations volunteers has grown from four to 14.

    • 06 Mar 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Japan’s U.S.–imposed postwar constitution renounced the use of offensive military force, but a nuclear North Korea and an increasingly assertive China have the Japanese rethinking that commitment, and their reliance on United States security.

    Japan has one of Asia’s most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. Yet a fundamental shift in East Asian geopolitics has forced Japan to rethink the commitment to pacifism it made during the U.S. occupation. It has increasingly flexed its muscles—deploying troops under UN auspices, participating in coercive sanctions, augmenting surveillance capabilities, and raising defense budgets. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

    Sheila A. Smith

    Biography

    Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), is an expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy. She is the author of Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power (Harvard University Press, 2019). A senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), she is also an adjunct professor at the Asian Studies Department of Georgetown University and serves on the board of its Journal of Asian Affairs.

    She joined CFR from the East-West Center in 2007, where she directed a multinational research team in a cross-national study of the domestic politics of the U.S. military presence in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. She is vice chair of the U.S. advisors to the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), a bi-national advisory panel of government officials and private sector members. She also serves on the advisory committee for the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.

    She earned her MA and PhD degrees from the department of political science at Columbia University.

    • 20 Mar 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Ignored and repressed for almost all the 20th Century, Kurds in the Middle East have made some significant political and social gains. Always viewed as minorities in within the boundaries of the four states, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, Kurds have not only asserted their separate identities challenging the states but have also succeeded in achieving international recognition. In Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government that came into existence following the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime is a distinct federal entity within that state that has its own diplomatic representations abroad. Similarly, the Arab Spring has provided an opportunity for Syrian Kurds to organize and align themselves with the U.S. In Turkey and Iran, ongoing domestic strife, political and military, has consumed resources and attention of the central governments. What do all these developments portend for the geopolitics of the Middle East?

    Biography

    Henri J. Barkey is the Bernard L. Bertha F. Cohen Chair in International Relations at Lehigh University and an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Previously he was the Director of the Middle East Center at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (2015-2017). Mr. Barkey served as chair of the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University for thirteen years. He served on the State Department Policy Planning Staff (1998-2000) working on the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and intelligence-related issues. He was a non-resident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2008-2011). Currently he also serves as the chair of the Academic Committee on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Iraq, Sulaimani. He has written extensively on Turkey, the Kurds and other Middle East issues.


    • 03 Apr 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract and Biography to come.

    • 21 Apr 2020
    • 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    • Sound Waves, 7 Lagoon Rd., Hilton Head, SC 29928
    Register

    The Rohingya of Myanmar (Burma)—Persecuted, Isolated, Hopeful

    Since August, 2017, over one million Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma’s Rakhine State to escape the military’s large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing. Currently, this is the largest and most problematic refugee camp in the world, and the scale of this humanitarian disaster is difficult to fathom. Janet Billson has studied this international crises and will speak about the ongoing efforts by several countries to accept these refugees, and to provide a safe and secure return to their homeland.

    Biography

    Janet Mancini Billson, Director of Group Dimensions International and former Professor of Sociology at The George Washington University, received her MA (1972) and PhD (1976) in Sociology from Brandeis University. Dr. Billson has conducted social policy research since 1981, serving a wide variety of clients on international development, social policy, and organizational collaboration/strategic planning. Research, training, and lecturing have taken her to over 70 countries, including all of Southeast Asia, East and North Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Her clients include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Bank, the International Development Research Centre (Canada), the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (Japan), several United Nations agencies, as well as foundations, universities, and hospitals. She completed a database for the UNWOMEN on gender indicators for the former states of the Soviet Union.  

    Dr. Billson’s work has contributed to social policy shifts and program redevelopment at the national and international levels. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Danforth Associate, she received the Society for Applied Sociology’s “Award for Sociological Practice” in 2000 and the District of Columbia Sociological Society’s “Stuart A. Rice Achievement Award” in 2001. She was keynote speaker (Sustainable Development Goals) for the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in 2019. She happily lives in Indigo Run.

    • 24 Apr 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract and Biography to come.

    • 01 May 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    Register

    Abstract

    Australia is traditionally one of America’s closest allies, but it also increasingly relies on China for trade. That makes it a test case for the abiding question of our time – whether the US-led alliances that have sustained the Indo-Pacific since World War II can survive the rise of China. Does Australia have to choose between its longstanding security ally and its new economic partner? And what does that mean for the future of the West?

    Biography

    Richard McGregor is a senior fellow for east Asia at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s premier foreign policy think tank, in Sydney. Mr McGregor is a former journalist and author who has won numerous awards for his reporting in China and east Asia. McGregor is an expert on the Chinese political system – his book, The Party, on the inner-workings of the Chinese Communist Party, published in 2010, was called a “masterpiece” by The Economist. Translated into seven languages, The Party was chosen by the Asia Society and Mainichi Shimbun in Japan as their book of the year in 2011. His latest book on Sino-Japanese relations, Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of US in the Pacific Century, published in 2017, was called “shrewd and knowing” by the Wall Street Journal and the “best book of the year” by the Literary Review in the UK. In late 2018, it was awarded the Prime Minister of Australia’s award for best non-fiction book of the year.

    As the Former Bureau Chief of Financial Times in Beijing and Washington D.C., he led a team of senior reporters in both capitals for one of the world’s biggest business newspaper. He has also been based in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Taipei. On top of the Financial Times, he has worked for the BBC, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the International Herald Tribune, The Australian and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He was born and spent the early years of his career in Australia.

    McGregor was a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center and George Washington University in Washington from 2014-2016.



Past events

04 Oct 2019 General Wesley Clark - Deglobalization: Threats and Opportunities
27 Sep 2019 Annual Meeting - World Affairs Council of Hilton Head
14 Aug 2019 Summer Forum: David Lauderdale
17 Jul 2019 Summer Forum: Lynne Cope Hummell
19 Jun 2019 Summer Forum: Larry Kramer
17 May 2019 John Gilbert: North Korea and the Nuclear Threat
16 May 2019 Cocktail Reception for David Eisenhower
03 May 2019 Alyssa Ayres: India’s Rise on the World Stage
09 Apr 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Allison Stiller
05 Apr 2019 Global Speakers Program - Ambassador Jerzy Pomianowski: Supporting Democracy in Eastern Europe
15 Mar 2019 Ambassador Roman Popadiuk: The Ukraine Russian Crisis
12 Mar 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Patrick Skinner
01 Mar 2019 Robert Mallett: Africa - Familiar Challenges, Rewarding Opportunities
15 Feb 2019 Christopher Alexander: Canadian and U.S. Relations
12 Feb 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Amb. Everett Briggs
07 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group IV: Thursday evenings, 7:00 pm
06 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group III: Wednesdays, 10 am
05 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group II: Tuesdays, 10 am
04 Feb 2019 Great Decisions Group I, Mondays 10 am
01 Feb 2019 Dr. Soner Cagaptay: The New Sultan and Turkey’s Foreign Policy
25 Jan 2019 Trita Parsi: Iran’s Strategy in the Middle East
11 Jan 2019 Josh Michaud:Global Health
08 Jan 2019 Evening Speaker Series: Larry Kramer
08 Jan 2019 2019 Evening Speaker Series - 4 events
07 Dec 2018 Michael Auslin: Asia and America in the Age of Trump - War, Retreat or Recommit?
16 Nov 2018 Luncheon with Dr. Jennifer Keene
16 Nov 2018 Dr. Jennifer Keene: World War I and the Dawning of the American Century
02 Nov 2018 Global Speakers Program- Ambassador Pierre Vimont: President Macron’s France
26 Oct 2018 Bruce Hoffman: Inside Terrorism Today
05 Oct 2018 Larry Diamond: The Liberal Democratic Order in Crisis
04 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 3, Thursdays
03 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 2, Wednesdays
02 Oct 2018 Fall Forum - Group 1, Tuesdays
21 Sep 2018 Annual Meeting
15 Aug 2018 Summer Forum: Dr. Sally Mason
11 Jul 2018 Summer Forum: Richard J. Gough
20 Jun 2018 Summer Forum: Dr. Jim Wagner
04 May 2018 Todd S. Sechser: Nuclear Security
20 Apr 2018 Mohamed Razeen Sally: Asia Rising: Past, Present and Future
10 Apr 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Ben Kinnas
06 Apr 2018 Ray Toll & RADM Ann Phillips, USN: Rising Sea Levels and Their Impact on the Navy
16 Mar 2018 Anthony Zinni: A New Military Strategy
05 Mar 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Katherine Canavan
02 Mar 2018 Sarah Chayes: The Real Cost of Corruption
16 Feb 2018 Amb. Christopher Hill: Outpost, A Diplomat at Work
13 Feb 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Don Paul Colcolough
02 Feb 2018 Amb. William "Bill" Richardson III: North Korea
26 Jan 2018 Ivo Daalder: Trump’s Foreign Policy
12 Jan 2018 Benjamin Buchanan: The Cyber Security Dilemma
09 Jan 2018 Evening Speaker Series: Hazel O’Leary
09 Jan 2018 2018 Evening Speaker Series
01 Dec 2017 Edward Alden: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy
17 Nov 2017 Dr. Andrew Selee: Mexico’s Relations with the United States in the Administration of Trump
03 Nov 2017 Amb. James Jeffrey: The Middle East
13 Oct 2017 Anand Menon: The Future of the European Union
06 Oct 2017 Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley: American Foreign Policy in a Time of Fractured Politics and Failed States
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