Global Issues

Sarasota Wednesday Series


The Snowden Controversy - A View from a Real Insider on the Snowden Leaks and Their Aftermath
Chris Inglis

The 2013 Snowden leaks had a major impact on the National Security Agency (NSA) leadership and its mission. Prof. Chris Inglis, one of those NSA leaders, will explain NSA's purpose, means, and the controls in place to oversee the NSA's foreign intelligence mission, and the import, impact, and aftermath of Snowden's allegations.


How Policy Is Made in Washington, D.C.
Christopher Hill

Amb. Christopher Hill will review the foreign policy process in the Trump Administration. He will address questions such as: Who is seated at the table? Who are the stakeholders and power brokers? Does the U.S. Department of State have a future?


Intelligent Transportation Systems Redefined
Sasha Hoffman

Autonomous. Integrated. Shared. Data. Security. Connected. Infrastructure. Where is technology driving transportation and what’s in store for moving people and goods? Sasha Hoffman will examine global trends in urban mobility, smart cities, and life beyond the personal automobile and self-driving cars.


Russia and its Neighbors: The Search for Stability Twenty Five Years after Empire
James Collins

Russia’s relations with its neighbors remain uncertain and Moscow’s quest for a sphere of influence remains a source of instability for the broader Euro-Atlantic and global order. Amb. James Collins will describe how this issue has bedeviled U.S. Russian relations as Russia acts in ways that challenge fundamental principles of the Euro-Atlantic order. ?


The White House Under Siege
Donald Gregg

As a member of the National Security Council staff, Amb. Donald Gregg viewed two major crises from inside the White House: the seizure of 66 American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Teheran and the Iran Contra affair. Amb. Gregg will share his insights as to how the White House operates when under siege.


Iran’s Political and Social Evolution
Mohsen Milani

Dr. Mohsen Milani has been a keen observer of Iran for decades. He will discuss how Iranian realities differ from the radical images of 1979. He will compare Iranian social and political realities with those of others such as Saudi Arabia and ISIS. He will explain the rivalry between Iranian and Saudi models.


Does the Constitution Still Matter to Us?
Mickey Edwards

Increasingly, Americans are finding the Constitution and its governance model inconvenient and dispensable. Voters want outcomes they prefer and are willing to dispense with the democratic process. Members of Congress abandon their constitutional obligations in deference to partisan loyalties. Mickey Edwards will argue that if America is exceptional it is because of its constitutional structure.


Mexico Chooses a New President
Jorge Dominguez

Every six years, reports Dr. Jorge Dominguez, Mexicans elect their President and Senate for six year terms and the Federal Chamber of Deputies for three year terms. The leading candidate claims NAFTA was badly negotiated. Election fraud mars residential elections. He boasts that his rallies are the biggest. Are Mexican and U.S. elections alike?


Our Broken Immigration System and How to Fix it
Stephen Yale-Loehr

Immigration is at the forefront of U.S. politics. President Trump has called for building walls and imposing bans on Muslim immigrants. Does immigration help or hurt America? Immigration expert Prof. Stephen Yale-Loehr will explain why our current immigration system doesn’t work and what you can do to help fix it.


Countering Violent Extremism During the Trump Administration
Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith has spent over a decade developing strategies to prevent and defend against the spread of extremist ideology. Ms. Pandith will analyze the programs under the Trump administration for countering violent extremist actions.


The Major Threats to U.S. Cybersecurity
Suzanne Spaulding

Criminals and countries increasingly target us with malicious cyber activity. Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran have demonstrated competence to further strategic objectives through cyber interference. This is a strategic global issue for the U.S. Suzanne Spaulding will describe the threat and ways to protect our strategic infrastructure and other interests.


Kurdish Independence: A New Order in the Middle East?
Amberin Zaman

Ms. Amberin Zaman will analyze the impact of the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum on the political order in the near East. Will it sow further political confusion, instability and bloodshed? Will splitting away Sunni Kurds leave a mainly Shia Iraq prey to Iranian hegemony? Will it encourage Kurdish irredentism in Turkey, Syria and Iran?