February 14, 2011

Foreign Affairs Symposium to highlight global citizenship

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel opens speaking series Feb. 16; other lectures include Bob Woodward, Thomas Friedman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and astronaut Cady Coleman speaking from space station

The annual student-run Foreign Affairs Symposium at Johns Hopkins returns on Wednesday, Feb. 16, when former Sen. Chuck Hagel will be the first of 10 prominent speakers to visit the Homewood campus during the spring semester.

Hagel’s talk at 7 p.m. in 110 Hodson Hall begins the series of topical lectures and panel discussions under the 2011 theme, Global Citizenship: Re-examining the Role of the Individual in an Evolving World. Hagel is currently co-chairman of the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board, chairman of The Atlantic Council and a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The next speaker in the lineup will be Cady Coleman, a NASA astronaut who will give her talk at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20, while aboard the International Space Station. It will be broadcast from the Earth’s orbit to a screen in 213 Hodson Hall, which is a classroom set up with distance-learning capabilities.

Other speakers making on-campus appearances this spring are Franklin Raines, former chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae (Thursday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. in Levering’s Glass Pavilion); Bob Woodward, author and journalist at The Washington Post (Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in Shriver Hall Auditorium); Richard Koo, chief economist of Nomura Research Institute (Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion); Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist for The New York Times (Thursday, March 10, at 8 p.m. in 110 Hodson); Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and activist for women’s rights in Islamic societies (Tuesday, April 5, at 8 p.m. in Mudd Hall Auditorium); and R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (Wednesday, April 13, at 8 p.m. at a location to be announced).

Also expected to speak are Lt. Gen. Paul J. Selva, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Robert Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dates, locations and other updates will be posted on the FAS website, www.jhu.edu/fas.

Other featured events of the symposium are a panel discussion on cybersecurity, featuring representatives from Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and the Office of Innovative Technologies at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (Monday, March 14, at 8 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion); and a discussion with two of the university’s Nobel laureates, Peter Agre, director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, and Carol Greider, director of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences (Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m. in Shriver Hall Auditorium).

This year’s symposium was headed by Krieger School undergraduates Caroline Berger, a senior majoring in international studies; Isaac Jilbert, a junior majoring in sociology; and Kieran Coleman, a sophomore majoring in international studies.

Jilbert said of this year’s endeavor: “The goal of the symposium was to challenge the audience to consider their individual role in the global community. As the world becomes more and more interconnected, we are no longer confronted with local but global problems. These global problems are often said to require global solutions, yet the basis of these global solutions must be individuals who are willing to work together as responsible global citizens toward bettering their community,” he said.

Coleman added, “We also hope to draw in a broader cross section of Greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C., audience members, in addition to Johns Hopkins students and staff. Several of our events appeal to students at the Carey Business School and the School of Advanced International Studies, and we are offering live webcasts of some events to those students. We also hope to coordinate our events with programs at the [university’s] Center for Social Concern, introducing local children to international issues and, in so doing, broadening their outlook.”

The Foreign Affairs Symposium’s executive directors and staff begin to plan a year in advance, contacting possible speakers and fundraising throughout the Johns Hopkins and Baltimore communities.

“Our staff works tirelessly with us all year to contact and schedule speakers, coordinate logistics and work every event,” Coleman said. “The energy and excitement of our staff is really the driving force of the symposium, and they deserve our collective thanks.”

Berger said, “I have been fortunate to be on the staff of the Foreign Affairs Symposium for the past three years and been able to meet prominent figures in the field of international affairs. I’m looking forward to this year’s lineup, which I hope will motivate discussion around campus.”

Each event is followed by a reception with the speaker (and a book signing, if applicable).