March 13, 2019 (Boston) – Nationalism: Here, There and, Everywhere
Jed Willard is Director of Global Engagement at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation at Harvard. In this role, he leads the Foundation’s mission to pursue solutions to current challenges with an eye both to their historical origins and to FDR’s personal legacy. Over the past decade, Willard has worked with governments to help them to understand the drivers of public opinion and create strategies and structures to effectively engage citizens. He is currently focused on adaptation to climate change, coping with disinformation and propaganda, and revitalizing faith in liberal democracy. Willard co-founded the Public Diplomacy Collaborative at Harvard Kennedy School.
Dr. Jake Wegmann
Dr. Jake Wegmann
March 26, 2019 (Austin) – What’s the Deal with Gentrification in Austin?
Jake completed his doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley in 2014, with a dissertation entitled “‘We Just Built It:’ Code Enforcement, Local Politics, and the Informal Housing Market in Southeast Los Angeles County.” His research lies at the nexus of housing, real estate development, and planning. He has published research on the racialized restructuring of metropolitan space, microhousing infill, and the measurement of affordable rental housing cost efficiency in Urban Geography, Journal of Urbanism, and Housing Policy Debate.
Laur Hesse Fisher
Laur Hesse Fisher
Feb. 28, 2019 (Philadelphia) – Breaking Through Gridlock workshop
Ms. Laur Hesse Fisher is the founder and Board Chair of Civic Series. Passionate about issue literacy and productive civic dialogue, she founded Civic Series in 2014 to increase our ability to understand and talk about complex current events and political issues, no matter our political affiliation. By day, she works for the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, where she works to expand MIT’s public engagement on climate change across political lines.
Feb. 12, 2019 (Boston) – Personal Genetics
Catharine Wang. Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor in the Community Health Sciences Department, and a Peter T. Paul Career Development Professor, at Boston University. She obtained her doctorate in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan and has expertise in survey research methods, intervention development, and program evaluation. Her research has spanned across several areas including public health genomics, health communication/e-health, health literacy, and cancer prevention and control. Dr. Wang currently serves as a member of the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Board. Much of Dr. Wang’s work focuses on the effective translation of genomic discoveries into clinical and public health practice. She has been the Principal Investigator on several grants to examine how people understand and use complex risk information to make health decisions. Her work also examines how individuals adopt new health technologies, including genomics and molecular diagnostics, and examines barriers to the adoption and implementation of these technologies among underserved patient populations. With a grant from NHGRI, she is currently collaborating with clinicians and computer scientists at Boston Medical Center and Northeastern University to create a “virtual counselor” to ascertain family health history in efforts to overcome previously identified literacy-related barriers to using computerized tools and facilitate the use of family history a vehicle for precision medicine. Another NHGRI grant is examining the adoption of prenatal cell-free fetal DNA testing in diverse patient populations in efforts to identify and address potential inequities in use.
Dec. 6, 2018 (Boston) – Online Shopping: Friend or foe?
Sharmila Chatterjee. Senior Lecturer in Marketing and the Academic Head for the MBA Track in Enterprise Management (EM) at MIT Sloan. Chatterjee teaches the graduate course in B2B Marketing and is deeply engaged in Action Learning as a faculty mentor for G-Lab, China/India Lab, and as an instructor for the Enterprise Management (EM) Lab. Her research explores sales-marketing interface [what is this in lay person language? ☺ ], customer acquisition and retention, the diffusion of technological innovations, value based management, brand trust, financial literacy and multicultural marketing. Chatterjee has published in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, among others [pick top 3 favorites?], and is an award winning case writer. Chatterjee graduated from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani and worked briefly in Faridabad, India before earning her Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Nov. 8, 2018 (Boston) – Why aren’t we moving? An inside look at the MBTA.
Matthew Ciborowski. Senior Planner in Arup’s Boston office with 10 years of experience in the public and private sectors. His work to date has focused on the Boston area through positions with the state department of transportation (MassDOT) and transit authority (MBTA), and he has worked across the United States in previous roles.
Matthew’s experience includes service planning, alternatives analysis, economic development, environmental review, and the integration of engineering services. He has extensive project management experience, having managed multi-million-dollar planning studies and P3 efforts, most of which are now in the implementation phase.
As the leader of Arup’s Boston Planning practice, Matthew delivers projects for public and private sector clients that shape the future of our cities. His key areas of focus include fare and pricing policy, passenger facility design, transit micro-investments, the integration of emerging technologies into existing networks, the interface between planning and engineering, bridging the gap between government regimes, and P3 financing strategy.
Oct. 9, 2018 (Boston) – Demystifying Lobbying
Stefanie Coxe. The founder of Nexus Werx and an activism trainer and political consultant who worked as a “political insider” for nearly 15 years, including serving as an aide to two Massachusetts state representatives and a Member of Congress. She kept meeting people who couldn’t afford a lobbyist – non-profit leaders, town administrators, and community activists – but earnestly wanted to learn how to navigate the world of politics and effectively advocate for their priorities. She has created the Learn to Lobby series to do just that.
Oct. 9, 2018 (Boston) – Demystifying Lobbying
Rebecca Wolfson. The Executive Director of the Boston Cyclist’s Union. She works with residents, advocates, municipal staff and policymakers to help transform the region’s streets so everyone can feel safe and comfortable riding a bike as transportation. Her experience liaising in local government and community, environmental ethic, and grassroots organizing skills were honed in the six years she spent on Cape Cod working for Barnstable County’s Resource Development Office and environmental AmeriCorps program.
Eugene Y. (Gene) Park
Oct. 17, 2018 (Philadelphia) – What’s the Deal with North Korea?
Prof. Eugene Y. (Gene) Park. Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History and the director of James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. As a scholar, Park is a historian of early modern and turn of the twentieth-century Korea. Born in South Korea and raised in southern California, he was educated at UCLA (B.A., History) and Harvard (M.A., Regional Studies East Asia; and Ph.D, East Asian Languages and Civilizations). He is an author of four books, including the most recent one, Peace in the East: An Chunggŭn’s Vision for Asia in the Age of Japanese Imperialism (Lexington Books, 2017), co-edited with Yi Tae-Jin and Kirk W. Larsen. Currently he is pursuing three book projects, including (1) A Concise History of Korea (Cambridge University Press, under contract); and (2) The Cambridge History of Korea, vol. 3, The Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392–1910 (Cambridge University Press, contract under negotiation), co-editing with George L. Kallander and Michael J. Pettid. Park also has a long-standing interest in such areas as genealogy, portraiture, and religion. Besides Penn, Park has also taught at Harvard, Korea, McGill, Seoul National, UC Irvine, Yale, and Yonsei.
Sept. 12, 2018 (Philadelphia) – Russia & The U.S.: It’s Complicated
Prof. Kevin M. F. Platt. Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He works on representations of Russian history, Russian historiography, history and memory in Russia, Russian lyric poetry, and global post-Soviet Russian culture. Platt received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from Stanford University and taught at Pomona College before joining the Penn faculty in 2002. He is the author of Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths (Cornell UP, 2011) and History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution (Stanford, 1997; Russian edition 2006), and the co-editor (with David Brandenberger) of Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda (Wisconsin UP, 2006). He also edited and contributed translations to Modernist Archaist: Selected Poems by Osip Mandelstam (Whale and Star, 2008) and edited Intimations: Selected Poetry by Anna Akhmatova, translated by James Falen (Whale and Star, 2010). His current projects include a critical historiography of Russia, a study of contemporary Russian culture in Latvia and a number of translation projects.
April 26, 2018 (Toronto) – Indigenous Languages in Canada 101
Prof. Keren Rice. Killam Prize winner, appointed by the Governor General of Canada as an Officer in the Order of Canada, University Professor Keren Rice served as the first Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives (now the Centre for Indigenous Studies) at the University of Toronto and she is co-chair of the Council on Aboriginal Initiatives.
She specializes in research on Slavey, now generally called Dene, a Dene language spoken in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Well known for her work in both theoretical and fieldwork-based Native American linguistics, she held a Canada Research Chair in Linguistics and Aboriginal Studies from 2003 until 2017. Prof. Rice served as president of the Canadian Linguistic Association from 1998 to 2002 and served as the president of the Linguistic Society of America in 2012. She has published numerous books and articles.
February 27, 2018 (Toronto) – Fake News, Alternative Facts, Post-Truth, the new normal?
Greg Kelly is Executive Producer of CBC Radio One “Ideas”. Greg graduated with a BA in English Literature and Humanities from York University, a joint MA in Victorian Literature and History from York University and University of Toronto, and a D. Phil. In English Language and Literature from Oxford University. He worked for CBC Radio and TV before moving in 2006 to National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. to start a new, national daily current affairs show called The Story. In 2009 he was Editor of “The State We’re In” at Radio Netherlands Worldwide before returning to the CBC in 2013 to assume the helm of Ideas.
January 31, 2018 (Boston) – Sexual Assault & Consent
Sarah Beaulieu, the founder of The Uncomfortable Conversation, which grew out of her critically acclaimed TedTalk. Sarah’s background combines senior fundraising and communications roles at places like Brown, Boston College, Be the Change, and the GreenLight Fund with deep engagement in sexual violence prevention and response, including board service with a rape crisis center, volunteer crisis counselor roles, and hundreds of interviews and focus groups with leaders in and adjacent to the field. In 2013, Beaulieu founded The Enliven Project, a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and lift survivors to their full potential. The Enliven Project is grounded in the idea that change cannot take place unless we tell the truth about our lives, our organizations and our social movements.
January 31, 2018 (Boston) – Sexual Assault & Consent
Kelly O’Brien is the technology reporter at the Boston Business Journal, where he writes about the people and companies that define Greater Boston’s innovation economy. This includes covering venture capitalists, early-stage entrepreneurs and leaders at public tech companies. Stories of sexual harassment among Silicon Valley startups and investors prompted him start looking for similar stories close to home and he continues to try to chronicle the effects of gender and racial imbalances in Boston tech.
November 15, 2017 (Boston) – How Housing Works
She knows housing policy, community organizing, urban planning, advocating for public and private investment and connecting small businesses with technical assistance. Shelly came to Boston from California, via Philadelphia, so she’s seen housing practices – best and worst – from west to east!
November 15, 2017 (Boston) – How Housing Works
September 21, 2017 (Toronto) – Demystifying Interest Rates
Prof. Russell Newman
September 19, 2017 (Boston) – Net Neutrality -_-?
Prof. Geoff MacDonald
June 8, 2017 (Toronto) – Online Dating: Is It Changing Relationships?
Prof. Mary Ann Chirba & Prof. Alice A. Noble
April 26, 2017 (Boston) – Healthcare Reform in America 101
Prof. Henrik Selin
April 13, 2017 (Boston) – U.S. and the International Climate Change Agreement
Prof. Henrik Selin is an Associate Professor in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University where he conducts research and teaches classes on global and regional politics and policy making on environment and sustainable development. He is the author of Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of Multilevel Management (MIT Press), co-author of European Union and Environmental Governance (Routledge), and co-editor of Changing Climates in North American Politics: Institutions, Policymaking and Multilevel Governance (MIT Press) and Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives (Ashgate). He is also the author and co-author of more than four dozen peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, as well as numerous reports, reviews, and commentaries.
February 9, 2017 (Boston) – Demystifying BitCoin
Michael Casey is Senior Advisor for Blockchain Opportunities at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. He has co-authored, The Age of Cryptocurrency, which describes the decentralized record-keeping system driving the bitcoin revolution, and The Social Organism, in which he argues that social networks imitate the behavior of biological life. Before joining MIT, he spent 18 years as a journalist at The Wall Street Journal.
Prof. Maria Ivanova
January 12, 2017 (Boston) – The United Nations… uh, what is it, exactly?
Prof. Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar, where she researches global governance and reform. She is Associate Professor of Global Governance at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also co-directs the Center for Governance and Sustainability. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.N. Secretary-General, a Board member of the U.N. University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.
Prof. Sheila McIlraith
December 14, 2016 (Toronto) – Artificial Intelligence: What is it and where is it taking us?
Prof. Sheila McIlraith joined the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto late in 2003. Prior to joining U of T, Prof. McIlraith spent six years as a Research Scientist at Stanford University, and one year at Xerox PARC. McIlraith’s research is in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) knowledge representation and automated reasoning. She has 10 years of industrial R&D experience developing AI applications. McIlraith is the author of over 100 scholarly publications.
Prof. Peter Krause
November 30, 2016 (Boston) – Past, Present & Future of ISIS
Prof. Peter Krause is an assistant professor of political science at Boston College and a Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. His research and writing focuses on Middle East politics, political violence, and national movements. He has two forthcoming books: Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win, and a co-edited volume entitled The Power to Hurt: Coercion in Theory and Practice. He has previously published articles on the threat of terrorism, the effectiveness of national movements and political violence, U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war, and the war of ideas in the Middle East. Krause has conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the Middle East over the past decade, and he regularly offers his analysis with national and local media. He has a PhD in political science from MIT and a BA in political science and history from Williams College.
Prof. Graham Wilson
August 18, 2016 (Boston) – Brexit
Prof. Graham Wilson is the co-founder and Director of the Boston University Initiative on Cities. Professor Wilson joined the Faculty of Boston University in 2007 where he served as Chair of the Political Science Department until 2015. His areas of specialization include American Politics, Comparative Politics, Business and Government, and Interest Groups. Professor Wilson received his BA and Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University and his MA from the University of Essex.
Prof. Maurice T. Cunningham
July 13, 2016 (Boston) – U.S. Presidental Election Process
Prof. Maurice “Mo” T. Cunningham is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Prof. Cunningham earned his PhD in Political Science at Boston College, a Masters in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a JD at New England Law. He is a co-founder and contributor to the blog MassPoliticalProfs on WGBH.
Dr. Ravi Perry
May 4th, 2016 (Boston Area) – Black Lives Matter
Dr. Ravi Perry is a scholar with specializations in Black politics, minority representation, LGBT politics, civil rights, social movements, and urban politics. He concentrates his research, oratory, and social and educational activism in areas such as the new generation of civil rights debates, public policy, and public service delivery to persons of color.
Dr. Perry is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. His activism, commentary and oratory has been featured in media outlets such as CNN, Huffington Post, Politics Daily, the National Journal, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and the Washington Post.
Erik Fogg and Nathaniel Greene
March 30, 2016 (Boston) – Political Polarization
Erik Fogg and Nathaniel Greene are the co-founders of MidTide Media and lead the Something to Consider Movement, with the mission of rebuilding the lost middle ground in US politics. MitTide is part of the transpartisan Bridge Alliance. In 2015 they published Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment, and How to Start Thinking For Yourself Again. The book uncovers the root causes behind growing political polarization in the United States. Erik received Bachelors and Masters degrees from MIT in Political Science. Nat received a Masters degree from Oxford in Engineering and a PGC from Cambridge in Design, Manufacturing, and Management.
Prof. Parke Wilde
February 4, 2016 (Boston Area) – Genetically Modified Organisms
Prof. Parke Wilde is an Associate Professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, where he teaches and writes about U.S. food policy.
Profs. Kaija Schilde and Noora Lori
November 17, 2015 (Boston Area) – European Migrant Crisis
Profs. Schilde and Lori teach at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies.
Prof. Kaija Schilde’s research interests involve European and transatlantic security, the political economy of defense and security markets and industries, EU lobbies and interest groups, and the role of private nonstate actors in national and international security. She has a government policy background in defense reform and transatlantic security.
Prof. Noora Lori’s research broadly focuses on the political economy of migration, the development of security institutions and international migration control, and the establishment and growth of national identity systems. She is particularly interested in the study of temporary worker programs and racial hierarchies in comparative perspective.
Dr. Jim Walsh
Oct 1, 2015 (Boston Area) – Iran Nuclear Deal
Dr. Jim Walsh is an expert in international security and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program. Dr. Walsh’s research and writings focus on international security, and in particular, topics involving nuclear weapons and terrorism.
Dr. Walsh has testified before the United States Senate on the issue of nuclear terrorism and on Iran’s nuclear program. He is one of a handful of Americans who has traveled to both Iran and North Korea for talks with officials about nuclear issues.
His comments and analysis have appeared in numerous national and international media outlets and has many recent and upcoming writings, including, “Rivals, Adversaries, and Partners: Iran and Iraq in the Middle East” in Iran and Its Neighbors, Palgrave Macmillan (2015); “50 Years After Gilpatrick: Reflections on Nuclear Age,” in Reassessing the Global Nuclear Order – Past, Present, and Future (2015); [Contributor], Iran and Its Neighbors: Regional Implications for U.S. Policy of a Nuclear Agreement,The Iran Project (2014).
Ambassador Paul Webster Hare
May 4, 2015 (Boston Area) – Cuba
Ambassador Paul Webster Hare was the British ambassador to Cuba from 2001-2004. Hare is a Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and was a member of the Brookings Institution Core Group on Cuba. He has written two policy briefs for Brookings: “The Odd Couple; The EU and Cuba 1996-2008,” and “US Public Diplomacy for Cuba: Why It’s Needed and How to Do It.” With Carlos Blanco, he is the coauthor of a Brookings paper published in November 2010 on Cuba and Venezuela: “Is Three a Crowd – the Venezuela factor in Cuba’s policy towards the United State”. He is a contributor to Reuters and the Associated Press reporting on Cuba. His articles have appeared, inter alia, in The Atlantic and The Miami Herald. Ambassador Hare teaches classes on Diplomacy, Arms Control and on Cuba in Transition at Boston University. His novel, “Moncada – A Cuban Story”, set in modern Cuba, was published in May 2010. A new book on diplomacy, “Making Diplomacy Work: Intelligent Innovation for the Modern World,” is to be published by SAGE publications in 2015.
Prof. Sung-Yoon Lee
Feb. 24, 2015 (Boston Area) – North Korea
Prof. Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professorship of Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing on North Korea policy and has advised senior officials and elected leaders in the U.S. government, including the President of the United States of America. Prof. Lee is a frequent commentator on major international media organizations, including BBC, PBS, NPR, PRI, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CBC, Bloomberg, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and others. For more about Prof. Lee, please click here.
Prof. Noelle Selin
Jan 22, 2015 (Boston Area) – Climate change
Prof. Noelle Selin is Assistant Professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her research focuses on using atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making strategies on climate change, air pollution and organic pollutants. She has also published articles and book chapters on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations. For more about Prof. Selin, please click here.
Prof. Bruce Western
Aug 27, 2014 (Boston Area) – U.S. Prison System
Prof. Bruce Western is the Co-Founder of the U.S. Prison Studies Project, Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.
Prof. Lenore G. Martin
Aug 6, 2014 (Boston Area) – Israel:Palestine
Prof. Martin is a Professor of Political Science at Emmanuel College, an Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University, and co-chair of the WCFIA/CMES Middle East Seminar.
She is also an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard where she co-chairs the Seminar on Turkey in the Modern World co-sponsored by CMES and WCFIA. Her major field is International Relations; particularly, international relations of the Middle East and Turkey. Professor Martin is a member of the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, and the Middle East Studies Association.
Dr. Taras Kuzio
June 26, 2014 (Toronto) – Ukraine:Russia
Dr. Kuzio is a Toronto-based leading international expert on contemporary Ukrainian and post-communist politics.
More about Dr. Kuzio: www.taraskuzio.net.
Prof. Asbed Kotchikian
June 23, 2014 (Boston Area) – Ukraine:Russia
Prof. Kotchikian is a senior lecturer at the Global Studies Department at Bentley University where he teaches courses on the Middle East and former Soviet Union. During the last 10 years, Dr. Kotchikian has traveled extensively and lived in the Middle East and former Soviet Union.
He has written, lectured, presented, and organized conferences on questions of identity and transformation of transnational (Diasporic) groups, foreign policies of small and weak states, national identity, and regional developments in the Middle East and Eurasia. His book, entitled The Dialectics of Small States: Foreign Policy Making in Armenia and Georgia, was published in 2008.
He is currently the editor of the academic peer reviewed journal, Armenian Review.
Asbed recommends the following resources:
- Civic Series PowerPoint – Ukraine – Asbed Kotchikian – June 23, 2014
- No, a film about an ad executive hired to create a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum.
- Rageh inside Iran, documentary of a unique journey inside Iran – what he describes as one of the most misunderstood countries in the world.
- Democratic Revolutionary Handbook, a how-to manual to the recent revolutions in Georgia, Serbia, and the Ukraine.
Prof. Denis Sullivan
May 1, 2014 (Boston Area) – Syria
Prof. Sullivan is the Director of the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies, and Professor and Co-Director at Northeastern’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture & Development.
He frequently travels to the Middle East with students, and much of his involvement is around the refugee crisis in Jordan.