2012 – 2013

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Senior Correspondent, Washington Post
“The War within the War for Afghanistan”

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post. He is the author of Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, published in June 2012 by Knopf. From 2009 to 2011, he reported on the war in Afghanistan for The Post, traveling extensively through the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar to reveal the impact of President Obama’s decision to double U.S. force levels.

Mr. Chandrasekaran has served as The Post’s national editor and as an assistant managing editor. In 2003 and 2004, he was The Post’s bureau chief in Baghdad, where he was responsible for covering the reconstruction of Iraq. Previously, he was The Post’s bureau chief in Cairo and its Southeast Asia correspondent, based in Jakarta. In the months following September 11, 2001, he was part of a team of Post reporters who covered the start of the war in Afghanistan and events in Pakistan.

He the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a best-selling account of the troubled American effort to reconstruct Iraq. The book, which provides a firsthand view of life inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, won the Overseas Press Club book award and was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2007 by the New York Times. Our speaker has also served two terms as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a degree in political science from Stanford University, where he was editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.


Dr. Stanley W. Black, University of North Carolina
“The Eurozone Crisis”

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Stanley W. Black graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Honors in Economics in 1961. Subsequently, he received his Ph. D. in Economics from Yale University and taught first at Princeton University and then at Vanderbilt University. In 1983 he returned to the University of North Carolina as Georges Lurcy Professor of Economics, serving as Department Chairman from 1985 to 1990. His government experience has included service with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Department of State. He has been a visiting scholar or professor at the Institute of International Economics in Stockholm, the University of Siena, Yale University, the Brookings Institution, the International Monetary Fund, and was Bundesbank Visiting Professor at the Free University in Berlin in Summer 1997. From 1994 to 1997 he was nonresident Director of Economic Studies for the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Most recently, he was Senior Policy Advisor at the IMF Institute of the International Monetary Fund during 2000-2001.

Dr. Black has worked primarily on problems of floating exchange rates and macroeconomic policy, especially the asset market theory of floating exchange rates with rational expectations. His work relates to the behavior of exchange rates, the international use of currencies, and European economic issues. His books include Floating Exchange Rates and National Economic Policy (1977), and most recently Europe’s Economy Looks East(1997), Competition and Convergence in Financial Markets (1998) and Globalization, Technological Change, and Labor Markets (1998). Recent papers include “Convertibility Risk: the Precautionary Demand for foreign Exchange in a Crisis”, “Obstacles to Faster Growth in Transition Economies: the Case of Mongolia” and “From Wirtschaftswunder to Kaltstart: German’s Economy and Economics 1950-2000”.


Dr. Elizabeth Overton Colton, Program Director, ACFR
“Foreign Policy Challenges for the New Administration”

Elizabeth Colton’s career includes and bridges diplomacy, journalism, scholarship, U.S. and international politics and education, working in more than 100 countries and speaking/teaching worldwide on six continents. Elizabeth (Liz) Colton is currently completing a book on diplomacy, global politics and the news media with focus on world “hot-spots” in the Middle East, Africa & Asia. Her book on Indian Ocean politics—focusing on Maldives, coups & climate change, is scheduled for publication in the coming year. Liz Colton has spent decades as an observer, practitioner and analyst of foreign policy, global diplomacy, politics, and the media with unique experience covering and working as journalist, diplomat, and educator in these fields in the U.S. and around the world. Elizabeth Colton is the published author of two earlier books, one on politics and the media in the 1988 U.S. Presidential campaign and another co-authored on connecting to creativity, as well as numerous articles and broadcast- tv & radio- stories on major world news, global affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

Elizabeth Colton’s diplomatic work includes service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, as a United Nations international development planner in New York, and, most recently, as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with assignments as the spokesperson/press attache in frontline posts in Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Algeria, as well as diplomatic tours in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. She also served as chief of staff in the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment & Science during which tour she worked as a chief organizer for a global conference on Antarctica and the Arctic. During her time in the Foreign Service, Colton received four State Department Superior Honor Awards, three Meritorious Awards, and, just before leaving the Foreign Service late last year, she was nominated by the U.S Embassy in Cairo for State’s prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Public Diplomacy.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Elizabeth Colton was a journalist covering U.S. foreign policy and major world news. An Emmy Award winning journalist for ABC News and also executive editor of the Suburban Newspapers of America’s “newspaper of excellence,” Liz Colton worked in the U.S. and abroad (all over the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa) in all the news media, including also NBC News, Newsweek, National Public Radio, Mutual Broadcasting, Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, as executive editor of ten Virginia weekly newspapers, and as a columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times. Colton was also Professor of Mass Communications, Politics, and Journalism at Shenandoah University where she established the university’s International Journalism Center and also Symposia on Diplomacy and the Media. During her time as a university professor, Elizabeth Colton was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Mauritius, a MacArthur Globalization Fellow at the University of Chicago, and a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Sri Lanka and Maldives. She also worked as a media adviser on various U.S. political campaigns. Elizabeth Colton received her B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, two M.A.s from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of London School of Economics & Political Science. Her doctoral research and thesis were on Maldives and the Indian Ocean. She also studied a year at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Liz Colton grew up in Asheville- the mountains of North Carolina, still her home.


Dr. Charles E. Ziegler, University of Louisville
“The New ‘Great Game:’ Central Asia in Geopolitics Today”

Charles E. Ziegler is Professor of Political Science and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky. A specialist on the domestic, foreign and security policies of Russia and Eurasia, Ziegler is co-editor (with Judith Thornton) of The Russian Far East: A Region at Risk (University of Washington Press, 2002), and author of The History of Russia (2nd edition, Greenwood Press, 2009), Foreign Policy and East Asia (Cambridge University Press, 1993), and Environmental Policy in the USSR (University of Massachusetts Press, 1987). He has published over sixty book chapters and articles for such professional journals as Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, British Journal of Political Science, Problems of Post-Communism, International Politics, Democratization, and Asian Security, and has presented over 80 papers at national and international conferences.

Ziegler is currently editing a book on Civil Society and Politics in Central Asia, an outgrowth of his work as Project Director for a State Department funded program on building civil society in Kazakhstan. He has been a consultant to the PhD program at Eurasian National University in Astana, Kazakhstan, teaching and advising doctoral students.

Ziegler first joined the University of Louisville in 1980, and was Chair of the Department of Political Science from 1998 to 2007. He has held an International Research and Exchanges Board Advanced Individual Research Opportunity grant, a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Korea, an International Affairs Fellowship of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Hoover Institution National Fellowship. In 1989 he served as Legislative Assistant for Defense and Foreign Policy to Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Ziegler is founder and administrator of the Center for Asian Democracy, and has served as Executive Director of the Louisville Committee on Foreign Relations since 1990. He teaches courses on democratization, Russia and Eurasia, oil and politics, and comparative political culture.

Ziegler received the BA from Purdue University, and the AM and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is married to Janna Tajibaeva and has a son, Alan.


Dr. Rick Roberts, U.S. Department of State (retired)
“The Iraq Reconstruction Experience and Implications for the Future of American Diplomacy”

Rick Roberts retired from the Foreign Service in January after almost three decades as a public diplomacy specialist, primarily in seven Arab-speaking countries of the Middle East. As Public Affairs Officer in Bahrain during the first Iraq War, he established the first Voice of America transmitter station in the Persian Gulf. He was Deputy Director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where he helped plan and implement the consolidation of the U.S. Information Agency with State. In 1998/99, Dr. Roberts was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the staff of Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana. As Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Embassy London, Rick helped expand the Media Outreach Center as the Department of State’s primary outlet to international Arabic media.

In 2006 Dr. Roberts was the first Team Leader for the Provincial Support Team in Al-Muthanna Province, Iraq, responsible for providing local governance training and support to Iraqis. In May 2009 he returned to Iraq as Team Leader for the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, leading the effort to turn the province into Iraq’s leading producer of fish and honey, to preserve historic Babylon, and to establish the Rule of Law, resulting in the only successful prosecution of terrorists at the provincial level in the country. From January 2007 to May 2009 and again after September 2011, Dr. Roberts was Diplomat in Residence at the University of Oklahoma, responsible for State Department recruiting in the region. In addition, he taught in OU’s International Studies Program. Roberts earned a B.A. from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Kansas, after which he spent a decade in academia and the private sector as an archaeologist. He is married to Kathy Barbour-Roberts, a Physician Assistant and Clinical Faculty with the University of Oklahoma Department of Medicine. They have five children.


Nicholas Kralev, Author of “America’s Other Army, Former Financial Times and Washington Times Correspondent
“The U.S. Foreign Service: Behind the Scenes of American Diplomacy”

Nicholas Kralev has been given unprecedented access to the inner sanctum of American diplomacy in Washington and around the world over several years. He will talk about his new book, “America’s Other Army,” which is based on his visits to more than 50 U.S. embassies and interviews with 600 career diplomats, as well as Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. For a decade, Kralev traveled with these U.S. secretaries of state to over 80 countries as a newspaper correspondent.

He will share behind-the-scenes insights about high-level foreign policy decision-making. He will discuss how the work of American diplomats affects the daily lives of millions of people around the world. He will also examine whether the Foreign Service is equipped to address the challenges of the 21st century, and what needs to be done to improve it.


Richard W. Soudriette, President, Center for Diplomacy and Democracy
“The Importance of Democracy Promotion as a Pillar of U.S. Foreign Policy”

Richard W. Soudriette is the President of the Center for Diplomacy and Democracy in Colorado Springs. He served as founding President of IFES, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, from 1988 to 2007. Under Mr. Soudriette’s leadership, IFES grew into one of the premier organizations offering technical assistance in the areas of elections, civil society, rule of law, and governance. He played a key role in launching networks of elections officials in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. While heading IFES, he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion during 2006-2008.

Prior to joining IFES, Mr. Soudriette served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, and Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Affairs Council of Colorado Springs, and the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Treasurers and Election Officials (IACREOT).

In 2011 Mr. Soudriette received the Global Citizen of the Year Award from the Pikes Peak Chapter of the United Nations Association. He is the coeditor of Every Vote Counts: The Role of Elections in Building Democracy by the University Press of America and is the author of numerous articles and publications on democracy and elections. He is a guest lecturer at the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Mr. Soudriette is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.


Husain Haqqani, Former Pakistani Ambassador
“Afghanistan and Pakistan after the U.S. Withdrawal”

Husain Haqqani is a Pakistani scholar and public figure who most recently served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011. He is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. Haqqani started his public life as an Islamist student leader and has, over the years, emerged as a strong voice for democracy and civilian control of the military in Pakistan and an exponent of liberal values in the Muslim world. His distinguished career in government includes serving as an advisor to three Pakistani Prime ministers, including Benazir Bhutto, who described him as a loyal friend in her last book ‘Reconciliation.’ He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 1992-1993.

Ambassador Haqqani is the author of the book ‘Pakistan between Mosque and Military’ and hundreds of articles published in major international newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals. He is currently Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute. Haqqani also co-edits the journal ‘Current Trends in Islamist Ideology’ published by Hudson Institute’s Center for Islam, Democracy and Future of the Muslim World. His latest publication is an article in the March/April 2013 edition of Foreign Affairs entitled “Breaking Up Is Not Hard to Do: Why the U.S.-Pakistani Alliance Isn’t Worth the Trouble.”

He is also Director of the Center of International Relations, and Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University.

Ambassador Haqqani previously addressed the Tulsa Committee in March 2003.


Ambassador Molly Williamson, U.S. Department of State (retired)
“The Geopolitics of Oil”

Molly Williamson speaks extensively on energy, economic and demographic factors affecting foreign policy formulation, US-Middle East relations, especially the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran and nuclear challenges, and the interagency process. She is a scholar with the Middle East Institute, a consultant, and frequent guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, World Affairs Councils, and National Joint Staff College.

Williamson is a former Foreign Service Officer, having served six presidents, achieving the rank of Career Minister. She is also a member of Georgetown University’s MSFS oral boards, a Board member of the American Foreign Service Association, Board member of the International Executive Service Corps, and Board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Williamson was the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy (2005-2008), with global responsibilities at the nexus of foreign policy and energy policy. When Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce (1999-2004), Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania and Africa, advancing trade relations with 86 countries with a trade portfolio valued at over $120 billion/year.

Williamson was Principal Deputy, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State (1996-1999), International Organizations Bureau, responsible for the policy and programs affecting UN political and Security Council matters, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, (1993-1995) Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. She was engaged in operational defense structure bottom-up reviews, the policy challenges of Iraqi provocations, crises in Rwanda and Somalia, and nuclear tests in South Asia.

She has had numerous postings in the Middle East, including interim ambassador to Bahrain, as well as Chief of Mission and Consul General in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace Process (1991-93) which culminated in the Oslo Accords.

She has been trained in both Hebrew and Arabic.

Williamson, a native of California, has been awarded 2 Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, Secretary of Commerce Performance Award, the Secretary of Defense’ Service Award, and 14 awards from the Department of State.


Dr. Paula Newberg, University of Texas-Austin
“Pakistan’s Elections: What Happens Now?”

Dr. Paula Newberg joined the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin in January 2013 after serving as the Marshall B. Coyne Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and Visiting Professor of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University. A scholar and practitioner with wide-ranging experience in multilateral and nongovernmental organizations, Dr. Newberg specializes in issues of governance, human rights, migration and democratic development in crisis and transition states. She served for a decade as Sepcial Advisor to the United Nations and United Nations Foundation in a host of countries in southa nd central Asia, central and eastern Europe, and Africa. Dr. Newberg was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she co-founded its Democracy Project and chaired its South Asia Roundtable, and was a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. A former foundation executive and long-time columnist, Dr. Newberg was educated at Oberlin College and the University of Chicago.