January 11, 2011
WOOSTER, Ohio — The 2011 Great Decisions lecture series will address “Prescriptions for Peace and Prosperity” when it opens later this month at The College of Wooster. Now in its 31st year, the Great Decisions lectures are held in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.). The sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. and each one is free and open to the public. The program is made possible by significant contributions from the series sponsors, which include J.M. Smucker Company, Seaman Corporation, Meaden and Moore, The Noble Foundation, and The College of Wooster President’s Office.
The series begins on Tuesday, Jan. 25, when Benjamin M. Friedman, the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy and former Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, discusses "The U.S. Economy: The Challenge Facing American Society." Friedman’s latest book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, follows his best-known book, Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After, which received the George S. Eccles Prize for excellence in writing about economics. Friedman has written extensively on economic policy, particularly the role of the financial markets in shaping how monetary and fiscal policies affect economic activity. His focus includes the effects of government deficits and surpluses on interest rates, exchange rates, and business investment; appropriate guidelines for the conduct of U.S. monetary policy; and appropriate policy actions in response to crises in a country's banking or financial system.
The second lecture takes place two weeks later (Feb. 8) when Peter Baker, a White House correspondent for The New York Times and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine responsible for covering President Obama and his administration, presents "Reset: Russia and America 20 Years after the Fall of the Soviet Union.” Prior to joining The Times in 2008, Baker was a reporter at The Washington Post for 20 years. He and his wife, Susan Glasser, also spent four years as Moscow Bureau Chiefs. In addition, Baker covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is author of The New York Times bestselling book, The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton and co-author, with Glasser, of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution, which was named one of the Best Books of 2005 by The Washington Post Book World. Baker’s lecture is supported by a generous contribution from First Merit Bank.
The third lecture will be held Feb. 15 when Maziar Bahari, an Iranian and Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and reporter for Newsweek, addresses "Iran: Then and Now." Bahari was arrested and imprisoned by the Iranian government for five months in 2009 after being accused of “masterminding the coverage of the Iranian election by the Western media” and for being a spy. Bahari has been a correspondent for Newsweek for more than 10 years, covering all aspects of Iranian economic, political, and cultural life. During the 2009 Iranian Election, he was apprehended by the intelligence division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and forced to give a false televised confession admitting his role in influencing the public against the Islamic government. Bahari has worked as a volunteer and translator for Doctors Without Borders and the UN Refugee Agency in Pakistan, as well as the Red Cross in Karachi, Peshawar, and Islamabad. His lecture is co-sponsored by The College of Wooster’s Center for Diversity and Global Engagement.
The fourth lecture will be held the following day (Feb. 16) when Adel and Maher El-Adawy, prominent Egyptian diplomats, present "Visions for Peace in the Middle East: Two Generations of Egyptian Diplomats." Maher is currently Egyptian Ambassador to Liberia, and has held diplomatic posts in Germany, Uruguay, Sweden, and Ethiopia. In addition, he has held posts at the German Institute for International Development, the Egyptian Mission to the U.N., and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Adel is Maher’s father. During his career, he served in the office of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat; as advisor to the head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Egyptian Parliament; as Head of Mission in Port Sudan; Consul General of Egypt in Zurich, Switzerland; and Ambassador of Egypt to Gabon, New Zealand, and Myanmar. He is a frequent contributor to the Al Ahram Egyptian Daily News. Adel is the grandfather, and Maher is the father, of two current College of Wooster students: Adel and Samira.
The series concludes on Feb. 22 when Jessica Jackley, founder of Kiva, the world's first microlending website, talks about "The Power of Perspective.” Kiva enables users to lend as little as $25 to poor entrepreneurs around the world, providing capital for up-start or expanding microenterprises. Named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the top ideas of 2006, Kiva is among the fastest-growing social-benefit websites in history. Since its founding in 2005, it has loaned nearly $200 million to entrepreneurs across 206 countries. By 2012, total loans to the world’s working poor are expected to reach $1 billion. Despite the success, Kiva remains focused on its mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty — one person at a time. Jackley is also the founder and CEO of ProFounder, a new platform featuring innovative ways for start-ups and small business entrepreneurs in the U.S. to access start-up capital through crowdfunding and community involvement. The College of Wooster’s Global Entrepreneurship Program has provided support in bringing Jackley to Wooster.
Additional information about the Great Decisions lecture series is available by contacting John Rudisill via e-mail.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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