Independent Minds, Working Together

Great Decision Lecture Series Returns to The College of Wooster in February

Four-part series to address a range of global topics

January 9, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — The Great Decisions lecture series returns to The College of Wooster in February with four speakers who will address a range of global topics, from digital diplomacy to American foreign policy. The first two sessions will be held in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.) and the last two will be held in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.). Each of the sessions begins at 7:30 p.m. and all four are free and open to the public.

The series opens on Tuesday, Feb. 7, when Richard McGregor, Washington Bureau Chief for The Financial Times and author of The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers, discusses leadership in China. McGregor spent most of the last decade conducting research and gathering information to develop a profile of China’s Communist Party. He has also worked as the China correspondent for The Australian, and as a journalist for The International Herald Tribune, the BBC, and the Far Eastern Economic Review. He has done journalistic work in Taiwan, Australia, and elsewhere. Born in Australia, McGregor attended the University of Sydney. His honors include the 2010 Society of Publishers in Asia Editorial Excellence Award.

The series continues on Thursday, Feb. 16, when Jared Cohen presents “Digital Diplomacy and 21st Century Statecraft.” Cohen is a former member of the staff at the U.S. State Department where he advised both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. He also played an important role in developing counter-radicalization and counter-terrorism strategies. Currently, he conducts technology delegations that focus on uniting technology executives and local stakeholders in Iraq, Russia, Mexico, Congo, and Syria with the goal of creating innovative initiatives. Cohen received his B.A. from Stanford University and his masters in international relations from Oxford University. He has authored several books, including A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East.

The third lecture is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20, and will feature Walter Russell Mead, the James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and editor-at-large of The American Interest magazine. His topic, “American Grand Strategy in the 21st Century” will focus on challenges related to China’s rise to prominence. He is the author of several books, including Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World and God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World. He regularly writes for a variety of publications, including The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Mead is a graduate of Groton School and Yale University.

The final lecture will take place on Monday, Feb. 27, when Robin Wright, a reporter for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Foreign Affairs, among others, presents “The Arab Spring: One Year Later.” She has reported from 146 different countries on six continents, and is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World. She has been a fellow at Yale, Duke, Stanford, Brookings, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the U.S. Institute for Peace. Additionally, she has been honored with the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award, and the Overseas Press Club Award.

The Great Decisions lecture series is a joint venture between The College of Wooster and the local community. It began in 1981 and has run annually for the past 31 years. The primary purpose of the series is to bring to the region experts from a variety of backgrounds to discuss issues pertaining to foreign policy and international affairs.

Additional information about the series is available by calling 330-263-2353.

Story by Libby Fackler '13