Skip Navigation

SPIA Lecture Series

Established in 2007, the SPIA Lecture Series provides quality programs to stimulate and enhance the intellectual climate of the School of Policy and International Affairs, and surrounding communities.  The central goal of the series is to enhance the quality of student life and UMaine learning environment.  In addition to giving a public lecture, our speakers are invited to meet with students and faculty in smaller group activities.

February 4, 2013
A China Policy for the United States
Michael Pillsbury, defense policy adviser, former government official
Author: China Debates the Future Security Environment

November 12, 2012
What Brazil’s Emergence as a Global Player Means for the United States
Dr. Richard Downes, Former Associate Dean of Academics at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies of the National Defense University
Author: Trust, Engagement, and Technology Transfer: Underpinnings for U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation (pdf)

October 17, 2012
The Search for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda: Inside the War on Terror
Speaker: Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings (Author: The Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad; and The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future)

September 12, 2012
Syria: A New Perspective
Speaker: Dr. Murhaf Jouejati, Professor of Middle East Studies at the National Defense University’s Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies

February 6, 2012
Topic: Lessons From the “Reconstruction” of Iraq
Speaker: Mr. Peter Van Buren, Fmr. State Department Iraq PRT leader; Author, ‘We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People

Note: Peter Van Buren gave a nearly identical presentation with the same title earlier in the day at the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations at Point Lookout Resort & Conference Center in Northport, ME.  To listen to this talk, please click here.

If you prefer to download the MP3 audio file to your computer for later listening, right click here, then “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”. Please note that the downloadable file will be quite large and may take a long time to download depending on the speed of your connection to the internet.

Also, Van Buren and SPIA Assistant Director, Jim Settele, joined The Pulse Morning Show with Pat LaMarche & Don Cookson (103.1 FM) for an in-studio interview.  Click here to stream the discussion, and here to download (note that the segment is 50 minutes long and begins at around 01:02:00).

[Disclaimer: Mr. Van Buren’s views were  solely expressed in his capacity as a private citizen and did not in any way represent the views of the Department of State, the Department of Defense, or any other entity of the U.S. Government. His remarks were not approved, endorsed, or authorized by The Department of State.]

December 5, 2011
Topic: Careers with the U.S. Department of State
Speaker: Mr. Kenneth MacLean Hillas, Jr., Senior Foreign Service Officer

NoGeneral James L. Jones, USMC (Ret)vember 17, 2011
2011 Cohen Lecture: “The Arab Spring”
Speaker: General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret), Former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama

November 7, 2011 – “The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class
Speaker: Dr Guy Standing, Professor of Economic Security, University of Bath (UK); and Co-President, Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)

October 3, 2011 – “The Arab Spring as Seen from Israel”
Speaker: Mr. Yossi Alpher, Co-editor of the bitterlemons family of internet publications, and former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel concentrating on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

October 2, 2011 – “A View from Abu Dhabi: Challenging Perceptions
An exhibition of photographs presented by several SPIA students.  Opening Talks by Ms. Jenan Jondy, Outreach Coordinator, Islamic Center of Maine; and Mr. Mohamed Al-Ansari, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR).  Discussion and reception to follow.

April 21, 2011 – Navy Initiatives, Challenges and Successes: Leading the Nation Toward an Energy Secure Future
Speaker: Mr. Jason Greenawalt, Chief of Staff, Energy & Environmental Readiness Division, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Readiness & Logistics)

April 11, 2011 – Engaging the Muslim World
Speaker: Dr. Juan Cole,  Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context.  His thoughts on Middle Eastern and American politics may be found on his weblog, Informed Comment.

March 14, 2011 – How Syria Fits, and Doesn’t Fit, into US Middle Eastern Policy
Speaker: Dr. Joshua Landis, co-director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and Associate Professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma’s School of international and Area Studies

December 2, 2010 – Political Violence in Zimbabwe: A Curse or an Age Old Culture?
Speaker: Ms. Jestina Mukoko, 2010 Human Rights Fellow at The Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College; and National Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)

November 15, 2010 – Law and Politics of a Global Economy
Speaker: Ambassador John K. Veroneau, former Deputy United States Trade Representative (2007-2009)

October 6, 2010 – A Decade of Crisis and Correction
Speaker: F. William Smullen, III, Director of National Security Studies at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

April 12, 2010 – Looming Economic Inequalities in China
Speaker: Dr. Mark W. Frazier, ConocoPhillips Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the School of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma

March 31, 2010 – National Security Implications of Climate Change
Speaker: Dr. William J Brennan, President Select, Maine Maritime Academy

March 22, 2010 – The Necessity for a Political Solution to the War in Afghanistan
Speaker: Matthew P. Hoh, Former US State Department Senior Civilian Representative, Zabul Province, Afghanistan

January 25, 2010 – Two States, One State – Any Possibility for Peace in the Middle East?
Speaker: Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Chairman of the Board, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies

November 23, 2009 – A Two-State Solution: Can Health be a Bridge to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
Speaker: Ms. Hadas Ziv, Visiting Oak Fellow at the Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College and the Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel)

March 26, 2009 – Guantánamo: Reflections from a Lawyer for Detainee
Speaker: Prof. Richard J. Wilson, Washington College of Law, American University

November 7, 2008 – Climate Change and Global Politics: Who Cares if Bangladesh Drowns?
Speaker: Mr. Afsan Chowdhury, 2008 Oak Fellow, The Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College

March 17, 2008 – The Roots of Terrorism: From the Horn of Africa to Pakistan
Speakers: Ambassador William M. Bellamy (ret.), Senior Fellow in Residence, Africa & International Security Programs, Center for Strategic & International Studies; and Mr. Bruce Riedel, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution

November 2, 2007 – The Impact of Violence and War: Long-term Consequences on Iraqi Society
Speaker: Dr. Judith S. Yaphe is a Distinguished Research Fellow for the Middle East in the Institute for National Strategic Studies

February 13, 2007 – The Middle East Conundrum: Diplomacy or Military Solution?
Speakers: Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, Former Ambassador to United Arab Emirates; and Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., President, Foundation for Middle East Peace

Back to News & Events

Follow @UMaineSPIA

Recent Events

September 14, 2015
Was the Iran Nuclear Crisis Necessary?
- Presentation by Gareth Porter , an American historian, investigative journalist, author and policy analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy