History and Past Events

OACFR was originally founded in 2002 as a chapter of the American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR).  ACFR was founded on the proposition that American foreign policy depends ultimately upon the strength of the public consent that underlies it, and that consent is strengthened by open dialogue between local and regional professional and civic leaders and U.S. foreign policy makers.  In 2012, ACFR decentralized its national network and OACFR became an independent organization that is both financially self sufficient and a continuing member of an important network of local community partnerships and national and international affiliations.

Past Speakers of the Orlando Area Committee on Foreign Relations

Date Speaker Topic
September 6, 2017 Vera Miranova Syrian Rebels: From Words to Weapons
May 18, 2017 Ambassador Katherine Canavan Forging Stronger Ties with Africa
April 27, 2017 David Satter The Rise of Putin and What Lies Ahead
March 23, 2017 Mira Sorvino The Global Fight Against Human Trafficking
February 20, 2017 Kim Ghattas The New Administration: An Outsider’s Perspective
January 19, 2017 Ambassador David H. Shinn China’s Involvement in Africa
November 14, 2016 Ambassador Gary Grappo and Rebecca Grappo New Policy Approaches to Engaging with the Middle East
October 25, 2016 Donisha Rita Claire Prendergast Roots and Evolution of the Rastafari Culture
September 21, 2016 Robin Simcox Terrorism and National Security: Fifteen Years After 9/11
April 20, 2016 Ambassador Terry Miller Aiming for Economic Freedom: The U.S. and the Global Marketplace
March 30, 2016 Dr. Stephen J. Wayne The Road to the White House: U.S. Foreign Policy of the Presidential Candidates
February 15, 2016 HRH Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark Youth Activism in Europe
January 19, 2016  Amy Hawthorne  The Middle East in Transition
December 8, 2015 Gen. Stephen Cheney American Security in the Wake of the Paris Terrorist Attacks
November 17, 2015 Dr. Shireen T. Hunter U.S.-Iran Relations: The Role of Religion
October 14, 2015 Angela E. Oh East Meets West: The Role of Diversity in Peaceful Conflict Resolution
September 21, 2015 Ndaba Mandela Mandela’s Legacy Around the World
May 13, 2015 Michael Willard Ukraine: Between War and Peace
April 15, 2015 Brigadier General Ernest C. Audino Iraq, the Peshmerga, and the Security of the Middle East
March 12, 2015 Chas Freeman Responding to Failure: Reorganizing U.S. Policies in the Middle East
February 25, 2015 Tim Cullen and Janice Holness Battling Corruption in Small Countries
January 22, 2015 Dr. Clarence Jones The Challenges of the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
December 3, 2014 Ambassador Myles Frechette The Realities of the U.S.-Latin American Relationship
November 17, 2014 The Traveling Generals: Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (USA, Ret.) and Lt. Gen. Don Kerrick The Traveling Generals: The Threat of Climate Change and How It Relates to Global Security
October 2, 2014 Jason Grumet The Battle for Bipartisanship: An American Strategy for Impacting Foreign Policy and Confronting Emerging Challenges
September 11, 2014 James McLurkin The Robot Revolution: Science Fact or Fiction?
May 21, 2014 Serhii Plokhy Crisis in Ukraine: Then and Now
April 10, 2014 Tal Dehtiar Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Marketplace
March 20, 2014  Nontombi Naomi Tutu One Shared Humanity: A Search for Common Ground
February 11, 2014 Chong Kim Traveling the Road of Human Trafficking: A Survivor’s Tale
January 21, 2014 Jamie McIntyre Do Facts Matter? Robert Gates, ‘Duty,’ and How Journalists Cover Foreign Policy
November 14, 2013 Allan E. Goodman America’s Other Epcot: Why the World Wants to Study at U.S. Higher Education Institutions and What It Means for Our Local Communities
October 29, 2013 Jehane Noujaim Revolution in Egypt: The Story Behind the Headlines
September 30, 2013 Jessica Fellowes An Evening with Downton Abbey
May 28, 2013 Shelley Rigger Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse
April 17, 2013 David Dumke The Challenges of the Middle East in Transition
March 28, 2013 Mark London The Amazon: The Last Forest in the Age of Globalization
February 26, 2013 Devi Rajab No Subject is Taboo: The Changing Status of Indian Women
January 29, 2013 John Prendergast The Enough Moment: Africa, Human Rights and Crisis Prevention
November 29, 2012 Jonathan Morgenstein Making Peace with Conflict in Colombia
November 1, 2012 Corban Addison Human Trafficking: A Story of Modern Slavery
October 9, 2012 Ananya Vajpeyi Shaping the Political Foundations of Modern India: The Five Most Important Leaders
September 19, 2012 Koko Kondo An Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Perspective on Global Peace
May 23, 2012 Ambassador Gary Grappo Moving Beyond Political Deadlocks in the Middle East: The Importance of Consensus
March 27, 2012 Alexandra Cousteau Blue Planet: The Interconnectedness of Global Water Issues
February 14, 2012 Jed Horne Disasterology: Are We Prepared?
January 19, 2012 Rachel Louise Snyder The Dark Side of Globalization
December 7, 2011 Stephen A. Cheney Gathering Storm Clouds: Global Climate Change and American National Security
November 8, 2011 Bing West Can America Cope with the Emerging Global Threats?
October 4, 2011 Roya Hakakian Tehran’s Terror Campaign Against Exiled Iranians
September 1, 2011 Anthony Shadid Political Tides of Turmoil in the Arab World
May 18, 2011 Ambassador John W. Limbert Broken Diplomacy: The Breakdown in American Diplomatic Effectiveness
April 11, 2011 Alex Counts Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Microfinance is Changing the World
March 22, 2011 Ambassador L. Paul Bremer U.S. National Security Concerns: Iraq and Beyond
February 22, 2011 Dr.Sergei Khrushchev Russia Today
January 27, 2011 Thomas Twetten, CIA The Future of Intelligence
December 2, 2010 Rami Khouri Lost in Translation: U.S. Relations with the Middle East
October 28, 2010 João Augusto de Castro Neves Brazil as a Rising Power and What it Means for the U.S.
October 5, 2010 Anand Giridharadas U.S. Implications for India’s Ascent
September 9, 2010 Qubad Talabani The Future of U.S.-Kurdish Relations
May 26, 2010 Dr. John Schindler, USN The Sixth Column: The Al-Qa’ida Threat in the West Today
April 14, 2010 George Lopez Global Security and Smart Sanctions
March 23, 2010 Scott Worden The Rule of Law in Afghanistan
February 18, 2010 Minxin Pei China: Freed or Trapped by its Reform?
January 27, 2010 Jorge R. Piñón Cuba: Economic Challenges and Opportunities
December 2, 2009 Jack Mendelsohn Prospects for Arms Control in the Middle East
November 4, 2009 Dr. Alan P. Zelicoff Infectious Diseases Respect No Borders: International Pandemic Planning for H1N1, SARS, Tuberculosis and Beyond
October 15, 2009 Micheline Slattery From Haiti to America: A Story of Survival
September 15, 2009 Gillian Sorensen The UN’s Vital Role in the 21st Century
May 20, 2009 Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese International Space Policy
April 15, 2009 Mackenzie Eaglen A New Look for Readiness: Solving the Army’s Quandary
March 25, 2009 Dr. Sebestyen Gorka Political Violence in Europe
February 19, 2009 Dr. Sanam Vakil What’s Next for U.S.-Iranian Relations?
January 15, 2008 Kevin Bales Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
December 3, 2008 Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh Addressing Europe’s ‘Frozen’ and ‘Not-so-Frozen’ Conflicts
November 13, 2008 Stephen J. Wayne Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the New President
October 15, 2008 Gustavo Coronel A Petrostate under Populist Rule: the Case of Venezuela
September 23, 2008 Dr. Shubhro Sen The Rise of India in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges
May 20, 2008 Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas In Search of the Sankofa: Future Possibilities in Africa
April 15, 2008 Dr. Terry McCoy and Ambassador Charles Shapiro Cuba and Its Relationship with VenezuelaU.S. Foreign Policy and Free Trade: Promoting Peace and Prosperity in the Americas
March 16, 2008 Ulf Gartzke The Growing Foreign Policy Divisions in Germany’s Grand Coalition Government
February 27, 2008 Ambassador Myles Frechette Free Trade in the Americas: Prospects for the Future
January 23, 2008 Dr. Stephen Sloan, John C. Bersia and Robert Raffel Panelist discussion – Global and Personal Implications of the War on Terror
December 12, 2007 Senator Bob Graham Post 9/11 Intelligence Challenges and the Dangers Confronting the Next President
October 31, 2007 Ambassador Walter Cutler The U.S. and Saudi Arabia: Facing New Realities
October 3, 2007 Ambassador Robin Raphel Women and Leadership in the Evolving 21st Century World
September 5, 2007 Mr. Harry Wu China: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (including its impact on the global environment)
March 20, 2007 Mr. Max Boot War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History 1500 to Today
February 15, 2007 Mr. John O’Sullivan The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World
January 18, 2007 Mr. John Brandon US Policy Towards Southeast Asia in a Post September 11th Era
December 4, 2006 Dr. Sanam Vakil Iran’s Role in Middle East Conflicts: Consequences to the U.S. and the Future of the Region
November 8, 2006 Kim Olson, Col, USAF (ret) One Thousand Days On: Reflections of the first 100 days after the fall of Baghdad
October 18, 2006 Dr. Antony Sullivan Islam, America, and the Political Economy of Liberty
September 14, 2006 Mr. Isaac Cohen Latin American Prospects
May 16, 2006 Mr. Gordon Chang North Korea – Plus China – Take on the World
April 12, 2006 Mr. Brian Latell After Fidel: the Inside Story of the Castro Regime and Cuba’s Next Leader
March 23, 2006 Mr. Steve Clemons China’s Next Geopolitical Moves: Implications for the U.S., Europe and the Global System
February 21, 2006 Ambassador Ulric Haynes The 25th Anniversary of the U.S. Hostages’ Release from Iran
January 18, 2006 Myles Frechette The True Challenges for the United States in Latin America
December 13, 2005 Ambassador Herman Cohen AFRICA: Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel
November 16, 2005 Ambassador Michael Sterner Political Reform in Egypt: Reality or Illusion
October 19, 2005 Major General Carl Freeman Threats and Challenges to Security in Latin America
September 13, 2005 Ambassador Robert Hunter Iraq, Iran, Israel and the Middle East: What do we really need and want?
May 10, 2005 Mr. Alexander Konovalov Russian-American Relations: a need for a new agenda
April 28, 2005 Ambassador L. Bruce Laingen Iran from the Perspective of a Former Hostage
March 14, 2005 Mr. Christopher Kojm 9-11 and U.S. Intelligence Issues
February 9, 2005 Ambassador Ashley Wills U.S. Trade and Economic Policies Involving South Asia and the Bush Administration’s Trade Policy
January 20, 2005 Ms. Jennie Lincoln The Fine Art of Monitoring Foreign Elections
December 7, 2004 Lt. Gen. Jay Garner (ret.) Government in Iraq: Views of a Former Chief U.S. Civilian Administrator
November 4, 2004 Ambassador Ed Masters Challenges of U.S. Foreign Policy in Indonesia
October 13, 2004 Professor Jonathan Adelman The Case for the President’s Foreign Policy
September 21, 2004 Mr. Robert Donaldson Putin’s Russia: Emerging Democracy or Creeping Dictatorship
April 20, 2004 Mr. Joseph Manguno North Korea After the Bomb
March 25, 2004 Mr. Boris Saavedra Current Developments in Venezuela
February 9, 2004 Ms. Amy Chua Author of World on Fire
January 15, 2004 Ambassador Dennis Jett Liberia and other African Issues
December 9, 2003 Ambassador Walter Cutler Challenges of Saudi Arabia
November 6, 2003 Minister Counselor Phillip T. Chicola Current Events in the Andean Countries of Latin America
October 8, 2003 Dr. Stephen Sloan Assessing Current and Future Terrorist Threats and Their Implications to U.S. Policies
September 11, 2003 Mr. Ilan Berman Russia-U.S.-Iran Triangle and Weapons of Mass Destruction
June 19, 2003 Mr. Leon Sigal North Korea
May 29, 2003 Ms. Zaineb Istrabadi Reflections of an Iraqi American
April 10, 2003 Mr. Entifadh Qanbar Post War Iraq and Transition to Democracy
March 6, 2003 Mr. Banning Garrett China and the United States in a Globalizing World
February 12, 2003 Mr. Afshin Molavi Journeys Across Iran (canceled)
January 23, 2003 Mr. Mark Falcoff Latin America Crises: Venezuela and Brazil
December 11, 2002 Mr. Milton Viorst What Shall I Do with This People? Jews and the Fractious Politics of Judaism
November 21, 2002 Mr. Frank Calzon 42 Years of Embargo: Is This the Time to Subsidize Castro
October 23, 2002 Ambassador Robert Farrand Experiences of the High Commissioner of Berczo: Bosnia/Herzegovina
September 26, 2002 Mr. Gerald Robbins Turkey’s Political Tremors – Recent Notes from a Turbulent Summer and What They Could Mean for the U.S. and Europe
June 19, 2002 Mr. Colin Howgill Counter-Terrorism
May 23, 2002 Mr. Edward Abington A Palestinian Perspective of the Middle East
April 18, 2002 Mr. Richard Millett Economic and Political Developments in Argentina and Venezuela
March 20, 2002 Ambassador Donald Gregg The future role of the U.S. in Northeast Asia and North Korea
February 20, 2002 Ambassador Robert Oakley Terrorism on the Run – Where Next
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