Speakers & Events

The Young Initiative invites foreign policy experts and guest speakers to campus to engage in discussions on international relations and the global political economy with students and faculty.

Young speakers give students and faculty an opportunity to expand their understanding of global issues. The Young Initiative sponsors several speakers each academic year highlighting particular aspects of global affairs and the global political economy.  The Young Speakers program is devoted to highlighting the work and success of eminent international affairs experts and Oxy alumni in public service and academia.

Image for Dr. Faisal Devji Understands ISIS
September 26, 2016

Faisal Devji is a world-renowned scholar on jihadism and serves as a University Reader at St. Antony’s College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. On September 20, Dr. Devji spoke at the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, for which he is an advisory board member.

Image for Jenna Slotin: Negotiating the Global SDGs
September 26, 2016

          On September 6th, 2016, Occidental was visited by Jenna Slotin, the Director of Sustainable Development Policy at the United Nations Foundation.

July 12, 2016

Michael Mahdesian served for seven years (1993-2000) as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Response.  His main duties included overseeing the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).  During this period, he was integrally involved in shaping USAID’s response to Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Indonesia, and ot

Image for US Global Leadership and the Next President
April 5, 2016

Ambassador Burns began by providing context and stating that today is not the most dangerous time, but that "we" sit in the most complex political environment since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency (1933-1945). For the future administration the three most-prominent issues are (1) "Putin & Europe," (2) the "burning Middle East," and (3) "China and Asia."

Image for Dr Geoffrey Wiseman visits to discuss isolation and engagement
March 29, 2016

Dr Wiseman’s lecture in Johnson Hall’s Atrium began by explaining that short of war, governments have two behavioral choices with adversarial states, to either isolate or engage. Generally, in the United States this partisan decision is divided among conservatives who favor isolation and liberals who prefer to engage.

Image for America's Challenges in the Pacific
March 23, 2016

Disclaimer: This lecture is "not for attribution." No direct quotes have been used.

March 15, 2016

On Tuesday March 15th, Philipp Schonrock, founder of Centro de Pensamiento Estrategico (CEPEI) shared his perspectives on achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by galvanizing civil society. CEPEI, an organization Schonrock founded when he was just 23 years old, coordinates various civil society groups in Colombia so they can contribute towards the global agenda.

March 3, 2016

Every two days, we create enough data to equal the total amount created prior to 2003, according to Professor Sanjeev Khagram, who spoke Tuesday night in a talk titled "Harnessing the Data Revolution to Achieve the Global Sustainable Development Goals." As part of the Sustainable Development Speaker Series, Professor Khagram explained his research and role in creatin

March 1, 2016

The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs and Occidental’s History department welcomed two prominent China thinkers to the college on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Professor Gordon H. Chang (Stanford, History) lectured in Choi Auditorium delivering, "Entwined Destinies: America and China and the History of the Present." Just before, Ambassador Jeffrey Bader spoke about post-Obama U.S.

February 25, 2016

Michelle Jurkovich’s talk "Not all rights have Norms: Blame Diffusion in International Anti-Hunger Advocacy at the U.N. and Elsewhere" began in an unconventional way. Rather than speaking on the topic before ceding to questions, Jurkovich began by confronting the audience with deceptively simple questions. What are the causes of chronic hunger? Who is to blame?