Guest Speaker Series

Spring 2017

February 6 at 11:45AM

Ambassador Laurens Westhoff

Mr. Westhoff is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cairo, Egypt. Ambassador Westhoff will talk about the effects that global populist shifts might have on political developments in Europe in 2017.

The title of Ambassador Westhoff’s talk is: “Will the EU Survive 2017? A closer look at the populist trend in Europe, its characteristics, its origins and its potential impact on the future direction of the European Union.”


Fall 2016


October 21 at 10:30AM

Robert B. Zoellick

“American Diplomacy: Challenges for a New Administration”

Robert B. Zoellick was the President of the World Bank Group from 2007-12, U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005, and Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006. From 1985 to 1993, Zoellick served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State, as well as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.
Zoellick now serves on the boards of Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, and Laureate International Universities, as well as on the international advisory board of Rolls Royce. He is a strategic advisor to AXA, the global insurance company. Zoellick is also a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He serves on the boards of the Congressionally-created National Endowment for Democracy and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and is a member of the Global Leadership Council of Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency. Bob is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award of the Department of the Treasury, and the Medal for Distinguished Public Service of the Department of Defense. The German government awarded him the Knight Commanders Cross for his achievements in the course of German unification. The Mexican and Chilean governments awarded him their highest honors for non-citizens, the Aztec Eagle and the Order of Merit, for recognition of his work on free trade, development, and the environment. Zoellick holds a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Swarthmore College.


October 20 at 12:30PM

Dr. Lanxin Xiang

“U.S.-China Relations”

Dr. Lanxin Xiang is Professor of International History and Politics and Director of the Center of One Belt and One Road Studies at the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation.

Faculty member since 1996, Professor Xiang was previously Associate Professor at Clemson University, United States. He held the Kissinger Chair of Foreign Policy and International Relations (2003-2004) at the Library of Congress, United States. He founded the Trilateral Forum for top-level policy-makers to discuss China. He was McArthur Foundation Fellow in Germany (1989), and Olin Fellow at Yale University (2003). Professor Xiang has held chairs at Fudan University in Shanghai and China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. He is a contributing editor for the publication Survival at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, and Dushu Magazine in Beijing. His research focus is East Asia, foreign and security policies, and modern China. His main publications include: “Tradition and Chinese Foreign Relations”, “The Origins of the Boxer War” (2003, Chinese version nominated for national book awards), “Recasting the Imperial Far East” (2005), and “Mao’s Generals” (1998).


September 23 at noon

David Leblang, Global Policy Director

Join the International Refugee Committee in Charlottesville for a brown-bag teach-in at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (201 E Market St, Charlottesville, VA 22902). Professor David LeBlang will speak to the causes and effects of global immigration and how the world is coping with and reacting to these increasing challenges. Following Dr. Leblang, former refugees will describe their experiences resettling in Charlottesville.

Visit the IRC website

September 7 at 11:30AM (Great Hall)

Patrick Regan, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“Climate Change and Climate Policy: Articulation versus Implementation”


September 15 at 12:15PM (Great Hall)

Ulrich Mans, Centre for Innovation, Leiden University, Netherlands

“When Silicon Valley Meets Purpose: Big Data for Peace and Justice”


Spring 2016

In Spring 2016, the Global Policy Center offered a series of talks focused on global heath and national security.

Stephen Morrison, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Stephen Morrison from the Center for Strategic and International Studies presented about the “National Security Dimensions of Global Public Health”. This event was co-sponsored by the UVA Center for Global Health.

Watch this lecture

Phil Midland, HIS International,Co-Founder and President

With over 20 years of experience in international affairs, particularly in Asia, Mr. Midland brought a professional awareness of East Asia, its history, culture, economic, and political structure, inter-governmental relationships, and the experience of negotiating sensitive and tough contracts in the region.

Read more

Beth Cameron, National Security Council, White House

Beth Cameron presented a talk entitled “Seeking an End of Epidemics: Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda”. This event was co-sponsored by the UVA Center for Global Health.

Watch the video

Fall 2015

Inaugural guest speaker: Aaron Chafetz, USAID Data Analyst

“Not just a data point: Making personal connections to global issues”