Speakers to Look at American Involvement
Neil Shah and Preeti Balakrishnan
are among the four co-chairs bringing the 2005 Foreign
Affairs Symposium to the Homewood campus.
PHOTO BY HIPS/WILL KIRK
By Jessica Valdez
Special to The
When the co-chairs came together last year to choose
the subject for the 2005 Foreign Affairs
Symposium to be held at Homewood, they asked the
question, What are people talking about? Iraq, India and
Pakistan, the Balkans ... and, they realized, American
And so evolved this year's theme: Enduring
Responsibility — America and the Politics of Conflict
Resolution, with events ranging from "Defining Genocide in
Africa" to "The Third Revolution: Reforming China after
The co-chairs — seniors Yonina Alexander and
Neil Shah and juniors Preeti Balakrishnan and Gabriel
Hopkins — said they wanted to develop a theme that
would encourage dialogue among students, community members
and guest speakers.
"The students that go here are born leaders,"
Alexander said. "It's really important that they have an
understanding of what's going on in world affairs and have
a real exchange."
The symposium will open Wednesday, Feb. 23, with
"U.S.-Cuban Relations: What to Expect," a panel discussion
including Adolfo A. Franco, assistant administrator for the
Latin America Region at USAID; John S. Kavulich II,
president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council; and
Wayne Smith, senior fellow at the Center for International
Relations in Washington, D.C.
The event will showcase the symposium's new format of
panel discussions and shorter speeches designed to
encourage the audience to engage panelists with
"We didn't want to have just one side," said Shah, who
is majoring in international studies and computer science.
The co-chairs also redesigned the basic makeup of the
symposium staff, recruiting more members than in past years
and dividing them into committees responsible for finding
speakers for a specific region of the world. The 11
committees included China, the Middle East and the
By giving staff direct impact on speaker recruitment,
the co-chairs believe they have become more motivated and
"It was very tangible for each staff member," said
Alexander, who is majoring in international studies and
philosophy. "Everyone feels invested in it."
The co-chairs said they learned perseverance and
teamwork from organizing the symposium, often contacting as
many as five people for every speaker they scheduled.
"They may not be the biggest names, but they ... are
at the heart of the issues," Shah said.
The symposium will continue on March 8, when Peter
Takirambudde, the Africa director of Human Rights Watch,
will speak about "Defining Genocide in Africa." On April
12, Gen. William Nash, of the Council on Foreign Relations,
and Ivan Vujacic, Serbian ambassador to the United States,
will address "The Balkans: Keeping the Peace." Nash has
served as both military commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
civilian administrator for the United Nations in Kosovo.
On April 19, Julia Preston of The New York Times will
discuss "Mexico: Forgotten Neighbor, Forgotten Democracy."
Preston was named deputy investigations editor for The New
York Times in March 2003 and is recognized as an expert on
Other speakers include Jean-David Levitte, French
ambassador to the United States, and David Manning, British
ambassador to the United States, speaking March 23 on
"Bridging the Atlantic Divide."
The Foreign Affairs Symposium, founded in 1998, is a
student-run lecture series designed to bring global
speakers to engage the Hopkins and Baltimore community in
discussion. For times and locations, see box below. For
more information on symposium events, go to www.jhu.edu/~fas or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Valdez, a senior majoring in international
studies, is an intern in the Office of News and
'Enduring Responsibility — America and the Politics
of Conflict Resolution'
'U.S.-Cuba Relations: What to Expect'
Wednesday, Feb. 23
8 p.m., Mudd Hall Auditorium
Adolfo A. Franco, assistant administrator for the Latin
America region at USAID; John S. Kavulich II, president
U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council; Wayne Smith, senior
fellow at the Center for International Relations in
'Defining Genocide in Africa'
Tuesday, March 8
8 p.m., Great Hall, Levering
Peter Takirambudde, director at Human Rights Watch's Africa
'Bridging the Atlantic Divide'
Wednesday, March 23
8 p.m., Shriver Auditorium
Jean-David Levitte, French ambassador to the United States;
David Manning, British ambassador to the United States
'Kashmir: Paradise Lost?'
Wednesday, March 30
8 p.m., Glass Pavilion, Levering
Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director of the Kashmiri
American Council; Bob Giuda, chairman of Americans for
Resolution of Kashmir and deputy leader of the N.H. House
of Representatives; Mohammad Sadiq, deputy chief of mission
at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington
'The Third Revolution: Reforming China after
Wednesday, April 6
8 p.m., Glass Pavilion
Gregory Chow, former chairman of the American Economic
Association's Committee on Exchanges in Economics with the
People's Republic of China; Merle Goldman, Council on
Foreign Relations, former member of the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights; Dan Wang, 1989 Tiananmen Square
'The Balkans: Keeping the Peace'
Tuesday, April 12
8 p.m, Mudd Hall Auditorium
Gen. William Nash, Council on Foreign Relations; Ivan
Vujacic, Serbian ambassador to the United States
'Mexico: Forgotten Neighbor, Forgotten
Tuesday, April 19
8 p.m., Glass Pavilion, Levering
Julia Preston, deputy investigations editor at The New York
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