International Breakfast Series
The Council organizes four International Breakfast programs annually, covering a wide range of topics of interest to both the business community and to our general membership. These breakfast programs offer an opportunity to network and share a meal, while interacting with a stimulating speaker at the beginning of the work day. Student groups often attend and join the discussion.
The 2010-11 Program Year Includes:
International Breakfast Series: General Gard and Nuclear Security 9-16-10
International Breakfast Series: Engaging North Korea w/ Speaker Bradley Babson 2-9-11
International Breakfast Series: "Who Are the Kurds?" Speaker Qubad Talabani 4-14-11
Symposium on East Asia and Maine's Renewable Energy Future---in May, details coming soon!
The 2009-10 program year included:
The Politics of Water; Ancient Rome, Modern America w/Dr. Peter Aicher
The World Affairs Council of Maine continued its tradition of eclectic and fascinating programming September 24, 2009 when it hosted Dr. Peter Aicher, presenting “The Politics of Water; Ancient Rome, Modern America.” Dr. Aicher drew from his expansive knowledge in the unique field of “aquapolitics” to compare the water system of ancient Rome and that of modern America. The presentation addressed how access to water, the most vital finite resource for human survival, has historically shaped social and political tendencies and continues to form society today. Dr. Aicher is a Professor of Classics at the University of Southern Maine. He is the author of the books Guide to the Aqueducts of Ancient Rome and Rome Alive: A Source-guide to the Ancient City, and is a contributor to a forthcoming UNESCO volume on water.
Cuba Today:The US and Cuba-Moving Beyond the Cold War w/ Dan Erikson
The World Affairs Council of Maine continued its mission of promoting public education in international affairs October 15, 2009 when Daniel P. Erikson offered a presentation entitled “Cuba Today: The US and Cuba- Moving Beyond the Cold War” Since Fidel Castro and his guerilla army rose to power in 1959, the United States-Cuban relationship has been marked by blatant distrust and hostility. Events like the “Bay of Pigs” invasion, the “Cuban Missile Crisis,” and the U.S. implemented economic sanctions have brought the two countries to the brink of outright war on numerous occasions. Fifty years later, with the Castro era coming to an end, and the Cold War a distant memory, a shift in relations seems a distinct possibility. Mr. Erikson drew from his exceptional expertise on the subject of Cuban foreign affairs when he discussed the next step in United States-Cuban relations.
Daniel P. Erikson is the senior associate for U.S. policy and director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue. Erikson has published more than sixty articles in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post, and his book chapters appear in The Obama Administration and the Americas: Agenda for Change (2009), The Diplomacies of Small States (2009), Latin America’s Struggle for Democracy (2008), Looking Forward: Comparative Perspectives on Cuba’s Transition (2007), Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Latin America (2007), and Transforming Socialist Economies: Lessons for Cuba and Beyond (2005), which he co-edited. Erikson has taught Latin American politics at Johns Hopkins-SAIS, is frequently interviewed in U.S. and international media, and has testified before the U.S. Congress. His past positions include research associate at Harvard Business School and Fulbright scholar in U.S.-Mexican business relations. He earned a Masters in Public Policy as a Dean’s Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Brown University. Erikson is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution (Bloomsbury Press, 2008), which was described by Current History magazine as “the most important book on Cuba in a generation.” He is a native of Maine.
Indonesia: Political Islam-Transition to Democracy w/ Zachary Abuza,PhD
The March breakfast brought Zachary Abuza to Maine. With a population of over 230 million, Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country and has the world's largest population of Muslims. The story of Indonesia's political transition over the past decade from a military dictatorship to a democracy is remarkable. This transition has occurred in parallel with the Indonesian government's efforts to combat militant Islam and terrorist attacks.
These themes were the focus of Prof. Zachary Abuza's presentation. He has researched and written extensively on Islam and terrorism in S.E.Asia, including his recent book "Political Islam and Violence in Indonesia." He also has been widely interviewed and quoted in the U.S. media and has testified before Congress on several occasions.
Dr. Abuza is Professor and Chairman (2007-8), Department of Political Science and International Relations at Simmons College. He has also held the positions of Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (2004-05) and at the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (2007- 08).
Korean and US Relations: Economic, Financial and Trade Issues w/Charles L. (Jack) Pritchard, President of th Korea Economic Institute(KEI), Ms. Jennifer Roque, Foreign Service Office, US State Department, and Jongho Kyun, First SecretaryEconomic Section, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C.
The presentation on April 28, 2010 was sponsored by the Korean Economic Institute and featured a panel of experts, Jongho Kyun of the Republic of Korea Embassy Economics Sections who will focused on the status of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, a State Department Korea Desk speaker, Ms. Jenifer Roque, who provided valuable insight into the US-Korea relationship under the Obama and Lee governments and Jack Pritchard, President of KEI who highlighted current activities involving North Korea as well as discussed the recent accomplishments of Korea in becoming host for the G20 summit in November 2010 and pulling out of the economic crisis before most other countries.