Will North Korea Denuclearize if the U.S. does not normalize?


 September 17, 2018

 Siegfried S. Hecker

2017 was a very bad year for North Korea–U.S. relations as the two appeared headed toward military conflict. North-South Korea rapprochement in 2018 led to a peaceful Winter Olympics and opened the door for the Singapore Summit on June 12,  at which Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump stepped back from the precipice. Three months later, however, we are no closer to the denuclearization of North Korea. Dr. Hecker  will draw on our historical studies of North Korea’s nuclear program and his seven visits to North Korea to explain why denuclearization will not occur without concurrent normalization of relations.

Sigfried HeckerSiegfried S. Hecker is a professor emeritus (research) in the department of management science and engineering and a senior fellow emeritus at the center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. Hecker was Co-Director of cisac from 2007-2012.

He served as the fifth director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986-1997. Hecker received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in metallurgy from Case Western Reserve University. His professional interests include nuclear weapons policy, plutonium research, global nuclear risk reduction with Russia, China, Pakistan, India, North Korea and Iran, and threats of nuclear terrorism.

Location at Santa Fe Community College Board Room (#223).


Will North Korea Denuclearize if the U.S. does not normalize?2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00

Mitigating Climate Change

 September 10-11, 2018

 Wolfgang Saam, Dr. Christof Stefes,  Anton Hufnagl, Max Gruenig and Luke Spangenburg

We are pleased to announce a special panel discussion under the auspices of the Santa Fe Community College’s Aquaculture and Hydroponics Club in partnership with Ecological Institute, US; Transatlantic Climate Bridge; and the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum with support of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The panel “Mitigating Climate Change:  Business, Politics and Policy” will be held Monday, September 10 from 12-1:30 at the SFCC Board Room (#223) and feature Wolfgang Saam, cofounder and managing director of Klimaschutz-Unternehmen, an association of German corporations committed to climate protection; Dr. Christof Stefes, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Denver and expert in renewable energy policy; Anton Hufnagel, First Secretary for Climate, Environmental and Urban Affairs at the German Embassy;  Washington, DC.

The panel will be chaired by Professor Luke Spangenburg, Director of the SFCC Biofuels Center of Excellence and Innovation Center and welcomed by Max Gruenig, President of the Ecological Institute, US.

They panelists will explore concerns about the universal problem of climate change mitigation and adaptation drawing upon insights and experiences from Germany, a recognized world leader in ambitious yet considered climate policies, and lessons shared worldwide at the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

There will be no cost associated with this special panel. Reservations are not necessary. It is open to SFCC faculty, staff, and students, SFWAF members and others in the Santa Fe Community on a first come, first serve space available basis.  There will be an optional tour of SFCC’s environmental facilities from 1:30-2 for the visiting German experts.  SFCC invites program attendees to join the tour.


Wolfgang Saam Director, Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Group of the German Economy Wolfgang Saam is co-founder and director of the Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Group of the German Economy, where he works on facilitating green business solutions in German companies and enhancing sustainable policy frameworks. As an expert, Wolfgang presents sustainable business development in government consultations, business committees and amongst non-governmental organizations. His recent project covered the interplay of employees’ preferences and employer’s programs to implement climate and energy savings activities in companies.  Before co-founding the Climate Protection Group, Mr Saam worked as a project manager at the Association of German Chambers of Business and Commerce in Berlin where he focused on energy efficiency and green-tech solutions. He studied political science and public policy at the University of Freiburg, the University of Michigan and the University of Potsdam. His expertise on international energy security issues was published by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation.

Dr. Christoph H Stefes, a German citizen, is a Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Colorado Denver. In his teaching and research, he focuses on European and Post-Soviet Politics. For the past twelve years, he has studied the politics surrounding transitions towards sustainable energy systems on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author and editor of several books and articles on this topic, notably Germany’s Energy Transitions. A Comparative Perspective (with Carol Hager, 2006): https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137442871. In his most recent project, he analyzes the various forms of resistance against sustainable energy. 

Anton Hufnagl serves as First Secretary for Climate, Environment and Urban Affairs at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. Previously, he helped defend the German government against compensation claims by the operators of nuclear power plants in national and international proceedings. Until 2010, Anton was an analyst with J.P. Morgan’s Exotics and Hybrids desk in London, U.K. Anton has studied economics and statistics in Paris, Mannheim and Moscow. More recently, he received his Master in European Philosophy from the Universities of Vienna and Hagen. In 2017, he finished his studies at the Hertie School of Governance, where he was on a full scholarship from the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Max-GruenigMax Gruenig, Max Gruenig is the President of Ecologic Institute US and has been with Ecologic Institute since 2007. His work focuses on sustainable development in the energy and transport sector, as well as urban sustainability and resilient cities. In 2004, Max Gruenig received his degree in economics from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin, Germany). The main focus of his studies was natural resource economics and auction theory. He has lived and worked in Germany, the United States, Iceland, and Japan. He is a native speaker of German and is fluent in English and French. He is a founding member of the European Institute for Sustainable Transport (EURIST), a member of the sustainability advisory board for NaturEnergiePlus and a member of the Consumer Research Network run by the German Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

Luke Spangenburg, Panel Chair, Director of SFCC Biofuels Center of Excellence and Innovation Center.
Luke is a nationally recognized leader in the Algae and Biofuels industry and for his collaborations with educational development programs. He has current projects with the Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Labs, Sandia National Lab, Los Alamos National Labs, EPSCoR and a variety of industry collaborations. Luke has been involved with the SFCC Alternative Fuels program since its beginning and continues to collaborate in developing new, cutting-edge programs. He has directed the Biofuels Center of Excellence since 2012 and in 2015 was voted the second ranked educational program internationally by the industry. Luke also directs the SFCC Innovation Center which creates commercialization opportunities with business to establish new local economic development   He is also the president of New Solutions Energy, a company dedicated to integrated bioenergy solutions and holds two patents for algal cultivation methods and systems. Luke’s knowledge of sustainable technologies, combined with his passion for the natural world, motivates all of his work

Location at Santa Fe Community College Board Room (#223).



Mitigating Climate Change2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00

Sultanate of Oman: Beacon of Hope in the Middle East

 August 17, 2018

 Linda Pappas Funsch

Few Americans know much about Oman, a small sultanate located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Yet Oman hosts American military forces on three Omani bases through a Facilities Access Agreement and its unbroken alliance with the US dates from 1790.

The majority of Omanis are Ibadhi, an early offshoot of Islam and a third tradition within the Islamic mosaic.   This small but strategic country at the mouth of the Persian Gulf is ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said – who has been in power since 1970 after engineering a bloodless palace coup against his father.

Although Omani society is historically tribal, Sultan Qaboos has been able to construct an effective national consensus, in which Omani loyalty transcends tribe. Oman is also now highly urbanized and since 2014, foreign migrants represent over 43% of the population working primarily in the oil industry.  Yet in addition to encouraging the growth of the petroleum sector, the Sultan has also initiated a program of “Omanization,” aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on hydrocarbon production, increasing private investment, and replacing expatriate labor with trained Omanis.

Linda Pappas Funsch, author of Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization (2015, Palgrave Macmillan), will discuss the history and modern transformation of the Sultanate of Oman, a little known, but vitally important, country of the Arab Middle East. The story of Oman is compelling – a maritime power that prospered as the global hub for the frankincense trade in antiquity. Its unique world view and international relations of today are a reflection of its lengthy interaction with diverse cultures. Oman’s foreign policy today is a product of its history, values, and realistic appraisal of 21st century dynamics.

Ms. Funsch is a career specialist in Islamic and modern Middle Eastern history and cultures with experience in academia, publishing, consulting, tourism and travel writing.  Following undergraduate study at Marymount College, Tarrytown (NY) and the American University in Cairo, she was awarded an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Literature at New York University.  She has served as editor of The Arab World magazine in New York, consultant for the League of Arab States’ office to the United Nations, project specialist for the Ford Foundation, both in Beirut and New York, and US Director of the American Research in Egypt consortium in Princeton, NJ.

She has taught at several colleges in New York and Maryland, including Iona College, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Hood College and — for  15 years and currently   —  at Frederick (MD) Community College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement. She has guest lectured at Georgetown University, the World Affairs Council, the World Bank, the National Defense University, Mary Washington University, and Baylor University, among others. She has also been interviewed on the Voice of America. In addition, she is engaged in a number of ecumenical outreach activities, aimed at fostering an understanding and appreciation of the shared values among the Abrahamic faith traditions.

Location at The Santa Fe Community College – Room 487


Sultanate of Oman: Beacon of Hope in the Middle East2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00

Our Woman in Havana: Past Experiences and Future Assessments

 June 7, 2018

 Vicki Huddleston

Miguel Díaz-Canel is the president of Cuba. For the first time in almost 60 years a Castro does not lead the country. Raul Castro, however, remains the first secretary of the Communist party and the power behind Díaz-Canel. What does this mean for the future of US-Cuban relations?

In her recent book Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba Vicki Huddleston, one of America’s top Cuba-hands and Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana from 2000-2002 who later served as Ambassador to Madagascar and Mali, discusses her experiences as America’s de facto Ambassador to the island nation during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush and assesses the changes she has witnessed over the past 18 years in the island’s history, economics and politics as well as the continuing troubled relationships between Washington and this island only 90 miles off the US coast.

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, a Santa Fe resident and SFWAF Board Member, is an American diplomat with lengthy expertise in foreign, defense, and development policy. She was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense and led American diplomatic missions in Mali, Madagascar, Cuba and Ethiopia. In Haiti she was Chief of Party for a USAID Value Chain project. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and as a Congressional Fellow worked on the staff of former Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Vicki’s opinion pieces on Cuba, Mali, and Ethiopia have appeared in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. Before Our Woman in Havana, she co-authored Learning to Salsa – New Steps in Cuban Relations. She has recently spoken at the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, the Miami Book Fair, DACOR-Washington, DC and the American Foreign Service Association. Autographed copies of her book are available at Collected Works, 202 Gallisteo Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).


Our Woman in Havana: Past Experiences and Future Assessments2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00

Making the Hard Case for Soft Power: Advocacy, Citizen Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad

 March 5, 2018

Sherry Mueller

Former Secretary of State Elihu Root called for citizens to take a concerted interest in international relations in his article entitled,” A Requisite for the Success of Popular Diplomacy,” published in the first issue of Foreign Affairs (September 1922). This article prompts reflection on essential questions affecting the U.S. image abroad.

  • Why do we as a society undersell soft power and magnify the benefits of hard power?
  • How do we more effectively advocate for Fulbright, the International Visitor Leadership Program, Peace Corps, and other programs that give individual citizens a chance to make a difference in our turbulent world?
  • How do we encourage Millennials to be more actively involved in citizen diplomacy and international exchange?

Sherry Lee Mueller, Ph.D., Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the School of International Service (SIS), American University, Washington, D.C., teaches courses on cultural diplomacy. In 2017 she received an Excellence in Teaching Award as an adjunct professor from the School of International Service. Ms Mueller served as President of Global Ties U.S. (formerly NCIV) from 1996 to 2011. Prior to that she also held various leadership positions at the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Ms. Mueller has served as a speaker for the U.S. Department of State in Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Washington, D.C., giving lectures and conducting workshops on leadership development for nonprofit organizations. In 2014, Georgetown University Press published the second edition of her book Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development. Ms. Mueller earned her M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).


Making the Hard Case for Soft Power: Advocacy, Citizen Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00

Update on the Politics & Economics of Brexit

 February 6, 2018

Christine Sauer and Kendra Koivu

The Brexit negotiations continue against the backdrop of changing political and economic landscapes in the UK and on the European continent. In their joint talk, UNM Professors Kendra Koivu (Political Science) and Christine Sauer (Economics) will provide an update on the status of the negotiations and discuss the possible implications of Brexit under different scenarios.

Christine Sauer is Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the International Studies Institute at the University of New Mexico. A native of Germany, she earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University specializing in international macro and monetary economics. Scholarly work consists of a book, “Alternative Theories of Output, Unemployment, and Inflation in Germany” (1989) as well as refereed articles and conference presentations. Dr. Sauer is an award-winning teacher (2008-2009 Outstanding Teacher Award, 2011-2013 UNM Presidential Teaching Fellow) who has lectured and taught courses on the European Union to diverse audiences at UNM and elsewhere. She has also previously addressed the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum on the European Union and the EURO.

Kendra Koivu is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. She received her doctorate from Northwestern University, where she studied comparative politics, qualitative methods, and international relations. Her substantive research interests include organized crime, narcotics trafficking, early twentieth century Eurasian politics, statebuilding, and political economy. Her work has been published in outlets such as Comparative Political Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, and PS: Political Science and Politics. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Consorting with Criminals: Smuggling and Statebuilding in the Interwar Period.

This spring/early summer, Professors Koivu and Sauer will co-lead an interdisciplinary study-abroad program for UNM undergraduates that focuses on the politics and economics of the European Union, “The EU at Sixty: What’s Nexit?”

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).


Update on the Politics & Economics of Brexit2019-05-01T14:20:25-07:00
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