Greece on the Front Line: The Refugees Keep Coming

December 3, 2019

Jane Abbott

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Since 2015, desperate refugees mostly from the Middle East and a few from West Africa, have been flooding the Eastern Greek islands of Kos, Samos, Lesbos, Leros, and Chios. The conditions on these islands, especially on Samos, where six times the number that can be accommodated are living in squalor and dangerous conditions, are bleak.

The EU made an agreement with Turkey in March of 2016, offering to pay Turkey to keep refugees in that country. However, few refugees want or are willing to stay in Turkey. Today, refugees try leaving Turkey multiple times, sailing across a three-mile stretch in precarious dinghies, in the hope that they can reach Greece and therefore apply for asylum. A Doctors without Borders spokesperson calls Greece, particularly the Greek islands, a “dumping ground” that has created a refugee emergency. In addition, the more people who try to cross from Turkey to Greece, the more deaths there are in the process.

Jane Abbott’s talk will center on her personal experience with refugees from the Vial Camp on Chios where she spent five weeks working for the NGO CESRT (the Chios Eastern Shore Response Team) which is allied with the German NGO Open Arms. She will explain how volunteers are used there and why Chios, although crowded with refugees and constantly struggling to help them, uses CESRT as a model for how to help those in need. In the past six months, the numbers at Vial have quadrupled, so caring for refugees becomes more and more challenging.

Jane Abbott earned her bachelor’s degree at the American College in Greece (Deree College) in literature and then a master’s degree at the University of Denver in comparative literature while also earning a teacher’s certificate. After teaching at the United States International University for a year, she joined the US Peace Corps teaching in a remote village in Nepal which could only be reached by several days’ walking. The next year, Abbott taught at the University of Nepal in Kathmandu and assisted with writing the Peace Corps Nepali language manual. Abbott lived with her family in Nepal for seven years, working as a teacher and consultant for Peace Corps and USIS.

For the next two years, Abbott lived in Honiara, the Solomon Islands and consulted in Kiribati. She ran training programs in education and business and evaluated posts in the South Pacific for the Peace Corps.

Returning to the US, Abbott taught literature and integrated humanities at various community colleges in Colorado. Simultaneously, she earned her Ph.D. in community college leadership. Subsequently, she worked as a dean in a community college in Colorado with 18,000 students especially with international students.

Abbott has a particular interest in international micro credit projects for women. She was a consultant through Colorado State University for WID (Women In Development) in Nepal and studied a women’s support NGO while on a Mosal Grant. Her project for a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad grant then addressed this topic in Paraguay. Two subsequent Fulbrights in Thailand and Germany supplemented this specialty.

While working at community colleges throughout her career, Abbott developed study abroad cultural programs for adults. She has taken multiple study groups to Nepal, Turkey, and especially to Greece where she has returned many times.

Abbott has worked as a volunteer on many projects. Recently this has included women from Gaza in occupied Palestine. Because of her special interest and experience in working with women in challenging situations, she chose to go to the island of Chios in the spring of 2019. Her presentation today addresses her personal experience while there and how she used her skills and experience to help men, women, and children at the camp. She is an SFWAF Board Member.

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Greece on the Front Line: The Refugees Keep Coming2020-03-17T17:26:37-07:00

Illicit Trade: A Complex Web Of Criminals, State Sponsors And Opportunists

October 8, 2019

Suzanne Hayden

lllegal trade (trafficking) taints every country. It weaves countries together unwitting alliances through the efforts of unscrupulous individuals, criminal groups and state sponsors: preying upon weaknesses of infrastructures and legislation, promoting greed and corruption and ultimately affecting financial systems, reputations and economic stability, it is difficult to adequately calculate its harm to the economy, global security, the environment and the human toll. A closer look at the world of human, wildlife, tobacco and weapons trafficking illustrates the changing nature of organized crime and the impact such trafficking has on our stability and security.

Suzanne Hayden

Suzanne Hayden spent over 30 years as a US and International prosecutor. She was a senior prosecutor for the Department of Justice and a trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia where she started the first UN financial intelligence unit to follow the money of Slobodan Milosevic and supervised one of the earliest global stolen assets investigations against a sitting State’s leader. She was the DOJ legal advisor in Russia and Turkey and drafted anti-money laundering, terrorist finance and asset forfeiture legislation at the request of over 25 countries. Ms. Hayden served as the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) first national security coordinator and represented the DOJ in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setter for antimony laundering and terrorist financing and.

During her career, Ms. Hayden served as a senior advisor for the US Intelligence Community, the US Department of Justice, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Technical Assistance, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria. She is on the Board of Trustees of the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and sits on two advisory boards for illicit trade and anti-corruption. Ms. Hayden is currently the legal strategist for International Wildlife Trust, an NGO formed to build prosecutable cases against organized crime groups whose wild life criminal activities have thus far remained insulated and untouchable. Ms. Hayden continues to follow her passion for Native American issues and is working on a strategy to address the US tragedy of murdered and missing Native American women and girls through investigation, advocacy and legislation.

The SFWAF Program will be in the:  The SFCC Board Room (#223) which is in the West Wing (Administration building) of the Santa Fe Community College.
Illicit Trade: A Complex Web Of Criminals, State Sponsors And Opportunists2019-09-18T22:29:37-07:00

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).

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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).

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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).

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

Iran and North Korea: A Status Report

Sold Out!

December 4, 2017

Arvid Lundy and Cheryl Rofer

Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have been much in the news lately, with continuing testing of missiles and, in North Korea’s case, a nuclear explosive. President Donald Trump has responded with threatening tweets, stoking fears of nuclear war. The two countries’ histories are very different, but both feel they have reason to fear the United States. One response is to develop nuclear weapons, deliverable by missile. Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons was stopped by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, negotiated in 2015. North Korea currently moves ahead without restriction.

We’ll discuss the motivations of both countries, where they are now, the response from the United States, and what the future might bring.

Cheryl Rofer was a chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. She now writes scientific and political commentary for the web publications Nuclear Diner and Balloon Juice. She has over 9000 followers on Twitter. She regularly provides background information on nuclear topics to reporters and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox. Her work at Los Alamos included projects in fossil fuels, laser development, and the nuclear fuel cycle. She is past president of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security and a founding member of SFWAF. She has published in scientific and political science journals and edited a book. She holds an A.B. from Ripon College and an M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Arvid Lundy has extensive experience in nuclear export controls, nuclear proliferation intelligence, electronic instrumentation design, and clinical medical physics. Arvid spent thirty one years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as project engineer, group leader, and program manager. His career included over 100 foreign trips for the US government on nuclear issues, especially international nuclear export control.
This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

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Iran and North Korea: A Status Report2019-05-01T14:20:26-07:00
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