Project Description

To register for the 2023 Symposium, please email with names of registrants, days attending and whether paying by check to SFWAF and mailed to: The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum PO Box 31965, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87594. Or to by Paypal or credit card through our website at 

April 13-14, 2023


Ambassador William B Taylor, Vice President for Russia and Europe, US Institute for Peace, former US Ambassador to Ukraine;
Juha Makkikali, Finnish Honorary Consul, Denver, CO;
Dr. Gary M Grossman, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University and former Fulbright professor (in Turkey);
Dr. Nancy Lubin, President, JNA Associates, Inc a research/consulting firm on the former USSR, especially Caucasus/Central Asia;
Siegfried S Hecker, Professor of Practice, Texas A&M University and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, CA, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and Director Emeritus, Los Alamos National Laboratory;
Ambassador(rtd) Larry C Napper, Professor of the Practice Emeritus of International Affairs, Bush School of Government and Public Service, US Foreign Service (1974-2004) including service as Director of the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, US Department of State and US Ambassador to Latvia and Kazakhstan;
John Holden, Sr. Managing Director, China Practice, McClarty and Associates.


When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, no one believed that a supposedly weak Ukraine could maintain its independence. As for Vladimir Putin, he expected to topple the Zelenskyy government in a matter of days—or less. And so, flagrantly violating the norms and laws that had promoted world peace and stability for 70 some years, a heavily armored column of Russian troops headed for Kiev. They never got there.

How could Putin have got it so wrong? Hubris, of course, but mostly miscalculation. Putin never expected to confront a brave and fervently patriotic population, a revamped military and the ingenuity and bravery of Ukraine’s civilian and military leadership. Nor did he anticipate a rejuvenation of NATO (Turkey and Hungary excepted) united in support of Ukraine, thus enabling a massive flow of Ukraine-bound weaponry from its arsenals. Or that his invasion would result in neutral Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership.

It’s too early to predict the shape of a post-invasion Ukraine. Nor can we be certain that Russia will never again seek to roll back history by invading apparently weak neighbors. But one thing is certain. Putin and his army are being humiliated. He won’t get what he aimed for in Ukraine. Moreover, this conflict’s international ramifications – testing the foundations of the world order – are massive.

Symposium Schedule

Santa Fe Community College Jemez Rooms – #231-2

9:00-9:30 Registration

Welcome, SFCC President Dr. Rebecca Rowley, Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, Dr. Patricia H Kushlis, President, Santa Fe World Affairs Forum

Opening Speaker: Ambassador rtd William B. Taylor, USIP
Talk Title: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Why Ukraine Must Win Ambassador Taylor will argue that Ukraine’s victory will make the US and Europe more secure and that only with a Ukrainian win will Russia be held accountable for the crimes they are committing. 

11:30-11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 -1:15
Second Speaker Juha Makikalli, Finnish Honorary Consul, Denver, CO Talk
Title: NATO, Finland and Sweden and the western response: the Path Forward

1:15-2:00 Buffet Lunch

NATO’s outlier:  Turkey (Gary Grossman, Assoc. Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University and former Fulbright professor in Turkey.
Talk TitleDiplomacy, Division, and Democracy in Turkey’s Response to the Ukraine Conflict:  What is Erdogan’s Problem?

3:15-3:30 Coffee Break

Russia’s Influence on Central Asia: JNA President and Central Asian and corruption expert Nancy Lubin
Talk title:  The Central Asian Response

SFCC Jemez Rooms – #231-2

9:00-9:15 Registration 

Siegfried S. Hecker, Professor of Practice at Texas A&M University and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, CA; Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and Director Emeritus, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Talk title:  Putin Destroyed the Global Nuclear Order by Invading Ukraine

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30
US Russia specialist Larry Napper, US Ambassador rtd, on Russia Today, former professor, The Bush School, Texas A&M, adjunct professor, Emery Riddle University, Prescott, AZ
Talk Title:  The Sources of Putin’s Conduct and the War on Ukraine

12:30 – 1:15 Buffet Lunch

1: 15 – 2: 00
Student Panel chaired by Ambassador(rtd) Mark Asquino with foreign students from the University of New Mexico, UWC-USA and SFCC

2:00-2:15 Coffee Break

2:15 – 3:30
The invasion’s repercussions:  John Holden, Sr managing director, China Practice, McClarty and Associates
Talk Title: China: Crossroads and Contradictions

3:30-3:45 Thank you and closing remarks – Pat Kushlis