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Lecture Luncheon 2014-2015

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10 - 18 - 2013, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm2013-10-18 11:00 - 13:00

Putin’s Push For Power: A Return to the Cold War?

Friday, October 17,  2014
GjeltenNational Security Correspondent Tom Gjelten has reported on defense policy, cyber security, the breakup of the Soviet Union, military affairs, terrorism, espionage, and other national security issues for NPR.  He brings to his assignment many years of experience having covered conflicts and international affairs around the world.  Currently on leave from NPR to research and write a book on immigration, he is the author of Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege, which was selected by the American Library Association as a “Notable Nonfiction Book” in 1996, and Bacardi and the Long Fight For Cuba:  The Biography of a Cause.  Mr. Gjelten has won numerous awards for his work including an Overseas Press Club award for “Best Business or Economic Report in Radio or TV,” the Overseas Press Club’s Lowell Thomas Award for coverage of the Yugoslav conflict, a George Polk Award, and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.  In addition to reporting for NPR, he appears regularly on the PBS’s Washington Week in Review and his articles appear in the New York Times and Washington Post.  Mr. Gjelten is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Antioch Graduate School in New Hampshire.  Married to a former Women’s Institute guest, ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz, he lives in Arlington, Virginia. This is Mr. Gjelten’s fourth visit to Houston for the Women’s Institute.

Locating and Recovering Stolen Art

Friday, November 21, 2014
WittmanWittmanAuthor and former FBI agent Robert Wittman is responsible for the recovery of numerous stolen art objects including $50 million worth of Goya and Brueghel paintings from a Spanish mobster, a Rodin sculpture, a Rembrandt self portrait stolen from the Swedish National Museum, five Norman Rockwell paintings worth $1,000,000, a U.S. Naval Academy 1862 Tiffany presentation sword, Geronimo’s war bonnet, and two Renoirs among others—all totaling over $300 million during a 20-year period that resulted in the prosecution and conviction of a number of individuals.  Mr. Wittman recounts these activities in his recent book Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.  He joined the FBI as a special agent in 1988 and after receiving specialized training in art, antiques, jewelry, and gem identification, he served as the FBI’s investigative expert in these fields.  In 2005 he was instrumental in the creation of the FBI’s rapid deployment Art Crime Team, and he served as a member of he Department of State’s Cultural Antiquities Task Force.  He is the recipient of numerous anwards and honors including the Outstanding Contribution in Law Enforcement Award, the Spanish National Police’s White Cross of Law Enforcement Merit Medal, and the Smithsonian’s Robert Burke Memorial Award for Excellence in Cultural Property.

The Middle East, Iran, and Afghanistan

Friday, January 16 2015
wrightInternational affairs expert and award-winning journalist and author Robin Wright has reported from more than 140 countries for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Times of London, CBS News, and The Christian Science Monitor. She has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Times (London), The Guardian (London),and The International Herald Tribune. The author of several books, her most recent book, Rock the Casbah: Rage and Revolution Across the Islamic Worldwas published in July 2011. A frequent radio and television guest on Middle East matters, Ms. Wright has appeared on network news programs for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR and such shows as PBS’ Nightly News Hour, Washington Week Today, Good Morning America, Nightline, Meet the Press, and Face the Nation. Among numerous awards, she won the UN Correspondents Association Gold Medal for coverage of foreign affairs, the National Magazine Award, and the Overseas Press Club Award for “best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative.” The American Academy of Diplomacy selected Ms. Wright as journalist of the year in 2004.  She has been a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Brookings Institution, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and at Yale University, Duke University, Stanford University, among others. She also lectures extensively in the U.S, Europe, and Asia.  

The Practical Impact of Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Friday, February 20, 2015 Turley II Nationally recognized legal scholar and commentator Jonathan Turley holds the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at George Washington University, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history.  He has written over 400 articles on legal and policy issues that appear regularly in national publications and in newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today as well as the leading laws reviews and journals of Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Northwestern and other schools.  In addition to his extensive publications, Mr. Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable laws cases in the last two decades in the U. S. and has served as a consultant on homeland security issues for members of Congress.  Professor Turley is a frequent guest on Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday, and he also worked as the on-air legal analyst for NBC News and CBS News during the Clinton impeachment hearings and Bush/Gore election controversies.  Mr. Turley often serves as a witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues and tort reform legislation.