Thursday, September 21, 2017, BRIDGING THE GULF: U.S. FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ARABIAN GULF, Ambassador Susan Ziadeh, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs, former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa


Members & SLV free: Visitors $5


The Arabian Gulf nations wield significant influence in policy areas as disparate as international finance, military cooperation, counterterrorism implementation, energy production, and complex negotiations involving Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Arab/Israeli Peace Process. These nations--Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates--are joined in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but their actions and policy goals often differ and diverge based on their own national interests. Despite the importance and influence of the GCC countries for U.S. interests, the American public often has only a vague understanding of these nations and their vital importance to the United States.


Ambassador (retired) Susan Ziadeh is a perfect guide to demystifying this region due to her extensive diplomatic expertise in support of the U.S. national interest in the Arabian Gulf. She was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar from 2011-2014. She also held positions of Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Official Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Baghdad, and Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Bahrain. Her other overseas postings included Riyadh, Kuwait, Amman, and Jerusalem.

Kathleen Riley, Sponsor



FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2017, FROM CALM TO CRISIS? U.S.-IRAN POLICY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, Dr. Dalia Dassa Kaye, Director, Center for Middle East Public Policy; senior political scientist at Rand Corporation; author.


Noon, Camelot Room, Fountaingrove Inn

101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa


Members: $ 32; Non-members: $37

Reservations due: 10/6


Dr. Kaye presents an overview of U.S. policy on Iran since the “Iran Nuclear Deal” (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) with its many challenges, despite successful implementation to date. Kaye addresses how rising regional tensions and political trends within Iran and the United States could lead to further escalation and, potentially, conflict.


Before joining the Rand Corporation, Dr. Kaye lived in The Netherlands where she served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at the Dutch Foreign Ministry, and taught at the University of Amsterdam. Her many awards and fellowships include a Brookings Institution research fellowship and The John W. Gardner Fellowship for Public Service. Dr. Kaye is the author of two books. She publishes widely on Middle East regional security issues and has appeared in many international media outlets. Kaye holds her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Joe Leadem, Sponsor




THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2017, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO POTUS 45: THE ROLE OF THE U.S. OVERSEAS WITH 2018 MIDTERMS IN MIND, Dr. David McCuan, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Sonoma State University


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa


Members & SLV free: Visitors $5


Dr. McCuan examines the looming 2018 midterm elections in light of U.S. foreign and security policies and the idea of “three presidencies”: a domestic affairs presidency; a foreign affairs presidency; and a security presidency. How will Administration plans impact their approach overseas as we turn to 2018 midterm elections? 


Professor McCuan has been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Governmental Affairs, UC Berkeley, and Assistant Professor at the California Maritime Academy. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. His research interests include American Politics and International Relations, but he also focuses on terrorism and political violence, working and studying in this area from diverse venues: California, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Israel, the West Bank, and Europe. He participates in commentary and media appearances with the New York Times, CNN, Time magazine, National Public Radio (NPR), The Wall Street Journal, Al-Ahram Weekly, and Al-Jazeera America-TV.


Linda Lambert and Leanne Breese, Sponsors



FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2017, DEATH IS NO STRANGER: WORKING WITH DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS, Paul Brockmann, Head of Mission Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders),


Noon, Legends, Bennett Valley Golf Club

3330 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa


Members: $29; Non-members: $34

Reservations due 11/3


Mr. Brockmann discusses the evolution of MSF's programs since his first assignment in 2005 and discusses his experiences in managing health care provisions in resource-poor settings from Haiti to India, and Papua New Guinea to Congo. His core question, Why does it matter? is answered by his experiences, three years apart, in Sierra Leone: once during a highly visible Ebola outbreak that received global attention, and then again in a period when Sierra Leone was not in the daily headlines.

Since 2005 Mr. Brockmann has worked with the international humanitarian medical organization Médecins sans Frontières and recently returned from six weeks as Head of Mission in Sierra Leone. He has also been Head of Mission in Haiti and in Papua New Guinea.

Mr. Brockman has worked with MSF in the Congo, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and China. He studied TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University, and graduated with a major in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Linda Lambert and Joe Clendenin, Sponsors



JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS: THE SEARCH FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, Patrick Connolly, Ph.D., retired World Bank Senior Financial Advisor & Heinz Vergin, economist


7:30 p.m., Spring Lake Village Auditorium

5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

Members & SLV free: Visitors $5


World nations and civil societies are increasingly interdependent due to social and economic development. In response, collective action of national governments has, over time, established a web of international governances and institutions designed to benefit the global community.


Heinz Vergin and Patrick Connolly review these bodies, established since WWII, to examine their performances, with focus on international trade and finance; comment on major countervailing forces poised to undermine international cooperation; and include some conjectures about the evolution of the international order and its web of governances.


Heinz Vergin is an economist, trained at Free University Berlin and London School of Economics, obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He held senior management positions for World Bank in Lending and Treasury (1977-1997). After retiring, he worked with WHO and the European Union Commission.


Patrick Connolly holds several degrees, including a Ph.D. in Politics and Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. After a career in energy and commercial banking, he joined the World Bank, focusing on West Africa and South Asia.

Pat Givens, Sponsor


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