Past Themes and Speakers

2016 – Education

Chair: Becky Miller


  • Andy Calkins, Deputy Director, Next Generation Learning Challenges at Educause
  • Elizabeth Suneby, Author – books for children and teens
  • Sameer Honwad, Assistant Professor of Education, University of New Hampshire
  • EK Cho, Associate Professor of Education, University of New Hampshire

2015 – Climate Change

Chair: Beth Miller


  • Steven P. Hamburg, Chief Scientist of the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Kate Sheppard, Senior Environmental Reporter, The Huffington Post
  • Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of the Climate Change Network
  • Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy at New York University

2014 – Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

Chair: Ted Trainer


  • Marvin G. Weinbaum, Professor emeritus of political science at the Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Professor of English at Montclair State University
  • Khan Hussan Zia, Writer and former Pakastani Naval Officer

2013 – Europe and the Eurozone

Chair: Lisa Braiterman


  • Heather Conley,  Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • Dr. Vello Pettai, Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Tartu in Estonia
  • Dr. Catherine L. Mann, International Business School at Brandeis
  • Dr. Thomas Wright, Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Managing Global Order project

2012 – Arab Spring and Beyond

Chair: Maria Getoff
  • Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief of Al-Arabiya Television
  • Jillian Schwedler, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • Michele Dunne, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
  • Jon B. Alterman, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy and Director, Middle East Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

2011-Water:  A Human Right and Resource

Chair:  Nick Dempsey


  • R. Allyn Clarke:  Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  • Dr. Christopher L. Kukk, Western Connecticut State U.
  • Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith,  Pacific Institute
  • Dr. Shimon C. Anisfeld,  Yale Univ.
  • Patricia Jones, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

2010 – Empowering Women and Children for Global Health

Chair:  Suellen Peluso


  • Jennifer Prah Ruger:  Core Investigator for the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS
  • Susan M. Davis:  President & CEO of BRAC USA
  • Scott Hansen:  American Institute in Taiwan’s Economic Section
  • Lisa Adams: Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Disease and International Health, Dartmouth Medical School, and Director of the Global Health Initiative (GHI).
  • Richard Waddell:  Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Disease and International Health at Dartmouth
  • Ann Cotton:  Founder of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)


2009 – Global Justice

Chairperson: David Cummiskey


  • Joel H. Rosenthal – President Carnegie Council: The voice of ethics and international policy
  • Janice Bially Mattern – Associate Professor International Relations  Lehigh University
  • Linda Bishai – Senior Program Officer, Education and Training Center/International  United States Institute for Peace
  • Dr. Lee R. Schwartz – US Department of State, Director of the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues
  • Allen Springer — Professor of Government  Bowdoin College

2008 – Religion and International Politics – Now and Into the Future

Chair: Rosemarie Smurzynski

  • Stanley R. Sloan: Author, Educator, Visiting Scholar at Rohatyn Center for International Studies         Middlebury College
  • Jayakiran Sebastian: Director of Multicultural Mission Center, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
  • Emmanual Twesigye: Professor of Christian Studies, Ohio Weslyan University
  • Emran Quereshi: Author, Educator, Wertheim Fellow at Harvard University
  • Paul Beran: Director for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
  • Hilary Rantisi: Director of Middle East Initiative, Kennedy School of Government

2007 – Island Opened Late – No IA Conference Held

2006 – Power Shifts – Regional Hotspots Confronting the U.S.

Chair: Josh Spero
  • Jeffery Taliaferro: Associate Professor of Political Science, Tufts University
  • Sean Kay: Associate Professor of Politics and Government, Ohio Weslyan University
  • Alan Stolberg: Assistant Professor of National Security Studies, U.S. Army War College
  • Theresa Hitchens: Director of the Center for Defense Information, Washington DC
  • Eric Budd: Associate Professor of Political Science, Fitchburg State College

2005 – Food Security – Global Challenge to People, Cultures and Nations

Chair:  Lloyd Yanis
  • Ellen Messer: Visiting Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology, Geoge Washington’s Elliot School of International Affairs
  • Sara Sievers: Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, Association Francois Xavier Bagnoud
  • Mark McPeak: Deputy Director Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Brian Tokar: Author, Educator, Faculty, Vermont’s Institute for Social Ecology
  • Jim Slama: Founder and President of Sustain and

2004 – The World’s Largest Democracy: India

Chair:  Joann O’Hara


  • Harry G. Barnes, Jr.: Former United States Ambassador to India
  • Anne E. Monius:  Professor of South Asian Religions, Harvard Divinity School
  • Kilaparti Ramakrishna: Senior Associate for International Environmental Law, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Katharine Sreedhar: Director of UU Holdeen in India Program
  • Dr. Prabhakar Tamboli: Executive Director, International Training Programs, University of Maryland

2003 – Islam: One-Fifth of the World’s People

Chair: Karen Mathiasen


  • Dr. Hibba Abugideiri:Professor, George Washington University
  • Dr. Anthony F. Lang: Program Officer, Carnegie Council on Ethics & International Affairs
  • Dr. Azza Karam: Director, Women’s Program at the World Conference on Religion and Peace
  • Ms. Heather Gregg: Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2002 – Contemporary China: Challenges of Global Engagement

Chair: Anne Howe


  • Brantly Womack: Professor, University of Virginia
  • Yasheng Huang: Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
  • Dan Hai Mu  Esquire and Dr. Rong Yi: Boston University
  • Xiaorong Li: Research Scholar, University of Maryland (presented by Helena Cobban)
  • Harry Harding: Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington Univ.

2001 – The U.S. and the Challenges of International Leadership and Cooperation

Chair: Ross Fenster


  • Stewart Patrick: Center on International Cooperation New York University
  • Michael Klare: Hampshire College
  • Aaron M. Knight: Chief of Staff, World Federalist Association
  • Joshua Spero: Dartmouth School of Government
  • Rose Gottemoeller: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

2000 – International Ethics

Chair: Caren Yanis


  • Valora Washington: Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Joel Rosenthal: President, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs
  • Sherman Teichman: Director of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University
  • Lawrence Grossman: President, NBC News from 1984 to 1988 and of PBS from 1976 to 1984
  • Lori Knowles: Professor, University of Wisconsin Law and Medical Schools

1999 – Reaching Beyond States: The Role of International NGOs

Chair: Helena Cobben


  • Ann Florini: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Heather Foote: UU Service Committee
  • Ricky Goldstein: Human Rights Watch
  • Xiaorong Li: University of Maryland
  • Susannah Sirkin: Physicians for Human Rights Campaign against Land Mines

1998 – People, States, and Globalization 

Chair: Tom McNaugher


  • Stephen Blank: Pace University
  • Bridget Rosewell: Business Strategies Ltd. London
  • Ed Lincoln: Brookings Institue
  • Michael Berlin: Boston U. School of Journalism
  • Shibley Telhami:  Univ of Maryland

1997 -Trouble in the Neighborhood: Co-Existence in North America 

Chair: Susan Rak


  • Marilyn Halter: Boston University
  • Betty Haskins: United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • William LeoGrande: American University
  • Susan Purcell
  • Monique Simard: Deputy Leader, Parti Quebecois

1996 – The Impact of Political Decision on World Health 

Chair: Burt Jaffe


  • John Hammock: Director, Oxfam America
  • Elizabeth Reed: Director, AIDS Program, WHO
  • Leonard Marcus: M.D., Tufts U. Medical School
  • Ellen Chesler: Author
  • David Cummiskey: Professor Medical Ethics, Bates College

1995 – Competing Interests in the Global Village: The UN at 50 

Chair: Margaret Noel

  • Franics Deng: Brookings Institution and special envoy to the UN
  • Jane Holl: Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict
  • Kemal Kurspanic: Oslobodeniye, Sarajevo
  • Lorenzo Morris: Howard University
  • George Moffett: Christian Science Monitor

1994 – Religion, Race & Ethnicity: Sources of Conflict in International Affairs

Chair: Ken Cummisky


  • Stanley Heginbotham: Ford Foundation
  • Adrien Wing: University of Iowa Law School
  • Ian Lustick:  U. of Pennsylvania
  • Ann Mayer:  U. of Pennsyvannia
  • Karen Dawisha: U. of Maryland

1993 – Transitions to Democracy: Implications for War & Peace  
Chair: Ellen Brandenburg

1992 – Japan, China & Pacific Basin Challenges for the U.S.
Chair: Don Zagoria

1991 – End of the Cold War: Challenges for the U.S.
Chair: Jean Hay

1990 – Exhausted Earth: Environmental Threats and Questions
Chair: Bill Maynes

1989 – U.S. in a Changing World Chair: Richard Weinert

1988 – Is There a New Soviet Union?
Chair: Des O’Hara

1987 – China: The Next Superpower?
Chair: Sam Frieberg

1986 – The Middle East: Societies and Schisms
Chair: Judy Williams

1985 – Africa
Chair: Eleanor Jaffe

1984 – Latin America: Dilemma on Our Doorstep
Chair: Gordon Noel

1983 – The Nuclear Dilemma: Security Without Annihilation
Chair: Sam Zagoria

1982 – Leadership in a Troubled World
Chair: Phyllis Claus

1981 – Confrontation — And the Alternatives
Chair: Dave Stanley

1980 – The Causes of War
Chair: Ron Buck

1978 – Our Shrinking World
Chair: Naomi Yanis