Wilkes University

Past Speakers - U.N. Lecture Series

United Nations Lecture Series

Abdul HannanSpeaker: Abdul Hannan 
When: 4 p.m. | April 20, 2017 
Where: Arnaud C. Marts Center, Room 214 

About the Speaker: Abdul Hannan works with UNDP joining from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is a dual national of Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, and possesses more than 24 years of experience in public sector advisory through the private and non-profit sectors, and with the United Nations.

Hannan has worked in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe and North America in over 30 countries, and has held leadership positions with the United Nations development system in South Africa and Zambia. Hannan's remit at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General included South-South and Triangular Cooperation, the Istanbul Programme of Action for Least-developed Countries, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries, and the SAMOA Pathway for Small-island Developing States. He also staffed the Secretary-General on the future of the internet, digital economy and cyber-security.

Hannan's previous work as a practitioner on aid effectiveness included representations at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Development Centre). Last year, he led the formulation and submission process of the Nairobi Outcome Document for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation that was adopted by acclamation by all Member States and public and private partners in the Second High Level Meeting GPEDC Nairobi Outcome Document.

Photo of Tasha

Speaker: Tasha Nicole Cain
When: 4 p.m. | March. 23, 2017
Where: Henry Student Center, Miller Room

About the Speaker: Tasha Cain has been a Foreign Service Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize for 7 years. She studied Intercultural Service Leadership and Management at the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont and International Relations at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is currently posted as the First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations where she covers issues dealing with Disarmament and International Security, Economic and Development Issues as well as Decolonization Issues.

Priya SoodSpeaker: Ambassador Odo Tevi

When: 4 p.m. | Jan. 26, 2017
Where: Henry Student Center, Miller Room

Topic: Climate Change,The U.N. and Small Island States

About the Speaker: Since May 2014, Odo Tevi became Vanuatu’s Permanent Representative/Ambassador to the United Nations, New York. Apart from this role, Ambassador Tevi also assumed other international roles at the UN. He is currently the Chairman of UN Disarmament Commission, was the Chairman of the Special Committee on UN Charter and Strengthening of the Role of the Organization and also was Chairman of the Asia Pacific Group, Vice-President for the UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities and Chairman of the joint Vanuatu and UN Consultative Forum on ICPD and National Sustainable Development Plan. 

Priya SoodSpeaker: Priya Sood
When: 4 p.m. | Dec. 8, 2016
Where: Henry Student Center, Miller Room

Topic: International Prosecution of Grand Corruption

About the Speaker: Priya Sood has 20 years of experience working in the areas of peace building, governance and poverty alleviation for international NGOs and the UN in South Asia and the Middle East. She was closely involved with the peace process in Sri Lanka, has mobilized resources for international conferences and has managed a wide range of governance projects. Most recently, she directed global programs to combat corruption. She has a Master’s degree in International Development from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University. Her languages are English, French and Hindi. When she isn`t working she is spending time with her family in the great outdoors, practicing yoga, volunteering at her son`s school and traveling.

Vicky EdgecombSpeaker:Vicky Edgecombe
When: 4 p.m. | Oct. 27, 2016

Where: Arnaud C. Marts Center, Room 214

Topic: Women’s Empowerment: Participation, Power and Perception

About the Speaker: Empowering women and girls has been recognized by world leaders as key to economic growth, political stability and social transformation. Among other measures, women’s empowerment has included assessing equal representation in politics, as well as in senior decision-making roles in the public and private sector, and equality in pay. Yet around the globe, a massive shift towards empowering women has yet to truly take hold. Why are some women empowered while others are not? What do we perceive to be barriers to achieving women’s empowerment and what really are those restrictions? And what happens to those women who are empowered? As a lawyer and senior advisor for close to 15 years in the public, private and voluntary sectors, Vicky Edgecombe will explore these questions with a particular focus on her work in ensuring accountability for sexual and gender based violence atrocity crimes and researching barriers to political participation, including the effects of harassment, intimidation and violence against female politicians from around the world.

Speaker:Thomas Ritzer
Date: April 5, 2016
Time: 4 p.m. 
Location: Henry Student Center-Miller Room

About the Speaker: Mr. Ritzer is the Protection of Civilians Coordination Officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, at the United Nations.

H.E. Dr. Caleb Otto

Speaker: H.E. Dr. Caleb Otto
Date: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 
Time: 4:00 p.m.  
Location: Arnaud C. Marts Center, Rm. 214

About the Speaker: Educated in medicine and health management, Dr. Otto has had extensive work experience in health and policy development both in national and international arenas, having served in the Senate of the Palau national congress (OEK) in addition to representing Palau in numerous regional and international health and political fora. Dr. Otto possesses extensive work experience with Civil Society through years of work with civic organizations such as the church choir, Belau Theater, and other local community organizations. 

Rubén Zamora

Speaker: Rubén Zamora
Date: Feb. 4, 2016
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Henry Student Center – Miller Room

About the Speaker: Ruben I. Zamora is Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations for El Salvador. He obtained his Licenciatura en CienciasJuridicas (Law) from the University of El Salvador, and his M.A. in Political Science from Essex University, England. Prior to holding the position of Ambassador to the United Nations, he was head of the Political Science Department at the University of El Salvador, and Visiting Lecturer and Researcher at various universities, including San Carlos and Rafael Landivar (Guatemala), Stanford (USA), Wilson Center, Washington DC (USA), and Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Notre Dame (USA). Dr. Zamora is a Founder and Board Member of INTERPEACE (formerly WSP - International), Geneva, Switzerland, and President of the Salvadorian Institute for Democracy (ISPADE). He previously consulted for UNDP on programs in Guatemala, Panama, and Cyprus. He has held numerous political positions in El Salvador, including member of the Legislative Assembly, candidate to the Presidency of the Republic (1994 and 2000), Founder and Vice-President of the Democratic Revolutionary Front (FDR), Founder and General Secretary of the Social Christian Popular Movement, and, most recently, the United Democratic Center (CDU). He was formerly Ambassador of El Salvador to India.

Speaker: Roland RichRoland Rich
Date: Nov. 17, 2015
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Arnaud C. Marts Center, Room 214

About the Speaker: The global perspectives of the United Nations come to Wilkes University through a collaborative program launched in 2011. The program brings U.N. officials to campus throughout the year for lectures and informal meetings with students. Wilkes University is the ONLY northeast Pennsylvania higher education institution participating. Our goal for the 2015-2016 academic year is to present five lectures by U.N. officials, consisting of either secretariat officials, U.N. field workers, U.N. specialized agency officials and/or U.N. diplomats.

Speaker: Gerald Bourke Gerald Bourke
Date: Oct. 27, 2015
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Henry Student Center Miller Room

About the Speaker: Gerald Bourke is a New York-based spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme. He joined the WFP in 2001 as spokesperson for its operations in the DPRK and China. He was subsequently a Senior Donor Relations Officer at its headquarters in Rome, a Senior Liaison Officer in the office of the Deputy Executive Director and then, for four years, a Senior External Relations Officer in New York. Prior to joining the UN, Gerald was a foreign correspondent for more than 20 years, working mostly in Africa and Asia.

Speaker: Mattias Sundholm
Date:
Tuesday, April 28, 2015​
Time:
 4:00 p.m.
Location:
Geis Hall

About the Speaker: Mattias Sundholm is currently working as Communications Adviser to the United NationsSecurity Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), advisingthe Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of CTED, based in New York. Previousto this, Sundholm helped establish two new UN offices from scratch; one under the Departmentof Peacekeeping Operations, and one under the Department of Public Information. In addition tobeing Communications Adviser to the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Sundholm from2010 to 2013 served as Special Adviser on Communications and Advocacy to the UnitedNations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.  

Speaker: Emily Pasnak-Lapchick
Date: Join us on Tuesday, March 17, 2015​
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: HSC-Ballroom

About the Speaker: Emily Pasnak-Lapchick is the End Trafficking Officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF where she leads a national awareness and advocacy campaign about child trafficking. She manages the creation of resources, in-person and online training, development of partnerships, and the creation of Public Service Announcements. She is an honors graduate from Eckerd College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Previously, she served as the End Trafficking Fellow at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF where she helped to build a brand new awareness campaign to end human trafficking and personally engaged over 10,000 people on the issue of trafficking. Through her work, she has spoken at the United Nations, international conferences, and has worked with dozens of groups on how they can take action against human trafficking. She was recently named one of “40 under 40” by the Young Nonprofit Network.  Emily is a founding member of Hope for Stanley, an organization committed to raising money and sending volunteers to New Orleans to assist post-Hurricane Katrina residents return home.

Speaker: Dr. Padmini Murthy, Global Health Director at the New York Medical College
Date: Join us on Thursday, January 29, 2015​ 
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Marts Gym-Room 214

About the Speaker: Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Padmini Murthy, Global Health Director at the New York Medical College. Dr. Murthy is the NGO Alt Representative of Medical Women International Association to the United Nations. She has served as a consultant to the United Nations. Dr. Murthy also serves as the communications/ correspondence secretary of the Executive Committee of the NGO CSW Committee of NY at the United Nations.

Speaker: Matthias Klettermayer | Sustainable Development Officer, UN Matthias KlettermayerDivision for Sustainable Development
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location:  Miller Room - Henry Student Center

About the speaker: Matthias Klettermayer is the Sustainable Development Officer and responsible for communication and outreach in the United Nation’s Division for Sustainable Development, which is part of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  He regularly gives presentations and briefings on sustainable development issues, including on follow-up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Speaker: Ufuk Gokcen, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation of the United Nations, New York
Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m.
Where: Miller Room of the Henry Student Center - 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706

About the speaker: Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1966, is the Permanent Observer of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (formerly Organization of the Islamic Conference) to the United Nations, since April 2010. He served as a Political Adviser to the OIC Secretary General from 2005 to 2010 at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. Previous to that, he was posted at the Turkish Embassies in Riyadh, Muscat and Damascus and at the European and Middle East Departments of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara.

Speaker: H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Ambassador / Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 4 p.m.
Where: Miller Room of the Henry Student Center - 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706

About the speaker: His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Sareer was appointed to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations as Ambassador / chargé d'affaires in February 2012. He presented his Letters of Credence to His Excellency Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, as Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 20 December 2012. 

Speaker: Dr. Hanada Taha, Acting Dean of Bahrain Teachers’ College at the University of Bahrain
Topic: Women's Empowerment In The Middle East
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014
Where: Miller Room of the Henry Student Center - 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706

About the speaker: Dr. Hanada Taha is Acting Dean of Bahrain Teachers’ College at the University of Bahrain. Previous to that she was the director of Arabic programs at the Language Acquisition Resource Center at the San Diego State University in California, USA. She is the director of Arabexpertise, an educational consulting group based in California, USA. She has taught Arabic language for the past twenty five years to native and non-native speakers in many countries around the world including Lebanon, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

Speaker: Ms. Gordana Jerger, Deputy Director of the United Nations World Food Programme
Topic: The World Food Programme in Syria
Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 
Where: Miller Room of the Henry Student Center - 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706

About the speaker: Ms. Gordana Jerger is the Deputy Director of the United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP) Division for Inter-agency Partnerships. Prior to this assignment, she served as Associate Director (post-crisis transition) in the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) and was WFP's Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Jerger joined WFP in 1986 as statistician and has held since then several senior managerial positions both at headquarters and in the field, including as WFP's Representative in Nicaragua and Chief of Programming, responsible for the overall allocation of WFP's operational resources and the management of the WFP's emergency Immediate Response Account. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Andrew P. Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science at andrew.miller1@wilkes.edu or (570) 408-4476. 

Speaker: Mr. Mohammad Reza Salamat Mohammad Reza
Topic: Climate Change
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Where: 106 Breiseth Hall - 137-159 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706

About the speaker: Mohammad Reza Salamat works as a Senior Programme Officer at the UN Secretary General's Climate Change Support Team, based in New York, USA. He joined the Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as an expert on policy aspects of climate change in January 2002. His primary responsibilities, as a member of the Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team, are: providing policy analysis and advice on the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations in the run-up to Copenhagen, and contributing to the preparations for the Summit on Climate Change to be convened by the Secretary General in New York on 22nd September.

Speaker: Usman Iftikhar, United Nations Development Program
Topic: Population Growth
Date: November 30th, 2011
Where: Gies Hall - Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

About the speaker: Iftikhar began his career in sustainable development started with IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature in Pakistan in 1996. From 2001, he developed and coordinated the IUCN Pakistan Environmental Economics Programme and in 2005 became the Coordinator of IUCN Asia Regional Environmental Economics Programme.

Iftikhar has also worked with the International Institute of Environment and Development and the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom. He joined the United Nation as Development Program in 2007. In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty. This pledge became the U.N. eight Millennium Development Goals. As a policy specialist for the environment, Iftikhar has worked on a number of initiatives including the development of the Millennium Development Goal 7 (environmental) Needs Assessment Costing Tool, linking climate change to the millenium, and has expanded his expertise in environmental economic valuation and poverty-environment relationships.

Iftikhar holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and a master’s degree in environmental and natural resource economics, University College, London.

Speaker: Anayansi Lopez - Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Topic: Peacekeeping Missions Around the World
Date: October 24th, 2011

About the speaker: Ms. Anayansi Lopez joined the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 2007, but has worked in Public Information with the UN since 2002 with both the Peacekeeping Missions in Guatemala and Liberia, as well as the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Before joining the UN, she worked as a journalist for the main newspapers and radio stations in Guatemala and covered the country’s armed conflict and peace negotiations as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Landivar University in Guatemala and a Masters Degree in Political Communication from the Autonomous University in Barcelona, Spain.

Speaker: Roland Rich
Topic: Elections - Road to Democracy Around the World
Date: Sept. 26th, 2011

About the Speaker: Prior to his appointment to UNDEF, Rich was a member of the staff at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies of the Australian Defence College, teaching and mentoring colonel-level officers studying for master’s degree ins international relations. He was a research fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. Earlier, Rich was the foundation director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions at the Australian National University which promotes democracy in the Asia-Pacific region. He joined the Australian foreign service in 1975 and had postings in Paris, Rangoon, Manila and, from 1994-1997, as Australian ambassador to Laos.

Speaker: Verona Lambert, Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force
Topic: United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)
Date: January 23rd, 2012
Where: Gies Hall - Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

About the Speaker: Verona Lambert is a Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). Prior to joining the United Nations in 2004, she worked as an Information/Project Officer for the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in Zambia. She has also worked as a journalist for Channel Africa, the external service of South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg, South Africa for four years. Mrs. Lambert holds a Masters degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor degree in Journalism.

Speaker: Ambassador Christopher Goldthwait
Topic: Food Security
Date: February 27th, 2012
Where: Miller Room - Henry Student Center

About the Speaker: Goldthwait is an independent consultant and advisor to Cantera Partners and Delphos International. Prior to establishing his consulting business, he spent more than 30 years in the foreign service. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Chad, the general sales manager in the Foreign Agricultural Service of the Department of Agriculture, and the Agricultural Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria. Goldthwait graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., and he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Speaker: Ambassador Simona-Mirela Miculescu
Topic: Human Trafficking
Date: March 19th, 2012
Where: Gies Hall - Dorothy Dickson Darte Center

About the Speaker: Simona-Mirela Miculescu, Ambassador, PhD. (born 4 July 1959), is a senior Romanian diplomat, currently serving as the Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations in New York, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. She presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 5, 2008. She also served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Romania, and is the first woman in Romania's diplomatic history to be granted the rank of Ambassador.

Miculescu also has an academic background, as well as an extensive experience in public communication. Starting with her PhD in Literature, her academic career as a professor of International Public Relations at two Romanian universities and as publisher of several books and tens of articles goes in parallel with her evolution in diplomacy. In Romania, she is known as one of the best experts in the area of management of International Public Relations and developed the first curricula on this topic, which is now used in several Romanian universities.

 

 

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