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A list of international relations events in the DC area.

Calendar for the Week of September 5, 2010

Islamaphobia: An ACTOR Discussion

Sept 5: 4pm
Bus Boys and Poets, 14th and V St, NW DC

A.C.T.O.R. A Continuing Talk on Race - Open discussion. The A.C.T.O.R series is hosted by Busboys and Poets as a community service. This discussion series provides the opportunity for people to come together and speak openly and honestly about issues of race.

Mission Transformed: Antony Blinken on the U.S. Policy Towards Iraq

Sept 7: 2:00 pm

Antony Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Biden, recently returned from his trip to Baghdad with the vice president. Please join us as he outlines the Obama administration's views on the new U.S.-Iraqi relationship and Iraq's government formation process. Dr. Laith Kubba, former spokesperson for the Iraqi government, will provide a response from the Iraqi perspective.

Arming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization

Sept 7: 3:30 pm
Falk Auditorium, Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW

On September 7, the Brookings Institution will host the launch ofArming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization (Brookings Press, 2010), written by Senior Fellow Stephen Cohen, the author of numerous books on India and Pakistan, including The Idea of Pakistan (Brookings) and India: Emerging Power (Brookings), and Nonresident Fellow Sunil Dasgupta, director of Political Science at the University of Maryland's Universities at Shady Grove. Following the authors’ presentation, Edward Luce of the Financial Times and Ashley Tellis with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will join a panel discussion on the future of India’s military.

Making the Most of the MDG Summit: Advancing the Interests of Women and Girls

Sept 7: 10am- 11:30
CSIS, B1 Conference Center, 1800 K street NW, DC

Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State will “Making the Most of the MDG Summit: Advancing the Interests of Women and Girls”

Hostage Nation

Sept 7: 12:15
New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC, 20036

Two years ago, three American contractors and a former Colombian presidential candidate were freed in an audacious rescue after a five-year ordeal in the jungles of South America. But more than a gripping story, the history of their captivity and liberation provides deep insight into the intersection between Colombia’s decades-long battle against insurgency and the flawed labyrinth of America’s anti-drug efforts. Please join the New America Foundation on September 7, 2010, from 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm for a discussion with author Karin Hayes, journalist Jorge Enrique Botero, and Victoria Bruce of their book Hostage Nation: Colombia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs.

Discussion on “Ground Zero” Controversy with Imam Johari

Sept 7: 6pm
Bus Boys and Poets, 14th and V St, NW DC

Join us for a meaningful, engaging discussion and film screening that will address the “Ground Zero” controversy. Explore why this has sparked a divisive reaction that requires a constructive conversation about remaining a united America – across cultures and faiths. Hear from Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, a respected advocate for civil rights, liberties and interfaith dialogue. Watch the award-winning film, Talking Through Walls. Learn about the latest initiative, Ground Zero Dialogue, and how Muslims are teaming up with other faiths to work collectively.

The New Face of Rural Poverty in China

Sept 8: 5:00 pm
Kenney Auditorium, The Nitze Building (main building)

Alan Piazza, senior social development economist at The World Bank, will discuss this topic. A reception will follow. For more information and to RSVP, contact

Elections Review: Rwanda and Burundi

Sept 8: 9:00 am
Kenney Auditorium, The Nitze Building (main building)

Almami Cyllah, African region director for International Foundation for Electoral Systems; Nancy Welch, assistant program officer for National Endowment for Democracy; and Peter Lewis (moderator), director of the African Studies Program, will discuss this topic. For more information and to RSVP, contact

Cyber Security in East Asia and Policy Cooperation Between Japan and the United States

Sept 8: 10:30am
Ambassador Room, Hilton Washington Embassy Row, 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW, DC

On the Independence Day of the United States in 2009 cyber attacks in a massive scale against major web sites broke out without warning. Soon thereafter, similar attacks began in South Korea and they continued in a wavelike fashion. Experts found that these attacks were conducted by the same group, but could not find who they were. As Japan maintains close relationships with both the United States and South Korea, these attacks made the Japanese government realize seriousness of emerging threats in cyberspace.

Progress and Challenges to Women's Empowerment: Lessons from Tunisia

Sept 8: 11:00 am
Woodrow Wilson Center

Mexico’s Drug Wars: A Live Web Chat with Vanda Felbab-Brown

Sept 8: 12:30 pm
Online Only

Brookings expert Vanda Felbab-Brown argues that over the past year, the overall strategy against the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico has significantly improved, thanks in part to Beyond Merida, the Obama administraton's expansion of the Merida Initiative, which provides funding for anti-drug operations in Mexico and other Latin American countries. However, major structural and implementation challenges remain and the patience of Mexico’s citizens is running out as the violence continues to escalate. On Wednesday, September 8, Felbab-Brown will participate in a live web chat, answering your questions about Mexican drug violence and its implications for the United States. The chat will be moderated by David Mark, senior editor at POLITICO.

U.S. Counter Terrorism Strategy in Yemen

Sept 8: 11am
United States Institute of Peace, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1200 17th St, NW. DC

In 2009, the failed Christmas airline attack brought Yemen to the forefront of many discussions about al-Qaeda and terrorism. Despite the newly-increased spotlight on Yemen and its troubles, the country has long been a core part of broader U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

Early Reading: Igniting Education for All

Sept 8: 2pm-4pm
Falk Auditorium, The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Learning to read is a fundamental part of the first few years of primary education for early and sustained success in school. Yet, in many developing countries, a distressing number of students are not learning to read at all during these critical first years of schooling.

Sudan: Conflict and Peace Along the North-South Border

Sept 8: 2:30 pm
U.S. Institute of Peace

USIP’s new Priority Grant Program in Sudan, the North-South Border Initiative, will work to address drivers of conflict in this area and help Sudanese actors manage sources of instability. As part of the launch of this program, USIP commissioned Concordis International to undertake a conflict assessment of the dynamics related to the North-South border in Sudan, identifying local and national drivers of conflict and how they interact. The conflict assessment draws on desk and field research as well as a series of workshops, organised through an EC funded partnership between Concordis and the Center for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba, in seven of the ten border states so far. It identifies key local and national conflict flashpoints related to the North-South border and outlines challenges and opportunities for their resolution.
Join us for a discussion of the results of this assessment between the research team and Sudan experts.

How the LDP was Defeated in 2009 and How the DPJ was Defeated in 2010 in Japan?

Sept 8: 3pm
Ambassador Room, Hilton Washington Embassy Row, Massachusetts Avenue NW, DC

In this short presentation, Prof. Aiji Tanaka is going to point out the following characteristics of Japanese voters in recent national elections. First, some macro data of the voters in Japan suggest that those unorganized voters who turned out to vote for the LDP led by Koizumi in 2005 were approximately the same unorganized voters who made the DPJ led by Hatoyama in 2009. Second, their public opinion data (Yomiuri Newspaper and Waseda University collaborated a series of nation-wide public opinion surveys from October 2008 through June 2010) show how disappointed those Japanese voters who supported the DPJ in 2009 were at the DPJ in 2010. Third, the same public opinion data also suggest how those unorganized voters felt toward the LDP, and suggest little possibility that the LDP may come back to the government.

Commitment to Development Index: Its meaningfulness and Policy Implications

Sept 9: 10:30am
Ambassador Room, Hilton Washington Embassy Row, Massachusetts Avenue NW, DC

The annually prepared index from 2003, the Commitment to Development Index, rates 22 rich countries on how their foreign aid, trade and other policies help or hurt development efforts of the developing countries. Japan US have been rated low. The key points are related to how to quantify various policies and how to weigh different policy execution.

World Wildlife’s funds Science for Nature Seminar with Margaret Palmer

Sept 9: 4:30 with reception following
World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street, NW DC

Waterways throughout the world are under immense pressure to meet the needs of people yet many streams and rivers are already seriously polluted or otherwise ecologically degraded. In many developed countries, recognition of this growing problem has resulted in major investments to restore or “renaturalize” rivers. In fact, restoration is now a booming business which may become even larger as regulatory frameworks and environmental markets continue to embrace restoration as a major environmental policy tool. Just five years ago Dr. Palmer was writing about the paucity of data on the outcome of stream and river restoration but today there is a rapidly expanding literature on river restoration outcome.

When is International Peacekeeping Illegal?

Sept 10: 2pm
USIP, 2nd Floor, 1200 17th street, NW

The recent Supreme Court decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project upheld the laws that make it a criminal act to provide “material support” to a proscribed organization as designated by the State Department or the Treasury Department, even when that support consists of advice or training aimed at promoting peace and non-violence. This ruling significantly restricts the activities of Americans and those organizations and individuals funded by American money from trying to bring proscribed organizations to the negotiating table.

The Week of Sept 12

Unity Walk

Sept 12: 1:30pm
Sikh Temple, 3801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW DC

The program will start at the Sikh Temple (3801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Then, participants will have time to visit open houses in the surrounding area before making their way to the Islamic Center where they can learn even more about community service projects. After a brief presentation, the Unity Walk participants will proceed down to the Gandhi Memorial near Dupont Circle where the program will conclude.

Is Turkey Becoming Less Democratic?

Sept 13: 12pm
SEIU Building, 1800 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036, 1st floor

The purpose of this event is to focus on Turkey’s political development. Do the government’s domestic moves represent efforts to further entrench rule of law or a new quest to undermine it? What is the state of civil and political liberties in the country today? And how would the proposed constitutional amendments impact Turkey’s political development?

Author Series: Amb. John Gunther Dean

Sept 14: 6:30
Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW

Ambassador Dean’s book, Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, chronicles the experiences and shares the reflections of the renowned ambassador from 1959-1989. The book shares stories from the power struggles in Cambodia, brokering a peace deal in Laos, and surviving an assassination attempt in Lebanon. Amb. Dean provides provocative reflections on American and foreign leaders and events during his diplomatic career.

Energy Technologies: Comparative Innovative Strategies and Technology Transfer

Sept 14: 9:00 am

This session will explore how different countries approach technology innovation and some of the major obstacles and opportunities associated with technology transfer and widespread technology deployment.

RESOLVED: That the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria should be transformed

Sept 14: 2:30
CSIS; B1 Conference Center

This is the second debate in a year-long series, Fault Lines in Global Health, on the topic, Resolved: That the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria should be transformed to become the Global Fund for Health.

The Privacy Question- SWIFT-ly dealt with or a lasting issue for EU-US counterterrorism cooperation?

Sept 14: 7:00 pm
Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

Following the February 2010 rejection of the draft SWIFT agreement on the transfer of information on international bank transfers to US counter-terrorism authorities, the European Parliament approved a new version of the agreement in July 2010. This came following a request by the US authorities with the objective of identifying suspected terrorist activities. The agreement is seen as the first real test of transatlantic cooperation in the post-Lisbon era. However, it seems to have failed to reconcile the divergent views that exist on either side of the Atlantic on the key issues of data protection and privacy. In balancing privacy and security concerns, there are likely to be significant challenges ahead. Following 9-11, the use of data for counter-terrorism investigations has become more acceptable to the public eye, particularly in the US. Under the SWIFT agreement, a large quantity of data (bank and passenger information) on EU citizens will be sent to the United States. Does this go to far in the eyes of the EU citizen? How will this affect transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation in practice? Join us for a lively debate on these issues.

Moving Forward to a Healthy Future

Sept 14: 11:30
Women’s National Democratic Club

Join us for our outstanding opening program this fall. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the former Governor of Kansas, who was recognized as one of the top governors by Time Magazine. She has had a remarkable career. After earning a master’s in public administration Ms. Sebelius first served as director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association and then was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives.

Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Obama Administration

Sept 14: 7:00 pm
Japan Society, 333 East 47th St. (at First Ave.), New York

The Obama administration is confronting a host of formidable international policy obstacles, among them ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the prospect of a nuclear Iran, tensions with Pakistan and an economically and militarily resurgent China. Bilateral relations that heretofore have provided the bedrock for U.S. regional policy are proving unexpectedly knotty. National security adviser to two former presidents, head of an internationally respected strategic consulting firm and one of the country's leading experts on foreign policy matters, Brent Scowcroft will offer his thoughts on America's current foreign policy hurdles and the road ahead. David Heleniak, senior adviser for Morgan Stanley will preside.


Sept 14: 10:00 am
Capitol Visitors Center; SVC 200/201 Senate Side

This year marks the 15th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations. Please join us for a
conference with senior policy makers and analysts who will discuss how bilateral relations have
strengthened in the past 15 years and explore what lies ahead. This conference will offer expert
insights on the challenges and opportunities facing U.S.-Vietnam political and economic relations. Keynote remarks will be given by Senator Jim Webb and former Vietnamese trade minister Truong Dinh Tuyen.

Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge of Rio de Jareiro

Sept 14: 12pm
MC 13 121, Main Complex 18th St South of Pennsylvania Ave

A billion people, almost half of all city dwellers in the developing world, live in squatter settlements. The most famous of these settlements are the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, which have existed for over a century and continue to outpace the rest of the city in growth. Janice Perlman's award-winning The Myth of Marginality was the first in-depth account of life in the favelas, and it is considered one of the most important books in global urban studies in the last 40 years. Now, in Favela , Perlman carries that story forward to the present.

Author Series: Amb. John Gunther Dean

Sept 15: 6:30pm
Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St, NW, Washington DC

Former US Ambassador Dean will discuss his latest book, Danger Zones: A Diplomatic Fight for America’s Interests.

Fiesta Mexicana: Bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico

Sept 15: 6:30pm
Kennedy Center, South Plaza

The “Fiesta Mexicana” commemoration program includes the Civic Ceremony of El Grito, headed by Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, and performances by the Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana; the Mariachi Los Amigos; Mexican tenors Jesús Hernández and José Ortega; and Ozomatli.

When Settlers Attack

Sept 15: 12:30 pm
The Palestine Center

The Palestine Center presents an analysis of settler violence in the West Bank. We ask what type of violence occurs, who is most vulnerable and most targeted, where the violence is concentrated and what motivates it. We will present the results of an analysis spanning over 1000 events of settler violence, as well as trends in the violence over time, to better understand how these attacks affect Palestinians.

No Woman, No Cry

Sept 16: 11am
Preston Auditorium, 1818 H Street NW

On the eve of the Millennium Development Goals Five-Year Countdown Summit in New York, renowned model and maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns previews her debut documentary, No Woman, No Cry – a powerful portrayal of at-risk pregnant women in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Guatemala and the United States. A high-level panel discussion will follow.

Morning Miracle: The Washington Post – A Great Newspaper Fights for Its Life

Sept 16: 11:30 am
Women’s National Democratic Club

As David Kindred has described it, “My book is a love story, a tale of passion starring a faded beauty trying desperately to hang on in a rapidly changing world.” He is referring to the Washington Post! Kindred has written for newspapers and magazines for five decades, ever since he was 18 years old. He once was a sports columnist for the Post, and has interviewed 155 people, most former or current staff members, for his most recent book, “Morning Miracle.” A review describes him as “painting a vivid picture of the paper, its people, its triumphs and its struggle to survive.” Kindred believes the Post’s struggles are caused by the Internet’s rapid growth combined with the bad national economy. “No one could stand in that tsunami.” Now is your chance to have an inside look at what has been for many of us, and still is, our local and national newspaper for many years.

Immigration Law and Policy After 9/11 and Prospects for Reform

Sept 16
Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, located at 213 N. King St in Shepherdstown, WV

Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia will present the sixth annual Tom E. Moses Memorial Lecture on the Constitution: "Immigration Law and Policy After 9/11 and Prospects for Reform." Dr. Wadhia is a clinical professor of law at Penn State Law School where she is also the director of the Center for Immigrants' Rights.

A Principled Approach to State Failure: International Community Actions in Emergency Situations

Sept 16: 6pm, followed by reception
ASIL Headquarters, Tillar House, 2223 Massachusetts Ave NW, DC

State failure and state fragility are an increasingly important phenomenon in international law, not only because of the impact of state failure on the state's own population, but also because of the impact of state failure on other states and the international community in general. Piracy and terrorism are just two examples of threats magnified by state failure which are recurrently in the news. Yet, dealing with the problem has been difficult both theoretically and practically. Chiara Giorgetti will discuss her new book A Principled Approach to State Failure: International Community Actions in Emergency Situations.

Egypt at the Tipping Point?

Sept 17: 12:00 pm<

David Ottaway presents his recent article "Egypt at the Tipping Point?"

Evaluating Peace building and Promoting Education

Sept 17: 9:15am-5pm
1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW

The peacebuilding community often struggles with measuring program effectiveness and how to promote learning from our work. How do we balance external reporting requirements with internal learning needs? How can we best promote learning within our organizations and across the wider peacebuilding community? How do we strengthen our capacities to undertake more effective Design, Monitoring and Evaluation and promote consistent, reflective practice? In this special session of the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum, we will take stock of efforts to undertake more effective evaluation and promote more systematic learning.

Week of Sept 19

Sheridan Circle Memorial Service

Sept 19: 10am
Sheridan Circle, 23rd St and Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC, USA

Until September 11, 2001, the car bombing on Massachusetts Avenue was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation's capital. On September 21, 1976 agents of the Augusto Pinochet regime planted a car bomb at this location which brutally took the lives but not the memory of two IPS colleagues, who fought for equality and justice through reason, not violence.


Sept 20: 10:00 am
AED Globe Theatre; 1927 Florida Avenue, NW

Please join AED and Forum One Communications on September 20, 2010 for a D.C. viewing and discussion of the global event TEDxChange, featuring Melinda Gates and other development leaders discussing the Millennium Development Goals. This innovative and important TEDxChange event will be hosted in New York. Our TEDxDupont Circle event will include a live viewing of the webcast and our own D.C. based audience discussions. We will gather at AED’s Globe Theater to watch the live webcast, view live Twitter commentary from around the globe, and post our own pictures and comments, online in real-time. Afterwards, you may share your thoughts on how the webcast is relevant to the D.C. development community through a lively moderated discussion with senior thought leaders.

The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma

Sept 20: 6pm
Whittemore House, 1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, DC

What role do values play in our market-driven contemporary societies? How do we gauge moral failure in a commercial world? Why should we be good? In his new book, The Difficulty of Being Good, author Guracharan Das turns to the Indian epic the Mahabharata and sheds light on the central problem of how to live our lives and reclaim a meaningful ideal of public virtue.

A Conversation with Congressman Howard Berman

Sept 21: 8:30 am
Chemonics International, 1717 H Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Congressman Berman will give his perspective on the year ahead in Congress, his vision and plans for reforming foreign aid, and his thoughts on cooperation with the international development community. Space is limited and first priority will be given to SID-Washington members. Please RSVP by September 24th.

The Upcoming Midterms

Sept 21: 11:30
Women’s National Democratic Club

Jeanne Cummings, Assistant Managing Editor in charge of POLITICO’S Enterprise, returns to the WNDC podium to give us the latest information on the November elections. She has covered politics at every level, from state and local governments to five presidential campaigns. She is a regular panelist on Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Diane Rehm Show, and Inside Washington with Gordon Peterson. She was a moderator at one of the Democratic primary debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In 2009, her appearances were included in submissions by PBS and CNN that secured Peabody Awards for both networks. At the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), she won the 2000 Aldo Beckman Memorial Award, the highest honor for daily White House correspondents, for her coverage of the Clinton Administration. She also earned a journalism award at the WSJ for her part in covering the Enron scandal and its connection to the Bush Administration. In recent years, her focus has been on tracking money and politics.