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First Presbyterian Church

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540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States

October 2022

Marie Yovanovitch- Ukraine: Can Democracy Survive?

October 7 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Ambassador (ret.) Marie L. Yovanovitch is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. She served as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine for three years, from 2016 to 2019. Her memoir, Lessons from the Edge, documents how she was abruptly recalled from Ukraine by the Trump administration in April 2019 and subsequently testified in the first impeachment of President Trump in November 2019.

She previously served as Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia (2008-2011) and the Kyrgyz Republic (2005-2008). From 2012-2013, Ambassador Yovanovitch was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where she was responsible for policy on European and global security issues. She also served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2004-2005. She retired from the Department of State as a Career Minister in January 2020.

Ambassador Yovanovitch served as the Dean of the Language School at the Foreign Service Institute, as well as International Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University, where she also taught national security strategy. She began her career in Ottawa, followed by overseas assignments in Moscow, London and Mogadishu, and at the Department of State as Deputy Director of the Russian Desk.

A graduate of Princeton University with a master’s degree from the National Defense University, Ambassador Yovanovitch received numerous Presidential and State Department awards, including the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award.

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Kent Harrington: Living with Kim Chong and North Korea’s Nuclear Threat

October 21 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Kent Harrington, President of Harrington Group, LLC, has more than 40 years of experience on trade, economic, defense, and foreign policy issues as a specialist on intelligence analysis and Asia. He has provided political-economic assessments and strategic counsel on government relations to leading companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

At the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Harrington led the intelligence community’s collection and research on international economic, foreign policy and national security issues, including serving four Directors of Central Intelligence as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia. He has worked with leaders around the world in several assignments, including as CIA chief of station in Tokyo, and served as CIA’s Director of Public Affairs, playing a major role in providing greater public access to intelligence and in crisis management.

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November 2022

Sergie Medvedev: The Return of the Russian Leviathan

November 4 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Sergei Medvedev is Professor, Moscow Free University; Affiliate Professor, Charles University, Prague; and Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Previously he was a professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He has worked at the Marshall Center for Security Studies in Germany, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (Helsinki), the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Ebenhausen), the Istituto Affari Internazionali (Rome) and the Institute of Europe (Moscow).

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Kevin Cassidy: Global Supply Chains

November 11 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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With nearly 4 decades of international development experience, Kevin Cassidy is the Director and Representative to the Bretton Woods and Multilateral Organizations for the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for the United States.

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December 2022

Sarah Chayes: Corruption in America

December 2 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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$20

Sarah Chayes is the author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security. She is internationally recognized for her innovative thinking on corruption and its implications. Her work explores how severe…

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January 2023

Dr. R. Evan Ellis: China’s Engagement in Latin America

January 6, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Robert Evan Ellis is an analyst of Latin American economic, political, and security issues, with a research focus on Latin America’s relationships with China and other external actors, including India, Russia, and Iran. He is an associate professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), and he has previously served as a professor with the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ellis has authored over 70 works, including China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores (Lynne Rienner, 2009), The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement with Latin America (Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, 2013), and articles in national security, finance, and technical journals. Ellis has presented his work in a broad range of business and government forums in 25 countries on 4 continents. He has discussed his work regarding China and other external actors in Latin America on a number of radio and television programs, including CNN International, CNN En Español, Voice of America, and Radio Marti, and has testified on Chinese activities in Latin America before the U.S. Congress.

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Ambassador Lawrence Butler- The Balkans: Can Peace Endure?

January 20, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Ambassador Butler devoted four decades as an American and international diplomat to deterrence, crisis management, conflict prevention, and promotion of human rights and democracy. He currently helps train U.S. Army…

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February 2023

Chris Preble- The Current State of US Foreign Policy

February 3, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Has the United States been a force for liberty around the world? Should it be? And if so, how? To answer these questions, Christopher A. Preble traces the history of…

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March 2023

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen- Israel, Post Netanyahu

March 3, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen is the director of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict program at the U.S. Institute of Peace and frequently presents and publishes in a variety of academic, policy, and media forums on policy and civil society efforts related to the conflict. She has previously worked with the U.S. Department of State as an Arabic language specialist and as the program officer for the Kennedy School of Government’s Middle East Initiative at Harvard University, where she managed work on the Israeli, Palestinian, and Saudi Arabian portfolios. 

Proficient in Hebrew and Arabic, Kurtzer-Ellenbogen's graduate research focused on political and social identity in Arabic discourse, with an emphasis on the Arabic language press of the Arab citizen community in Israel. She holds a bachelor's degree in Arabic and French from Georgetown University and a master's degree from Georgetown's Arabic department with a dual concentration in linguistics and Arab area studies.

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Richard McGregor- The Meaning of AUKUS for China, Europe, & the US

March 24, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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$20

In this provocative and illuminating account, Financial Times reporter Richard McGregor offers a captivating portrait of China’s Communist Party, its grip on power and control over China, and its future.

China’s political and economic growth in the past three decades has been one of astonishing, epochal dimension. The most remarkable part of this transformation, however, has been left largely untold—the central role of the Chinese Communist Party. McGregor delves deeply into China’s inner sanctum for the first time, showing how the Communist Party controls the government, courts, media, and military and keeps all corruption accusations against its members in-house. The Party’s decisions have a global impact, yet the CCP remains a deeply secretive body, hostile to the law and unaccountable to anyone or anything other than its own internal tribunals. It is the world’s only geopolitical rival of the United States and is primed to think the worst of the West.

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April 2023

Rachael Thompson- The Correspondence of George C. Marshall and Winston S. Churchill

April 21, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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With Admiration and Respect: The Correspondence of George C. Marshall and Winston S. Churchill During World War II, Prime Minister Churchill and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Marshall were engaged…

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Alex Nowrasteh-Economic, Security, and Social Implications of Immigration 

April 28, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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$20

Alex Nowrasteh is the director of economic and social policy studies. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and most other major publications in the…

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May 2023

Daniel Runde-The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership

May 5, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head, 29928 United States
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What should our global strategy look like in an age of renewed great power competition? And what must America offer to a newly empowered developing world when we’re no longer…

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