Lecture Series

Exposure to professionals who work on international security issues is viewed as a vital building block to a student's academic foundation. With this in mind, ISSP annually attracts a wide range of domestic and foreign senior-level government and non-government officials, military leaders, and academics to the Fletcher School. These experts address a broad spectrum of timely defense and conflict issues on the international security agenda and give students their individual perspectives on life outside the classroom. It is often possible for students to meet one-on-one with these speakers, who represent the highest levels of military and diplomatic service as well as some of the most widely respected academic programs in international relations and foreign policy. Series speakers have included members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Regional/Functional Commanders in Chief, senior U.S. government officials, ambassadors, senior foreign officials, and academicians/scholars from the academic community. Each academic year the program sponsors a guest lecture series on international security issues. Notable speakers in recent years include former General David Petraeus (Commander, U.S. Central Command), General Joseph Dunford (USMC), former Admiral James Stavridis (U.S. Navy) and retired General John Allen (USMC).  A partial list of speakers sponsored in the past few years is listed below:


General Raymond Odierno
38th Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, "A Discussion with General Ray Odierno on Strategic Leadership."
Dr. David S. C. Chu 
President, Institute for Defense Analysis, "Defense Drawdowns:  Lessons from Recent History."
Major General Bennet Sacolick 
Director of Force Management and Development, U.S. Special Operations Command, "Security Sector Reform in North Africa"
General John Kelly 
Commander, U.S. Southern Command, "Southcom."
Major General H.R. Mcmaster 
Commanding General, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, "Thinking about Future Armed Conflict:  Lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan."
General (Ret) Stanley McChrystal
Senior Fellow, Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie 
Iraqi statesman and policymaker, "Can Iran Save the Assad Regime."
CIA Red Team 
"Seeing Red:  A Discussion with the CIA's Red Cell."
Major General Buster Howes CB OBE
Defense Attache and Head of British Defense Staff-United States, "Ethics in Leadership."
Jack DuVall 
President and founding Director of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, "Non-Violent Civil Resistance and the Arab Spring."
David Sanger 
Chief Correspondent for the New York Times, "Obama's Second term and the New Uses of American Power."
General Carter F. Ham 
Commander, U.S. Army, U.S. Africa Command, "Security Sector Reform and Security Force Assistance."
Dr. Evelyn Farkas 
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, "Department of Defense Engagement in Eurasia Against the Backdrop of Global Change."
Siobodan Djinovic 
Chairman, Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), "Strategic Non-Violent Action Then and Now:  Perspectives on Regime Transfers and Democratic Consolidation."
Thom Shanker 
Correspondent, New York Times, covering the Pentagon, Military and National Security, "Current National Security Issues:  Bullets, Budgets and Battling Terrorists."
General (Ret) David D. McKiernan 
former Commander ISAF, "U.S. Military Interventions - Observations from a Practitioner."
Sebastian Junger 
Award-Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author, "Impact of War." 
Michele Fiournoy 
Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership:  Defense Priorities in an Era of Budgetary Asuterity."