2020 Topics & Speakers

Presentations begin at 12:00 PM and end at 1:30 PM. These sessions are free of charge and there is no need to register.

23 April 2020

India & Pakistan – Dennis Pruitt,

Missouri Partnership

The shutdown of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: what happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?


Dennis Pruitt

V.P. Business Development

30 April 2020

China’s Road Into Latin America – Dr. Zhao Ma, Washington University in St. Louis

As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence”?


Zhao Ma

Professor of Modern Chinese History & Culture

07 May 2020

Red Sea Security – Henry Stephenson, Captain United States Navy

The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?


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Henry Stephenson

U.S. Navy, Captain

14 May 2020

Climate Change and the Global Order – Dr. Benjamin de Foy, St. Louis University

Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?


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Benjamin de Foy

St. Louis University

28 May 2020

Modern Slavery and Human TraffickingDr. Shima Rostami, Director, Gateway Human Trafficking

Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?


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Shima Rostami
11 June 2020

The Philippines and the U.S. – Dr. Joel Glassman Director Emeritus UMSL Int’l Programs

The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century.  However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?


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Joel Glassman


18 June 2020

U.S. Relations With the Northern Triangle – Richard Millett, Professor Emeritus, SIUE

Combating illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?


Richard Millet presented for the World Affairs Council of St. Louis at Great Decisions
Richard Millett
25 June 2020

Artificial Intelligence and Data – Professor Anshuman Singh, UMSL

Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?


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Anshuman Singh


Great Decisions is sponsored by the Council and UMSL Global

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