Providence Committee

on Foreign Relations

Upcoming events

    • 21 Feb 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906

    Palm oil is tainted by environmental destruction and poor working conditions but global production is soaring. As the highest-yielding vegetable oil crop, global production is soaring, and also the cause widespread deforestation over the last four decades. In 2004, a group of environmental non-profits and palm oil companies joined together to set up the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The roundtable sets out eight principles, citing 163 criteria, which are designed to prevent the worst aspects of palm oil cultivation: illegal deforestation, chemical pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, destruction of biodiversity, water loss, poor employment conditions etc. With nearly 3,600 members, it is the largest multi-stakeholder initiative of its kind.

    Dan Strechay is the U.S. Representative of the RSPO.
    Based in New York, he is now responsible for outreach and engagement activities to members and stakeholder in the U.S., as well as formalizing the RSPO’s presence in this important market.

    Prior to joining the RSPO, Dan was the Senior Manager, Sustainability Communications for PepsiCo, located at the Purchase, NY headquarters where he worked on the implementation and communication of their “Performance with Purpose” vision, as well as providing support for the Office of Sustainability, Procurement, Public Policy and Government Affairs teams on sustainability issues and policies. Previously, Dan was a member of the Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement Team in the Americas for Asia Pulp & Paper, supporting the launch of company’s zero deforestation policy, and the Group Director of Communications for the world’s largest publicly traded metal and electronics recycling company, Sims Metal Management.


    The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative on sustainable palm oil. Members of RSPO, and participants in its activities come from many different backgrounds, including plantation companies, processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers and retailers of palm oil products, financial institutions, environmental NGOs and social NGOs, from many countries that produce or use palm oil. The RSPO vision is to “transform the markets by making sustainable palm oil the norm".

    The Guardian special report on The Palm Oil Debate:

    • 25 Apr 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906

    Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma is a former Indian Navy Admiral who served as the Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy, from 2009 to 2012. In November 2012, he was appointed as the High Commissioner to Canada. He is currently a CNO Distinguished International Fellow at the US Naval War College.

    • 6 Jun 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906

    We will rethink the principles and values that serve as the foundation for the foreign policy of any major power in the world.

    The meaning for American foreign policy with its shifting focus and texture may be especially valuable as we search for an approach adjusted to the complexities of the 21st Century. Elements will be drawn from the "wisdom" of the most experienced lives of common Americans -- our grandmothers.

    Richard Farkas has been teaching at DePaul for over forty years.  He holds an honorary degree from Corvinus University and has lectured in Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Croatia.  His research compares strategies for political and economic development in post-Communist and post-conflict countries.  Professor Farkas  has consulted for some of the largest corporations in the U.S.  and has appeared frequently on U.S. and international media. 

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