Providence Committee

on Foreign Relations

Upcoming events

    • 26 Sep 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906
    American Civilization is under stress. Graham Allison has coined the phrase: Thucydides’ Trap. A divided America is falling into the Other Thucydides’ Trap: decline from domestic discord due to a lack of civic character. Since the divisive 1960s, its basic building block—the good citizen—has been buffeted by at least seven factors: the legacy of the Sixties, the breakdown of the family and community, changes in our public education system, the rise of the Wild-West digital world, the degradation of cultural ethical standards, under-regulated capitalism, and a decline in leaders of character. This talk will explore the roles and responsibilities of the good citizen in historical perspective, those of the good citizen today, and these seven stresses on the good citizen. It will then propose approaches to address the challenge of avoiding the Other Thucydides’ Trap.

    After graduating West Point in 1970, Fred Zilian completed a 21-year career as an infantry officer in the Army, a career that included four years teaching international relations at the U.S. Military Academy and four years teaching “Strategy & Policy” at the Naval War College. His second career was as an educator at Portsmouth Abbey School, 1992-2015, where he taught history, ethics, and German. Currently he is an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, where he teaches history and politics, and also a monthly columnist for the Newport Daily News.

    Zilian holds a Ph.D. in international relations/strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
    • 3 Oct 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906
    Dr. Teresa Chahine is the author of “Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship,” based on her course at Harvard. She is the Innovation Advisor at Alfanar Venture Philanthropy, which she helped launch in her home country of Lebanon. Alfanar provides tailored financing and technical support to social enterprises serving marginalized populations in the Arab world.

    Dr. Chahine divides her time between Beirut and Boston, where she leads the social entrepreneurship program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Together with her students, she has published a series of research articles and incubated a number of social ventures at the Center. An open access version of her course is available at
    • 17 Oct 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906
    Two Paths to Brexit: On the eve of an EU summit where the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, hopes to present a draft treaty for Britain's withdrawal from the EU former NPR correspondent, Michael Goldfarb, who covered the creation of the euro and the border free Europe, looks at the details of the deal: the rights of millions of British and European citizens now living in what have become "foreign" countries, how to keep the Irish border fully open, maintaining supply chains, and the time frame for transition.

    It is also possible talks will have collapsed.  In that case, Goldfarb will explain the likely impact on UK, Europe and global economy of a no-deal Brexit.

    Michael Goldfarb is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He has written for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post but is best known for his work in public radio. Throughout the 1990’s, as NPR’s London Correspondent and then Bureau Chief, he covered conflicts and conflict resolution from Northern Ireland to Bosnia to Iraq for NPR.

    From 2000, through mid 2005, Goldfarb made documentaries for the public radio program Inside Out. One of these, Ahmad’s War: Inside Out, became the basis for his first book, Ahmad’s War, Ahmad’s Peace: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005.

    His most recent book is, Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance.

    His work has been given the highest honors on both sides of the Atlantic including the DuPont-Columbia Award and Overseas Press Club’s Lowell Thomas Award in America and the Sony Gold award in Britain. He has also been a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press and Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    • 8 Nov 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906
    Sarah C. Paine is a professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College located in Newport, Rhode Island. She has written or co-edited several books on naval policy and related affairs, and subjects of particular interest to the United States Navy or Defense. Other works she has authored concern the political and military history of East Asia, particularly China, during the modern era.

    Her 2012 award-winning book, Wars for Asia 1911–1949 (find it here on is an original and lively, as well as densely packed, view of the "nested wars" in early-twentieth-century East Asia. She presents the continuing conflicts there as three different wars, for a while carried on simultaneously. The war-within-a-war perspective involved: the long Chinese Civil War, here 1911–1949; the Second Sino-Japanese War, here 1931–1945; and the Second World War, here 1941–1945. The work covers ground in some detail that was previously rather neglected in the history literature written in English


    Columbia University, Graduate School for Arts and Sciences, Ph.D., history, 1993
    Middlebury College, Russian School, M.A., 1989
    Columbia University, School for International and Public Affairs, MIA, 1984
    Harvard University, Special Concentration, Latin American Studies, BA, magna cum laude, 1979
    • 29 Nov 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Hope Club, 6 Benevolent Street, Providence, RI 02906
    Julia served as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs from 2013 until January 2017, where she was the principal adviser to Secretary John Kerry on Congressional affairs. In this role, she developed and implemented Congressional strategies for achieving the foreign policy priorities of the Obama Administration and led efforts to build Congressional support for a wide range of international initiatives and legislative actions.

    Julia is currently the senior adviser for global affairs at Johns Hopkins University.

    Julia has been a long-time close adviser to Senator Barbara Mikulski, who joined Johns Hopkins in 2017 as a Homewood Professor in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and presidential adviser. Prior to serving as Senator Mikulski’s Chief of Staff from 2003-2013, Julia was the Legislative Assistant and Legislative Director in her office, where she focused on foreign policy matters and assisted Senator Mikulski with her work on the Foreign Operations Appropriations Committee. Julia has more than 20 years of experience working on Capitol Hill with previous legislative positions in the office of Senator Harris Wofford and Senator Bill Bradley.

    She received her B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. in International Relations from Cambridge University.
    • 12 Dec 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (EST)

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