Perspectives of Global Leaders

Perspectives of Global Leaders

The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence welcomed the President of Kosovo to campus. View St. Edward's University campus media coverage.

The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence seeks to deepen understanding of the complex challenges of an increasingly integrated world-

The Kozmetsky Center aims to enrich the intellectual life of St. Edward's University and to serve as a resource for informing the broader public on critical global issues. We facilitate discussions among experts, students, faculty and the broader public in a variety of forums. Past speakers have included American and foreign diplomats, policy makers, university scholars, and leaders of the business, non-profit and cultural communities. We also periodically host short-term resident visiting scholars and practitioners from the United States and around the world to share their expertise and diverse perspectives with the St. Edward’s University community.

The Kozmetsky Center contributes to advancing the mission of St. Edward’s University to educate students from all walks of life and prepare graduates with the tools needed to contribute to a more just world. 

Spring 2020 Preview of Events

COVID-19 Global Pandemic:  In support of St. Edward’s University online transition responding to COVID-19, the Kozmetsky Center will offer our campus sessions via videoconference, webcast and audio formats during the period of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Please join the Kozmetsky Center for our upcoming web-based programs and engage with us through Zoom/Skype/Soundcloud/Tele-Town-Hall hosted sessions and meetings, Twitter, Facebook and Kozmetsky Center Briefing Series publications. We are dedicated to continuing to deliver our programs for the St. Edward's University community and to collaborating with our colleagues in the United States and throughout the world utilizing our web-based resources during this period of unprecedented difficulty for our entire global society. Please take good care as we continue to place the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the St. Edward’s University campus community and those contributing to our programs in Austin and throughout the world.  


On Wednesday, February 5, the Kozmetsky Center will feature our first event for the new decade entitled “Exploring Religious-Policy/Security Nexus in Addressing Global Security Challenges.”  The session is a continuation of the Kozmetsky Center (St. Edward’s University) and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) project series on religion in international security with the support of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division (Brussels). The session will feature perspectives of project leaders, policy/security practitioners, together with St. Edward’s University faculty of Religious Studies Dr. Kelley Coblentz Bautch and Dr. Jennifer Veninga.  St. Edward’s University Professor Emeritus Father Lou Brusatti will join Imam Yahya Pallavicini, President of COREIS, the Islamic Religious Community of Italy to bring perspectives of the Catholic and Islamic faiths to the discussion.  Project organizers are approaching the topic with the assumption that the international community faces challenges that can only be addressed by fostering comprehensive cooperative approaches.  We hope that by facilitating exchanges among academic experts, policy officials, security and defense practitioners and religious leaders representing different nations and regions, we can strengthen networks of collaboration for addressing our most important human security challenges. Panelists will offer updates on recent project conferences, research initiatives and global engagement efforts as well as sharing views on the importance, potential and challenges in promoting cooperation among our global policy/security communities with religious faith communities in managing human security.  Topics might include violent extremism and terrorism, migration, drivers in contemporary geopolitical divisions, conflict resolution, climate change, and more.  The forum will be held in Carter Auditorium in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center at 12:00-2:00 PM.

Dr. Ted Karasik, Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics and Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation will deliver a lecture on the topic “Strategic Security Challenges in the Middle East:  Perspectives on a ‘Second Arab Spring’ and the U.S.-Iran Confrontation.” For the past 30 years, Dr. Karasik worked for several U.S. agencies involved in researching and analyzing defense acquisitions, the use of military power, and religio-political issues across the Middle East and Eurasia including the evolution of violent extremism and financing networks. From 2006 until 2016, Dr. Karasik lived in Dubai, UAE where he worked on Arabian Peninsula foreign policy and security issues surrounding cultural awareness, cybersecurity, maritime security, counter-terrorism, and infrastructure and national resilience. Dr. Karasik was formerly a Senior Political Scientist in the International Policy and Security Group at RAND Corporation serving as Director of Research for the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy.  He earned his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles in four fields:  Middle East, Russia, the Caucasus with additional concentration in Cultural Anthropology focusing on tribes and clans from Central Asia to East Africa.  Dr. Karasik has been a frequent commentator for major Arab news media (Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, and others).  He will share his perspective on the security challenges in the Middle East, the potential of a Second “Arab Spring” and the recent diplomatic and military confrontation between the United States and Iran.  The lecture event is scheduled for Wednesday February 19 from 12:00-1:30 PM in Carter Auditorium in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center.  

On Thursday, March 5, the Kozmetsky Center will host a screening of “A Cambodian Spring” dealing with public activism and protests over inequality and land rights.  Winner of the Brooklyn Film Festival “Best Documentary,” A Cambodian Spring features the personal accounts of activists leading a movement to overthrow the dictatorial regime on Hun Sen.  The film exposes political corruption and the human rights crisis in the country, and origins of political activism among its most vulnerable citizens.  This film is a testimony “of their struggle for dignity and justice, and a window into the sober reality of a nation and its possibilities for change.”  SEU Professors Dr. Jooyoun Lee (Global Studies) and Dr. Imran Khan (History), subject area experts on Asia/ Southeast Asia, will offer their perspectives and lead a discussion following the film.  The screening will take place in the Jones Global Events Center from 7:00-9:30 PM.

Our final lecture event for the Spring 2020 semester will feature Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PhD, Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) scheduled on Tuesday April 21 at 12:00-1:00 PM in the Carter Auditorium in the John Brooks Williams Natural Science Center. Among those specialists emphasizing the urgency of the climate change threat, Schellnhuber was quoted in a BBC article of July 2019 stating that "The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020.” Hans Joachim (“John”) Schellnhuber studied Physics and Mathematics and completed his PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of Regensburg. After a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, he held professorships at the Universities of Oldenburg and Potsdam, University of East Anglia, Norwich, University of California, Santa Cruz, Oxford University, and the Santa Fe Institute. He has published extensively on topics of climate change, global warming and security topics at the intersection of science and earth systems and space.  Professor Schellnhuber served as founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany from 1991 - 2018 and was research director at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Great Britain from 2001-2005.  He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy Leopoldina, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the Academia Europaea, and the recipient of the German Environment Prize (2007), Volvo Environment Prize (2011) and Blue Planet Prize (2017). Dr. Schellnhuber served as scientific advisor to a number of eminent political and religious leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Pope Francis. He has been a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) since its establishment in 1992 and contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  Dr. Schellnhuber’s lecture will explain sources of climate change and the threat posed to earth systems by global warming.  He will discuss his perspective on the IPCC Special Report on climate change and suggest additional global critical initiatives necessary to address the climate challenge. 

The Kozmetsky Center will also be completing plans to convene an international conference event on Monday-Tuesday September 27-28 on the topic “Assessing Private Sector Contributions to Sustainable Development Among Emerging Economies of European Union Aspiring Nations in South Eastern Europe.” This 2020 session will be the sixth in our annual collaborative multi-year conference series in transatlantic security held in cooperation with the Center for European Studies and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin funded with support of a grant by the United States Department of Education Title VI National Resource Program.  The event to be held on the St. Edward's University campus will provide an international forum for bringing together academic experts on emerging economies, representatives of the American and European policy communities with leaders of the local Austin and global private sector/investment worlds to exchange perspectives and expertise. Speakers include Dr. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at The Fletcher School, Tufts University and Executive Director of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context, Dr. Lourdes Casanova, Director of the Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University, Dr. Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, Ambassador of Montenegro to the United Nations and former Minister of Defence of Montenegro, Vuk Jeremic, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, President of the United Nations General Assembly 67th Session and President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development in Serbia, Mayor Erion Veliaj of the City of Tirana Albania, Dr. Mirjana Matesic, Director, Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development, and others.   All conference sessions with take place in the Jones Global Events Center on our campus (Monday September 27, 7:00-9:30 PM and Tuesday, September 28, 9:30 AM-5:00 PM). Please check our website for the full agenda later in the semester.

Finally, the Kozmetsky Center is delighted to partner with the World Affairs Council, Austin to launch a new forum on Global Investment, Finance, Emerging Markets and Geopolitical Risk. This initiative will assist students of St. Edward’s University and Austin-based entrepreneurs and private sector companies in recognizing both the vast opportunities and daunting risks involved in global investment and to successfully and responsibly navigate the global economic and political landscape.  The group aims to serve as a bridge between academic experience and the professional world of global investment, finance and geopolitical risk providing unique insights and networking opportunities for students preparing for future careers with the hope of advancing responsible and ethical participation in global business, economic development and policy. The Kozmetsky Center together with our colleagues of World Affairs Council, Austin will hold a monthly (first Tuesday of each month) roundtable meeting bringing together representatives of the Austin private sector, government, faculty and students of the St. Edward’s community involved in international business, global and regional area studies to assess and discuss expert lectures/podcasts, case studies, publications on topics of global investment, finance, emerging markets and geopolitical risk.  Sessions will be held on the campus of St. Edward’s University and a local venues sponsored by the World Affairs Council, Austin.   

The Kozmetsky Center will continue to offer the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) conference call series. Please see the attached list of Spring 2020 conference calls.

Please check our website [] for additional details on these events, and other activities supported by the Kozmetsky Center throughout Spring 2020.  Kozmetsky Center events are free and open to the community.