Atifete Jahjaga talking to St. Edward's University student

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.

Fall 2020 Preview of Events

The Kozmetsky Center will hold all Fall 2020 events and programs virtually utilizing ZOOM Webinar and Meeting platforms.  Although we look forward to returning to in-person programming hosting our speakers on campus post-pandemic, we are committed during the coming months to strengthening our virtual capabilities allowing for enhanced global expert contributions and international participation in our sessions. We hope to continue to serve as a resource for providing a diversity of local and global academic and professional perspectives and networks in support of the educational experience of St. Edward’s University students during the challenging global pandemic period.

On Tuesday September 22, 12:00-1:30 PM we will feature our first ZOOM Webinar lecture event for the 2020-2021 academic year with Andrew S. Natsios, Executive Professor at the George H. W. Bush School of Government at Texas A & M University and Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs on the topic “Coping with COVID19.”  Professor Natsios previously served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development leading USAID’s emergency disaster management.  Natsios has extensive policy and research experience on pandemics and has called for creating a new global early-warning system that would have been effective in early detection of the COVID19 virus threat.  He recently released a report entitled “Preparing for a Collision” focused on the escalating challenges posed by the spread of COVID19 with seasonal influenza offering specific recommendations to avoid overwhelming medical capacity. 

The Kozmetsky Center will host a major international conference event on Monday-Tuesday September 28-29, 9:30-3:00 PM on the topic “Exploring Private Sector Contributions to Sustainable Development Among Emerging Economies of European Union and Aspiring EU Nations in South Eastern Europe.” This 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.  For this event, we are also delighted to welcome our participating partners including the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, World Affairs Council Austin and the Texas-EU Business Summit.  This international conference to be hosted via ZOOM Webinar from our campus will bring 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 share professional experience, vision and research.  Confirmed 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; Ambassador Pjer Simunovic, Ambassador of Croatia to the United States; Dr. Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, Ambassador of Montenegro to the United Nations and former Minister of Defence of Montenegro; Vuk Jeremic, President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development in Serbia, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia and President of the United Nations General Assembly 67th Session; Mayor Erion Veliaj, City of Tirana, Albania; Dr. Phoebe Koundouri, Co-Chair, United Nations Sustainable Development Network and Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of International & European Economic Studies; Dr. Mirjana Matesic, Director, Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development, Zagreb, Croatia, and others.  Representatives of the Office of the Governor of Texas (Michael Treyger, Deputy Director of Economic Development)City of Austin (Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer) and leaders of global divisions of major corporations  have been invited to offer insights based on sustainable development, investment and operations experiences in Texas and throughout the world.   Please check our website for the full agenda later in September.

On Wednesday October 14, 5:30–8:30 p.m. we will host a screening of “Stars and Strife” written and directed by The New York Times best-selling author, David Smick. The film offers views from past political leaders, business figures, academics, activists and former members of extremist groups on the current sharp polarization in the United States and the risks of perpetual divisiveness for the future of American society.  “This film explores the epidemic of hate that has left us helpless in the face of crisis… how we can overcome the forces of division to meet the challenges of our time and live up to the promises of our founding…most of all, the film is about why we need to rediscover empathy — the lost heart of America” Smick said.  St. Edward’s University Professors Dr. Rodrigo Nunes (Global Studies) and DrBrian Smith (Political Science) will offer their impressions and thoughts on the documentary followed by discussion among students. David Smick, producer of the “Stars and Strife” documentary film, will also be joining the St. Edward’s University community for the discussion. This event should provide a space to come together to share a diversity of views among the our community on the extraordinary circumstances confronting our nation at this time. 

The film is available to students, faculty and staff at St. Edward’s for a one-time viewing Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 5:30–7:30 p.m. CST at the following link:

Viewers will be prompted to log in using their St. Edward’s account to access the “Stars & Strife” video.

The student-faculty discussion with producer David Smick will follow the film in the ZOOM meeting at 7:30 p.m. 

Join ZOOM meeting at:

Meeting ID: 953 7732 5645                                 Passcode: 846290

On Monday November 23, 12:00-2:00 PM, the Kozmetsky Center will host a panel among U.S. Ambassadors assessing the importance of the diplomatic tool in America foreign policy with reference to professional experience and U.S. global interests.  Our confirmed speakers for the panel include Mary Ann Peters (U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, 2000-2003)Roger Harrison (U.S. Ambassador Jordan, 1990-1993)  and Ken Yalowitz (U.S. Ambassador to Belarus, 1994-1997 and Georgia, 1998-2001).  Beyond discussing various global and region-specific geopolitical developments, the forum of U.S. Ambassadors also provides a perfect opportunity to seek advice on future educational and career development for SEU students interested in careers in foreign service and diplomacy. 

The Kozmetsky Center appreciates the opportunity to support Dr. Trish Baynham (Lucian Chair of Science) and the SEU School of Natural Sciences for the Lucian Symposium on September 25, 8:50 AM-12:00 PM devoted to the topic “Global Health Challenges:  Climate Change.” Featured expert speakers include Dr. James Marshall Shepherd, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences and Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program, University of Georgia, Dr. Kristie Ebi, Professor of Global Health, University of Washington and Dr. Juliano Calil, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Virtual Planet Technologies and Senior Fellow, Center for the Blue Economy.  To register, please visit:

In addition, the Kozmetsky Center is pleased to continue to continue to offer several programs in our forum series on Global Investment, Finance, Emerging Markets and Geopolitical Risk in cooperation with the World Affairs Council Austin.  This collaborative initiative should offer 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.  We will hold monthly (first Tuesday of each month) roundtable meetings bringing together representatives of the Austin private sector, government and SEU faculty and students 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.  On Tuesday October 6, 12:00-1:30 PM, we will host Dr. Rodger Baker, Vice-President of Austin-based STRATFOR, to discuss security/economic developments in the Indo-Pacific region (India, China, and others).  The forum has also scheduled a session with Mr. Ian T. Brown and his colleagues of the U.S. Embassy of Brazil on Tuesday November 3, 12:00-2:00 PM on the topic “Opportunities for U.S. Investment in Brazil.”  On Tuesday December 1, 12:00-1:30 PM, we will feature Ms. Melissa Sanderson, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer serving in the African Congo, Vice-President of Global Operations Freeport McMoRan, Inc. (Mining), Chair of the Arizona District Export Council, Chair, Mining Committee, Arizona Mexico Commission and President of the Africa Business Portal to speak on the importance of empathy and understanding in global business success.

We will continue to offer the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) lecture series.  Please see the list of Fall 2020 lecture events posted on the site.  All CFR calls will be held in ZOOM Webinar format in 2020.  Please contact CFR for more information and invitations to the academic sessions: