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 2019 Preview of Events

On Wednesday, February 6, the Kozmetsky Center is delighted to feature our first event for the Spring 2019 semester entitled “Water Security: Local, State, and International Challenges” presented by our Dr. Charles Porter, PhD, Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at St. Edward's University.  Water is an invaluable resource and shortages and conflicts over water access will continue to be critical for world security and development in the decades ahead. Professor Porter will offer insights from his most recent book Public Water Policies: The Ultimate Weapons of Social Control (Roman and Littlefield: 2018) offering a new perspective on the overall long-term economic consequences of water policy. Dr. Porter teaches, analyzes, and publishes on water policy. He also authors and organizes legislation in Texas on water policies and has provided expert testimony on water valuations, water policy formation, and the consequences of failed water policies. Professor Porter has served in various faculty roles at St. Edward’s University since 2008 and has been recognized as a recipient of several awards for teaching.  He earned a Ph.D. in Economics and Business from the Universitat Jaume I in Spain with “Cum Laude” distinction. Dr. Porter’s campus book talk is scheduled for 12:00-1:30 PM in the Carter Auditorium in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center.

On Tuesday, February 26, the Kozmetsky Center will host an evening lecture event in the Jones Global Event Center at 7:00 PM-8:30 PM with Dr. Monde Muyangwa, Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars based in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Muyangwa, among the leading experts on the diverse continent of Africa, has visited more than 30 African countries and leveraged her experience to address the continent’s most critical issues, as well as U.S.-Africa relations. Previously the longtime Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, she has been a professor, a nonprofit leader, a development consultant and a Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Muyangwa holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford, as well as a B.A. in Public Administration and Economics from the University of Zambia. She is a widely cited authority on governance, security, and development issues who challenges dominant narratives about the continent. Dr. Muyangwa’s lecture is entitled “Security and Economic Priorities for Africa: Assessments and Recommendations for Developing United States-Africa Policy.” The presentation will focus on providing a broad ranging assessment of security and economic priorities for the continent of Africa and offer her recommendations for the U.S. policy community in crafting policy that might contribute to building productive U.S.-Africa relationships in the future. We have also asked Dr. Muyangwa to offer perspective on potential contributions that governments, the private sector, and civic and religious institutions can make to foster sustainable development, elevate living standards, and promote peace and security on the continent.  Our session with Dr. Monde Muyangwa of the Wilson Center will be held in partnership with the World Affairs Council, Austin.   

On Tuesday, March 12, the Kozmetsky Center will host a daytime lecture event with Sarang Shidore, former Senior Global Analyst at Stratfor and Visiting Scholar at the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Shidore’s lecture is entitled “Geopolitics of the Energy Transition.” Sarang Shidore conducts policy research in renewable energy and climate policy.  Sarang has also been an analyst and forecaster in geopolitics and international relations at think tanks and risk firms, including consulting with the Development, Concepts, and Doctrine Center (DCDC) of the UK Ministry of Defense. He holds graduate degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively, and a Master of Arts in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Mr. Shidore will address how energy resources have been directly linked to major geopolitical developments over the last two centuries. Coal fueled the rise of the British Empire, while Middle Eastern oil had a major role in conflicts of the 20th century. Renewable energy will account for perhaps a third of all commercial energy use in a couple of decades. We look forward to the St. Edward’s community joining us for an expert discussion on the potential geopolitical consequences of the coming age of renewable energy including discussion of implications for addressing global climate challenges. The event is scheduled for 12:00-1:30 PM in Carter Auditorium in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center.

The issues of borders and border security stand at the center of both United States and global policy relevance.  The Kozmetsky Center is delighted to hold two full days of discussion on the topic of the geopolitics of border security in April 2019 featuring participation of distinguished expert speakers and subject area academics representing a broad range of international perspectives and approaches to the study of borders and border security.  On Monday April 8, the Kozmetsky Center will co-host an evening forum entitled, “Challenges in Transatlantic Security: Borders and Geopolitics in Europe and Eurasia” to be held in the Jones Global Events Center on the St. Edward’s University campus, 7:00-9:30 PM. This event will be the fifth in our annual collaborative multi-year conference series in transatlantic security held in cooperation with the Center for Europe 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. On Tuesday April 9, the Kozmetsky Center will host the interim session of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) Third International Workshop on Geopolitics devoted to the topic “Borders and Geopolitics of the 21st Century” also to be convened on our campus in the Jones Global Events Center at 9:30 AM-3:30 PM.  The IPSA session will feature paper presentations by academics traveling to Austin from nations throughout the world community offering research methods, case studies and international perspectives on topics of geopolitics and border security.  Given the proximity of Austin Texas to the US-Mexico border, the IPSA Workshop will also invite contributions from academic experts and students affiliated with both St. Edward’s University and the University of Texas, Austin working on issues of border security and geopolitics in the Western Hemisphere and beyond providing additional comparative context for the session.  We very much hope to engage our faculty and students throughout the campus to participate in these sessions raising questions and offering perspectives and contributions to the discussions that promise to be quite fascinating and useful for broadening knowledge and understanding on issues of critical concern to all our nations. 

In addition, the Kozmetsky Center will continue to offer the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) conference call series. Please see the attached list of Spring 2019 conference calls.

Please check our website [] for additional details on these events, and other activities supported by the Kozmetsky Center throughout the Spring 2019 semester. We will be posting additional information (including speaker profiles and scheduled panel times) on the April sessions sponsored in cooperation with the International Political Sciences Association and other partners later in the semester.  Please contact Joseph Sadek, Executive Assistant to the Director of the Kozmetsky Center [Tel: (512) 233-1678 Email: jsadek [at]] should you have any additional questions regarding our events and programs.