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Distinguished Voices Lecture Series

Thank you for your interest in our Distinguished Voices Lecture Series. E-tickets become available at 9:00 a.m. on the date listed beside each lecture. If you have any questions about the lecture series, please contact UNF Public Relations at (904) 620-2125.  

For information about other campus events, please search in the online calendar of events or go to Cultural Events.

Robert Caslen

War of the Future
Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen Jr.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
7:00 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

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Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen Jr. is a United States veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 43 years. His military career culminated in 2018 with his appointment as the 59th superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Under his direction as superintendent, the Academy was recognized as the number one public college in the nation by Forbes Magazine and the number one public college by U.S. News.

Along with many military accolades, Calsen is a member of the Kansas State Engineering College Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the American Red Cross LifeTime of Service Award. Caslen holds a master’s degree in business administration from Long Island University, another master’s in industrial engineering from Kansas State University and an honorary doctorate from Long Island University.


This lecture is co-sponsored with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. 


Global Healthcare: How Good Can We Be?
Rajiv Shah

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
7:00 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

As administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Rajiv Shah, M.D. led the efforts of nearly 10,000 staff in more than 70 countries around the world to advance USAID’s mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient democratic societies. He served as undersecretary and chief scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, Shah is president of The Rockefeller Foundation and was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40.


Shah led President Obama’s landmark Feed the Future and Power Africa initiatives and refocused America’s global health partnerships to end preventable child death. Feed the Future, alone, improved nutrition for 12 million children and empowered more than 7 million farmers. Shah also managed the U.S. Government’s humanitarian response to catastrophic crises around the world, from the 2010 Haiti earthquake to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, awarded Shah with the “Distinguished Service Award.”


This lecture is co-sponsored with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville.

Kara Murza

Dissent in Putin's Russia
Vladimir Kara-Murza

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7:00 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Vladimir Kara-Murza is the coordinator for the Open Russia movement, a platform for civil society and pro-democracy activists, and a member of the federal council of the People’s Freedom Party. Currently a senior adviser at the Institute of Modern Russia, Kara-Murza has served as a political adviser, a journalist, a campaign chairman for a Russian presidential candidate, and an editor-in-chief.


Kara-Murza has testified before the parliaments of several countries and published opinion pieces in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. He is the author of Reform or Revolution and a contributor to Russian Liberalism: Ideas and People. He earned a master’s degree in of history from the University of Cambridge.


This lecture is co-sponsored with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. 


Our Towns
James Fallows and Deborah Fallows, PH.D.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
7 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

 James Fallows has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than thirty-five years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and across the United States. His work has also appeared in many other magazines and as public-radio commentaries since the 1980s. He has won a National Book Award and a National Magazine Award. For two years he was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter.


Deborah Fallows is a linguist and writer who holds a Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times and The Washington Monthly. She has worked at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media and Georgetown University.


For five years, James and Deborah Fallows have travelled across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, the America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems—from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge—but it is also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallows describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves. Our Towns is the story of their journey—and an account of a country busy remaking itself.