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Distinguished Voices Lecture Series

Thank you for your interest in our Distinguished Voices Lecture Series. We are currently working on the 2021-2022 schedule, please check back at a later date for the full schedule. If you have any questions about the lecture series, please contact Lauren Giliberto at or (904) 620-4334.


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


 2021-2022 Schedule 



"National Security: Global Hotspots and Blind Spots"
Jennifer Griffin and Greg Myre

Saturday, October 23, 2021
7:00 pm EST. at the Herbert University Center

Order Tickets"National Security: Global Hotspots and Blind Spots"

Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) and is based out of the Washington D.C. bureau. She joined the network in October 1999 as a Jerusalem based correspondent.

Griffin delivered live coverage from many crises in the Middle East, reporting from the Israel-Lebanon border during the 34 day war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 and covering the Palestinian intifada for 7 years from Jerusalem. She covered the funeral of Yasser Arafat live from Ramallah and interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon more times than any other Western correspondent and provided extensive coverage of the evacuation of Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005.

Since 2007, Griffin has reported daily from the Pentagon where she questions senior military leaders, travels to war zones and reports on all aspects of the military, including the current wars against ISIS and Al Qaeda. Prior to joining FNC, Griffin covered the Middle East region for several American media organizations including National Public Radio and U.S. News and World Report.

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on the intelligence community, a position that follows his many years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the globe. He was previously the international editor for, working closely with NPR correspondents abroad and national security reporters in Washington. He remains a frequent contributor to the NPR website on global affairs. He also worked as a senior editor at Morning Edition from 2008-2011. Before joining NPR, Myre was a foreign correspondent for 20 years with The New York Times and The Associated Press.

Myre was also posted to Cyprus and worked throughout the Middle East, including extended trips to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. He went to Moscow from 1996-1999, covering the early days of Vladimir Putin as Russia's leader. He was based in Jerusalem from 2000-2007, reporting on the heaviest fighting ever between Israelis and the Palestinians.

In his years abroad, he traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on a dozen wars. He and his journalist wife Jennifer Griffin co-wrote a 2011 book on their time in Jerusalem, entitled, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

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“The Asia-Pacific Arena: Is the U.S. Bluffing?”
General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, USA (Ret.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
TBD at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Monday, November 1, 2021


 General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, USA (Ret.) - Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (2016 – 2019); Commander, U.S. European Command (2016 – 2019) and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (2013 – 2016)    


 In 2019, General Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti completed a distinguished 41-year career in the US Army as the Commander, US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO. As the NATO Commander, General Scaparrotti worked to preserve the security and stability of the Alliance and strengthen it in the face of traditional and new-age adversaries. He collaborated with the leadership of all 29 NATO member nations, as well as the various NATO partner countries around the world.   


Prior to General Scaparrotti’s leadership position at NATO and US European Command, General Scaparrotti served as the Commander of US Forces Korea / United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command in Seoul, South Korea from 2013 to 2016. He has also served as the Director of the Joint Staff, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, the Deputy Commander of US Forces -Afghanistan, the Commanding General of I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division.

General Scaparrotti graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1978. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. Additionally, General Scaparrotti holds a Master’s degree in Administrative Education from the University of South Carolina.


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“Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters”
Dr. Steven E. Koonin

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
TBD at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Monday, January 10, 2022

Dr. Steven E. Koonin - University Professor, New York University


Dr. Steven E. Koonin is a University Professor at New York University, with appointments in the Stern School
of Business, the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Department of Physics. He founded NYU’s Center
for Urban Science and Progress, which focuses research and education on the acquisition, integration, and analysis of big data for big cities. 


Dr. Koonin served as Undersecretary for Science in the US Department of Energy under President Obama from 2009 to 2011, where his portfolio included the climate research program and energy technology strategy. He was the lead author of the US Department of Energy’s Strategic Plan (2011) and the inaugural Department of Energy Quadrennial Technology Review (2011). Before joining the government, Dr. Koonin spent five years as Chief Scientist for BP, researching renewable energy options to move the company “beyond petroleum.”


For almost thirty years, Dr. Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech. He also served for nine years as Caltech’s Vice President and Provost. He is currently an independent governor of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and has served in similar roles for the Los Alamos, Sandia, Brookhaven, and Argonne National Laboratories. He was a member of Governor Cuomo’s Blue Ribbon Commission to Reimagine New York in the post-COVID-19 era.

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"The Rights of Women in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities"
Zainab Salbi

Tuesday, February 22, 2022
TBD at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Zainab Salbi - Humanitarian, Entrepreneur, Author, and Media Commentator

At the age of 23, Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars by offering support, tools, and access to the life-changing skills necessary to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO (1993-2011), the organization grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to more than 478,000 marginalized women in 8 conflict areas. It also distributed more than $120 million in direct aid and micro credit loans that impacted more than 1.7 million family members.

Salbi is also the host and creator of several TV shows including: #MeToo, Now What? on PBS (2018); The Zainab Salbi Project, original series on Huffington Post (2016); The Nidaa Show with TLC Arabic, where she started with the historic first interview of Oprah Winfrey in the Arab world; and a new original series with Yahoo News! Through Her Eyes with Zainab Salbi, exploring contemporary issues from a female perspective. She frequently appears on Morning Joe.

Salbi is the author of several books including the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, If You Knew Me You Would Care, and her latest, Freedom is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World.

Salbi has been consistently identified as one of the women impacting the world. People magazine named her as one of the “25 Women Changing The World” in 2016, Foreign Policy magazine named her as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers, Fast Company identified her as one of "100 Most Creative People in Business", and The Guardian has listed her on their "Top 100 Women of Activists and Campaigners.” In 2017, Arabian Business named Salbi as the “#1 Most Influential Arab Woman in the World” and has since been joined by Gulf Business to consistently name her as one of the World’s Most Influential Arabs. Most recently, she was identified as one of the "100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2019" by Watkins.

Salbi was recently selected as a jury of The Hilton Humanitarian Prize - the biggest award for humanitarian work throughout the world. Salbi sits on the Board of Directors of Synergos and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).