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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 Emily Williamson at or (904) 620-5384. 


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



Presidential Lecture: A Conversation with Madeleine Albright
Secretary Madeleine K. Albright

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
7:00 p.m. at the UNF Arena

Order TicketsPresidential Lecture: A Conversation with Madeleine Albright

Madeleine K. Albright is a professor, author, diplomat and businesswoman who served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. She is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. She also chairs the National Democratic Institute, serves as the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation and is a member of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.


Dr. Albright’s most recent book, Fascism: A Warning (2018) debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is the author of five other New York Times bestselling books: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012). Dr. Albright’s upcoming book, Hell and Other Destinations will be published in April 2020.

Malcolm Turnbull Headshot

China: The Asia-Pacific Struggle for Control
Malcolm Turnbull

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
7:00 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Malcolm Turnbull’s career spans journalism, law, business and politics.  After growing up in Australia, Malcolm studied at Sydney University and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.  He returned to Australia to practice law and then established an investment banking firm in 1987 and during that time specialized in the media and technology sectors. He co-founded the first big Australian Internet company, OzEmail Ltd, listing it on the NASDAQ in 1996 and selling it to Worldcom three years later.


Malcolm joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 becoming a partner of the firm the following year and headed

their Australian business for four years until he retired to pursue a political career. He entered the House of Representatives in 2004 and  served as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister for Communications; finally, he served as Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018.  


During his time as Prime Minister, Malcolm delivered strong economic growth, record jobs growth and

at the same time reduced both corporate and personal income taxes. His Government legalized same sex marriage and reformed federal schools funding to be fair, consistent, and needs based across the nation and across school sectors. He successfully negotiated with President Trump to maintain a refugee resettlement deal he had agreed to with President Obama and to ensure Australia was not hit with tariffs or quotas on its steel and aluminium exports to the US. When Trump pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Malcolm refused to allow that 12 nation free trade deal to fall by the wayside and he rallied the remaining eleven countries to commit to a continuing TPP-11. 

Brett McGurk Headshot

Unique Perspectives on Global Hotspots
Brett McGurk

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
7:00 p.m. at the Herbert University Center

e-Tickets will be available on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

One of the longest-serving and most effective national security experts of his generation, Brett McGurk served as a top advisor on critical diplomatic and military strategies under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Deeply involved in Middle East strategy and diplomacy, McGurk helped design and then led the successful campaign to defeat ISIS together with a coalition of 75 countries.


McGurk has led negotiations with hostile states, including Iran and Russia, as well as allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan under President Bush, McGurk helped develop “The Surge,” a fundamental and successful shift in Iraq war strategy. Under President Obama, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran and spearheaded 14 months of secret talks with Iran that led to a prisoner swap and release of six Americans—prompting the New York Times to cite him as “a doer” in high-stakes negotiations. He also helped build the largest international coalition in history to confront ISIS and led the campaign under both Obama and Trump before resigning his position in December 2018 following Trump’s order to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria.


McGurk’s unparalleled vantage point provides an insider’s view of the interplay between nations and an assessment of America’s role on the ever-changing world stage. He will outline some of the toughest diplomatic challenges of our time, providing audiences with a new understanding of how deadlocks can be overcome, decisions can be made under fire, and skilled negotiations can lead to a successful conclusion.