Ambassador John & Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series

World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

In 2004, UCCD began hosting the Ambassador John Price & Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series. This lecture series, hosted in partnership with Westminster College, provides insight on critical global issues, helping shape public discourse. We convene leading global voices to engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future and transform how people, businesses, and governments engage the world.

For questions about currently scheduled lectures or ideas for future topics or speakers, please call 801.832.3270.

 2020 - 2021 World Affairs Lecture Series

 Due to COVID-19, all in-person lectures and events are postponed until further notice.
However, please join us for our virtual lectures.  All virtual and in-person lectures are free and open to the public, but space is limited.  Please make sure to reserve your space at the event.

World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

In 2004, UCCD began hosting the Ambassador John Price & Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series. This lecture series, hosted in partnership with Westminster College, provides insight on critical global issues, helping shape public discourse. We convene leading global voices to engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future and transform how people, businesses, and governments engage the world.

For questions about currently scheduled lectures or ideas for future topics or speakers, please call 801.832.3270.

 2020 - 2021 World Affairs Lecture Series

 Due to COVID-19, all in-person lectures and events are postponed until further notice.
However, please join us for our virtual lectures.  All virtual and in-person lectures are free and open to the public, but space is limited.  Please make sure to reserve your space at the event.

Upcoming Lectures & Events


More Information Coming Soon! 


Thank you to our sponsors

UCCD gives its sincere gratitude to the generous sponsors and hosts of the Ambassador John Price & Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series:

 Price family foundation WestminsterZAP_Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacySLC

Past Lectures


2020-2021 Lecture Series

Scott Worden_Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacyScott Worden - Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs at United States Institute of Peace

Pursuing Sustainable & Inclusive Peace in Afghanistan 

Afghanistan, a country at the center of American foreign policy discussions for decades, is at a pivotal moment. As the first direct, official talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban commence,  creating sustainable and inclusive peace requires the careful blend of Afghanistan’s diverse political and ethnic group interests, along with the U.S. interests in Afghanistan and the region. Join UCCD as Scott Worden sheds light on the ingredients to success when pursuing a peace process in Afghanistan.


headshot saifee_Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacyMaryum Saifee - Foreign Service Officer, Women's Rights Activist, & FGM Survivor 

Female Genital Mutilation in America: How Storytelling Can Fuel Social Movements

FGM is often framed as a faraway practice happening in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Frustrated with how FGM is portrayed, Maryum decided to share her story as a survivor to help raise awareness and shift the public narrative. Join us for an informative lecture about FGM in the United States and how American survivors are using storytelling and social media to break the cycle of violence.  


Christine Dal Bello_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Christine Dal Bello - Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State & voice of the podcast Expedition National Parks  

Diplomacy in National Parks

In this presentation, Christine will speak to the NPS's mission to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. She highlights several NPS sites with connections to diplomacy, and provides information on ways to more effectively engage with NPS parks and other resources.  


2019-2020 Lecture Series

Emmanuel Jal_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy_World Affairs Lecture SeriesEmmanuel Jal - Actor, musician, former child soldier, & political activist for peace

Story of a War Child

Lecture hosted recognition of International Day of Peace. Recruited as a child soldier in war-torn Southern Sudan, Emmanuel Jal escaped his situation and unbelievable challenges to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador.  Join us in hearing Emmanuel Jal - an extremely resilient man - draw on his personal experiences and background to speak and perform with a strong message of reconciliation and peace.  This lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Check out Emmanuel Jal's book!  War Child: A Child Soldier's Story


Mark Reynolds Cropped_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy_World Affairs Lecture Series

Mark Reynolds - Executive Director of Citizens' Climate Lobby 

Carbon Pricing, Bipartisanship, & Democracy

Climate change has been one of the most contentious issues in D.C. for some time. Yet, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives, and carbon pricing bills were introduced in the House and Senate. Two of these bills are bipartisan. What is bringing both sides of the aisle together on the issue of climate change?  Join us and find out!


Joe Cirincione_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy_World Affairs Lecture Series

Joe Cirincione - Executive Director of Ploughshares Fund & Host of "Press The Button" podcast

Policy & Politics of Nuclear Threats

The Cold War is over but the weapons remain.  In fact, some say that nuclear threats are greater now than during those dark days. Join leading expert Joseph Cirincione, who has worked on nuclear policy in Washington DC for more than 35 years, as he details the crises with Iran and North Korea, the dangers of the nuclear arsenals held by nine nations today, and prospects for new policies that could decrease these nuclear risks.

Check out Joe Cirincione's books! Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late & Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons


Patricia Kim_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Patricia Kim, Senior Policy Analyst - China Program, U.S. Institute of Peace

Managing U.S.-China Strategic Competition in the 21st Century 

According to President Xi Jinping, China has entered a new era, transforming into a leading global power, and predications of changes over the next 30 years are many. Curious about China’s Grand Strategy? Listen to Patricia Kim (Senior Policy Analyst with the China Program at the U.S. Institue of Peace) as she discusses this grand strategy and delves into China’s approach to foreign policy and how the United States should manage strategic competition with China going forward. 


young women activisits_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Panel discussion presented by Jamie Margolin, Zero Hour; Saida Dahir, Poet; Karina Popovich, Entrepreneur

Young Women Leading Change: Three Activists Forging a New Vision

People say the youth are the future, but the three young women in this lecture are already the leaders of today. Recognizing that they cannot afford to be apathetic, these everyday citizens are standing up and speaking out to create a better world. From climate change and entrepreneurship to art and poetry, learn how our speakers raise awareness of important social justice issues and speak up for the future they want to see.

Thank you to our generous event sponsor:

Betterdays2020_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

2018-2019 Lecture Series

Neftalie Williams__World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Neftalie Williams - Professor, Researcher, & Skateboard Diplomat

Skateboard Diplomacy: What You Can Do For Your Country 

Mr. Neftalie Williams discussed how his love of skateboarding culture manifested into a call to action to develop the concept of ‘skateboard diplomacy’ - a way to engage skateboarding, academia, and cultural institutions globally. Williams guides others to develop their own unique vision and reframe their passions to help create positive dialogues and communication between global publics.  Williams’ message is a reminder that everyday actions of individuals can exemplify the spirit of public diplomacy and spark dialogue between communities at home and abroad in a way that supports the best of American ideals.

Thank you to our event sponsor Office of Global Engagement at Utah Valley University


Harroon K Ullah_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Dr. Haroon Ullah - Chief Strategy Officer at Broadcasting Board of Governors

Stopping the Next World War

How are non-state actors like ISIS and state-sponsored rogue regimes using social media and digital outreach to attack our society and push would-be extremists to the edge? Is there a solution to detect this kind of content and kill it before it kills us? Social media has dominated the discourse of recent events, from Russia to Iran and the Middle East; yet the roles of social media in these events and the use of the dark web, hacking, and digital attacks are still largely misunderstood. Identifying key trends, Dr. Haroon Ullah posits what a proper understanding of social media can teach us about regional and international politics and diplomacy.


Valerie Hudson_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Dr. Valerie Hudson - Professor & George W.H. Bush Chair at Texas A&M

Sex, Governance, & National Security

Dr. Valerie Hudson makes the argument that national security, stability, and prosperity exists in how political and social communities value women's voices as they co-exist with men. Dr. Hudson will present her work linking the security of women to the security of states and discussing its implications for the future. 



Franklin Keel_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Mr. Franklin Keel, former Regional Director at the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Walking the Tightrope: Contemporary Diplomacy in American Indian Country

Told from the point of view of a Federal Senior Executive who stands in both worlds, Mr. Franklin Keel speaks to his personal career experience administering the unique set of U.S. laws applying to the most diverse ethnic group in this country - American Indians - with cultural and historical sensitivity in today's America.


Gina Abercrombie Winstanley_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Unexpected Warriors: African American Diplomatic and Military Contributions on the World Stage

The history of African American contributions to America’s foreign policy and freedom have been unexpected, non-traditional, and often overlooked. Learn about some of the diplomacy and combat pioneers who fully embraced what it means to be an American and gladly fought for our stated values and ideals. Learn of their perseverance and sacrifice through the eyes of one amongst them - a diplomat with three siblings who served in the U.S. military. Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley will explore the continuum from the first black consuls appointed after the Civil War to the first African American female ambassador to her personal experience of leading a diplomatic mission and surviving a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia.

Oscar Schofield_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Dr. Oscar Schofield, Distinguished Professor & Department Chair, Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University

Why Earth Needs an International Global Ocean Observing System

The ocean impacts Earth’s climate and weather, provides critical food and energy resources, plays an enormous role in the global economy, and directly affects the well-being of coastal communities.  Despite the critical role oceans play, only recent technological breakthroughs have allowed people to maintain a sustained presence on the sea and thoroughly understand its wide range of societal benefits. Dr. Oscar Schofield will review these new discoveries and provide examples of how they directly benefit society while creating new diplomatic challenges and opportunities. Schofield will also review plans and strategies for developing a global observing system ranging from deep oceans to melting polar regions to coastal waters.


Dalia Mogahed_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Ms. Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Muslims for American Progress: An Evidence-Based Portrait of American Muslims

It is commonly said that we fear what we do not understand. Living up to our American ideals requires us to understand our neighbors, our colleagues, and our friends despite our diverse backgrounds. Yet in recent years, Muslims in America have rarely been portrayed as nuanced and complex human beings, and the reality is most Americans say they do not know a Muslim personally. In an effort to correct this, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding launched the Muslims for American Progress (MAP) project. MAP pairs human stories with hard facts and quantifies the contributions of Muslims in the state of Michigan in eight areas. Ms. Dalia Mogahed, ISPU’s Director of Research, will present the findings from this project. 

Thank you to our event sponsor Utah Muslim Civic League. 

Jody Olsen Peace Corps_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Dr. Jody Olsen - 20th Director of Peace Corps 

Peace Corps: Making a Difference Through People to People Diplomacy 

Since the founding of Peace Corps over 58 years ago, more than 235,000 Volunteers have served in over 141 host countries across the globe. The three goals that have always defined Peace Corps remain at the heart of our work today: our commitment to sending Americans abroad to tackle pressing challenges; promoting a better understanding of the United States in the communities served by our Volunteers; and helping Americans better understand those who live beyond our shores in this increasingly interconnected world.

Join Dr. Jody Olsen as she discusses how the Peace Corps is unique among service organizations because our Volunteers live and work at the community level for two years, learning the language, culture, and related development technical skills. Through these cultural exchanges and the Peace Corps second and third goals, Volunteers serve as cultural ambassadors – for many communities the only American ‘ambassadors’ they will ever meet. Through these cultural exchanges Volunteers exchanges ideas, vision, and values with the citizens of their host countries.

2017-2018 Lecture Series

Shihana Alazzaz_World Affairs Lecture Series

Ms. Shihana Alazzaz - Lawyer

A Saudi Woman in the Corner Office 

Ms. Shihana Alazzaz will share her insight to fearlessness - an attribute that Ms. Alazzaz believes led to her success. From arguing for her own inheritance rights in court at the age of 16 to leaving her home country of Saudi Arabia, in order to pursue her degree in law in the UK, her success has never come easily. She returned home to Riyadh and became the only woman at an elite law firm. Since then, she has worked her way up to serving as the Head of Transactions at the Public Investment Fund in Riyadh. As part of the first wave of women practicing law in her country, Ms. Alazzaz has taken it upon herself to nurture young talent, particularly young women, across the region. She works with the Tomouh, an organization dedicated to creating a community of young professionals in the Gulf, and has created an internship program to mentor young female law students.  As part of these efforts, she regularly shares her inspirational story with young professionals in the region, and now she is bringing that story to Utah where she will share how she has found success in the face of such long odds.

Thank you to our event sponsors the Middle East Institute and King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture


Andrew Price Smith_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council For Citizen DiplomacyDr. Andrew Price-Smith - Department Chair at Colorado College 

Epidemics as a Threat to International Security: Lessons from the Ebola Epidemic

Dr. Andrew Price-Smith argues that infectious disease has long been recognized by nations as a substantive threat to economic and political stability, and thus to national security. He will speak to the earliest recognition of the threat by the Italian city-states and will take us through history from the Black Death to the Spanish Influenza, to the Ebola Epidemic of 2014-15 that was declared a threat to international peace and security by the UN Security Council.  As such he argues that we are truly looking at the re-securitization of health in the modern era. Price-Smith draws upon his book Contagion and Chaos (MIT Press, 2009) which won the Choice Award for Academic Volume of the Year.  Dr. Price-Smith is currently the Department Chair at Colorado College. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1999, received his M.A. from the University of Western Ontario, and a B.A. (Honors) from Queen's University.  Dr. Price-Smith testified on climate change, disease, and international security before the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee and acted as an advisor to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense. He has also served as advisor to the United States Institute of Peace, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and for the private sector. Click here for Dr. Price-Smith’s complete bio and accomplishments. 

Matthew LaPlante_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Mr. Matthew LaPlante - Professor, reporter, & author

Roll Over Hemingway: Global Travelers Can Save Foreign Correspondency

Mr. Matthew LaPlante will examine the notion that after a decade of severe cuts in international news reporting by major news organizations, the time is right for global travelers to take the helm of foreign correspondency, as he has done so himself.  When Mr. LaPlante left his job as a full-time newspaper journalist, he worried his most important work was behind him. However, he will discuss that from an exposé on ritual tribal infanticide in Ethiopia, to a feature exploring the legacy of genocide in Cambodia, to a series of reports on gang violence in El Salvador, the past few years have been his most successful as a reporter, even though he spends far less of his time doing journalism.  His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Daily News,, and Christianity Today, among other publications. He was a staff reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune from 2004 to 2011 when he left to join the faculty at Utah State University where he teaches news writing, crisis reporting, and feature writing.  He is the recipient of the Kavli Award, one of the nation’s top honors for science journalism, as well as the Ancil Payne Award, one of the top honors for ethics in journalism.


Nicole Tung_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council For Citizen Diplomacy

Ms. Nicole Tung - Photojournalist

Photojournalism: Ethics, Imagery, & Understanding Our World 

Ms. Nicole Tung will address how professional photojournalists continue to tell stories from around the world of human rights issues and the news whilst upholding journalistic ethics and finding one’s own stylistic approach in creating impactful imagery. She will also discuss why photojournalism is still important and vital to a deeper understanding of our world. Ms. Tung is an American citizen born and raised in Hong Kong. She graduated from New York University in 2009 after studying journalism and history and free-lances for many international publications and NGOs, primarily covering the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. After covering the conflicts in Libya and Syria extensively, focusing on the plight of civilians, she spent 2014 documenting the lives of Native American war veterans in the U.S., as well as former child soldiers in the D.R. Congo, and the protests in Hong Kong. She has received multiple awards for her work and has her images included in various exhibitions, including a current show at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. Ms. Tung was awarded the 2016 IWMF Awards for Women’s Stories to cover violence against women in Turkey and received an honorable mention in the 2017 IWMF Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. She is based in Istanbul.

SimpleSeal_Salt Lake City_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Thank you to the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office Arts, Culture, & Events Fund for its generous support of this lecture. 


Colette Rausch_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council For Citizen DiplomacyColette Rausch - Associate Vice President, Global Practices and Innovation, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies & Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies

Utilizing her recently published book, Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies as a reference, Ms. Colette Rausch will explore how serious crimes – such as violent extremism, political violence, organized crime, and corruption – fuel violent conflict and thwart peace-building efforts. She will discuss how fragile states with weak institutions and governance are unable to stem the tide these threats pose to peace with dangerous consequences all too evident across the globe.  Ms. Rausch will answer questions including what can be done to address violent extremism and strengthen the rule of law, and how individuals can serve as peace builders in their communities.  Ms. Rausch is an associate vice president, Global Practice and Innovation, at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She leads the development of new approaches, research, learning, and tools to be used to address violent extremism, strengthen inclusive societies, and promote justice, security, and rule of law.  She has directed or participated in missions and projects in more than two dozen countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, and Yemen.

L3 Communications_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Thank you to L3 Communication Systems-West for its generous support of this lecture. 

Mvemba Dizolele_World Affairs Lecture Series_Utah Council For Citizen DiplomacyMvemba Phezo Dizolele - Writer, foreign policy analyst, and independent journalist

Natural Resources: A boon or curse for the DR Congo?

Mr. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele will examine the causes and reasons that sustain the gap between natural resources and poverty in one of the world’s richest countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The D.R. Congo holds some the world’s largest deposits of copper, diamond, cobalt, manganese, coltan, tungsten, tin and uranium, is home to the Congo River - the world’s second most powerful river after the Amazon, and continues to garner international attention because of its vast rainforest.  He will discuss that despite these rich, natural resources and potential, the D.R. Congo is known as a geological scandal and is ranked among the poorest countries as it has been plagued by failed leadership, bad governance, and conflict for the past two decades. Mr. Dizolele is a writer, foreign policy analyst, and independent journalist, in addition to being a professorial lecturer in African Studies at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a senior associate in the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of the DRC Affinity Group.  He has testified before several subcommittees of the two chambers of the United States Congress and the United Nations Security Council.

Thank you to Engage Now Africa and Junior League of Salt Lake City for their support of this lecture.


2016-2017 Lecture Series

Climate Change and Low Lying Island Nations: Relocation, Foreign Aid, and International Opportunity presented by Ms. Brook Meakins

Who Controls Your Digital Identity? How Europe Wants to Become a Global Watchdog in the Internet Age presented by Mr. Mark Scott 

How Sport Brings the World Together -- a Vital Tool for Global Development presented by Ms. Summer Sanders

Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World presented by Dr. Kevin Bales

FOLLOW UP: Watch this lecture

Kevin Bales Lecture
Lecture Q&A
Interview with Kevin Bales
Interview with Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General

 Developing Leaders to Succeed on an International Stage presented by General David Perkins

International Cooperation and the Future of Human Space Exploration presented by Kathy Laurini