Events 2014-2015


August 8

Annual Dinner Invitation

 “U.S. Role in the World: Challenges of the 21st Century”

 Senator George Mitchell

Born in Waterville, Maine; attended the public schools; B.A. Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; J.D. Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

 The Mid-Maine Global forum is pleased to present Waterville’s esteemed native son George Mitchell as our special guest speaker at our annual summer dinner program.  After earning his law degree Mitchell remained in Washington, working as an attorney for the Department of Justice’s antitrust division (1960–62) and as an assistant to U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie (1962–65). Mitchell left Washington to work for a law firm in Maine, but he maintained his political ties. He chaired the Maine Democratic Party (1966–68).  Senator Mitchell was US Senator from Maine from 1980 to 1995 and Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995.  He was instrumental in peace negotiations in Northern Ireland in the 90s and, more recently (2009-11) was special envoy to the Middle East.  His latest book is The Negotiator: A Memoir.  Copies of The Negotiator will be available for purchase and signing.

 Please join us as Senator Mitchell shares his insights on the role of the U.S. in the world and the challenges of the 21st century.  We look forward to sharing an enjoyable and enriching evening with you!

 Date:  Thursday, August 6th, 2015

June 3

Lady Borton

“Legacies of the War, the Lingering Human Cost”

    March marked Lady Borton’s fiftieth year working with Việt Nam, her forty-fifth since first working for the American Friends Service Committee in South Việt Nam, and her fortieth since her time in North Việt Nam. For many years, Lady was the “dean” of the INGO community in Việt Nam.

As she says, “I’ve made more mistakes than any foreigner.”

Lady is the author of Sensing the Enemy: An American Among the Boat People of Vietnam (Dial/Doubleday, 1984), the only book written from inside the Boat People exodus, and of After Sorrow: An American Among the Vietnamese (Viking/Penguin, 1995), the only book written from inside Việt Nam as the country began its process of opening (Đời Mới, Renovation or Renewal). She brought the first HIV-AIDS materials from the West to Việt Nam through a special arrangement with Book-of-the-Month Club. Lady had researched residual wartime dioxin since the first request from Hà Nội in 1975, during the war. Some years later, on a restaurant napkin, she framed out the intervention for Agent Orange “hot spots” of residual wartime dioxin. Previously, she had been looking at 15% of the southern half of Việt Nam. Now, the intervention was simple—not a spread of color on a map but dots—a list, which could be prioritized.

For years, particularly before normalized relations between the United States and Việt Nam, Lady worked in people-to-people diplomacy. She framed the possibility of the Clinton visit in the president’s “lame-duck” period and, with a co-founder of Veterans for Peace, went around Hà Nội testing the idea with Vietnamese officials. Her American colleague, a former aide on Capitol Hill, had many friends in the Clinton administration. Once the Vietnamese were on board, he and Lady went to Washington and took the idea “around town.” They made a second trip close to President Clinton’s visit, taking with them language they had crafted and taken around Hà Nội for what the president could say to address the touchy issue: the legacy of war. The suggested language was “shared pain” without a list. (A list prioritizes. An attempt to prioritize pain creates anger and resistance.)

Lady’s attempt in 1995 to facilitate release of long-term residents of post-war re-education camps dead-ended because of the US side. The Vietnamese were on board, all the way to the top, the newly opened US embassy was on board, but the US government in Washington had shut down. The window-of-opportunity with a lame-duck period on the Vietnamese side passed while the US government remained closed.

Lady continues her people-to-people diplomacy efforts. Since 2006, she has also been working as a researcher and as translator of works by Hồ Chí Minh, Võ Nguyên Giáp, Nguyễn Thị Bình, Phạm Hồng Cư, and Lê Cao Đài. She was co-editor and a co-translator for the bi-lingual anthology of a thousand years of Vietnamese women’s poetry (2007), the first book co-published from the outset by a Vietnamese and a US press, a project she organized.

Lady is an American citizen. She lives in Hà Nội.

May 20

Yvonne Davis at Erskine Academy

Millennials in A Very Flat Future World”

Davis will share insights about her international business expertise and personal experience working around the global to inspire and give students the tools to adapt, embrace and successfully thrive globally for a meaningful future.

Yvonne Davis is an international relations expert specializing in politics and world affairs around the globe. She has worked in dozens of countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe studying and reporting on critical economic and socio-political issues.

Davis was a Presidential Appointee of George W. Bush, and serves as a guest lecturer and speaker for the U.S. Department of State and Universities worldwide.

Davis holds a M.S. in Leadership and Business Ethics from Duquesne University, and a M.A. in PoliYVONNE DAVIS PHOTO 1tical Science with an emphasis in International Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory from the University of Connecticut. She completed graduate leadership studies in Belgium, and completed “The Art and Practice of Leadership,” at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Executive Leadership Program at Cornell University.

   In October of 2013, Davis returned from a public diplomacy trip as a speaker for U.S. Embassy Tokyo; conducting 12-speaking engagements in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Osaka. Quoted by the U.S. Cultural Attaché, he said, “Your presentation inspired the Japanese, especially women, to be proactive and take challenges to become leaders in their local communities.” Davis was the last officially invited speaker to come to Japan in advance of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy taking her post as the first woman appointed by President Barack Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to a Japan.

   Davis works closely with high-level officials and key stakeholders to create a unique vision and market branding to develop strong leaders who affect sustainable results. It is her deep knowledge of public affairs, media, and messaging that enables her to design, launch, and administer far-reaching, social marketing campaigns that educate and influence thinking and behavior.

April 15     Eric Hooglund

“Civil War in Syria: Domestic, regional and international repercussions” – Syria’s “Arab spring” of March 2011 had transformed into a tragic sectarian civil conflict within six months, fracturing the ‘glue’ that for centuries had held together the mosaic of diverse Christian and Muslim communities that comprised Syria. Since 2012 thousands of militant foreign Islamist fighters—often called Jihadis and determined to rid Syria of what they consider to be an anti-Muslim regime, have overrun the country, thanks to tacit support they received from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.  Al-Qaeda in Syria was the most infamous of these groups during 2012 and 2013, but in 2014 a new group entered Syria from Iraq, proclaiming itself to be the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and later the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  The presentation will examine the role—both intentional and unintentional–of Jihadi intervention in fostering religious strife in Syria and assess the prospects for Syria’s multiple Christian and Muslim communities to return to confessional harmony.

Eric Hooglund, a Waterville native, is professor emeritus of Middle East Studies at Lund University in Sweden, an internationally recognized scholar of contemporary Iran, and editor of the journal Middle East Critique. During a 40-year academic career, he has taught about the culture, international relations, and politics of the Middle East at colleges in Asia, Europe and the United States, including Oxford University and both Bates and Bowdoin in Maine. He is the author or editor of 7 books and more than 100 scholarly articles. He currently resides in Belgrade Lakes.

March 5

Andrew Goodrich

Assistent Special Agent

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

The Soft Power of American Law Enforcement

         A conversation on American law enforcement as a diplomacy tool. Andrew
Goodridge will share personal observations and experiences regarding
international law enforcement and business community partnerships during
his five years living in the Middle East.

      Andrew Goodridge is a Maine native and resident employed as a federal criminal investigator for the past 22 years working domestically and internationally. He began his law enforcement career with the United States Marshals Service shortly after graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington. His career progressed over several agencies working primarily within the National Capital Region to international assignments and postings predominantly in the Middle East to include a two year assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). He lived five years in the Middle East with his wife and children. Returning to the United States in the summer of 2013 for a twelve month tour at the NCIS headquarters, Andrew is now assigned as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) for the NCIS Northeast Field Office in Newport, Rhode Island. Andrew holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Geography. Presently, Andrew is writing his Master’s thesis to complete his program in Intelligence Studies at American Military University (AMU).

February 17, 2015 

Birgit Schneider

12:00 Waterville Public Library

Global Image Warming:

Climate Visualization from a Visual Studies Perspective 

Dr. Birgit Schneider, University of Potsdam, Germany

Rising red curves, glowing red globes and red bars belong to the well-established graphic repertoire of climate research. Even though the graphs originate from science, climate pictures today should be called political images: In climate change discourse they not only have become an important vehicle to transport the risk-relevant findings of climate research to policy makers, stakeholders and the public; often they are used as instruments in the fight for convictions, decisions and actions. When popularized, the images can trigger strong repercussions of urgency, fear and concern; it’s the symbolic complexity of the color red in particular which serves as color for temperature, highlight, devastation and alarm at the same time. Therefore mythical narrations of the end of times return with new clothes: in the scientific dry and sober language of “future scenarios” and “pathways”. In my talk I will address some of the widespread icons of climate change expert graphs from a visual studies perspective. I will compare the scientific pictures to contemporary works of art that explicitly make use of scientific graphs and climate data to critically question concepts of knowledge production, perception and imagination in art and science.

Dr. Birgit Schneider studied art history and media studies, philosophy, and media art at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Goldsmiths College, London, and the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 1998 to 2003, she worked as a graphic designer. From 2000 to 2007, she was a research associate in the project Das Technische Bild (The Technical Image) at the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt University, where she wrote her dissertation on the history of punched-card weaving (Textiles Prozessieren. Eine Mediengeschichte der Lochkartenweberei, Berlin: diaphanes, 2007). In 2008 she worked as a content developer for an exhibition on the subject of sustainability and climate change for the media design company art + com, Berlin. Since 2008, she has been Senior Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation at the Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam, writing a visual history of climate since 1800. She paused her fellowship 2009, when was a substitute professor at the Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar and in 2014, when she was visiting fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich and senior fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy in Weimar.

 Her recent publications in English are the co-edited volumes: Image Politics of Climate Change. Visualizations, Imaginations, Documentations, edited with Thomas Nocke, Bielefeld: transcript / Columbia University Press, 2014 and The Technical Image—A History of Styles in Scientific Imagery, edited with Horst Bredekamp and Vera Dünkel, University of Chicago Press, 2015.

January 20

Professor Ken Rodman



     The International Criminal Court is the first permanent tribunal designed to hold individuals criminally accountable for the most serious war crimes and human rights abuses.  When it became operational in 2002, it was welcomed by the human rights community as a deterrent to mass atrocity through the globalization of law and opposed by the Bush administration as a threat to its freedom of action to use force abroad.  Thirteen years later, neither the hopes of activists nor the fears of the US government have been realized, as ICC investigations have been limited to Africa, some of which have triggered a backlash from the African Union.  Professor Rodman will explain how the ICC’s dependence on voluntary cooperation of states to enforce its decisions has limited its ability to promote justice, referencing recent events, such as the dismissal of the case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the suspension of the investigation in Darfur, and the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture. 

       Professor Ken Rodman is the William R. Cotter Distinguished Teaching Professor of Government at Colby College, where he has taught since 1989. Ken was the first Director of Colby’s interdisciplinary International (now Global) Studies Program and the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights. He is the author of two books – Sanctity versus Sovereignty: The United States and the Nationalization of Natural Resources in the Third World (Columbia University Press, 1988) and Sanctions Beyond Borders: Multinational Corporations and Economic Statecraft (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001). His current research on international criminal justice and conflict resolution has been published in Ethics & International Affairs, Human Rights Quarterly, the Leiden Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Criminal Justice, International Criminal Law Review, Human Rights Review and the International Encyclopedia of Ethics.

 He is the author of Sanctity versus Sovereignty: The United States and the Nationalization of Natural Resource Investments (1988) and Sanctions Beyond Borders: Multinational Corporations and U.S. Economic Statecraft (2001). His earlier work on economic sanctions has appeared in International Organization, Political Science Quarterly, and Ethics & International Affairs.

He is currently working on a project on the relationship between justice and negotiation strategies in international conflicts. He has spent the last year at the International Court of Criminal Justice in La Hague.


December 8

In conjunction with Waterville Rotary, Alfond Center

12 noon

Dr. Dransfield, Physicians for Social Responsibility will speak at the Rotary meeting in the Alfond Center.

Doug Dransfield,M.D. is a retired pediatrician. He was a member of the Pediatric Department at Maine Medical Center for 25 years and for the first 20 years was a neonatologist caring for infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. He is member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and is on the Board of Directors for the Maine Chapter.

October 28

Professor George Markowsky

The Leeke-Shaw Lecture at the Margaret Chase Smith Library

Skowhegan, Maine

Professor George Markowsky is at the  University of Maine  and the “Bangor Forum.”

Cyber Warfare: Past, Present and Future

      Cyber warfare can be thought of as the latest embodiment of military intelligence. The ubiquity of computing devices has blurred the distinction between kinetic and non-kinetic forms of warfare. This talk will survey the precursors of cyberwarfare, the current state of cyberwarfare and some scenarios for how it might develop in the future. We will discuss how cyberwarfare relates to cybercrime, terrorism, hacktivism, and citizen action. We will also name the most active parties in the cyberwar space and what their strategies are. Cyber warfare is a real phenomenon and is a major force in the political landscape. Cyber warfare has the capability to engage the individual citizen and we will discuss how people can avoid being collateral damage in the constant cyber warfare that is taking place on the Internet.

September 18

Jennifer Wilcox

Assistant Professor of Energy Resources Engineering

School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University

Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Storage for Climate Change Mitigation

 ABSTRACT: Carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere and its permanent storage involve a portfolio of techniques, some more intrusive and more speculative than others, aimed at reducing further global warming. The scale by which CO2 must be mitigated worldwide dwarfs the existing chemical industry, making utilization of COas a chemical feedstock a minor component of the portfolio of mitigation options. Carbon capture and storage is one strategy that could potentially mitigate gigatons of COemissions per year, provided geological storage of CO2 is feasible. The scale and energy requirements associated with CO2 separation processes will be presented. Strategies based upon adsorption and catalytic membrane separation processes in particular, will be of focus, as will reliable storage.

Jennifer Wilcox is an assistant professor of Energy Resources Engineering and head of the Clean Conversion Laboratory in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University.  She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Emmet Interdisciplinary Program for the Environment and Resources. She received an NSF Career Award in 2005 and the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award in 2009. Her research efforts include sorbent design and testing for carbon and trace metal capture from fossil fuels, adsorption studies of CO2 on coal and gas shales, and membrane design for N2 and Hseparations. Wilcox earned a BA in mathematics from Wellesley College and an MA in physical chemistry and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. She recently authored the first textbook on Carbon Capture. In addition, she has served on several study groups including the American Physical Society to the National Academy of Sciences to investigate CO2 mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Friday, August 8 Dinner program

Colby College: Professor Judith Shapiro

American University

     “As China Goes, So Goes the Planet.”

China’s huge environmental challenges are significant for us all. They affect not only the health and well-being of China but the very future of the planet. Noted China specialist and environmentalist Judith Shapiro will speak about China’s struggle to achieve sustainable development against a backdrop of acute rural poverty and soaring middle class consumption. Drawing on a lifetime of living and traveling in China, she will pay particular attention to the role of environmental NGOs and the challenges posed by the displacement of environmental harm to vulnerable populations, both within China and at the transnational level.

Dr. Judith Shapiro is on the faculty of the Global Environmental Politics program and directs the Dual Degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) with University for Peace in Costa Rica. She first visited China in 1977 and has been deeply involved with the country ever since. She is the author of China’s Environmental Challenges (Polity 2012), Mao’s War against Nature (Cambridge 2001) and the co-author of Son of the Revolution (Knopf 1983) and other books on China. Her website is She has a PhD in International Relations, American University; MA in Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley; MA in Comparative Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana; BA in Anthropology and East Asian studies, Princeton University.

Charles Data Alemi

“South Sudan: Struggle for Democracy in Ethnically Divided Country”

June 6, 11:4

Charles Data Alemi (or Charles Data for short) is a South Sudanese born in the then united Sudan. He was raised as a refugee in Uganda following the outbreak of the 21-year civil war in the southern part of the country, which finally became independent in July 2011.  After ten years of living in Uganda, Charles was offered a scholarship to attend high school at the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway.  He later enrolled at Colby College as a Shelby Davis UWC scholar. He completed a one-year master’s program in Costa Rica, in 2005, which coincided with the signing of the peace agreement that ended the conflict in his home country. Determined to revisit his native land, Charles returned to Sudan in 2005, where he saw his country recover from the ashes of Africa’s longest civil war, and witnessed the birth of his country through a referendum in 2011.

Over the nearly 8 years he spent in South Sudan, Charles held positions in three different organizations.  Mr. Data worked as Team Leader for South Sudan Micro-finance Development Facility, a government owned institution tasked with the mission of building the capacity of emerging retail micro-finance institutions in South Sudan.  Last year, Charles received a scholarship from the World Bank and is currently enrolled as a student at the Harvard Kennedy School pursuing a Masters in Public Administration in International Development, and he looks forward to returning to South Sudan at the end of his program.

March 19, 11:45

         The Waterville Area Kotlas Connection with  Kotlas, Russia.

      Now in its 23rd year, it is a good time to update the community on the sister city relationship between Kotlas, Russia and the Waterville area.  Toward that end the Global Forum will host a Powerpoint presentation by members of the Kotlas-Waterville Area Sister City Connection.  The presenters will be Carl Daiker and Phil Gonyar.  The program will review the beginnings of the sister city program, trace its development, and look at Kotlas today.

      Carl and Phil have been members of the Kotlas Connection Executive Committee for several years.  Both have visited Kotlas several times since 1991.  Their most recent visit was in May, 2013.  They have experienced the many changes that have occurred in Kotlas over the years.

      Also in attendance at the Global Forum will be a teacher of English in Kotlas, Anna Lobanova, and two high school students from Kotlas, Anna Mitianina, and Danil Osminin.  The three Kotlians will be in the Waterville area to participate in the Russian Sampler, a one-day program of things Russian held on the Colby campus for over 200 area high school and junior high school students.  The Russian Sampler is co-sponsored by the Colby Russian Department and the Kotlas Connection.  The teacher and students will be available to answer questions at the conclusion of the Powerpoint presentation.

                                   Safe Passages:

                       The Guatemala City Dump and School

                         Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville              March 10

A selection of short video pieces highlighting the work of Safe Passage/Camino Seguro, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working in Guatemala City to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families living in extreme poverty around the City’s garbage dump. Unrated. In Spanish with English subtitles. 60 Min. Carley Peats, who has volunteered in Guatemala and who attends Quinnipiac College, will be present to answer questions.

 See Safe Passages for more information

Hanley Denning founded Safe Passages after a visit to the Guatemala City Dump. Today the organization services approximately 550 children.

         Tuesday, March 11 1 pm        

Waterville High School

                          Volunteering at Safe Passages in Guatemala

Carley Peats, a student at Quinnipiac College, has volunteered at the Safe Passages school and she will share the experience. There will also be a representative from the Safe Passages main office in Yarmouth to help explain the program.

                                                                   Dr. Julie Fisher

      Building Democracy

 In conjunction with the Waterville Rotary

         International Prospects for Democracy and the Contribution of Democratization NGOs

       The world needs stable governments, accountable to their people; instead it is filled with dictatorships and failed states.  Democracy is clearly the solution, but the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have demonstrated that it can’t be exported, that it must be built from within, and that democratization is a long, hard slog.  In her new book, Julie Fisher shows how nongovernmental organizations in struggling democracies (South Africa and Argentina) and a dictatorship (Tajikistan) import democratic ideas and combine them with the recovery of local democratic traditions.

 Wednesday, January 22, 2014

                        Dr. Stephen Mulkey, President, Unity College

“Higher Education Reform in the Environmental Century”

Stephen Mulkey assumed the post of president at Unity College on July 1, 2011. Aspresident, Dr. Mulkey is a champion of sustainability science, which he sees as the defining framework for academic programming at Unity College.

In just under two years, he has set an agenda for the College that is bold and visionary. It is driven by ethical imperatives that he feels are non-negotiable. In November 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investment in fossil fuels. As the first college in the nation to do so, Unity provided a measure of leadership that is unrivaled.

Prior to setting Unity’s agenda for initiating the spark to encourage higher education to take a stand on the mitigation of global climate change through the first step of divesting from investment in fossil fuels, Mulkey organized the College’s academics with a forward thinking approach. He pivoted the curriculum to focus on the “what’s next” of environmentalism, sustainability science, and the trans-disciplinary (collaborative) approach to ecological problem solving.

Since his arrival accolades have followed, including multiple “green” architecture awards for the design (student/faculty and staff collaboration with award-winning green architecture firm GO Logic of Belfast, Maine) and building of Terra Haus, the first college residence hall in the United States built to the Passive House standard, today’s highest energy rating.

As a scholar of the interdisciplinary literature in climate change and sustainability, Mulkey is an active public interpreter of climate change science. As an expert climate change scientist with study spanning over three decades he has pursued research on the functional ecology of forests in Eastern Amazonia, tropical forest canopies in wet and dry forests of Central Panama, and tropical alpine rosette species in East Africa.Mulkey’s book,Tropical Forest Plant Ecophysiology, takesreaders out of the laboratory and into the humid tropical forests exploring the most recent advances and important insights into the behavior of tropical plants.

Mulkey is a tireless champion of Unity College’s science-based liberal arts curriculum, holding it aloft as a source of inspiration for students who strive to be leaders in sustainability science, imagining and enacting solutions to 21st century environmental issues. As a result Unity’s graduates will contribute to the renewal of civilization.

From 2008 through 2011, Mulkey was a faculty member at the University of Idaho and served as director of the program in environmental science. In this role, he led a grant proposal initiative obtaining National Science Foundation funding for the creation of a new professional science master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. In addition and with major funding from NASA, he directed a statewide project focused on climate change education.

From 1996 to 2008, he served as a tenured faculty member in the University of Florida’s Department of Botany and as a research associate with the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. He also served as director of research and outreach/extension for the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida, and as a science advisor to the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida.

Mulkey co-founded and directed the International Center for Tropical Ecology, a nationally ranked graduate training and conservation program during his tenure at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. He also worked for many years as a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution, Tropical Research Institute. Mulkey holds a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife, a master’s degree in ecology, and earned his doctorate’s degree in ecology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.