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Distinguished Speakers Series

BOLLI's Virtual Distinguished Speakers Series

All virtual lunchtime presentations take place from 1:00-2:00pm ET via Zoom and are open to all BOLLI members. There is no need to RSVP. A link will be sent out to members the morning of the talk.


Identity and Dignity: Why Nationalism thrives in a Globalized World 

Chandler Rosenberger

Thursday, September 15

Chandler Rosenberger

Associate Professor of Sociology and International and Global Studies at Brandeis University

Chandler Rosenberger is a historical sociologist specializing in the cultural foundations of politics. Rosenberger studied history and philosophy at Dartmouth College and philosophy of religion at the University of Oxford. As a journalist, from 1992 to 1994, he covered the collapse of Czechoslovakia and the war in Yugoslavia. He has written for Critical Review, Human Rights Watch, World Policy Journal, and The Wall Street Journal. At Brandeis, he is Associate Professor of International and Global Studies.


Going Big: Joe Biden's "New" New Deal 

Robert Kuttner

Friday, October 14


Co-founder and Co-editor of The American Prospect, Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School. His latest book is Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy.  



The Divider-in-Chief: Inside Donald Trump's White House

Susan Glasser

Friday, October 21


Staff Writer at The New Yorker

Susan B. Glasser is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Washington. Glasser has served as the top editor of several Washington publications; most recently, she founded the award-winning Politico Magazine and went on to become the editor of Politico throughout the 2016 election cycle. She previously served as the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, which won three National Magazine Awards, among other honors, during her tenure.


What should America's Foreign Policy be towards Ukraine?

 American/Ukranian flagA two-part series:

 Friday, November 4 **Note the date change from October 21**

 Friday, November 18 



Steven Simon

The United States and Ukraine:  What’s at Stake in the War

Friday, November 4 **Note the date change from October 21**

Steven Simon

Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for Global Studies



Steven Simon is a Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and serves as the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow in International Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the National Security Council senior director for counterterrorism in the Clinton White House and for the Middle East and North Africa in the Obama White House and has held senior positions at the United States Department of State. Outside of government, he has been deputy director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, and managed security-related projects at the RAND Corporation. He served as Hasib Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a scholar he has held positions at Princeton, Dartmouth, Colby and Amherst and fellowships at Brown, Oxford and the American Academy in Berlin.

Carol Saivetz

War in Ukraine: Putin’s (Mis)calculations and the West’s Response

Friday, November 18

Carol Saivetz

Senior Advisor at the MIT Security Studies Program

Research Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute



Carol R. Saivetz is a Senior Advisor in the MIT Security Studies Program. She is also a Research Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. She holds an M.I.A., M.Phil., and a PhD from Columbia University in Political Science and a certificate from what is now the Harriman Institute at Columbia. Between 1995-2005 she was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and between 1992-2006 she was a Lecturer in Government at Harvard. She is currently teaching Russian Foreign Policy in the Political Science Department at MIT. She is the author of many books and articles on Soviet and now Russian foreign policy issues, and current United States/Russian relations.


Joe Biden's Green New Deal: America's Opportunity to Compete with China and Tackle Climate Change

Scott McKnight

Monday, December 5


Postdoctoral Fellow, Innovation Policy Lab, University of Toronto

Scott McKnight received a PhD in political science from the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the comparative political economy of innovation, energy and China. After completing his undergraduate degree in public policy at Carleton University in Ottawa and working for the Governor General of Canada, he completed a Master’s degree in International Relations (in Chinese) at Renmin University in Beijing.

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