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The SFS Asian Studies Program, with generous support from the Office of Global Engagement, the Master of Science in Foreign Service program, and the Center for Australian, New Zealand & Pacific Studies, hosted the Honorable Kevin Rudd. Mr. Rudd, Australia's 26th Prime Minister, visited Georgetown University on 2 October 2014 for private breakfast with faculty and students. Mr. Rudd discussed the rise of China and alternative futures for U.S.-China relations, and the event was moderated by Dr. Michael Green, Associate Professor of International Affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.  

Mr. Rudd served as Australia's Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, then as Foreign Minister from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, he returned to the Prime Ministership. As Prime Minister, Mr. Rudd led Australia's response during the Global Financial Crisis and played an important role in the creation of the G20. As Foreign Minister, he was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include both the United States and Russia in 2010. Today, Mr. Rudd remains engaged in various international challenges, including the rise of China, climate change, and sustainable development. Mr. Rudd received his bachelor's degree in Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese.

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On 4 October 2014, high-ranking North Korean officials paid an unprecedented surprise visit to Incheon, South Korea. Their officially stated purpose was to participate in the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Asian Games, but both South Korean and international media have perceived this event as a possible indicator of instability in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un has not made any public appearance in more than a month, and the country's de facto no.2 and no.3 leaders made a surprise visit to South Korea. Rumors say there was a coup in Pyongyang that forced Kim out of power. What is going on inside North Korea?

Listen to our short interview with Dr. Victor Cha, D.S. Song-KF Professor of International Affairs & Government and Director of Asian Studies, to learn more about recent developments in North Korea.

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John Updike, a titan of American literature who passed away in 2009 is the subject of Adam Begley's most recent book, Updike. Begley's most recent book, released this April by HarperCollins, has earned rave reviews from its conclusions and methodical, comprehensive approach to unearthing  the links between Updike's own life and his novels.  

Adam had an exposure to the literary world from his childhood. After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Begley went on to pursue a Ph.D from 
Stanford in American literature, which he received in 1989. In 2010 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2011 was the recipient of the Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellowship. Mr. Begley is also the author of Literary Agents: A Writer’s Guide, and Certitude: A Profusely Illustrated Guide to Blockheads and Bullheads, Past and Present. From 1996-2009, he worked as the books editor for the New York Observer. His numerous book reviews have appeared in several prominent publications, including the New York Times and The Guardian

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September 15, 2014: This Anti-Defamation League and Program for Jewish Civilization event looks at the current incidents of anti-semitism that have occurred in Europe. Experts will focus on specific countries including France, Hungary, and England. 


Sarah Fainberg is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University and a Visiting Professor of Government at Tel Aviv University’s Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy. Her current research focuses on Israel’s interests in and relationship with the Eurasian states (former Soviet countries) and Israel’s relations with the American and French diasporas. A native of France, Dr. Fainberg received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Sciences Po-Paris (2008) and is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1998). She previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (2009-2012). She also taught at Columbia University (2005-2007) and St. Petersburg's State University in Russia (2002-2003). In addition, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University (2006-2007). She has given lectures and public talks at Moscow State University, Columbia University, Sciences Po-CERI (Paris), the University of Ottawa, Georgetown University, the Hebrew University and the IDC, Herzliya. She is the author of two books:Les Discriminés. L’antisémitisme soviétique après Staline (Paris: Fayard, 2014in English: Dissecting State Discrimination: The Soviet-Jewish Experience After Stalin), and (with Jacques Berlinerblau and Aurora Nou) Secularism on the Edge: Church-State Relations in the US, France, and Israel (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Dr. Fainberg is bilingual in French and Russian, and fluent in English and Hebrew.

Stacy Bernard Davis is currently working for the State Department Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism. Previously she worked for the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. She has a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Dieter Dettke is an expert on German foreign and economic policy, European integration, European security issues and translatlantic relations. He has studied at the Universities of Bonn, Berlin and Strasbourg, and was a Fullbright Scholar at the University of Washington. Dr. Dettke has also served as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and Assignments at the Bundestag and German Foreign Office.

Andrew Srulevitch is the Director of European Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League.

Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust

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September 15, 2014: This Anti-Defamation League and Program for Jewish Civilization event looks at the current incidents of anti-semitism that have occurred in Europe. Experts will focus on specific countries including France, Hungary, and England. 


Sarah Fainberg is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University and a Visiting Professor of Government at Tel Aviv University’s Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy. Her current research focuses on Israel’s interests in and relationship with the Eurasian states (former Soviet countries) and Israel’s relations with the American and French diasporas. A native of France, Dr. Fainberg received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Sciences Po-Paris (2008) and is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1998). She previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (2009-2012). She also taught at Columbia University (2005-2007) and St. Petersburg's State University in Russia (2002-2003). In addition, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University (2006-2007). She has given lectures and public talks at Moscow State University, Columbia University, Sciences Po-CERI (Paris), the University of Ottawa, Georgetown University, the Hebrew University and the IDC, Herzliya. She is the author of two books:Les Discriminés. L’antisémitisme soviétique après Staline (Paris: Fayard, 2014in English: Dissecting State Discrimination: The Soviet-Jewish Experience After Stalin), and (with Jacques Berlinerblau and Aurora Nou) Secularism on the Edge: Church-State Relations in the US, France, and Israel (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Dr. Fainberg is bilingual in French and Russian, and fluent in English and Hebrew.

Stacy Bernard Davis is currently working for the State Department Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism. Previously she worked for the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. She has a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Dieter Dettke is an expert on German foreign and economic policy, European integration, European security issues and translatlantic relations. He has studied at the Universities of Bonn, Berlin and Strasbourg, and was a Fullbright Scholar at the University of Washington. Dr. Dettke has also served as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and Assignments at the Bundestag and German Foreign Office.

Andrew Srulevitch is the Director of European Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League.

Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust

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September 17, 2014: This lecture examines the economic dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Assaf Patir is an assistant professor at the Department of Economics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He holds a PhD in economics from Northwestern University (2013) and a PhD in physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science (2007). Patir's research focus is macroeconomics and banking, and he has also written on Israeli-Palestinian trade and labor flows as part of the Aix Group (www.aixgroup.org).

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Irfan Nooruddin recently joined the Georgetown University community as Associate Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Asian Studies Program. Previously, he served as Associate Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University and Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. 

Professor Nooruddin specializes in South Asian politics and political economy. In his latest book, Coalition Politics and Economic Development: Credibility and the Strength of Weak Governments (Cambridge University Press, 2011), he advances a theory that institutionalized political gridlock--such as the existence of multiple factions--is actually good for national economic growth because it pushes the government to pursue more consensus-based policies and therefore stabilizes investor expectations. Through this compelling work, Professor Nooruddin challenges the conventional wisdom that contending parties and interest groups hinder economic reform in developing countries. In addition to political economy, Professor Nooruddin is interested in exploring elections and other democratic exercises in India.

At Georgetown, Professor Nooruddin serves on the Advisory Board of the Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs and helps bring distinguished guests to campus to speak about South Asian affairs. Professor Nooruddin received his B.A. in Economics and International Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Michigan.

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Ambassador Dennis Ross is a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and is the William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Elliott Abrams is an Adjunct for the Program for Jewish Civilization and is Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ambassador Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and former Dean of the SFS, will conduct the interview.

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Recorded as a part of the Jan Karski Institute for Holocaust Education  

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Recorded as a part of the Jan Karski Institute for Holocaust Education on July 19, 2014.

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