World Affairs Council Great Decisions Lecture Series at UNC Asheville to Include Talks on World Hot Spots and Nuclear Security


The spring Great Decisions 2017 lecture series from the World Affairs Council will feature presentations at UNC Asheville on nuclear security, petroleum and foreign policy, trade and politics, and many world hot spots. This national conversation, sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, takes place weekly on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., beginning Feb. 7, in UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, home of OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Center.

  • Feb. 7 – “Latin America’s Political Pendulum,” with Maria Moreno, a native of Venezuela and associate professor of French at Mars Hill University. Moreno will discuss the fluctuating relationships between the U.S. and Latin American countries, and the opportunities now afforded the US for shifts in policy toward Cuba, Columbia, and Venezuela. 
  • Feb. 14 – “Conflict in the South China Sea,” with Jim Lenburg, professor of history emeritus at Mars Hill University. Lenburg has taught several courses on China and its centrality to Asian and world history. He has led several study groups to China, including one that coincided with the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989. Lenburg will present a case study in China’s attempt to achieve some degree of regional hegemony through its maritime claims of sovereignty and right-of-way in the South China Sea.


  • Feb. 21 – “Nuclear Security,” with Major General Richard Devereaux, former U.S. Air Force director of operational planning, policy and strategy. Devereaux now serves as an independent defense industry consultant and senior advisor to the Western N.C. Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Devereaux will discuss the “the second nuclear age,” a multi-polar competition among existing and emerging nuclear nations. 


  • Feb. 28 – “Saudi Arabia in Transition,” with Larry Wilson, former vice chancellor and provost at UNC Asheville and former president of Marietta College in Ohio. Wilson played a major role in designing and developing a new university for women in the United Arab Emerites. Wilson will discuss the changing relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.


  • March 7 – “U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum,” with Jennifer Schiff, associate professor of political science and director of international studies at Western Carolina University. Schiff will discuss America’s new position as an energy superpower through fracking and increased U.S. energy production, and how this will affect relationships and negotiations with other nations.


  • March 14 – “Trade and Politics,” with Julie Snyder, a former official at the Department of Commerce. Snyder has had wide experience in State Department negotiations and monitorings. Snyder will explore the possibility of changes to America’s trade policies, and possible effects to its current position in the global market, and its leadership in shaping global trade.

The lectures are presented in cooperation with the WNC chapter of the World Affairs Council, OLLI at UNC Asheville, and the university's Department of Political Science.

Admission to World Affairs Council presentations at UNC Asheville is $10 for the public; free to members of the World Affairs Council and UNC Asheville students. The doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit or call 828.251.6140.