Monday·April 16, 2018·1:30pm - 3:30pm
Halperin Building · Community Room


"Great Decisions" is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program involves reading articles, watching videos, and meeting with a group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. The program is facilitated by Joan Katen, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Peace and Justice, with special guest speakers.

Participants contribute to the 2018 FPA National Opinion Ballot which can be submitted online ( or in person. You do not need a briefing book to participate. Video and articles for discussion can be found online at Reference copy of a briefing booklet available at Harrison Library.

The Great Decision series is free and open to the public. However, due to popularity, each session is on a first come first served basis. 

2018 Schedule: 

January 22 | 1:30-3:30 PM | TOPIC: The Waning of Pax Americana?  |  SPEAKER - Gerton van den Akker
February 12 | 1:30-3:30 PM  | TOPIC: Turkey: A Partner in Crisis  | SPEAKER - David Phillips
March 19 | 1:30-3:30 PM | TOPIC: China and America: the New Political Equation  | SPEAKER - Robert Daly
April 16 | 1:30-3:30 PM  | TOPIC: Russia’s Foreign Policy  | SPEAKER - Daniel Hoffman
May 7 | 1:30-3:30 PM | TOPIC: U.S. Global Engagement And The Military | SPEAKER - Peter A. (Duke) DeLuca


Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is projecting an autocratic model of governance abroad and working to undermine the influence of liberal democracies, namely along Russia’s historical borderlands. Russia caused an international uproar in 2016 when it interfered in the U.S. presidential contest. But Putin’s foreign policy toolkit includes other instruments, from alliances with autocrats to proxy wars with the U.S. in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. How does Putin conceive of national interests, and why do Russian citizens support him? How should the United States respond to Putin’s foreign policy ambitions?

The guest speaker - Daniel Hoffman.

Daniel Hoffman is a former Intelligence Officer with 30 years of distinguished government service. He served tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in both the Middle East and South Asia. He has broad substantive expertise on geopolitical and transnational issues including the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, counterterrorism, cyber, and counterintelligence.