Archived Public Events

Highlights from our public event archives.

Since our inception in 2004, free public events have been a pillar of our mission to create a community of global citizens. Through these events, we explore critical issues through the insight, analysis, and experiences of our expert and practitioner guests.

Time for Action - Transitional Justice and Legacies of Racial Injustice in the United States

Monday, October 19, 2020

Join a panel of memory activists, justice advocates, and international experts to discuss the ways in which international transitional justice experiences can serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for efforts to address racial injustice in the United States. Panelists will discuss efforts they have undertaken or are currently undertaking at the local, regional, and national levels to advance justice, acknowledgment, memorialization, and repair for communities of color in the United States. Drawing on examples from other countries, panelists will also share reflections on how to increase the impact of processes to reckon with legacies of human rights violations in the United States.

Introduction: Jennifer Trahan, Clinical Professor, NYU-SPS Center for Global Affairs

Moderator: Anna Myriam Roccatello, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs, International Center for Transitional Justice

Building a National Movement for Reparations

  • Dr. Ron Daniels, Convener of the National African American Reparations Commission; President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.

Advancing Memorialization and Reparation at the Community and City Level:

  • Piper Anderson, Adjunct Faculty, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU, Founder of Create Forward, Project Lead, Rikers Island Public Memory Project.

Reckoning with a Violent Past at the State Level:

  • David Fakunle, Ph.D., Chair, Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission; CEO, DiscoverME/RecoverME: Enrichment Through the African Oral Tradition

Inspiration from Abroad:

  • Virginie Ladisch, Senior Expert, Truth Seeking and Civic Engagement, International Center for Transitional Justice

This event is co-sponsored by NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

Navigating a Post-Corona World World: A Conversation with Professor Muhammad Yunus

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The world faces unprecedented challenges, including coordinating an effective, inclusive global response to COVID-19. NYUSPS CGA Professor Christian Busch, author of The Serendipity Mindset, will interview Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Chair of the Yunus Centre, about effective ways to activate collective action for common good – and how to be part of shaping positive impact. The conversation will touch on questions such as COVID-19 recovery; how to navigate an uncertain world; how to create and scale social impact – and how to develop a meaningful career. 

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Offered in Collaboration with Yunus+You - The YY Foundation

Recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Professor Muhammad Yunus is internationally recognized for his work in poverty alleviation and the empowerment of poor women. Professor Yunus has successfully melded capitalism with social responsibility to create the Grameen Bank, a microcredit institution committed to providing small amounts of working capital to the poor for self-employment. From its origins as an action-research project in 1976, Grameen Bank has grown to provide collateral-free loans to 7.5 million clients in more than 82,072 villages in Bangladesh and 97% of whom are women.

Over the last two decades, Grameen Bank has loaned out over 6.5 billion dollars to the poorest of the poor, while maintaining a repayment rate consistently above 98%. The innovative approach to poverty alleviation pioneered by Professor Yunus in a small village in Bangladesh has inspired a global microcredit movement reaching out to millions of poor women from rural South Africa to inner city Chicago. His autobiography, “Banker to the Poor: Microlending and the Battle Against World Poverty,” has been translated in French, Italian, Spanish, English, Japanese, Portuguese, Dutch, Gujarati, Chinese, German, Turkish and Arabic.

Fireside Chat with Sophie Brochu, CEO of Hydro-Quebec

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Join CGA Academic Director Carolyn Kissane and Sophie Brochu, Hydro-Québec’s new CEO and the first woman to run the company in its 75-year history, for a fireside chat about her vision for the organization and the ways that North America’s largest renewable energy producer can partner with its neighbor and longstanding energy partner, New York, to move the region towards a decarbonized economy.

We tend to take hydropower for granted and forget that it is a low-carbon energy source - when in fact it is the country’s largest source of renewable energy. Its reservoirs also provide a valuable service with the ability to balance variable renewable energies such as wind and solar. Québec’s grid boasts more than 99% clean and renewable energy, with vast amounts of available hydropower and nearly 4,000 MW of installed wind energy.

With the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York State has given itself the most ambitious decarbonization targets in the country. Downstate New York is particularly challenged due to the imminent closure of the Indian Point nuclear power facility, lack of access to clean baseload power, and transmission constraints. As such, Downstate may be receiving up to 90% of its power from burning fossil fuels, resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions and local air quality issues. Recently, both New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and the State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo called for bringing Canadian hydropower into New York City in the near term to address these issues and to bolster the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introductory remarks: Catherine Loubier, Québec Delegate General in New York

Host: Carolyn Kissane, Academic Director and Clinical Professor, NYU-SPS Center for Global Affairs

Guest: Sophie Brochu, CEO, Hydro-Québec

The Future of US Foreign Policy

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

Looking ahead, in the midst of a crisis still unfolding, may seem premature, even irresponsible. Yet with a presidential election imminent, we believe it’s not too early to consider the implications of the pandemic and of our hesitant response to it, for American power and policy. With America already retrenching from global commitments deemed exorbitant and dangerous, will the experience with COVID 19 reinforce isolation and withdrawal, or restore our commitment to global leadership? If the former, can restraint as grand strategy in a world of recurring pandemics-not to mention other global challenges-be made to work? If the latter, has its incompetent performance during COVID 19 reduced the demand for American power to a faint echo from the past? With American domestic politics deeply polarized, will internal support for bold policy be available? Will global economic crisis produce opportunities for restored American leadership, and how might these opportunities be seized? Is there a meaningful form of leadership that embodies the undeniable reality of America’s relative decline in power and reputation?

Michael Oppenheimer
Clinical Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs

Gideon Rose
editor, Foreign Affairs
Anne-Marie Slaughter
, CEO, New America

The Little Court That Did - The Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Sierra Leone Special Court may not be as well-known as the Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, but it not only reached its key goals, it also had several major achievements. Investigating and prosecuting those bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities in Sierra Leone’s civil war – irrespective of affiliation – has created the credible accountability that broke the cycle of violence and resulted in almost two decades of peace in the country.  Its other achievements include the successful investigation, arrest, and prosecution of a Head of State; working in parallel with a Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and employing a new system that delivered all this with unprecedented cost-efficiency. The Sierra Leone Special Court really was THE LITTLE COURT THAT DID. Please join to hear discussion of the accomplishments and legacy of the Court as well as the recent book by the Court's Founding Chief Prosecutor, David M. Crane, Every Living Thing:  Facing Down Terrorists, Warlords, and Thugs in West Africa - A Story of Justice.

David M. Crane
, Founding Chief Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone; Author, Every Living Thing: Facing Down Terrorists, Warlords, and Thugs in West Africa - A Story of Justice
Binta Mansaray
, Registrar, Special Court for Sierra Leone and Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone
James C. Johnson
, Chief Prosecutor, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone

Andras Vamos-Goldman
, Founding Chair, Sierra Leone Special Court Management Committee; Adjunct Professor, NYU-SPS Center for Global Affairs

Jennifer Trahan
, Clinical Professor, NYU-SPS Center for Global Affairs

The Future of the European Union & The European Project

Co-sponsored with NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies

15 years ago, ten countries joined the European Union, making the bloc of 28 the second largest economy in the world and a co-pillar of the liberal international order and its collective security architecture. Today, the EU is contending with a multitude of political and economic challenges. Brexit, the rise of Eurosceptic, populist parties on the right and left, the lingering effects of the 2015 refugee crisis, rapid social and demographic changes, relations with Russia and China, the climate crisis, and a weakening transatlantic alliance have frayed political solidarities and demand a creative rethinking by the new EU leadership of the future shape and character of the bloc, including the possibility of a “multi-speed EU.” Headed for the first time by a woman, President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, what will the EU look like 15 years hence?

This program was held on Thursday, November 14, 2019.


Sylvia Maier, Clinical Associate Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs


Stephen Gross, Director, NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS); Associate Professor of History and European Studies, NYU Department of History and CEMS

Christiane Lemke, Professor of Political Science, University of Hannover, Germany

Christian Martin, Max Weber Chair in German and European Studies, NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies

Ambassador Gustavo Martin Prada, Senior Adviser on Agenda 2030, European Union Delegation to the United Nations

Futures of Counterterrorism

What should be the global response to emerging terrorist threats? Five years ago CGA began a research and consulting project for the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). Each semester, five to six students have examined counter terrorism issues of current and emerging priority to the UN under the direction of CGA Clinical Professor Michael Oppenheimer. The nature of these projects defines the evolution of the terrorist threat and of global responses: terrorist use of social media and the requirements of effective counter narratives; the problem of ISIS fighters and their families returning from zones of conflict, and best practices in managing this challenge; the uses and abuses of emerging technology in monitoring terrorist threats; the role of public-private partnerships in defining and responding to emerging threats. Project results have been delivered in papers, briefings and conferences organized at CGA, attended by UN officials, CGA students and faculty, and other experts.

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019 UN officials, top terrorism experts, and former CTED student participants joined for a discussion of this important project and what it tells us about the future of counterterrorism.


Michael Oppenheimer, Clinical Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs


Mary Beth Altier, Clinical Assistant Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs

Melissa Salyk-Virk, Senior Policy Analyst, International Security Program, New America

David Scharia, Chief of Branch, CTED

Ali Soufan, Chief Executive Officer, The Soufan Group; Founder, The Soufan Center

Ban Ki Moon Keynote
Disarmament Panel

The Future of Multilateral Disarmament: Keynote Address by His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon

On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, the CGA hosted "Is There A Future For Disarmament?" featuring a keynote address by H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. The session with Secretary-General Ban was followed by a high-level panel to discuss "The Next Steps for Multilateral Disarmament."

Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Visiting Scholar, Center for Global Affairs

Panel to include:

Mr. Kim Won-soo, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations

H.E. Mr. Carlos Sergio Sobral Duarte, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Brazil to the United Nations

Ms. Ray Acheson, Director, Reaching Critical Will and Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

A Conversation with The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (04.21.2016)

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, NYU President Andrew Hamilton hosted The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, for a conversation on climate change and youth engagement. The NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs was honored to co-sponsor this event.