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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500


Great Decisions: Current Events Discussion Group

In progress: Thursdays: January 30, February 13 and 27, March 13 and 27, April 10 and 24, May 8: 1:30–3:00 p.m. (8 sessions)


  • Registration is closed.


Become an informed citizen! In this discussion group affiliated with the Foreign Policy Association (FPA)—a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world—participants have the opportunity to discuss and debate important international current events topics with the guidance of an experienced moderator.

Use the FPA’s Great Decisions briefing book to gain a deeper understanding of the issues. “Great Decisions” is offered in collaboration with the University of Southern California Emeriti Center College. Members of this organization, comprised of both active and retired USC faculty, will lead the discussions and provide expert analysis on course topics.

Topics this winter include:

  • Turkey
  • The U.S. and Israel
  • Climate change and food shortages
  • Political Islam post–Arab Spring, with a focus on Maghreb
  • U.S. defense policy, with a focus on new technology
  • U.S. energy independence
  • China’s foreign policy
  • Global economy and U.S. trade policy

Presenters include Professor of International Relations Laurie Brand, military expert Robert Kirkland, electricity and energy policy expert Charles Cicchetti, Executive Director of the USC U.S.-China Institute Clayton Dube, lecturer in law Josh Lockman, and Professor Emeritus of International Relations John O’Dell.

Moderator: Adele Lander Burke—Vice President, Learning for Life, Skirball Cultural Center—has a BA in political science from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MA in education from Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles. Burke has been facilitating current events discussion groups for several years.

Required text: Great Decisions 2014 Briefing Book. Please bring a check for $20 payable to the Skirball Cultural Center to the first class session.

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