Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Speakers: World Issues

To request a speaker, please complete the Speaker Request Form.

*Please note, making a request does not guarantee your speaker will be available. Please wait for confirmation from the Alumni Association before advertising your event.

View full speaker list for additional speech topics.


Trevor Brown, Dean, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Bio and Topics

Dr. Brown joined the Ohio State University as a faculty member in the School of Public Policy and Management in 2001. He received a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University, Stanford California. He previously held the position of Pasqual Maragall Chair Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona’s Department of Economic Policy and Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University. From 1994-2013, he served in managerial roles for the Parliamentary Development Project, a U.S. Agency for International Development funded organization that provided technical assistance to the Ukrainian parliament. He continues to teach graduate and undergraduate courses on rebuilding failed and weak states and public management.

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Topics: Public Policy and Management, Public Sector Contracting

Steve DavisSteve Davis, Author, Conservationist

Bio and Topic

Steve Davis teamed with renowned Ohio State Assistant Football Coach Bill Myles, to pen Myles Traveled, Stories of My American Journey. This first-person life journey of Coach Myles, the grandson of a slave born in segregated times, travels from Negro League Baseball in Kansas City, to the Horseshoe with Woody Hayes, and then to assistant athletic director for Ohio State. No one tells stories like Coach Myles, and this blend of “History, Humor and Happenings” brings to life years of black history, sports history and Ohio State football memories. Additionally the book’s message of “Faith, Family, and Football” provides a role model for today’s youth, and appeals to those of all walks, not just football fans. Steve holds a degree in Agriculture with Distinction in Agronomy, and a career with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. A sought-after conservation speaker, Steve was named Outstanding Individual in Public Service by the Ohio Forestry Association. Toledo Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur presented Steve with a flag flown over the U.S. Capital in recognition of his work to protect Lake Erie.

Topic: Myles Traveled: Stories of My American Journey

*Available for golf outings

Casey Hoy, Faculty Director, InFACT, the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation; Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management

Bio and Topics

Casey Hoy, has held the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management and provided leadership to the Agroecosystems Management Program of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center since 2006.  He is the Faculty Director of the Ohio State University Discovery Themes Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, InFACT, an investment of more than $100 million over the next 10 years in resilient and sustainable food security, including 30 new faculty hires across the University.   The program seeks balance between prosperous farms, sustainable communities and healthy environments and to build local and regional economies across the rural to urban continuum, starting with food systems. This Center brings together needed expertise across the food system value chain. It brings current science and technology to bear on relocalization of food systems to support healthy communities and healthy ecosystems.

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Topics: Food Security; Sustainable Agriculture; Healthy Agroecosystems

Susan Jones, Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Extension Pest Specialist

Bio and Topics

Dr. Jones has spent 35 years as an urban entomologist, and her primary research interests include bed bugs, termites, and other household and structural insects. After 14 years as a research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Jones’ expertise on termite biology and control brought her to The Ohio State University in 2000. Soon thereafter, bed bugs began to re-emerge as an important pest of humans. Since 2004, Dr. Jones has worked extensively to educate the public and pest management industry about bed bugs, and she was a founding member of the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force. She has published >100 papers in scientific journals, proceedings, and trade magazines. Dr. Jones is frequently interviewed by the news media. Each year, she speaks at numerous scientific seminars and outreach events. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Entomology from Louisiana State University and her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Arizona.

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Topics: Control of Bed Bugs; Termites; Other Household Pests

Mitchell Lerner, Assoc. Professor of History, Director, Institute for Korean Studies 

Bio and Topic

Professor Lerner’s research and teaching focus on modern American diplomatic and political history during the Cold War, with emphasis on US-Korean relations.  He has served on the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the advisory board for the North Korea International Documentation Project. A former fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs and a Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin. In 2005 he won the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

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Topic: U.S. / Korean Relations

Lewis Jeffrey Lewis, Senior Lecturer, International Studies

Bio and Topics

Jeffrey W. Lewis received his bachelor’s degree in history from Case Western Reserve University and both his master’s degree and doctorate from Ohio State University. He has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He has been a guest scholar of Germany’s Max-Planck-Society for the Advancement of the Sciences and in 2007 began research on suicide bombing as part of a postdoctoral grant from the START Center (Studies on Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) located at the University of Maryland. Since 2003 he has been teaching in the Undergraduate International Studies Program at Ohio State University focusing on international security issues. His work on suicide bombing has been published in the journals Terrorism and Political Violence and Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict. His book The Business of Martyrdom: A History of Suicide Bombing was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2012.

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Topics: Terrorism, International Security

Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History

Bio and Topics

Dr. Peter Mansoor, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), is the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University and a frequent commentator in the media on national security affairs. A 1982 distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University. He assumed his academic position in September 2008 after a 26 year military career that included two combat tours and which culminated in his service as the executive officer to General David Petraeus, the Commanding General of Multi-National Force-Iraq. He is the author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945; Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq; and Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War, and has co-edited (with Williamson Murray) Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present and Grand Strategy and Military Alliances.

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Topics: World War II, Iraq War, The Surge, The War Against ISIS, U.S. National Security

*Available for golf outings

Kendra McSweeney, Professor 

Bio and Topics

Kendra McSweeney is a geographer whose current research seeks to understand how the cocaine trade impacts the landscapes through which drugs are trafficked. She works mainly in Central America, where indigenous territories and biodiverse forests are being destroyed by their encounter with drug traffickers. How and why does this happen? The answer lies in large part with choices made here in the U.S., especially around our approach to the War on Drugs. She also does research in Appalachian Ohio, to understand how people and forests co-exist there. Her research has appeared in Science, Nature, and in Environmental Research Letters. She currently serves as the elected Chair of the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG). In 2005 she received Ohio State’s highest teaching honor, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

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Topics: War on Drugs and Central America Deforestation, Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

Ian M. Sheldon, Anderson Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy

Bio and Topic

Ian Sheldon is currently the Anderson Chair of Agricultural Marketing Trade and Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at Ohio State.  He earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Salford in 1981, and before coming to Ohio State in 1990, he was a lecturer in Economics at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.  His main research interests are in international economics and public policy.

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Topic: International Trade and Policy

Oded Shenkar, Professor, Fisher College of Business, Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management

Bio and Topic

Cultural differences impact all facets of business, from strategy to finance, but in particular management which underlies all functions.  Mapping out culture systematically and rigorously is crucial in organization design, market entry decisions, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and more. Besides discussing the national cultural differences that remained almost the same for over a quarter of a century, I will also present applications in most business areas for executives to refer to for a given country’s region’s destination and the adaptations needed to be successful there.

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Topic: Navigating Global Business: A Cultural Compass

Full speaker list