Tag Archives: General

2021 Great Decisions

Topics for Great Decisions 2021

  1. Global Supply Chains and U.S National Security
    The shutdown of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: what happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?
    Date:  2th Thurs, Feb. 11
    Reviewer:  Julie Kleszczewski
  2. The future of Persian Gulf security
    The Persian Gulf remains tense as the rivalry between the regional powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran continues. Tensions escalated in early 2020 as the United States began to intervene in the Gulf, launching an airstrike that killed two Iranian military commanders. What are the historical influences that have led to these tensions? What role, if any, should the United States play? Is using military force a viable foreign policy option for 2021 and beyond?
    Date:  4th Thurs, Feb. 25
    Reviewer:  Nancy Mion
  3. Brexit: taking stock and looking ahead
    With the “Brexit transition period” coming to an end this year, the United Kingdom will formally leave the European Union at the start of 2021. With negotiations between the two entities continuing to stall, what does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up and take command of Europe now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight?
    Date:  2th Thurs, March 11
    Reviewer:  Nan Scinta
  4. The coldest war: toward a return to Great Power competition in the Arctic?
    U.S. President Donald Trump left many scratching their heads when it was rumored that he was looking to purchase the large island nation of Greenland from Denmark. While any potential deal seems highly unlikely, the event shows the changing opinion within the U.S. government toward engagement with the Arctic region. Because of climate change, large sheets of arctic ice are melting, exposing vast stores of natural gas and oil. With Russia and China already miles ahead with their Arctic strategies, can the U.S. catch up?
    Date:  4th Thurs, March 25
    Reviewer:  Maria Ellis
  5. China and Africa
    The Covid-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was growing a positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African government’s growing debt to China, has seen pushback. What are some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa?
    Date:  2th Thurs, April 8
    Reviewer:  Dr. Sharada Jayagopal
  6. The two Koreas
    The Korean Peninsula is facing a defining era. Attempts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump to repair the rift between North and South have lost any momentum as Pyongyang continues to test long-range missiles for its nuclear weapons program. As the rift between the U.S. and China grows further, South Korea may end up in the middle of the two superpowers. What does the future hold for the U.S. relationship with the ROK?
    Date:  4th Thurs, April 22
    Reviewer:  Mary Horning
  7. The World Health Organization’s response to Covid-19
    The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the World Health Organization (WHO) into the limelight, for better and for worse. While some of the Trump administration’s criticism of the organization is unfair, the response to the early stages of the pandemic left many experts wanting more from the WHO. What is the WHO’s role in responding to international pandemics? What can be done to improve the WHO’s response to future global health crises?
    Date:  2th Thurs, May 13
    Reviewer:  Dr. C.S. Rani
  8. The end of globalization?
    As the United States enters another election season, the merits and drawbacks of globalization are again being debated by the presidential candidates. With the passing of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s America First doctrine, protectionist policies have become more prevalent, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end, or in need of a refresh?
    Date:  4th Thurs, May 27
    Reviewer:  Silvia Silverman

    Zoom Meetings, 5:30—7:30 p.m.  For more information, email Julie K:  juliek@msn.com

Explore Your Opportunities: The Sky’s the Limit!TM

Explore Your Opportunities: The Sky’s the Limit!TM

17th Year Conference to explore opportunities with hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for 7th grade girls in New York City and Westchester County
Date:  March 14, 2020

Place:  College of Mount Saint Vincent Riverdale (Bronx), New York

2020 Great Decisions

Topics for Great Decisions 2020


Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?
Date:  2nd Thurs, March 12
Reviewer:  Julie Kleszczewski


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?
Date:  2nd Thurs, June 11
Reviewer:  TBD


The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?
Date:  4th Thurs, March 26
Reviewer:  Maria Ellis


Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?
Date:  2nd Thurs, April 9
Reviewer:  TBD


Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?
Date:  4th Thurs, April 23
Reviewer:  TBD


As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence”?
Date:  4th Thurs, May 20
Reviewer:  TBD


The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century.  However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a largescale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?
Date:  4th Thurs, June 25
Reviewer:  TBD


Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?
Date:  2nd Thurs, May 14
Reviewer:  Dr. C.S. Rani

Empire State NYC Branch Attending the SUNY New Paltz Global Summit in NYC

SUNY New Paltz Global Summit, New York, NY, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

  The SUNY Global Engagement Program provides students with the opportunity to spend a semester immersed in international affairs in the world’s most important global city, New York City. Enrolled students complete an internship with an international not-forprofit organization, research program and an integrated class at the SUNY Global Center. This program offers options to undertake work and study in fields related to global affairs including politics, education, the arts, the social and natural sciences and business.

Empire State NYC Branch Leadership and AAUW NYC Fellows Meetings

Empire State NYC Branch Leadership and AAUW NYC Fellows Meeting
at Goldman Sachs in NYC, Tuesday, December 10, 2019
AAUW Partnership with Goldman Sachs & EYO STEM program


AAUW Empire State NYC Leadership: 
Estelle Kone, Emmelina De Feo, Maria Ellis, Jessica Sims; C.S. Rani

Empire State NYC Branch Leadership and AAUW NYC Fellows Meeting at Google in NYC, Tuesday, November 12, 2019
AAUW Partnership with Google & EYO STEM Program

AAUW NYC Fellows:  Valerie Streit, Jessica Sims; Estelle Kone,
Danielle Guindo, Read Alliance; Whitney Oriana; Emmelina De Feo,
Maria Ellis, Empire State NYC Branch President, EYO Co-Director,
Lorrin Johnson, EYO Co-Director; Dr. Rani, Empire State NYC Branch Treasurer

Fall Outing with our College of Mount Saint Vincent Mentees!

Empire State NYC Branch hosting the College of Mount Saint Vincent Mentees
for a XMAS Concert & Dinner at the Harvard Club
Monday, December 9, 2019!

Nakayah, Dr. Rani, Maria Ellis, Kathleen, Brianna Perez, Lorrin Johnson

      Dr.                     Dr. Rani & Nakayah                                                Maria & Kathleen

          Christmas Tree at the Harvard Club                                          Train Show

Black Rock Forest, Cornwall, NY, Sunday, October 13, 2019