Program for Strategic Research and Studies

Event Photos

Congressman Bob Clement

Former Congressman Bob Clement Visits Orlando Former U.S. Congressman Bob Clement visited Orlando March 6th – 8th. Clement, a longtime friend to UCF and the PMBF program, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 15 years beginning in the late 1980s. Clement was a guest lecturer in Professor David Dumke’s course on Middle East Politics, met with members of on-campus student organizations during a networking luncheon, and participated in an interview with interns of the PMBF program for the WUCF-TV show “Global Perspectives.” In addition, Clement discussed his newly published autobiography, “Presidents, Kings, and Convicts: My Journey from the Tennessee Governor’s Residence to the Halls of Congress.” His book chronicles his life as the son of a governor to his experiences with policy making as a member of Congress.

Photos of his visit can be found here.

Bob Clement's visit

Owen Kirby

On March 1-3, 2017, the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies hosted guest speaker Mr. Owen Kirby. Kirby formally worked at the State Department as an international political consultant and is still an active member in international relations. He participated in a variety of events at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Owen Kirby has two decades of experience in international relations, specializing in political party development, public opinion polling, and elections. Currently working with clients and partners in the Middle East region, Kirby served in the U.S. Department of State as a Senior Adviser in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2004-2009), and as a Senior Governance Advisor in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 2009-2010. More recently, he has advised leaders in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority.

Kirby met with students on a personal level to discuss current events, his extensive experience with the United States government as a state advisor, Middle Eastern affairs, and advised students who want to pursue a career in international relations. Kirby held a discussion-based and question-driven meet with students of the International Relations Club of UCF where he focused on the Middle-Eastern region. Kirby participated in an interview held by UCF students, Yrainy Artigas and Halla Kouatli, where he discussed the issues the Middle East currently faces and “going beyond the headlines”.

Photos of his visit can be found here.

Owen Kirby's visit

Conference on Tolerance in Education

On March 27th, 2017, the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research & Studies, Lou Frey Institute, and the Partnership for Civic Learning, hosted a timely symposium, “Teaching Tolerance & Peace in Education: American Experiences & International Lessons.”  The event brought in three prominent and distinguished scholars to discuss the role of education in the promotion of tolerance.  The speakers included Dr. James Gibson, Ph.D., of Washington University in St. Louis Department of Political Science; Dr. Patricia Avery, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development; and Dr. Peter Levine, Ph.D., of Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences.

Photos of this event can be found here.

Conference on Tolerance in Education

Honorary Doctor Prince Mohammad bin Fahd

On Friday April 14th 2017, The Prince Mohamed Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and  Studies in coordination with the Office of President John C. Hitt’s had the honor of hosting the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  During his visit, Prince Mohammad bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Public Service for his contributions and support of UCF. Guests included UCF President John C. Hitt, University officials from the Prince Mohammed bin Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, as well as students from both institutions.  After receiving the Honorary Doctor of Public Service, the Prince gave a speech expressing gratitude and goodwill. The audience enjoyed a brief video highlighting the Prince’s achievements in education as well as music performances conducted by students from UCF’s very own music department. Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed light refreshments and dialogue with other participants.

Photos of this ceremony can be found here.

Honorary Doctor Prince Mohammad bin Fahd

Jeremy Sharp of CRS visits UCF

Congressional Research Service Middle East Specialist Jeremy Sharp visited UCF on April 6th and 7th. Sharp, a former Presidential Management Fellow and current employee of the Congressional Research Service served as a guest lecturer for two courses in the political science department–Politics of the Middle East along with Human Rights Policy. Sharp provided students with an overview of his job responsibilities and discussed the importance of providing non-partisan information to policy makers to better inform their policy decision-making. Sharp also served as a panelist for the International Relations Club’s Middle East in the 21st Century Symposium along with David Dumke of the PMBF program. The panel discussed Middle Eastern policy in the modern age Students asked questions regarding the current political climate in the region, US involvement in Syria, and projections for what the future may entail. Following his panel, Mr. Sharp participated in a luncheon with members of the IRC, fielding questions on policy decision-making and his role in informing Congress on a vast array of issues.

Photos of his panel and the ensuing discussion can be found here.

Jeremy Sharp of CRS visits UCF

Food and Water Security in the MENA Region

We had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion on March 8th between Dr. Peter Jacques, Michael Carroll, and Dr. Thomas Crisman on the topic of food and water security in the Middle East and North Africa Region, moderated by PMBF Program Director David Dumke. Dozens of students came out to learn more about the Nexus, which is the term for the various intersections of food, water, and energy security. Some topics discussed were how programs implemented in the region are applied globally in places like Central Asia and the American Southwest and how instability of these resources can lead to interstate conflicts.

Photos of the event can be found here.

North Africa Update: Managing Transitions and Stasis

Issandr El Amrani came to UCF April 3rd to discuss the North Africa Region, specifically in regards to current events surrounding Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco. Issandr El Amrani oversees Crisis Group’s North Africa Project. Prior to joining Crisis Group, he was a writer and consultant on Middle Eastern affairs based in Cairo. His reporting and commentary on the region has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. The fallout from the Arab Spring, Egyptian president Sisi’s second term, and Libya’s impact on the European migrant crisis were some of the topics that were discussed. After the discussion, Issandr had a small discussion with students from the International Relations Club about his career and how to follow in his path.

Photos of the event can be found here.