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Rockford University offers free, virtual sessions in course, “Current Issues in American Foreign Policy”

09/15/2020 3:38 pm

Guest Lecturers Include Four Ambassadors, Advisor to the President, Security, International Trade and Business Experts

ROCKFORD, Ill. (September 3, 2020) – Rockford University, the region’s leading private four-year institution, today announced it will offer sessions from its course, “Current Issues in American Foreign Policy,” free and virtually to the public. Guest lecturers include four ambassadors, members of the National Security Council, advisors to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, special advisor to President George H.W. Bush, among others.

Rockford University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Ron Lee and former Congressman Don Manzullo, co-instructors of the class, have led the effort to identify specific leaders with a variety of backgrounds to provide insight to, and engagement with, current students and the public.

“These guest lecturers include some of the most prominent experts in international trade, business, diplomacy, media, and national security,” said Dr. Lee.

Sessions will run from September 16-November 20, and individuals can view the sessions through this special link

“This unprecedented array of talented guest lecturers reflects Rockford University’s commitment to provide our students with outstanding resources to enhance their educational experience,” said Dr. Eric Fulcomer, President, Rockford University. “We are thrilled to invite alumni and the community at-large to sit in on these classes.”

With more than 110 international students from 18 countries, the class focuses on all aspects of American foreign policy – trade, business, diplomacy, and security – and further enhances Rockford University’s commitment to educating its students and the general public on these issues.


Sessions Overview

The following sessions will be available starting at 9 a.m. CT on the following dates at

Wednesday, September 16:  Ambassador Peter Hoekstra, US Ambassador to the Netherlands; former Member of Congress and Chairman of House Intelligence Committee; former VP for Marketing, Herman Miller, Inc.; Netherlands, the largest Foreign Direct Investor in US; lecturing on The Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy and US-EU business climate.

Friday, September 18: Jason Mazzone, U of IL Professor of Constitutional Law, Director of Illinois Program on Constitutional Theory, lecturing on Constitutional Issues and Crises in Foreign Policy.

Wednesday, September 23: Troy Stangarone, writer, commentator, and authority on US international trade; Fellow and Senior Advisor to Korea Economic Institute of America, lecturing on Trade and Trade Sanctions as Tools of US Foreign Policy and Upcoming Challenges in US Trade.

Friday, September 25: Nien Su and Phil Eskeland, lecturing on Congress and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy and US-Asia Business Climate. Nien Su, international trade and business consultant with Artemis ESG, Inc; staff director of Asia and Pacific Subcommittee on House Foreign Affairs Committee; Walmart innovation director, China; served in State Department. 

Phil Eskeland, business consultant, international trade and economics, Gammon & Grange, PC; Exec. Director of Operations and Policy, Korea Economic Inst of America (2013-2019); Twenty plus year professional executive level staff member for Congress (foreign affairs, international trade and economics) and Small Business Committee.

Wednesday, September 30:  Mark Tokola, VP Korea Economic Inst of America, retired from US Foreign Service (2014) after 38-year career, including postings in Iceland, Mongolia, South Korea, The Hague, U.K, and US Mission to the EU in Brussels; Director of Iraq Transition Office in Baghdad, 2007-2008; received State Department’s Superior Honor Award for help in implementing Dayton Peace Accords while serving as Political Counselor in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1997-1999, lecturing on The State Department and The Politics of Foreign and Trade Policy.

Friday, October 2: Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador from Bahrain to US, Canada, Mexico and Argentina, lecturing on US Foreign Policy from a Foreign Perspective

Wednesday, October 7: John Gizzi, Newsmax, reporter, news writer, radio and TV commentator, covering Capitol Hill and the White House for over 40 years, awarded William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence, lecturing on Media Influence on US Foreign Policy.

Friday, October 9: Ambassador Robert King, Sr., Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Affairs (CSIS); Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea, with rank of Ambassador; over thirty-year Congressional professional staff on international issues, lecturing on Human Rights and US Foreign Policy.                               

Friday, October 23: Noam Chomsky, professor, MIT and University of Arizona; world-renowned linguist, historian, cognitive scientist, political activist, and critic on foreign affairs issues, and author of over 100 books, lecturing on his text for this course, Who Rules the World?

Friday, November 6: Eliot Cohen, Dean of School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University; Counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; inter-agency coordinator with National Security Council, Department of Defense, and Intelligence community; lecturing on his text for this course, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force.

Friday, November 20: Ambassador Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), author of new book, The World: A Brief Introduction, written over concern of lack of higher education sufficiently teaching history and world affairs;  Director of Policy Planning for State Department; Principal Advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell; Special Assistant to President George H.W. Bush; member of National Security Council; lecturing on his text for this course, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order.