Atifete Jahjaga talking to St. Edward's University student

Perspectives of Global Leaders

The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence welcomed the President of Kosovo to campus. View St. Edward's University campus media coverage.

Fall 2021 Preview of Events

The Kozmetsky Center is delighted to feature our first lecture event for the 2021 academic year with internationally-renowned economics professor and global leader on sustainable development, Dr. Phoebe Koundouri of the School of Economics at Athens University of Economics and Business on Tuesday September 28 at 10:00 AM (Central Time).   Professor Koundouri is widely recognized for innovative, human-centric, interdisciplinary systems research and policy approaches supporting the sustainable interaction between nature, society, and the economy. Dr. Koundouri is the Founder and Scientific Director of the Research Laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES) at Athens University of Economics and Business devoted to interdisciplinary research on socio-economic and environmental systems. She is also Affiliated Professor at the ATHENA Research and Innovation Center where she founded and directs the Sustainable Development Unit and the EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the latter focusing on accelerating technological and social innovations for use in the transition to a climate neutral economy. She serves as co-Chair of United Nations Sustainable Development Network (UN SDSN) -Europe, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8) and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute. Professor Koundouri is one of the Commissioners for the Lancet Commission on COVID-19 for which she co-chairs the "Jobs-based Green Recovery” Task Force. Dr. Koundouri leads the UN SDSN Senior Working Group on "Transformation Pathways for the implementation of EGD and the SDGs", co-leads the UN SDSN Sustainable Shipping and Ports and Shipping Initiative, and the UN SDSN 4-seas (Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Aral Seas) Blue Growth Initiative. She serves as a scientific advisor to the European Commission, World Bank, European Investment Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, World Health Organization, OECD, UN and NATO. Since 1997, Dr. Koundouri has coordinated more than 100 interdisciplinary research projects, on all five continents, focused on combinations of Sustainable Development, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Behavioral Economics and Econometrics, Economics of Wellbeing and Happiness, Natural Resource-Food-Energy Nexus, Smart Water Systems, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Blue Growth, Circular Economy, Systems Innovation, Innovation Acceleration and Commercialization.  Professor Koundouri and her interdisciplinary team (more than 200 researchers) have produced research and policy results that contribute to accelerating innovation for the enablement of Sustainable Development and shaping European and national policies.  Prior to joining the Athens University of Economics and Business, Professor Koundouri held academic positions at the University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Reading and London School of Economics. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Cambridge (UK).  Registration for the ZOOM Webinar “The Urgency for Advancing Global Sustainable Development” is available at


The Kozmetsky Center will host the seventh conference in our annual “Transatlantic Security Seminar” on the topic “NATO, Russia, China and Global Security” in cooperation with the Center for European Studies and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin funded with support of a grant by the United States Department of Education Title VI National Resource Program on Monday-Tuesday November 15-16.  We are pleased to partner with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division for the seventh annual session in our series.  This international conference to be hosted via ZOOM Webinar from our campus will bring together academic experts and representatives of the policy community to discuss implications of shifting global relationships and world order for transatlantic and broader global security.   Among major topics, speakers will be asked to address the impact of COVID19 to include discussion of political systems, values and responsiveness to the pandemic, impact of the withdrawal from the twenty -year war in Afghanistan, consequences of climate change, regional clashes and conflicts, competing visions of world order and other topics of critical relevance to transatlantic and global security.  Invited speakers include Dr. James Goldgeier Professor of International Relations and former Dean of the School of International Service at American University, Dr. Gao Fei Assistant President and Academic Dean of China Foreign Affairs University, Theresa Fallon, founder and director of the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies (CREAS) in Brussels, member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Dr. Jamie Shea, Professor of Strategy and Security within the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter and former NATO Deputy Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu, Foreign Policy Analyst and Senior Research Advisor, United Service Institution of India, New Delhi and former Research Fellow with the Ministry of External Affairs Think Tank Indian Council for World Affairs,(ICWA), Dr. Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University Higher School of Economics Moscow, Dr. Mark Katz, George Mason University, Dr. Artyom Lukin, Russian Far Eastern University, Dr. Julian Lindley French, Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft in London, Director of Europa Analytica in the Netherlands, Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Visiting Programme Director at Wilton Park and founder of The Alphen Group, Dr. Celine Pajon, Head of Japan Research at the Center for Asian Studies of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and others.  Please check our website for the full agenda later and ZOOM Webinar registration in September.

In addition, I’m pleased to be serving an elected three-year term (2021-2024) as Chair of the Geopolitics Research Committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).  On Monday – Tuesday November 1-2, member of our IPSA Geopolitics Executive Committee, Professor Ruben Elmiryan will host the IPSA Fourth International Workshop on Geopolitics of Small States in the 21st Century from Russian-Armenian University in Yerevan Armenia:   Topic areas for the session include small states in the changing world order, technology, innovation and small states and diasporas and other networks in relationships between major and small nations.  Dr. Elmiryan, Chair of World Politics and International Relations at Russian-Armenian University, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science, Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia and former U.S. Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University (2018-2019) has extended an invitation to the St. Edward’s University faculty and student community to join the Workshop via Zoom Meeting.  Please check our website for additional information on the session later in the semester.  

We are pleased to continue our initiative on Global Investment, Finance, Emerging Markets and Geopolitical Risk in cooperation with the World Affairs Council Austin. The forum seeks to provide a bridge between academic experience and the professional world of global investment, finance and geopolitical risk providing unique insights for SEU students preparing for future careers with the hope of advancing responsible and ethical participation in global business, economic development and policy.  SEU students participating in the forum session benefit from exceptional collaborative experiential learning internships and research opportunities offered by program speakers and professionals taking part in the forum.   On Tuesday September 7, 12:00 noon (CT) we will host our first monthly session with former Kozmetsky Center Executive Assistant, Mr. Joseph Sadek.  Joseph was the 2016 Co-Chair of the Conference on Management Political Risk at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University and was a major contributor to launching our Kozmetsky Center-World Affairs Council Austin forum. He holds an MA Degree in International Relations from The Fletcher School, and BA Degree in International Studies from The Ohio State University.  Mr. Sadek will share his perspective on the importance of political risk assessment in global business taking account of evolving major geopolitical trends.   Register for the ZOOM Meeting at the website of the World Affairs Council Austin:

On Tuesday October 5, 12:00 noon (CT) the Kozmetsky Center-World Affairs Council Austin forum welcomes Dr. Dhbia Al-Mohannadi, of Texas A&M University Doha to speak on the topic “Carbon Capture Technology.”  Dr. Al-Mohannadi focuses on the systematic design of sustainable industrial parks under carbon dioxide limits, resource management, and climate policies evaluation. Her work deals with multidisciplinary problems that involve different decision-making processes, engineering and economics.  She recently earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Texas A & M University completing her dissertation on “Systemic Methods for the Design of Industrial Clusters with Capped Carbon Emissions” and MA thesis entitled “A Systematic Approach to Carbon Footprint Reduction in Industrial Parks.”  Dr. Al-Mohannadi was recipient of the Graduate Fellow Award, Qatar Research Leadership program (QRLP), Qatar Foundation and winner of Oryx GTL Qatar post graduate PhD student award future research leaders.  The session will be moderated by Mr. John Bretz, energy consultant and former Vice-President of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.  Mr. Bretz holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA, both from Tulane University.  He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Asia Society, and currently serves on the Board of the Tulane Energy Institute.

On Tuesday November 2, 12:00 noon (CT), the Kozmetsky Center-World Affairs Council Austin will host our final forum for Fall 2021 exploring Texas/U.S. investment trends and potential comparing the cases of Mexico and Cuba.  Our invited speakers include Mr. Ben Ramirez III, Vice President and Executive Director, Center for Global Trade at the World Affairs Council of Austin; CEO of Cogitare Global, LLC and Mr. Emilio Morales, President and CEO of the Havana Consulting Group, a Miami-based consulting firm specializing in market intelligence and strategy for U.S. and non-U.S. persons doing business in Cuba.  Mr. Ramirez has more than 20 years experience assisting the transformation of local companies into global competitors and previously served as the International Economic Development Manager for the City of Austin. His responsibilities in this position included governmental initiatives related to international economic development, foreign direct investment, culture, and education. Mr. Ramirez was also appointed to the U.S. Department of State’s Speaker and Specialist Program where he provided presentations overseas on the economic impact resulting from developing and growing technology industry clusters.  Mr. Ramirez manages Foreign Trade Zone #183 of Central Texas with member companies’ annual exports totaling $250-$500 million and was first appointed to the Texas Camino Real District Export Council by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.  He is an entrepreneur advisor with Tech Ranch, former board member of CleanTX and served on the board of Austin Sister Cities International.  Mr. Ramirez obtained a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a JD from the University of Toledo.  Born and raised in Cuba, Emilio Morales was formerly the Head of the Strategic Marketing Planning Department for the Marketing Division for Corporación CIMEX, which is Cuba’s largest state enterprise holding company, with more than 80 subsidiaries across Cuba engaged in 35 different retail and wholesale businesses and annual revenues of more than US$1.2 billion.  His work in Cuba included acting as a marketing consultant for companies such as Habanos S.A., Tecnoazucar, Palmares S.A., Servimed S.A., Cubanacán S.A., Shops Universo S.A., Bravo S.A., Cubacel, ETECSA, and CORACAN S.A., among others. Mr. Morales also worked for the Cuban government on a range of bilateral projects in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa. Recognized for his unique insights into the dynamics of the Cuban market and economy, Mr. Morales has produced dozens of related research papers and written over 50 articles on various sectors of the Cuban economy, including remittances, the market for mobile phones, real estate opportunities, tourism, energy, logistics, transportation, health care services, biotechnology, agriculture, food industry, retail opportunities, sugar industry and other exports and Cuba’s opportunities for entrepreneurs (known in Cuba as cuentapropismo).  He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Instituto Superior Politécnico José Antonio Echevarría in Havana, Cuba, a Masters in Marketing from the University of Havana, and an MBA from the Escuela Superior de Marketing in Madrid, Spain.

We will continue to offer the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) lecture series during the Spring 2021 semester.  The CFR Webinars provide an excellent opportunity for students to engage with subject matter experts as well as to hear perspectives of university student colleagues throughout the nation and world community. The Fall 2021 CFR announcement is attached along with instructions to register for the ZOOM sessions.  Please note that times are listed on an Eastern Standard Time schedule and should be adjusted for Central Time for SEU viewers in Austin.  For additional information on the Council on Foreign Relations Fall 2021 programs please see:

Please check our websites and

for additional details on these Fall 2021 programs.  The Kozmetsky Center Briefing Series features short policy relevant articles prepared by our US and international speakers based on contributions to SEU campus programs providing a resource for students, academic research and the policy, private sector and civic communities.  Information on virtual global internships, study and seminar opportunities will be posted at our website throughout the academic year.

The Kozmetsky Center looks forward to continuing to support the St. Edward’s University campus during this unprecedented period for our campus community, the nation and broader global society. 

The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence seeks to deepen understanding of the complex challenges of an increasingly integrated world-

The Kozmetsky Center aims to enrich the intellectual life of St. Edward's University and to serve as a resource for informing the broader public on critical global issues. We facilitate discussions among experts, students, faculty and the broader public in a variety of forums. Past speakers have included American and foreign diplomats, policy makers, university scholars, and leaders of the business, non-profit and cultural communities. We also periodically host short-term resident visiting scholars and practitioners from the United States and around the world to share their expertise and diverse perspectives with the St. Edward’s University community.

The Kozmetsky Center contributes to advancing the mission of St. Edward’s University to educate students from all walks of life and prepare graduates with the tools needed to contribute to a more just world.

Please see for additional information on current and past programs, event materials, video session recordings, publications and student opportunities