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.

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 information on additional upcoming and past programs, ZOOM recordings, publications and student educational and professional opportunities.

SPRING 2022 Upcoming Events

Dr. Beat Habegger
Dr. Nester Espinoza

The Kozmetsky Center looks forward to launching a new lecture series beginning in Spring 2022 focused on developments in space.  The series will feature expert lectures on new developments in astrophysics and other interdisciplinary research projects focused on private investment in space and the shift from government to commercial space exploration, critical infrastructure and space, cyber vulnerability, relationships between climate change and space, national competition and cooperation in space and exploring implications concerning the potential existence of life on other planets. 

Our Place in the Universe: New Directions in Exploring and Understanding Exoplanets

We are delighted to welcome our first speaker in the new series Dr. Nestor Espinoza, Astronomer, currently affiliated at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore Maryland. Dr. Espinoza’s research focuses on exoplanet detection. Dr. Espinoza completed his PhD in Astrophysics at Instituto Astrofisica Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile in 2017. He is the recipient of the Gruber Fellowship and Bernulli Fellowship for research in Astrophysics and was selected among 100 emerging leaders in Chile by El Mercurio. Dr. Espinoza will offer his perspective concerning the most valuable scientific methods  employed to search for conditions that might be suitable for supporting life on other planets. Dr. Espinoza’s lecture, “Our Place in the Universe: New Directions in Exploring and Understanding Exoplanets,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22, 12:00 noon (Central Time). (See the flyer attached below.) Register for the Zoom lecture event.

South-South Immigration within Latin America and East Asia

The Kozmetsky Center will host a research and forthcoming book talk with Dr. Angela Ju, assistant professor of Global Studies at St. Edward’s. Although the most common type of international migration in the world occurs between countries in the Global South, South-South migration is a phenomenon that has not received as much attention as migration to developed countries in Europe or North America. Dr. Ju’s research encompasses issues of immigration within countries of Latin America and East Asia. Dr. Ju’s lecture, based on her current research and book project entitled Immigrant Political Incorporation in Another America: Brazilians of Japanese and Jewish Heritage, explores how immigrant groups pursue different strategies of political incorporation in the Brazilian case. Prior to returning to academia in the 2017–2018 academic year, Dr. Ju worked in international development consulting in Washington, D.C., and in New York City. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Join us for this event on Monday, March 7, 1:00 p.m. (Central Time). Attend the Zoom meeting.

20 Year War in Afghanistan: Lessons, Consequences and the Future

On Wednesday, March 23, 12:00 noon (Central Time), the Kozmetsky Center will host an expert panel followed by our annual student international virtual seminar devoted to Afghanistan. Confirmed speakers for the panel session entitled  “Twenty Year War in Afghanistan: Lessons, Consequences and the Future” include U.S. Army General (Ret.) combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan and Global Policy Scholar, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center, U.S. Army Bridgadier General (Ret.) Peter Zwack; Dr. Theodore Karasik, Senior Analyst, Gulf Analytics; Dr. Ralph Roloff, Associate Dean, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies; and Mr. Sarang Shidore, Director of Studies, Quincy Institute and Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. Register for the Zoom webinar session with this panel of experts. 

On Thursday, March 24, St. Edward’s University students will meet virtually with students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena Germany to discuss the March 23 panel session conclusions. Professor Andrey Kazantsev (Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer, MGIMO) and Professor Rafael Biermann, (Chair of International Relations, Friedrich Schiller University, Germany) have been invited to participate as faculty discussants for the student Austin-Moscow-Jena annual student videoconference seminar. Be sure to register for the March 23 webinar above. 

Forum on Labor Leader, Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta 

On Monday, April 4 at 12:00 noon (Central Time), the Kozmetsky Center will host an open forum discussion session with Dr. Maria Luisa Alaniz, Professor Emeritus (Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences) of San Jose State University, San Jose, California, to discuss the significance of the experience of 20th century labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta for advancing social justice and human rights from the local to global levels. 

Dr. Alaniz’s mother, Loretta Alaniz, was a farmworker who, although she did not have the opportunity to attend school, made education a priority for her three daughters. Dr. Alaniz feels it was a blessing to have come of age in the central valley of California during the 1960’s and 1970’s when Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta were organizing farmworkers and founded the United Farmworkers Union (UFW). She had the opportunity, as a college student, to participate in rallies and marches; she also worked at the Stockton UFW Field Office. These experiences shaped her perspective regarding human rights and social justice. Based on these seminal life experiences, the prime motivating factor in Dr. Alaniz’s pursuit of an education was to give back to her community. To that end; she attended San Joaquin Delta College (A.A.), San Jose State University (B.A., M.A.) and Stanford University (Ed.S., Ph.D.). 

Dr. Alaniz has had a rewarding career as a professor and department chair at San Jose State University since 1988 when she started her career as a lecturer in Mexican American Studies. She has served as program director for several educational and research projects focused on challenges for communities of color sponsored by the U.S. Depart. of Education: Title IX, Ford Foundation and National Institute of Health. Dr. Alaniz looks forward to meeting with the St. Edward’s community in this interactive dialogue venue to be held on campus at the Jones Global Events Center.

Forum on Global Investment, Finance, Emerging Markets and Geopolitical Risk 

The Kozmetsky Center is delighted 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 students preparing for future careers with the hope of advancing responsible and ethical participation in global business, economic development and policy. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, 12:00 noon (Central Time), we will host our first monthly session for the Spring 2022 semester with Dr. Beat Habbeger, Global Fellow and Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Center for Security Policy in Geneva Switzerland. Dr. Habegger was former Head of Political Risk Management and Deputy Head of Sustainability Risk Management of Swiss Re Ltd. Earlier in his career, he worked as a risk and security consultant and project director at the Center for Security Studies of ETH Zurich, and as a Visiting Research Associate at the UN, OSCE and the Council for Europe. Dr. Habegger will speak on issues relevant in balancing geopolitical risk for investment in markets in Europe and beyond. (See the flyer attached below.) Register for the Zoom meeting. 

U.S.–Georgia Economic Cooperation and Opportunities 

On Tuesday, March 1, 12:00 noon (Central Time), the Kozmetsky Center–World Affairs Council Austin forum will welcome the Honorable Levan Beridze, Consul General of Georgia. Levan Beridze was appointed as the Consul General of the Republic of Georgia in San Francisco in February 2020. Throughout his career in the foreign service he held the position of Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, and served in the position of Counselor at the Embassy of Georgia to the United States since 2016, where he headed up the Economic Section and earlier was the First Secretary at the Embassy from 2012 to 2016. Levan Beridze has devoted the focus of his work to the enhancement and deepening of economic and trade relations between the United States and Georgia and the creation of a platform for interaction between American and Georgian companies. The discussion will highlight U.S.–Georgia economic cooperation and the opportunities available in the country and in the region for U.S. companies. Register for the Zoom meeting.  

Religion, Science and Diplomacy 

Our program partners for our multi-year project on the “Religion and Security Nexus” of the Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University have extended an invitation to the St. Edward’s University student and faculty community to attend their 6th annual conference on “Religion, Science and Diplomacy” scheduled for Friday, Feb. 11 at 9:45 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Panel topics include Religion and Public Health, The Diplomacy of Healing; Faith in Climate Advocacy: Religion as a Resource for Climate Action; and Religion and Nuclear Proliferation. See more information on the event, including speaker profiles and registration. 

Council on Foreign Relations Series

We will continue to offer the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) lecture series during the Spring 2022 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. See additional information on the CFR Spring 2022 programs here and the flyer attached below.
Note that times for the CFR series are listed on an Eastern Standard Time schedule and should be adjusted for Central Time for viewers in Austin. 

Please check the Kozmetsky and the Kozmetsky websites for additional details on these Spring 2022 programs.    

The Kozmetsky Center Briefing Series features short policy-relevant articles prepared by our U.S. and international speakers based on contributions to St. Edward’s University 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.