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2022-2023 Speaker Series

The speaker series connects students, faculty, and staff to leaders in global affairs.

Experts were invited to speak on campus cover a wide variety of topic areas, connecting attendees to diverse practical perspectives on important global issues. Speakers are typically scheduled once per month.

For any questions about current or future events, reach out to our office at

Sunday Adebisi, Ph.D (Oct. 28)

Professor Sunday Adebisi, Ph.D.

October 28 2022

We are pleased to kick off our 2022-23 Speaker Series with Sunday Adebisi, Ph.D., professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the 1st Occupier Professor of the Dr Mike Adenuga (Jnr) Professorial Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and the Director of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence for Unemployment and Skills Development, as well as the Director of the Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre University of Lagos. His research has been channeled towards tackling the crisis unemployment in African countries through entrepreneurship orientation that assists African youth in creating sustainable enterprise. With publications ranging in topics of entrepreneurship, management, economic policy, and corporate social responsibility, Professor Adebisi is a world-renowned scholar who has won grants and awards across the globe. He is currently being hosted by the University of Iowa Institute for International Business as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished International Scholar for the month of October.

Professor Abedisi presented the lecture The Russia/Ukraine War: Examining Africa in the Eye of the Storm, which discussed the implications of the war in Ukraine on African economics and politics.

October 28, 11:00am-12:00pm: The Russia/Ukraine War: Examining Africa in the Eye of the Storm

Robert Pichler, Ph.D (Nov. 15)

Professor Robert Pichler, MBA

November 15, 2022

Robert is a Professor and Program Director (Business Consultancy International) at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt in Austria. He has earned degrees from the University of Vienna (MA, International Business), the University of Iowa (MBA) and the Vienna University of Economics (PhD, Economics). He has professional experience in the pharmaceuticals and insurance industries as well as in consulting, both in the U.S. and Austria. His research and teaching is concentrated on strategy, competitiveness, leadership, and macroeconomics with focus on the European Union. We were excited to be hosting him during Drake's 2022 International Education Week, and to feature him in our Speaker Series.

His lecture, "Current Challenges in Europe: War in Ukraine, Brexit, Inflation" examined ongoing political economic developments in Europe, and how key international actors are working to address the challenges at hand.

November 15, 2:00-3:15pm: Current Challenges in Europe

Elizabeth Shackelford (Nov. 29-30, 2022)

Elizabeth Shackelford

November 29-30, 2022

We were pleased to host Elizabeth Shackelford, Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, from November 29-30. A former career diplomat for the U.S. Department of State in Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Poland, Shackelford is a recipient of the Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence — the Department's highest honor for consular work.

Shackelford presented two lectures.

November 29, 6:00-7:00pm: Human Rights Advocacy

November 30, 6:30-7:30pm: U.S. Foreign Affairs

Jane Olson (Dec. 2, 2022)

Jane Olson

December 2, 2022

Jane Olson has worked as a volunteer for many decades to promote peace and justice through international human rights and humanitarian organizations. She chaired the International Board of Trustees of Human Rights Watch from 2004 to 2010 and served as co-chair of the Women's Refugee Commission. As founding board chair of Landmine Survivors Network/Survivor Corps, she gave leadership to LSN for 12 years. Her work has spanned Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Her new book, 'World Citizen', reflects on her decades of service to humanity, with countless stories holding lessons for those concerned with improving the world around them. Her speaker event emphasized these same themes.

December 2, 7:00-8:00pm: 'World Citizen': Stories from Decades of Humanitarian Work