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Speakers W


Zahar Wahab

Zahar Wahab is a Professor of Education at Lewis and Clark College’s Graduate School of Education. An Afghan-American, he served for several years as senior advisor to the Minister of Higher Education in Afghanistan.

Steven Wax

A cum laude graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Law School, Wax was a key part of the prosecution of David Berkowitz, the infamous "Son of Sam" serial killer. He was one of the first lawyers in the country to recognize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by Vietnam Vets charged with serious crimes. The winner of numerous awards, Steve Wax received the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorney President's Commendation for his work on the Mayfield case. He has taught at the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College and volunteers as an ethics prosecutor for he Oregon State Bar. Wax is currently representing seven men detained as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay.

Tim Weiner

A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, over the past 20 years Tim Weiner covered the CIA and reported from eighteen countries (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Sudan), covering wars, coups and foreign policy. Legacy of Ashes, his third book, is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from firsthand reporting and primary documents.

Leif Wenar

Leif Wenar holds the Chair of Philosophy and Law at King's College London. He earned his degrees in Philosophy from Stanford and from Harvard, where he worked with John Rawls and with Robert Nozick. He has been a Visiting Professor at Princeton and at Stanford, and has been a Fellow of the Carnegie Council Program in Justice and the World Economy.

Peter West

Peter West is the Director of Renewable Energy Programs for the Energy Trust of Oregon. A past recipient of both the Ameri- can Wind Energy Association’s Special Achievement and the national Green Power Leadership awards, he is the founding President of the Climate Trust.

Ted Wheeler

Ted Wheeler has been Oregon State Treasurer since 2010. Wheeler served as the Chair of the Multnomah County Commission from 2006 to 2010. Wheeler was born Aug. 31, 1962, in Portland, and graduated from Lincoln High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia University and a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jim White

Jim White has worked on some of the most difficult humanitarian and development challenges of our times in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and North Korea.  Mr. White is the Executive Director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and was formerly the Vice President of Operations at Mercy Corps. 

Dr. Jody Williams

Ms. Jody Williams is the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was formally launched by six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in October of 1992. Ms. Williams has overseen the growth of the ICBL to more than 1,000 NGOs in more than sixty countries. She has served as the chief strategist and spokesperson for the campaign. Working in a unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ICBL achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during the diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997.

In her capacity as ICBL coordinator, she has written and spoken extensively on the problem of landmines and the movement to ban them. In recognition of her expertise on the issue, Ms. Williams was invited to serve as a technical adviser to the UN's Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, led by Ms. Graca Machel, former first lady of Mozambique.

Prior to beginning the ICBL, Ms. Williams worked for eleven years to build public awareness about U.S. policy toward Central America. From 1986 to 1992, she developed and directed humanitarian relief projects as the deputy director of the Los Angeles-based Medical Aid for El Salvador. From 1984 to 1986, she was co-coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project, leading fact-finding delegations to the region. Previously, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Washington, D.C.

Maung Maung Win

Maung Maung Win is working hard to advance education-related issues in his home country. After returning from his IVLP project he began to collaborate with other NGO's and the private sector to develop and implement an impressive after-school program known as the “Bright Future Educational Development Program”. His program provides children and young adults in vulnerable communities in the Mandalay Region with much needed assistance. With the help of volunteer teachers that he recruited, he supports village children ages 6-14 by providing supplementary classes that help them develop critical life skills. Win has established foreign language clubs, reading clubs, and a community library. His work has already had a tremendous multiplier impact and has benefitted more than 300 students. He is a leader during a time of transition and continually looks for new activities that will advance civil society.

Aaron Wolf

Aaron Wolf is a professor of geography in the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University. Wolf has acted as consultant to the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development, and the World Bank, and several governments on various aspects of international water resources and dispute resolution. He has been involved in developing the strategies for resolving water aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including co-authoring a State Department reference text. He is author of Hydropolitics Along the Jordan River: The Impact of Scarce Water Resources on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (United Nations University Press, 1995). 

David Wolman

David Wolman is a contributing editor at Wired (for whom he first wrote about Egyptian Techie dissidents in 2008) and has written for Newsweek, Currency News, Outside, and Science & Spirit, among others. A recipient of a 2010 Oregon Arts Commission fellowship, Wolman just completed his third book, The End of Money, due out in late 2011.

Mary Christina Wood

Mary Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. She has taught law for more than twenty years, specializing in property law, environmental law, and federal Indian law.

Chris Woods

Chris Woods is a widely-published, London-based investigative journalist who specialises in conflict and national security issues. His work has taken him to Iraq and Afghanistan, to Syria and Pakistan, and to Israel and Palestine - all of whom now find themselves at the heart of the remotely piloted revolution in warfare taking place.A former senior BBC Panorama producer, he has authored some of the key investigations into covert US drone strikes and their true effects, later joining the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, where among other projects, he worked on the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs. He was recently awarded the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize for his work.

Robin Wright

Robin Wright has been reporting on the Middle East for 22 years, currently as Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post. She is the recipient of the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award for reporting on Iran, and the Overseas Press club Award for reporting requiring "exceptional courage and initiative." A Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Brookings Institution, Ms Wright has also been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Grant. Reviewing Dreams and Shadows, former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright notes that only Wright could bring "so much wisdom to analyzing the regions' many sided puzzles. This volume, full of mesmerizing details and large truths, sets a new standard for scholarship on the modern Middle East."

Ambassador Jianmin Wu

Wu Jianmin brings over 30 years of international experience and insight to the question of U.S. China relations. He has served at the highest levels of the Chinese foreign service as Ambassador to France (1998–2003) and Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations (1996–1998). Since 2003 Ambassador WU has been president of China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), the only institution of higher learning which operates under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jianmin Wu

Wu Jianmin brings over 30 years of international experience and insight to the question of US China relations. He has served at the highest levels of the Chinese foreign service as Ambassador to France (1998-2003)and Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations (1996-1998). Since 2003 Ambassador WU has been president of China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), the only institution of higher learning which operates under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Maria Wulff

Maria Wulff was President of the World Affairs Council of Oregon for more than 20 years, stepping down from her role at the Council in March 2016. Prior to joining the World Affairs Council, Maria worked for over 20 years in international business as Managing Director of an import company based in the Philippines which produced goods in four Asian countries for worldwide distribution; international trade consultant; Director of Business Assistance at the International Trade Institute; and founder of an import company specializing in Central Asian artifacts. She has lived in Morocco, the former Yugoslavia, and England and has traveled extensively in over 60 other countries. Maria serves on a number of civic boards, including the national board of the World Affairs Councils of America, and was founder and president of the East West Business Association. She holds a BA and an MS in History and Social Science/International Relations from Portland State University, a Certificate in Central European Studies from the University of Zagreb in Croatia, as well as a graduate degree in Business from Harvard University.

Senator Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden is a Senator and a Representative from Oregon; born in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kans., May 3, 1949; attended the public schools of Palo Alto, Calif.; A.B., Stanford University 1971; J.D., University of Oregon Law School in Eugene 1974; director, Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly 1977-1979; public member, Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators 1977-1979; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-seventh and to the seven succeeding Congresses, and served from January 3, 1981, to February 5, 1996, when he resigned, having been elected to the Senate; elected to the Senate in a special election on January 30, 1996, to fill the unexpired portion of the term ending January 3, 1999, left vacant by the resignation of Robert W. Packwood, and began service on February 5, 1996; reelected in 1998, 2004 and again in 2010 for the term ending January 3, 2017; chair, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (One Hundred Thirteenth Congress).

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