Roundtable Discussion Series

Roundtable discussions address issues in global affairs that cut across disciplinary areas and/or regions of the world. These public forums are open to faculty, visiting scholars, students and the local community.


The Roots of the Rohingya Crisis: The Eradication of a Myanmar Ethnic Group

November 7, 2017

The roundtable discussion featured a keynote address delivered by Michael W. Charney, Professor of Asian and Military History at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He was joined by Eaint Thiri Thi, human rights researcher and graduate student at the University of Minnesota, and the panel was moderated by Ann Blackburn, Professor of Asian Studies and Director of the South Asia Program.

Media Coverage: Cornell Chronicle; Einaudi Center website


Indian Ocean Politics in the 21st Century

Robert Blake

October 31, 2017

The roundtable discussion featured a panel discussion by Robert Blake, former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and Tissa Jayatilaka, Director of the Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission. Ambassador Blake and Mr. Jayatilaka addressed the contemporary geopolitical dynamics of the Indian Ocean region, with special attention to U.S. and Sri Lankan positions and interests. The panel was moderated by Anne Blackburn, Professor of Asian Studies and Director of the South Asia Program.

Media Coverage: Cornell Sun


World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law

September 25, 2017

The roundtable discussion featured a keynote address delivered by Luis-Felipe López-Calva, Co-Director of the World Development Report 2017, and Practice Manager for Europe and Central Asia, Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. He was joined by a panel that consisted of Cornell professors Robert Hockett, Ravi Kanbur, and Nicolas van de Walle. López-Calva explored why some policies fail to achieve desired outcomes and why some others work. He also addressed the question of how economic growth might be achieved amid violence and inequality.

Media Coverage: Cornell Daily Sun


The Potential of Geothermal Energy: Lessons from Iceland

October 17, 2016

The roundtable discussion featured a keynote address by Thorleikur Johannesson, an engineer with more than 20 years of experience designing and operating geothermal facilities in Iceland. He was joined by Kyu-Jung Whang, Cornell’s vice president for infrastructure, properties,and planning, and Edwin A. (Todd) Cowen, professor of civil and environmental engineering. The moderator was Jefferson W. Tester, Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems and director of the Cornell Energy Institute. The event was co-organized by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and co-sponsored by the Cornell Energy Institute. 

Media Coverage: CornellCast videoCornell Chroncile; Cornell Daily SunEinaudi Center website


The Future of the World Bank and the Architecture of Multilateral Development Banks

April 4, 2016

The roundtable discussion consisted of a very distinguished panel of scholars and experts. The moderator for the discussion was Ravi Kanbur and the panelists were Caroline Freund, Homi Kharas and Johannes Linn, all of whom are former World Bank economists. Johannes Linn, talked about the structure and architecture of Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). Caroline Freund discussed the changed povery map of the world and Homi Kharas stressed on the importance of collective action.

Media Coverage: Einaudi Center Prewrite; Cornell Cast; Einaudi Center Write-up


Syria and the Middle East: Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers


March 22, 2016

Ambassador Lakdhar Brahimi, Professor T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Dr. Lisel Hintz discussed the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe in a roundtable discussion moderated by Professor Chantal Thomas. The discussion titled, “Syria and the Middle East: Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers in Long-Term Global Crises” was jointly organized by the Einaudi Center, the Berger Center for International Legal Studies, and the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Media Coverage: Einaudi Center PrewriteCornell Daily Sun; Cornell Cast; Einaudi Center Write-up 


Five Years after Fukushima: What have we learned from the Nuclear Accidents


March 11, 2016

Sustainability is a key theme of the Einaudi Center. In 2016 the elected focus is: nuclear power, its potential to serve as solution to global climate change, and its risks. To kick off this discussion, the Einaudi Cnter invited experts who have studied the three major nuclear accidents of our time — Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima in 2011 — to a Roundtable Discussion to share lessons learned in the aftermath of these events. The Roundtable Discussion took place on the fifth anniversary of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.

Media Coverage: Einaudi Center PrewriteCornell Chronicle; Cornell Cast


US-Cuba Diplomatic Relations

May 4, 2015 

Given the change in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, the Latin American Studies Program and the Einaudi Center organized a roundtable discussion on the implications towards future research and collaborations on May 4, 2015. Two Cornell students currently studying in Cuba, and Lynn Roche, Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, joined several Cornell professors and experts via Skype to discuss the new era of relations. The Cornell panel, Professors Kennethy Roberts (Government), Gustavo Flores-Macías (Government), Timothy DeVoogd (Psychology, and Director of the Latin American Studies Program), and Eduardo Inigo-Elias (Laboratory of Ornithology) commented on their remarks, as well as giving their own experiences with Cuba. The panelists also considered the implications towards future research and collaborations.

Media Coverage: Cornell CastCollege of Arts & Sciences


Ebola Burdens African Governments, Health Systems


November 10, 2014 in Warren Hall

On November 10, 2014, the Einaudi Center and the Institute for African Development organized a roundtable discussion on the impact of Ebola on Africa. Leading experts discussed the impact of the Ebola pandemic from different perspectives, including political, governance, institutional-health systems, and economic issues.  The panelists included Chinua Akukwe (Public Health, George Washington University), John Panzer (International Trade Department, World Bank), Nathaniel Hupert (Public Health and Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College), and Nicolas van de Walle (Government, Cornell University). Professor Muna Ndulo, Professor at the Cornell Law School and Director of the Institute for African Development, moderated the event.

Media Coverage: CornellCastCornell Chronicle 


20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide


April 17, 2014 in G10 Biotechnology Building

The Einaudi Center and the Institute for African Development will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide with a roundtable discussion in Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. The keynote address will be given by Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide and followed by a panel discussion on the relevance of the Rwandan genocide for current conflicts.

Media Coverage: CornellCastCornell Chronicle

PDF icon Roundtable Discussion to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide.pdf


Kurds in the Age of Middle Eastern Revolutions

March 21, 2014 in 186 Myron Taylor Hall, Cornell Law School 

Interdisciplinary experts gathered in 186 Myron Taylor Hall for a roundtable discussion entitled "Kurds in the Age of Middle Eastern Revolutions." Scholars who work on Kurdish issues from historical, sociological, and political angles debated and discussed the role that Kurds are playing in the Middle East as well as the future of Kurdish populations in light of the dramatic developments taking place in the region.

PDF icon Kurds in the Age of Middle Eastern Revolutions.pdf


The EU Financial Crisis – Implications Inside and Outside the Euro-Zone

March 30, 2012 in 120 Physical Sciences Building 

Cornell Faculty and students filled 120 Physical Sciences building to attend a public forum entitled, "The EU Financial Crisis – Implications Inside and Outside the Euro-Zone". The focus of the discussion was to explain the nature of the Euro-Zone financial crisis, to understand the current and new institutional arrangements, and to examine the impacts of the crisis both within and outside the EU. This international forum was organized by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and was supported by the European Union Commission.

Media Coverage: CornellCast Video (Part 1) and CornellCast Video (Part 2)


Food, Politics, and Society: Alternative Futures

The speakers raised issues of ethics, movements for alternative food systems, technology, nutrition and risk. The Forum kicked off work on a new Handbook from Oxford University Press on Food, Politics, and Society.The forum was organized by the Einaudi Center and the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) and co-sponsored by the Polson Institute for Global Development; Department of Government; Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences; and the Development, Governance, and Nature Initiative.