Speaker Date Topic
Arlie Schardt Mar 29, 2017

Renowned photojournalist and public interest activist, Mr. Schardt has enjoyed a long and diverse career. As a journalist, he was a reporter for United Press International, a writer at Sports Illustrated, and a correspondent at TIME, where he spent seven years covering the civil rights movement in the south. He left TIME to become associate Washington legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, where he helped to organize a national campaign to impeach Richard Nixon—launched one year before Watergate. He left the ACLU to serve six years as executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he erased the organization's debt, established a reserve fund, and created EDF's first communications program, a formal legislative program and its wildlife program. Mr. Schardt’s passion for politics and environmental causes made him a natural fit as national press secretary for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign. Returning to journalism, he was news media editor at Newsweek, then editor of Foundation News magazine. In 1993, he founded Environmental Media Services to provide top-end public relations services for the pressing environmental issues of the day. He served as the president of EMS for over a decade until he retired. Mr. Schardt has worked in media consulting for the American Forest Foundation since 1960.

Robert McKenzie Apr 05, 2017
The Crisis of Refugees
The Crisis of Refugees

A nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, Dr. McKenzie is an expert in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with 15 years of research and work experience for the US government, private sector and academia. An expert in displaced persons and refugee resettlement he has extensive experience working with Muslim communities in the United States. He also focuses on policies for MENA societies in transition, seeking to understand the effects of large-scale forced migration and protracted displacement. Dr. McKenzie has been an adjunct lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit, a researcher at the American University in Cairo and a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford. His latest book project, expected in May 2017, explores humanitarian assistance to refugee situations in the MENA. In his most recent government position, Dr. McKenzie served as senior advisor for countering violent extremism (CVE) at the US Department of State, developing global initiatives in education and youth engagement, sports and cultural diplomacy, and support for terrorism victims. Previously, he was project director for the establishment of the Hedayah Center in Abu Dhabi, devoted to training, dialogue, collaboration and research on CVE. Dr. McKenzie has written for, appeared on or been cited by: The Baltimore Sun, Bloomberg View, The Brookings Cafeteria Podcast, CNN, The Detroit Free Press, Foreign Policy in Focus, The Guardian, The New York Times, Share Radio, The Washington Post and The Washington Times. Born and raised in the Greater Detroit area, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Michigan State University, a Master's Degree in Security Studies and a graduate certificate in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a PhD in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.​

Ralph Smith Apr 12, 2017
Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading at the Annie E. Casey Foundation since 2010, Mr. Smith calls himself a “recovering law professor,” acknowledging that work as a corporate and securities lawyer helps him appreciate the private sector’s role and the value of cross-sector collaboration. Convening “unusual allies” and “unlikely champions” is a hallmark of Mr. Smith’s work at the Foundation—from supporting fathers’ critical role in children’s lives to mobilizing communities as change agents in improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families. As the Foundation seeks a brighter future for children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes, Mr. Smith has been forging consensus around ensuring that they reach the milestone of reading on grade level by the end of third grade. “Focusing on helping the youngest children succeed in school was the logical next step to advance the Foundation’s two-generation strategy for attacking intergenerational poverty,” he declares, referring to efforts to assist low-income parents to succeed economically while improving access to high-quality, early childhood learning opportunities. Mr. Smith made his early mark in academia by teaching corporations and securities regulation at the University of Pennsylvania, but his years as chief of staff and special counsel to the Philadelphia School District helped him grasp “the interplay between what was going on in schools and classrooms and what was going on in the lives of the children at home and in their communities,” he says. Working to “put families at the center of the Foundation’s efforts to improve outcomes for disadvantaged kids” numbers among his proudest accomplishments. He is “helping to build a culture where people are encouraged to take risks and to get personally involved with the work” As Mr. Smith remarks, “What crystallizes the moral imperative to act is the awareness and belief that acting can make a difference.”

Dr. Preston Campbell Apr 19, 2017
President, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
President, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Campbell previously served as the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, a position he held since 1998. He brings a deep understanding of the Foundation's work to his role, drawn from his 17 years with the organization. Most recently, he oversaw the Foundation's research, drug discovery and development program, and directed clinical research, the Foundation's network of CF care centers, clinical training programs and the national patient registry database. He has more than 25 years' experience providing direct clinical care to people with CF, most recently at Johns Hopkins CF Care Center and at Vanderbilt's CF Care Center. “This is an exciting time for the Foundation as we enter a new era of research, engagement and support on behalf of the CF community,” says Dr. Campbell. “I am committed to advancing the mission that has guided the Foundation from its beginnings 60 years ago: to help people with CF live healthier, longer lives, while we search for a cure...” Under his leadership, the Foundation will continue to work towards new therapies and improve existing ones to help people with CF manage their symptoms. The Foundation is pursuing bold new strategies and technologies to attack the disease at its genetic level, which could one day lead to a cure. It also will connect people with CF with comprehensive programs and services that can help them afford their medications and treatments, as well as fully benefit from their health insurance coverage. ​

Louise Shelley Apr 26, 2017
International Human Trafficking
International Human Trafficking

Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy and Founding Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University, Dr. Shelley is a faculty member in the Schar School of Policy and Government. She is the author of Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism (2014) and Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective (2010). She has also written dozens of articles and book chapters on transnational crime and corruption. While serving as an initial Andrew Carnegie Fellow, she is working on a book for Princeton University Press on illicit trade and how it is undermining sustainability of life and the planet. She served for six years as a member of the Global Agenda Councils on Organized Crime and Illicit Trade of the World Economic Forum. She is a life member of the Council of Foreign Relations. She is a member of the Global Initiative on Transnational Crime. Dr. Shelley has received fellowships and prizes including the Guggenheim and two Fulbrights, two MacArthur Foundation grants, and most recently the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation. She has testified for the US Congress repeatedly, addressed other national and international bodies and appears in the media frequently.​

Club Assembly May 03, 2017

President Ross Grantham will provide an update on our club’s fund-raising and service activities during his Rotary year. Rotarians will then enjoy fellowship over lunch. 

Dr. Shadi Hamid May 10, 2017
The Impact of Islamism on the Middle East and Beyond
The Impact of Islamism on the Middle East and Beyond

A senior fellow with the “Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World” at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy, Dr. Hamid is the author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World. His previous work Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East was named “Best Book of 2014” by Foreign Affairs. He served as Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. Before joining Brookings, he was Director of Research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The Vice-chair of POMED’s board of directors, Dr. Hamid has appeared on and been cited by numerous media outlets. He is also a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He earned his doctorate in Political Science and Government from the University of Oxford

Ferdinando Duccio Macchetto May 17, 2017
Europe-US Collaboration on the Hubble Space Telescope
Europe-US Collaboration on the Hubble Space Telescope

An Emeritus Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Dr. Macchetto has spent his professional life working in space research and specifically on bilateral projects between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). He earned his doctorate in Physics from the University of Rome in 1965. His career began in 1968 when he was awarded the United Kingdom Royal Society fellowship. Working at England’s Culham Laboratory, he built and launched several rocket-borne ultraviolet astronomy payloads and designed the telescope and spectrograph flown in the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, the first NASA-ESA collaboration in a space astronomy project. In 1973, he moved to the ESA’s technical center in Holland, becoming Project Scientist for ESA's participation in the IUE project. In 1975, Dr. Macchetto led the study defining ESA's participation in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and became the ESA HST Project Scientist as well as Principal Investigator for the Faint Object Camera, the ESA instrument on board the HST. In 1983, he moved to the Space Telescope Science Institute whose 500-member staff is responsible for the mission operations and scientific utilization of the HST observatory. From 1983 to his retirement in 2010, he held several positions leading to that of the STSci’s Associate Director. Dr. Macchetto has earned numerous honors including the United States Presidential Award for Design Excellence for his contributions to the IUE observatory, NASA's Exceptional Scientific Medal for his role on the HST observatory, and the International Aeronautics and Astronautics Achievement Award, also for his contributions to the Hubble Space Telescope Observatory.

Ann McClellan - Moderator May 24, 2017
Panel on Bonsai Trees
Panel on Bonsai Trees

Expert on the cherry blossom tree, Ms. McClellan will convene a panel of colleagues to discuss the variety, beauty and symbolism of bonsai trees. She is the author of The Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Celebration and Cherry Blossoms, The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossoms Festival. She has earned a Certificate of Commendation from Japan’s government for “promoting mutual understanding between our two great countries through great efforts and activities with cherry trees.” Ms. McClellan’s life-long love of trees began in New Jersey where she was fortunate enough to attend the Lawrenceville School, an arboretum-like campus laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted. Now residing in Washington, DC, she has held executive positions at the Smithsonian Institution, World Wildlife Fund and the American Association of Museums among other prestigious organizations. She shares her marketing and writing skills and expertise with clients on various projects—annual reports, speeches, fundraising letters and personal history booklets. Ms. McClellan is working on a novel set in 16th-century France, involving King Francis and his last official mistress.