Global Affairs & US Foreign Policy Institute

The Institute and its Benefits

For those pursuing a deeper understanding of global affairs and US foreign policy to benefit their professional development or personal knowledge, the Global Affairs & U.S. Foreign Policy Institute is an excellent resource to gain a more comprehensive grasp of the world as it is today, and what factors will shape it in the years ahead. The Institute allows attendees to enhance or develop key competencies and a global understanding applicable to: international business, careers with the US government, international NGO’s & non-profits, global risk analysis, and a variety of other fields impacted by world events.

The Institute benefits those who are interested in global affairs but have only a limited knowledge of the issues. It will also enhance the understanding of those who have an existing familiarity and experience with international issues but desire to learn more and delve deeper.

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Course Overview

The Global Affairs & U.S. Foreign Policy Institute will provide a general overview of how the world’s current geopolitical order has come to into being, and what has been and can be the U.S.’s role in influencing the world in the years to come. Particular focus will be placed on those parts of the world where the U.S. has been significantly involved in recent years, such as the broader Middle East. The discussion will include the challenges presented by other major players such as China and Russia, and how other factors shape the world, such as energy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, alliances, and cyber threats.

Outside experts will join courses 2, 3, 4 & 5 to stimulate discussion and allow students to ask them questions directly. Background reading materials will be given to students before the start of the session, and each week in advance of the next course.

Courses will be held once per week on Tuesday (except the week of July 4th) from 5:30-7:30 pm with a 10-minute break in the middle of each course. Depending upon CDC guidelines and Houston area vaccination rates at the time, it is planned for all courses to be held in person in the Council’s conference room and for all, or most, of the outside experts to join the class in person. At the end of Course 6, the last course of the session, students will be invited to make a short presentation and lead a short discussion with the class on a topic of their choosing.

Course Outline

Course 1 –  ‘How the Modern World Order Came to Be’ and Course Overview & Student Introductions’

Course 2 –  ‘The Rise of the US and its Role in the World’ 

Course 3 –  ‘The World Since the End of the Cold War’ 

Course 4 –  ‘Special Topics: The US’s Role in the Middle East and How Energy Shapes Geopolitics’  

Course 5 –  ‘The Rise of China, the Resurgence of Russia and Other Challenges for Democracy & American Influence’ 

Course 6 –  ‘Considerations & Concerns for the Years Ahead’ and Student End of Course Presentation’

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Ronan O’Malley

Director of Programs

Viridiana Otamendi

Programs Manager