Great Decisions Lecture Series

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Wednesdays, February 1 thru March 22, 2023

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Kirkland Village Retirement Community

Second Floor Auditorium



Early Registration has begun!  Register before Saturday, December 31, 2022, to receive a discount.

Regular Registration will begin on January 1, 2023.

Can’t make it to all 8 lectures?  Single-Lecture Walk-ins are always welcome!


Please note: Online registration and payment through the YWCA Bethlehem website will not be available this year.  To register, you must make your payment with cash or check (payable to YWCA Bethlehem).  Please mail your completed Registration Form and payment to YWCA Bethlehem at 3895 Adler Place, Building A Suite 180, Bethlehem PA 18017.


Registration Form – Click to view!


Info Flyer – Click to view!





CHINA AND THE U.S. – FEB 1 – Dr. Chris Herrick, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Muhlenberg College, Retired

For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in a competition for who has the greatest global influence. One major point of contention is the status of Taiwanese sovereignty, which has become even more relevant recently with the possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may prompt China to take similar action regarding Taiwan. How will the United States engage a China which is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence?



Access to oil and gas has long held an influence over the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect the availability of oil and gas, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world?


WAR CRIMES Dr. Brian Mello, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of Political Science, Muhlenberg College

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread charges of war crimes and calls for justice. But what exactly are war crimes? Opinions of what constitutes a war crime have evolved, as have ways to identify and punish the perpetrators. How will the war crimes committed in Ukraine be dealt with?


ECONOMIC WARFARE – Dr. Eva Leeds, Ph.D., Professor of Economics & Business, Moravian University

Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by states to hinder their enemies, and in the case of the United States have been used as far back as the early 19th century. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war?


POLITICS IN LATIN AMERICA – Dr. Lindsay Burt, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Muhlenberg College

Electoral results in Latin America over the past four years have led many observers of the regional/political scene to discern a left-wing surge in the hemisphere, reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Tide” that swept the area some 20 years ago. But how much do these politicians actually have in common? What implication does their ascendency have for the region?


GLOBAL FAMINE – Mrs. Beverly Eighmy, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State, Retired

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there?


IRAN AT A CROSSROADS – Dr. Mustafa Kirisci, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, DeSales University

By the fall of 2022, Iran was in a state of turmoil due to widespread protests against government-enforced wearing of the hijab, a failing economy, an ineffective new president, and the looming succession of the country’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Abroad, renewal of the Iran nuclear deal seemed doubtful, and tensions remain high between Iran, Israel, and Arab states. Many Iranians have lost hope of a better future, and the country seems at a crossroads. How should the United States deal with it?


CLIMATE MIGRATION – Dr. Douglas de Toledo Piza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Lafayette College

As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration?





PARKING – Attendees should park behind First Presbyterian Church on 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem.

Please follow the event signage and enter Kirkland Village at the SIDE entrance (right back corner, past the gazebo). Front circle entrance will NOT be accessible for these events.

INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY – Lectures will be rescheduled if the Bethlehem Area School District closes its schools due to weather. Information on school closings can be found at




Contact Karen Berry, Chair of the Great Decisions Lecture Series Committee, at 610-866-2655 or

Or Emma Lewis, Administrative Assistant of YWCA Bethlehem, at 610-867-4669 ext. 109 or







Karen N. Berry, Chair

Senior Research Associate, Environmental Management, PPL, Retired

William Berry

Process Engineer, Fuller Company, Retired

Bruce Denlinger

Senior Account Agent, Allstate, Retired

Beverly Eighmy

Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State, Retired

Dr. Thomas Eighmy, Ph.D.

Foreign Service Officer, USAID, Retired

Dr. Chris Herrick, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Muhlenberg College, Retired

Dr. Mustafa Kirisci, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, DeSales University

Dr. Brian Mello, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair of the Political Science Department, Muhlenberg College

Elaine Molnar

Program Coordinator, Displaced Homemakers Program, Warren County, Retired

Dr. James West, Ph.D.

Moravian College, Professor of Economics & Business




The Great Decisions Foreign Policy Lecture Series seeks to educate the community about vitally important issues relating to American foreign policy.

Eight topics are selected by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), an independent, non-governmental organization promoting informed public opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global affairs. The FPA is the oldest and largest grassroots, educational program on world affairs, reaching 880 cities and 350,000 members. The FPA is based in New York City.

FPA experts write articles about the most critical issues facing America each year to be included in the Great Decisions Briefing Book. This book is included with registration for the program and will be distributed to registrants before the first lecture in the Spring.