The Speakers Bureau

The Speakers Bureau consists of leaders and associates of The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg who are widely respected in their fields of expertise, and who are committed to helping Americans better understand their place in the global arena. They have the highest endorsement of the Council and are willing to speak to groups in Pennsylvania, as well as throughout the United States and the world. Get in touch if you would like to book any of our distinguished speakers

Meet Our Speakers

Ambassador John Craig

In a distinguished career as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador John Craig has had numerous assignments both overseas and in the State Department. He pursued his career focus on economic analysis during assignments in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, and Haiti. Craig speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish. He became deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus followed by a similar posting to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. On his return to the United States in 1995, was appointed to head the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the State Department’s Near East Bureau. Then, in June 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Craig to be the United States Ambassador to Oman. After three years in the post, he returned to the United States just after Sept. 11, 2001, to be appointed by President George W. Bush as a Special Assistant to the President. He also served on the staff of the National Security Council with Gen. Wayne Downing, Deputy National Security Adviser. In June 2003, he was appointed as Boeing International Corporation’s regional vice president in the Middle East. He was responsible for coordinating Boeing business activities enterprise-wide in a number of countries across the region. In March 2008 he joined The Jadwin Group (MENA) as a full partner and is at the helm of its MENA operations, appointed as Managing Director, and working out of Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Jadwin Group’s goal is to provide high-level investment services to private sector entities and high-worth individuals throughout the Gulf region. They intend to support investments that will bring knowledge and technology to the region and are committed to projects that will help to train, develop, and employ young nationals in the gulf cooperation Council states. Craig is also currently serving as an adviser for JADCO (Joint Aviation Development Company L L C), an aviation joint venture investment for The Jadwin Group, based in Muscat, Oman. In July 2010 Ambassador Craig responded to an offer from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania to become the Director of the Center for Global Citizenship. He retains his operations from central Pennsylvania. Ambassador Craig is a graduate of the School of International Service at The American University in Washington DC. He received the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in International Relations from The National Defense University in Washington DC.

Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh

Dr. Noorbaksh specializes in several areas, such as international politics, global energy and health, and democratic movements and processes in Middle East Politics, including the Foreign Policy Association, Middle East Policy Journal, and the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Noorbaksh’s most recent academic achievements include receiving his master of Business administration (MBA) and master of health administration (MHA) in 2006 from the University of Houston. Previous to these degrees, Noorbaksh earned his B.S. in electrical engineering at the University of Texas in 1979 and M.A. in political science form the University of Houston in 1986. In 1996, Dr. Noorbaksh earned both his Ph.D. in government studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a position at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. He taught at the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston before joining Harrisburg University in 2006. He is currently working on a number of articles on the Middle East and Iran, and two books on the interaction of Islam, nationalism and democratic change, and Islam and Authoritarianism in Iran.

Russell W. Goodman

An expert in international supply chain and global logistics, Russell W. Goodman is Executive Editor of Supply Chain Brain and leads webinars and seminars on topics throughout the United States. Goodman has spoken at international conferences and regularly writes on international logistics in the online and print publications of Keller Publishing, an international media company.

Rev. Nathaniel Gadsden

Area of Expertise:

Diversity and Multi-Cultural Communication; Poetry and Writing; Community Engagement

Background Information:
Nathaniel Gadsden wears many hats: Life Skills Coach, poet, poet therapist, minister, and motivational speaker. While Nathaniel Gadsden is accomplished in many areas, his foundation remains spiritual and his door is always open. With a wealth of knowledge and experience to call his own, Rev. Gadsden is ever prepared to share his wealth while remaining a perpetual student of life.
Rev. Gadsden’s educational background includes degrees in Social Studies, Management, Human Relations, and Bible Studies. He also has an extensive background in Counseling and Clinical Pastoral Education.
Rev. Gadsden has traveled extensively as a journalist to such places as Cuba, Grenada, and Beirut, Lebanon. He interviewed Yasser Arafat, former Chairman of the PLO, Maurice Bishop, Former Prime Minister of Grenada, Juan Williams, Nationally Syndicated Journalist Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet, and many others. Rev. Gadsden is the Co-Host (with his wife Patricia) of the “Life Esteem Television Talk Show:, which airs on WHP-TV 21 (CBS Affiliate) and WHBG-TV 20 (Harrisburg, PA Gov. Access Station). The show is also available on the internet on “You Tube”. Rev. Gadsden is also the Host of “Profiles” a Radio Talk Show, which airs on the 95.3 FM The Touch, Harrisburg, PA.

Joyce M. Davis

Joyce M. Davis is founder and president of The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, a member of The World Affairs Councils of America. She is an award-winning journalist and internationally acclaimed author who has lived and worked around the globe. She is former foreign correspondent and foreign editor for National Public Radio and Knight Ridder Newspapers, once the second-largest newspaper chain in the United States. Davis specializes in foreign affairs and the media, and has written extensively on terrorism, national security, and Islam.
From 2003-2007, Davis was Associate Director of Broadcasting for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic. In her senior role at the international broadcasting agency, Ms. Davis supervised radio and internet services to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the countries of Central Asia. She was a leading voice in providing news and information to Iran through Radio Farda (tomorrow) and has reported from the country as well as from much of the Middle East.
In 2006, Kyrgyz International University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her work in advancing a free and independent press in the former Soviet Union, and for securing the free flow of information to Kyrgyzstan during the downfall of its dictatorial regime in the “Tulip Revolution” of 2005.
Davis has received numerous awards ad distinguished fellowships, including senior fellowships with the United States Institute of Peace, Journalists in Europe based in Paris, and the Salzburg Seminar in Austria. In 2003, Ms. Davis was named Journalist in Residence with the Pew International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In 2002, she received the U.S. State Department’s Distinguished Service for her work as a moderator with the Open Forum, and she was Chair of the National Press Club’s Forums committee in the same year.
Davis has spoken at such respected institutions as the U.S. Naval Academy, the National Security Agency, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She is regularly called to serve as television and radio host and moderator, and has appeared on CNN International, the BBC, as well as on Fox News.
Davis is author of m any articles and two books: Between Jihad and Salaam: Profiles in Islam, written in 1997 and published by St. Martin’s Press; and Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance, and Despair in the Middle East, written in 2002 and published by Palgrave Macmillan. She has also authored a chapter in The Trauma of Terrorism, a compendium of the writings of experts in the field edited by Yael Danieli, Danny Brom, Joe Sills and published by The Hawthorne Press in 2005
Davis is a member of the board of directors of the World Affairs Councils of America; the board of advisers of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs; the board of trustees of Elizabethtown College; the board of trustees of Harrisburg Academy, Keystone Human Services International. She is also a member of the board of directors of the State Street Academy of Music and of the Open State of Harrisburg, Pa.
Davis lives in Harrisburg, Pa, with her husband and son. She can be reached by email at or
Among Davis’ topics are:
On Foreign Policy:

  • Covering Islam: One Woman’s Journey Between War and Peace
  • Martyrs, Militants, and Moderates: Inside the World of Terrorism
  • Mothers, Martyrs, and Jihad: The Female Side of Terrorism
  • Understanding Islam: Bridging the Ignorance Gap with the West
  • Who Speaks for Islam: An Overview of Muslim Thinkers and Their Relations with the West
  • Diversity is More Than Black and White: The view from a Well-Traveled

Foreign Correspondent
On the Media:

  • Covering Islam: How the Media Gets it Wrong
  • No Money, No News: How the Economic Crisis and the Hunt for Money
  • Hurts NPR and Its Stations
  • What’s Wrong with the Media and the Threat to American Democracy
  • U.S. International Broadcasting : Spreading Freedom or American
  • Propaganda?
  • Inside NPR: Covering the World with a Microphone

Robyn Meadows

Area of Expertise:

Commercial and Financing Law, Domestic and International

Background Information:
Robyn L. Meadows is Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Widener’s Harrisburg campus. Professor Meadows received a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1979, a J.D. from University of Louisville School of Law in 1983 and an LL.M. from Temple University School of Law in 1991.
Following graduation from law school, Meadows worked as an Associate Attorney in the firm of Mark Jay Kaufman in Gainesville, Florida, from 1983-86, and as Partner in the firm of Davis & Meadows in Gainesville, Florida, from 1986-89. Vice Dean Meadows was a Graduate Fellow at Temple Law School from 1989-91.
Meadows joined the faculty at Widener in 1991 and served as Assistant Professor of Law from 1991-94, Associate Professor of Law from 1994-2002, Professor of Law since July 2002, Associate Dean for Student Affairs from 1994-97 and Vice Dean from 2009 until the present. Meadows is admitted to practice in Florida, and she teaches and writes in the areas of Contracts, Secured Transactions, Sales and Leases and Payment Systems.
Meadows is a member of the Uniform Commercial Code Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association; Article 1 Sub-Committee and Business Law Education Committee. She is Co-Editor of the Annual Survey of the Uniform Commercial Law for the Business Lawyer, published by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.
Meadows has been active in a number of professional and civic organizations, including the American Bar Association Business Law Section UCC Committee, Article 1 Subcommittee, Article 9 Subcommittee; Legal Education Committee. She serves as Co-Editor of the Annual UCC Survey in the Business Lawyer. She has served as Commissioner of IMPAACT-PA and a member of the Advisory Board for Cities-in-Schools/John Harris High Academy.

Dr. Linda Hasunuma

Areas of Expertise:

East Asia, decentralization, gender equality in Japan and South Korea, and Japan-South Korea relations.

Background information:
Dr. Hasunuma is an Assistant Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published on the subject of Japan’s political institutions, decentralization reforms, and gender politics–including her most recent publication: “Gender Gaiatsu: An Institutional Perspective on Womenomics” for the US-Japan Women’s Journal (Oct/Nov 2015). She is currently developing a chapter for The Private and the Public: Women and Politics in Contemporary Japan, edited by Gill Steel, and her own book project on gender equality in Japan and South Korea.
Dr. Hasunuma is part of the 2012-2014 cohort of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation’s U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Fellows program, and received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Sasakawa Foundation, and the Aratani Foundation. She has been an invited speaker at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and the World Affairs Council; and served as discussant at workshops on Japanese politics at Columbia University, the US-Japan Research Institute, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. She has been interviewed on CBS Philadelphia and Channel News Asia, and published an Op-Ed in The Asahi Shimbun.
She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Christopher Dolan

Areas of expertise:

US foreign policy and security, international studies, humanitarian intervention, and human security.

Background information:
Dr. Dolan is the author of or co-author of three books and more than 30 referred articles or book chapters. His research interests include humanitarian intervention and human security, U.S. foreign policy and security, globalization, and global political economy. He has presented his research in London, Paris, Montreal, Denver, Miami, San Diego, and Washington D.C., among others. Dr. Dolan, who began LVC’s International Studies Program, has presented collaborative research with students in Toronto, Baltimore, Buffalo, and Philadelphia, and oversees the International Studies internship program. He teaches courses on international relations theory, contemporary global security, American foreign policy, globalization, and research methods. Beginning in 2015, he teaches a course on Global Human Rights to LVC students at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
He currently is the Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at Lebanon Valley College.
He obtained his B.A. from Siena College, his M.A. from Northeastern University, and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.