• 27 Jan 2022
    • 12:00 PM
    • Online

    Key Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era:

    30 Years On (Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc.)

    A Conversation with Ambassador George Krol and David Merkel

    The Cold War and Soviet era seemingly ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, giving independence to 15 countries. The recent violence in Kazakhstan, continuing Ukraine crises, and Russian President Putin’s vision of an authoritarian regional order led by Russia highlight only some of the turmoil in the former Soviet Union.

    Ambassador George Krol will discuss the implications of these events and trends for the countries of the region and their relations with the U.S. and Europe. He has over thirty years of professional diplomatic expertise in the region, including as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

    David A. Merkel has decades of experience in the region, having served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House. He is a founding board member of Nazarbayev University in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.



    Free for PCFR Members

    $10 for Non-members


    Thursday, January 27, 2022

    12 pm MST | 2 pm EST


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    George A. Krol

    U.S. Ambassador, retired

    Ambassador George Krol retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in November 2018, concluding a 36-year diplomatic career with his final assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan. He has spent the last 30 years dealing with and serving in states that emerged from the former Soviet Union such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Krol also held ambassadorships to Uzbekistan (2011-2014) and Belarus (2003-2006,) and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Central Asia (2008-2010). Earlier in his career, Krol served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (1999-2002,) Director of the Office of Russian Affairs (1997-99) and Special Assistant to the Ambassador-at- Large for the New Independent States (1995-97) at the State Department. As an officer serving in Leningrad/St Petersburg (1990-92) Krol reported from the Baltic republics and covered the collapse of the USSR there and in Northwest Russia. Krol has received numerous State Department awards, including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award as well as decorations from the governments of Lithuania, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

    Ambassador Krol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Clifton, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. 1978) and Oxford University (B.A., M.A. 1980.) He resides in Middletown, Rhode Island and currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Krol lectures on foreign policy topics to local audiences and is also an Associate Fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies where he gives talks, writes and participates in Davis Center activities.

    David A. Merkel

    Associate Fellow,

    International Institute for Strategic Studies

    David A. Merkel is the managing director of Summit International Advisors, LLC. His expertise includes United States foreign policy, the geopolitics of energy, the Belt and Road Initiative, Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

    David A. Merkel has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House, Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. He also served as international counsellor to the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior foreign and defense policy adviser to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

    • 28 Jan 2022
    • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
    • Online Zoom Meeting

    Book for Discussion

    Warrior Politics

    by Robert D. Kaplan


    Friday, January 28, 2022

    7:30 - 9:00 am MST


    Online Zoom Meeting

    About the Book

    "Sun-Tzu also suggested that with the battle won, the best leader persuades his followers that they did it themselves: one great lesson among many others in this gem of a book for present and future leaders." - Sidney Harman, Executive Chairman, Harman International Industries

    "An intellectual tour de force expressing the enduring relevance of ancient principles of statecraft to modern circumstances in the most lucid and persuasive prose I've ever read." - Robert McFarlane, Former National Security Adviser

    In Warrior Politics, the esteemed journalist and analyst Robert D. Kaplan explores the wisdom of the ages for answers for today’s leaders. While the modern world may seem more complex and dangerous than ever before, Kaplan writes from a deeper historical perspective to reveal how little things actually change. Indeed, as Kaplan shows us, we can look to history’s most influential thinkers, who would have understood and known how to navigate today’s dangerous political waters.

    Drawing on the timeless work of Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, among others, Kaplan argues that in a world of unstable states and an uncertain future, it is increasingly imperative to wrest from the past what we need to arm ourselves for the road ahead. Wide-ranging and accessible, Warrior Politics is a bracing book with an increasingly important message that challenges readers to see the world as it is, not as they would like it to be.

    Save the Dates

    View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

    • 01 Feb 2022
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Online

    The Invention of Power: Popes, Kings, and the Birth of the West

    Virtual Book Discussion with Author Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

    Following the success of his last book, The Dictator’s Handbook, and the author’s unique flair of bringing in different perspectives, Bruce examines why and how the West became the world’s most powerful civilization. Drawing on his years of teaching political science at NYU, and copious research, Bruce discusses how a rarely examined historical 12th century event, the Concordat of Worms, changed the course of history.

    Bringing it to today, our discussion will consider how competition between church and state have led to stronger, more stable countries than where that has not been the case. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Bruce is a founder of Mesquita & Roundell, a consultancy that makes political and foreign policy forecasts based on game theory.

    Complimentary Registration:

    RSVP Here


    Tuesday, February 1, 2022

    6 pm MST | 8 pm EST


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Author

    Silver Professor; Professor of Politics, New York University

    Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has been a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution since 1986, and a professor at New York University. He earned his B.A. from Queens College, and his M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Michigan. He serves as director for New York University’s Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy.

    He is best known as one of the authors of selectorate theory. Selectorate theory, as described in his 2012 The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics (cowritten with Alastair Smith), seeks to explain the five rules that dictators must follow to remain in power, including the cultivation of a small winning coalition so as to keep their needs simple, keep replacements to step up when supporters depart, control the money, give lots of money to your friends but not so much that they can overthrow you, and never give your friends’ money to the people.

    He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and president of the International Studies Association. He has been awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Award and a Karl Deutsch Award in International Relations and Peace Research.

    About the Book

    In the tradition of Why Nations Fail, this book solves one of the great puzzles of history: Why did the West become the most powerful civilization in the world?

    Western exceptionalism—the idea that European civilizations are freer, wealthier, and less violent—is a widespread and powerful political idea. It has been a source of peace and prosperity in some societies, and of ethnic cleansing and havoc in others.

    Yet in The Invention of Power, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita draws on his expertise in political maneuvering, deal-making, and game theory to present a revolutionary new theory of Western exceptionalism: that a single, rarely discussed event in the twelfth century changed the course of European and world history. By creating a compromise between churches and nation-states that, in effect, traded money for power and power for money, the 1122 Concordat of Worms incentivized economic growth, facilitated secularization, and improved the lot of the citizenry, all of which set European countries on a course for prosperity. In the centuries since, countries that have had a similar dynamic of competition between church and state have been consistently better off than those that have not.

    The Invention of Power upends conventional thinking about European culture, religion, and race and presents a persuasive new vision of world history.

    • 09 Feb 2022
    • 6:00 PM
    • Private Venue, Phoenix

    An evening with the Ambassador of Brazil to the U.S., 

    Ambassador Nestor Forster Jr.

    The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations would like to welcome you to join us for a special evening with Ambassador Nestor Forster Jr. of Brazil. Brazil is the largest economy in South America and one of the largest in the world. Ambassador Forster Jr. will share his insights on U.S./Brazil relations and how we can strengthen as economic partners. The discussion will be moderated by Glen Goodman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Brazilian Studies at Arizona State University.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2022

    6:00 pm Reception  |   7:00 pm Dinner & Program

    Private Venue, Phoenix

    You will receive the venue address upon registration.

    Complimentary valet will be provided.

    Dinner program is by invitation only.

    This event is only open to PCFR annual sponsors and program sponsors.

    For sponsorship information please, reach out to tina@pcfraz.org.


    About Ambassador Nestor Forster Jr.

    Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1963, Ambassador Forster graduated from the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy (Instituto Rio Branco) in 1986. As a diplomat, he served in Canada, Costa Rica, and the United States, where he was posted three times to the Embassy in Washington, as well as to the Brazilian consulates in Hartford (CT) and New York (NY). His diplomatic experience covers areas such as trade negotiations, intellectual property, financial policy, political affairs, international law, consular affairs, administration, and information technology.

    After starting his career in consular affairs, Forster was posted twice to the Office of the President of Brazil (1990-92 and 2002), having also served as chief of staff at the Office of the Attorney General. Most recently, he headed the Foreign Ministry’s Information Technology Division. Ambassador Forster has led numerous Brazilian delegations to regional and multilateral meetings.

    In 2006, Nestor Forster successfully concluded his high studies dissertation on “Development Finance” at the Rio Branco diplomatic academy. He also co- authored the Official Style Guide of Brazil’s federal administration, in use for almost 30 years, and participated in the first institutionalized Brazilian presidential transition team in 2002, which resulted in the book “Transition and Democracy: institutionalizing the transferring of power.” He has also appeared as guest speaker at Columbia University, Toronto University, University of Alberta, Université Laval à Montreal, and Instituto Rio Branco.

    Ambassador Forster was the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Brazil in Washington from June 2019 to October 2020. He is the Ambassador of Brazil to the United States of America since October 2020.

    Nestor Forster is married to Maria Theresa Diniz Forster. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.



    Glen Goodman

    Glen Goodman is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Brazilian Studies at Arizona State University and leads Latin America initiatives for ASU's office of International Development. He is a three-time Fulbright scholar to Brazil and a former visiting professor at both the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. His historical research focuses on the relationship between migration and ethnic identities in Brazil, with a particular focus on the hundreds of thousands of German-speaking migrants who came to Brazil beginning in the early 19th century and their millions of descendants who form an important part of Brazil's vibrantly diverse culture to this day. At ASU he teaches a broad range of courses on Brazilian history and culture, as well as Portuguese language. He holds a PhD in Brazilian History from Emory University as well as degrees from Oxford and Georgetown Universities.

    • 15 Feb 2022
    • 6:00 PM
    • ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, 111 E Taylor St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

    Great Power Competition Series

    The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, McCain Institute at ASU and ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law present a series of renowned speakers on Great Power Competition.

    The U.S. security strategy has focused on the global war on terrorism since the attacks of September 11, 2001 and while terrorism still exists, the past two administrations have identified Great Power Competition as the political construct guiding U.S. foreign policy. The decline of U.S. global influence, competition from a rising China and a revanchist Russia is the new principle threat of Great Power Competition.

    While the Cold War showcased the ideological battle between democracy and communism, the dissolution of the Soviet Union put an end to the threat of communism. However, democracy is under increased threat and China with its state controlled economy and Beijing and Moscow’s increasingly heavy-handed authoritarian systems is challenging democracy. In 2017, then Defense Secretary James Mattis proclaimed that great-power competition—not terrorism—is now the primary focus of U.S. national security.”

    Join us for our first series speaker:

    Secretary Mark T. Esper 

    Former Secretary of Defense and the Army

    Join us as Secretary Mark Esper discusses Great Power Competition and the U.S role and balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, China and Taiwan, and the state of global power politics.

    Masks will be required during the program except when drinking. There will not be food or beverage service at this program. Bottled water will be provided.

    This is a free program and open to the general public.



    Complimentary Registration


    Tuesday, February 15, 2022

    6 pm MST


    ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

    111 E Taylor St

    Phoenix, AZ 85004 (map)


    Dr. Mark T. Esper

    Former Secretary of Defense

    Dr. Mark T. Esper became the 27th Secretary of Defense in July 2019 when he was confirmed in an overwhelming 90-8 vote by the U.S. Senate in rare bipartisan fashion. Esper went on to successfully lead the department through an unprecedented time in the nation’s history: from conflict with Iran, an ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan, and counter-terrorist operations in the Middle East; to open competition with China and Russia amidst a fundamental shift in geo-strategic environment; and from the greatest civil unrest and political turmoil America has seen in decades, to the spread of a global pandemic the world had not experienced in over 100 years, all while dealing with a chaotic and unpredictable White House.

    As Defense Secretary, Esper was responsible for ensuring the United States’ national security, protecting the American people at home and abroad, and advancing the country’s interests globally. In this capacity, he led the largest and most complex organization in the world given its nearly 3 million service members and defense civilians, $740 billion annual budget, and trillions of dollars of weapons, equipment, and infrastructure located at 4,800 sites in over 160 countries.

    Dr. Esper made major strides in shaping and implementing the National Defense Strategy, which called for a return to preparing for high intensity conflict in a new era of great power competition. Esper established the Space Force and Space Command, proposed a dramatic change in the size and composition of the U.S. Navy, enhanced the resourcing and operations of Cyber Command, and led a major reform effort that reorganized the department and freed up billions of dollars for higher priorities. He worked hard to strengthen alliances and grow new partners, especially in the Indo-Pacific, and helped drive a major increase in the readiness of NATO members, all while advancing new warfighting, operational, and readiness concepts in the U.S. military.

    Prior to becoming Defense Secretary, Dr. Esper served as the 23d Secretary of the Army from November 2017 until June 2019. Dr. Esper graduated from West Point with distinction in 1986 and received his commission in the Infantry. During 10 years on active duty, he served in the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the Gulf War with the “Screaming Eagles,” and later commanded an airborne rifle company in Europe in what is now the 173d Airborne Brigade. He then served another 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. From 1996 to 1998, Dr. Esper was chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation think tank, and later served in senior staff positions for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Government Affairs Committee, and House Armed Services Committee. Esper was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy from 2002 to 2004 and National Security Advisor for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from 2004 to 2006.

    Esper holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University.

    • 22 Feb 2022
    • 13 Dec 2022
    • 9 sessions
    • Online via Zoom

    Program Description

    PCFR and Global Ties Arizona have partnered again this year to bring Great Decisions. PCFR members loved participating in Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions series in 2020 and 2021. Here is what PCFR member Charles Blum had to say about the program: “Great Decisions and PCFR are a perfect match. This program provides an ideal platform for informed discussion, deeper insights into current issues and greater appreciation for the insights and experiences of our members.”

    Over 9 months, PCFR members will have the opportunity to dive deep on 9 of the most critical issues facing the U.S. foreign policy each year. Prior to each session, participants will read a chapter from the Great Decisions Briefing Book and watch the video associated with the topic. Each session will feature a subject-matter expert and you will have the opportunity to participate in the group discussions. PCFR member Charles Blum will moderate the series.

    PCFR and Global Ties Arizona are covering the cost of the Great Decisions Briefing Book (a $35 value) for PCFR members. Be sure to save your spot. 

    Sign up fast, Great Decisions is limited to 25 members!

    How to Participate

    1. Fill out the form to register to participate and receive your complimentary Great Decisions Briefing Book
    2. You will receive a link to watch the program videos
    3. Participate in the discussion!


    All sessions will take place from 12 pm - 1 pm Phoenix, Arizona time, online via Zoom.

    February 22, 2022 | Biden's Agenda

    March 22, 2022 | QUAD Alliance

    April 19, 2022 | Drug Policy in Latin America

    May 17, 2022 | Industrial Policy

    June 21, 2022 | Outer Space

    September 20, 2022 | Myanmar and ASEAN

    October 18, 2022 | Changing Demographics

    November 15, 2022 | Climate Change

    December 13, 2022 | Russia and the U.S.



      Charles Blum has spent a lifetime in international affairs. Before launching an independent consultancy in 1988, he served in the US State Department and the Executive Office of the President for 17 years. He has worked on commercial, investment and policy matters on six continents and participates in a broad range of discussions on foreign and domestic policy. A native of New York, he now resides in Sedona, AZ.

      • 24 Feb 2022
      • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
      • Online Zoom Meeting

      Book for Discussion

      The Age of AI: And Our Human Future

      by Henry A KissingerEric Schmidt &

      Daniel Huttenlocher


      Thursday, February 24, 2022

      7:30 - 9:00 am MST


      Online Zoom Meeting

      About the Book

      Three of the world’s most accomplished and deep thinkers come together to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the way it is transforming human society—and what this technology means for us all.

      An AI learned to win chess by making moves human grand masters had never conceived. Another AI discovered a new antibiotic by analyzing molecular properties human scientists did not understand. Now, AI-powered jets are defeating experienced human pilots in simulated dogfights. AI is coming online in searching, streaming, medicine, education, and many other fields and, in so doing, transforming how humans are experiencing reality.

      In The Age of AI, three leading thinkers have come together to consider how AI will change our relationships with knowledge, politics, and the societies in which we live. The Age of AI is an essential roadmap to our present and our future, an era unlike any that has come before.

      Save the Dates

      View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

      • 10 Mar 2022
      • 5:30 PM
      • Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014

      Then & Now: The Underground Railroad with Col. Steve Miska

      In 2007, Iraq was in the midst of violent sectarian cleansing. Col. Steve Miska led a team within the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (known as Dagger Brigade) that established an underground railroad from Baghdad to Amman to the U.S. for dozens of Iraqi interpreters facing near-certain death at the hands of the “death squads” that hunted down and slaughtered interpreters and their families. Learn how his experience detailed in Baghdad Underground Railroad led to his advocacy and continuing efforts for Afghans following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer.

      Col. Steve Miska will sign copies of his book, Baghdad Underground Railroad, at the event. Proceeds from the book, available on Amazon, support a veteran nonprofit, U.S. Veteran Artists Alliance. Books will also be available for purchase at the event. 

      Program cost includes dinner and beverage service during reception.


      $75 for PCFR Members

      $100 for Non-members

      Register Here


      Thursday, March 10, 2022

      5:30 PM Networking

      6:30 PM Dinner and program


      Phoenix Country Club

      2901 N 7th St

      Phoenix, AZ 85014 (map)

      About the Book

      During the war's worst fighting in 2006 and 2007, a handful of Iraqi interpreters put their lives on the line to help American combat troops. Families threatened, a bounty on their heads, ignored by the powers that be, they faced execution if they remained in their homeland. A US Army Task Force Commander decides a promise made should be a promise kept. Get them to the USA.

      Above: Steve Miska (right), on the streets of Baghdad with his interpreter, Hassan. Photo credit: Chris Hondros, Getty Images, 2007


      Col. Steven M. Miska

      Author, Baghdad Underground Railroad

      Steve Miska served as an officer in the United States Army for 25 years before retiring in 2015. From 2011 to 2012, Steve served in the White House as Director for Iraq on the National Security Council. During his second of three combat tours in Iraq, Steve led a team that established an underground railroad from Baghdad to Amman to the United States for dozens of foreign military interpreters who supported U.S. troops in country. Since then, he has written extensively about the need to protect soft networks, and has acted as an advisor to several non-profits that aim to support and protect foreign military interpreters, including No One Left Behind and the International Refugee Assistance Project. He is the Founder & CEO of Servant Leader Citizen (SLC) Consulting, which exists to educate others about national security and counterterrorism issues in an increasingly global environment, and executive director of the non-profit First Amendment Voice, a nonpartisan effort to reinvigorate civic awareness about First Amendment issues. Steve is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Cornell University, and the National Defense University. He and Amy have been married 29 years and have two grown children.

      • 25 Mar 2022
      • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
      • Online Zoom Meeting

      Book for Discussion

      Baghdad Underground Railroad

      by Colonel Steve Miska


      Friday, March 25, 2022

      7:30 - 9:00 am Arizona time


      Online Zoom Meeting

      About the Book

      During the war’s worst fighting in 2006 and 2007, a handful of Iraqi interpreters put their lives on the line to help American troops. Families threatened, a bounty on their heads, ignored by the powers that be, they faced execution as collaborators with the enemy if they remained in their homeland. A Task Force Commander decides a promise made should be a promise kept.

      After the murders of several Iraqi allies, Lt. Col Steve Miska decides to slice through the bureaucratic red tape to get interpreters to safety. His team creates the Baghdad Underground Railroad to get the “terps” and other allies out of the country to Jordan for their Embassy interviews. Soldiers also tap their own families in the United States to serve as sponsors to house and assist the new immigrants.

      For the Iraqis, they face the struggle of adapting to a culture vastly different from their own. One of them even joins the U.S. Army and returns to Iraq as an American soldier.

      In this compelling memoir that illustrates humanity and compassion in the midst of war, Steve Miska highlights the plight of local allies, who are essential to the American cause in foreign wars but are often left behind. He also offers an insider’s look at the complex and frustrating political reality of Iraq facing U.S. commanders and policymakers following the downfall of Saddam Hussein.



      Sign up to hear from the author at the PCFR Author Series event on March 10th:

      Then & Now: The Underground Railroad with Col. Steve Miska



      Save the Dates

      View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

      • 22 Apr 2022
      • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
      • Online Zoom Meeting

      Book for Discussion

      There is Nothing for You Here: 

      Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century

      by Fiona Hill


      Friday, April 22, 2022

      7:30 - 9:00 am Arizona time


      Online Zoom Meeting

      About the Book

      “Of every book written by anybody associated with the Trump administration, in any way, [this] is absolutely the one to read.” —Rachel Maddow

      INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | A celebrated foreign policy expert and key impeachment witness reveals how declining opportunity has set America on the grim path of modern Russia—and draws on her personal journey out of poverty, as well as her unique perspectives as an historian and policy maker, to show how we can return hope to our forgotten places.

      "As a memoir this is hard to put down; if you are seeking a better American future you should pick it up.” —Timothy Snyder, New York Times best-selling author of On Tyranny

      Fiona Hill grew up in a world of terminal decay. The last of the local mines had closed, businesses were shuttering, and despair was etched in the faces around her. Her father urged her to get out of their blighted corner of northern England: “There is nothing for you here, pet,” he said.

      The coal-miner’s daughter managed to go further than he ever could have dreamed. She studied in Moscow and at Harvard, became an American citizen, and served three U.S. Presidents. But in the heartlands of both Russia and the United States, she saw troubling reflections of her hometown and similar populist impulses. By the time she offered her brave testimony in the first impeachment inquiry of President Trump, Hill knew that the desperation of forgotten people was driving American politics over the brink—and that we were running out of time to save ourselves from Russia’s fate. In this powerful, deeply personal account, she shares what she has learned, and shows why expanding opportunity is the only long-term hope for our democracy.

      >> Keep an eye out for our upcoming program with Fiona Hill!

      Save the Dates

      View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

      • 27 May 2022
      • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
      • Online Zoom Meeting

      Book for Discussion

      Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir

      by Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch


      Friday, May 27, 2022

      7:30 - 9:00 am Arizona time


      Online Zoom Meeting

      About the Book

      “'Lessons From the Edge' is a brilliant, engaging, and inspiring memoir from one of America’s wisest and most courageous diplomats—essential reading for current policymakers, aspiring public servants, and anyone who cares about America’s role in the world.” —Madeleine K. Albright

      An inspiring and urgent memoir by the ambassador who electrified the nation by speaking truth to power. By the time she became US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch had seen her share of corruption, instability, and tragedy in developing countries. But it came as a shock when, in early 2019, she was recalled from her post after a smear campaign by President Trump’s personal attorney and his associates—men operating outside of normal governmental channels, and apparently motivated by personal gain. Her courageous participation in the subsequent impeachment inquiry earned Yovanovitch the nation’s respect, and her dignified response to the president’s attacks won our hearts. She has reclaimed her own narrative, first with her lauded congressional testimony, and now with this memoir.

      A child of parents who survived Soviet and Nazi terror, Yovanovitch’s life and work have taught her the preciousness of democracy as well as the dangers of corruption. Lessons from the Edge follows the arc of her career as she develops into the person we came to know during the impeachment proceedings.

      >> Keep an eye out for our upcoming program with Amb. Marie Yovanovitch!

      Save the Dates

      View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

    Past events

    20 Jan 2022 Beijing’s Growing Power, Fall of Hong Kong, and Implications for the Taiwan Strait
    15 Dec 2021 PCFR Holiday Party
    14 Dec 2021 Great Decisions 2021
    10 Dec 2021 December Reading Group
    08 Dec 2021 The Man I Knew with Jean Becker
    06 Dec 2021 The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel
    02 Dec 2021 The Diplomat Forum with Ambassador Jean-Arthur Régibeau
    17 Nov 2021 Worldly Perspectives: PCFR Members Take Flight
    10 Nov 2021 The Baltics: Living with the Bear
    03 Nov 2021 Sweden: Dealing with Arctic Climate Change and Security
    03 Nov 2021 How China is Changing the World Order
    29 Oct 2021 October Reading Group
    14 Oct 2021 An Evening with the Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
    13 Oct 2021 Struggle for the Future of Myanmar
    06 Oct 2021 The Collapse of Afghanistan
    28 Sep 2021 Leading with Character in Uncharted Waters
    24 Sep 2021 September Reading Group
    09 Sep 2021 Illicit Finance, Sanctions, and the New Digital Economy: The New Era of National Economic Security
    25 Jun 2021 June Reading Group
    21 Jun 2021 El Salvador in Crisis: Politics, Corruption and Migration
    10 Jun 2021 Artificial Intelligence in an Era of Great Power Competition
    08 Jun 2021 The Heartbeat of Iran
    03 Jun 2021 The Rise of Digital Repression
    28 May 2021 May Reading Group
    25 May 2021 Brexit: A Growing Disaster for the EU
    19 May 2021 The Magnitsky Affair: How to Oppose a Criminal State?
    18 May 2021 Worldly Perspectives: PCFR Members Take Flight
    13 May 2021 Advancing Global Partnerships: A Dialogue Between Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib
    07 May 2021 April Reading Group
    04 May 2021 The Future of the U.S. - Mexico Bilateral Relationship
    27 Apr 2021 International State of the State with Governor Doug Ducey
    23 Apr 2021 PCFR New Member Breakfast
    08 Apr 2021 The Russia Disruption: Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of Dealing with Putin
    01 Apr 2021 The Causes and Consequences of Brexit
    25 Mar 2021 A Conversation with General Mattis on U.S. Leadership Going Forward
    25 Mar 2021 America’s Global Leadership, COVID-19 & the Impact on Arizona
    19 Mar 2021 March Reading Group
    18 Mar 2021 The Russia Disruption: Russia and America After Trump
    17 Mar 2021 Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army (Ret): A Discussion With ASU's New Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab
    09 Mar 2021 It's Not Just Over There: The American Commitment to the Korean Peninsula
    25 Feb 2021 Lunar New Year Celebration
    24 Feb 2021 The Russia Disruption: Assassination at Home and Abroad
    19 Feb 2021 February Reading Group
    16 Feb 2021 The Balkans: Where the U.S. and Europe Meet
    09 Feb 2021 Worldly Perspectives: PCFR Members Take Flight
    27 Jan 2021 America’s International Image at a Moment of Change
    22 Jan 2021 January Reading Group
    13 Jan 2021 Brexit from the ground up: Ethnographic perspectives from the Northern Ireland borderzone
    12 Jan 2021 Fireside Chat with Retired Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor
    15 Dec 2020 Great Decisions | Red Sea Security
    10 Dec 2020 Angrynomics
    04 Dec 2020 December Reading Group
    02 Dec 2020 The Global Democratic Recession: How We Can Reverse It
    01 Dec 2020 USGLC Tribute Celebration - Member Pre-Party
    19 Nov 2020 American Diplomacy in a Disordered World
    17 Nov 2020 Great Decisions | U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
    12 Nov 2020 Confronting Disinformation: Views from the Trenches
    30 Oct 2020 October Reading Group
    28 Oct 2020 Great Decisions | Artificial Intelligence & Data
    27 Oct 2020 Journey to Self-Reliance: A New Approach
    15 Oct 2020 Summer 2020 is Finally Over: PCFR Virtual Mixer
    06 Oct 2020 Foreign Policy Priorities of a Biden Administration with Tony Blinken
    01 Oct 2020 The U.S. 2020 Election and Germany – Political, Economic and Strategic Implications
    29 Sep 2020 Great Decisions | The Philippines and the U.S.
    25 Sep 2020 September Reading Group
    23 Sep 2020 Afghanistan from the ground up: A conversation about war, U.S. partnership and the future of Afghanistan
    16 Sep 2020 Tariffs, Trade & the Pandemic Recovery
    10 Sep 2020 The World: A Brief Introduction with Richard Haass and David A. Merkel
    27 Aug 2020 Globally Conscious Business Communication: Techniques, Tips, and Experience from a 20 Year Adventure Across 4 Continents
    18 Aug 2020 Foreign Relations Summer Series: International Career Paths for Young Professionals
    30 Jul 2020 July Reading Group
    29 Jul 2020 Japan's Strategy to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    29 Jul 2020 Great Decisions | China's Road into Latin America
    08 Jul 2020 The USMCA Goes Live and What It Means for the US, Canada and Mexico
    30 Jun 2020 Great Decisions | Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
    25 Jun 2020 Foreign Relations Summer Series: Career Lessons from the Great Recession
    24 Jun 2020 China: “To trust is good, not to trust is better”
    17 Jun 2020 Reflections of a Senior African-American Diplomat on the Global Importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement
    16 Jun 2020 Great Decisions | India and Pakistan
    11 Jun 2020 COVID19: Experience on the Front Lines Treating COVID19 Patients in New York City
    04 Jun 2020 The Global Economic Implications of the Pandemic
    28 May 2020 A Diplomat's Perspective on America’s Preparedness and Global Health Security in the Face of COVID-19
    21 May 2020 May Reading Group
    15 May 2020 China, Coronavirus and the Coming Global Challenges
    07 May 2020 The Ultimate Case for American International Leadership – Now What?
    23 Apr 2020 April Reading Group
    22 Apr 2020 Crisis Abroad! Every Diplomat Becomes a Consular Officer When American Citizens Need Our Help
    07 Apr 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic and West Africa Ebola Crisis: Similarities, Differences and Opportunities Missed
    24 Mar 2020 [POSTPONED] New and Prospective Member Breakfast
    23 Mar 2020 [POSTPONED] Choosing Freedom: America’s Role in the World and Supporting Democracy and Human Rights Abroad
    11 Mar 2020 15th Annual International State of the State
    04 Mar 2020 The Challenges for U.S. Policy in a Turbulent Middle East
    29 Feb 2020 PCFR Field Trip to the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona Museum (Members Only)
    25 Feb 2020 Australia’s Burning Bush, Earth’s Emerging Pyrocene?
    20 Feb 2020 How America Can Make the World More Peaceful
    11 Feb 2020 Vietnam and the United States: Recognizing 25 Years of Comprehensive Partnership, Highlighting Future Opportunities and Saluting Senator John McCain
    28 Jan 2020 From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia
    22 Jan 2020 US-Iran Conflict: Multi-level, Multi-player Game of Chess (and Other Games)
    16 Jan 2020 January Reading Group (Members Only)
    10 Dec 2019 An Update on Cross-Border Law Enforcement and Coordination: A Maricopa County Sheriff Perspective
    03 Dec 2019 Global Leadership in 4IR
    21 Nov 2019 November Reading Group
    20 Nov 2019 Japan on the World Stage: Society, Influence, Education
    07 Nov 2019 Roads to Revolution: Transformative Social Movements in Iran and their Discontents
    23 Oct 2019 Taken Hostage: The Silent Victims of Kidnapping Abroad
    22 Oct 2019 New and Prospective Member Breakfast
    16 Oct 2019 National Insecurities: America and the World 2020-2050
    25 Sep 2019 Status of Arizona’s National Guard’s Global Presence: An Extended Service
    19 Sep 2019 The Next Decade of PCFR
    19 Sep 2019 September Reading Group
    17 Sep 2019 Priorities of Mexican Foreign Policy in the U.S.
    12 Aug 2019 Venezuela Kleptocracy: The Ripple Effect of the Venezuelan Revolution
    23 Jul 2019 Update on the US-Mexico Relationship
    18 Jul 2019 July Reading Group
    03 Jun 2019 New Times for the Transatlantic Relations
    16 May 2019 May Reading Group
    14 May 2019 The Challenges and Rewards of Global Engagement—from Russia to the Poorest Countries on Earth
    07 May 2019 Extremism and Terrorism in Our Communities, Across the Nation and Around the World: Understanding Today’s Changing Threat Landscape
    23 Apr 2019 14th Annual International State of the State
    16 Apr 2019 The Evolution of Security and Privacy in a Shrinking World
    03 Apr 2019 Vanishing Frontiers: Why Mexico is Even Closer to US Than We Realize
    28 Mar 2019 The World as It Is
    21 Mar 2019 Ukraine's Presidential Election - Democracy Being Tested by Russian Aggression
    14 Mar 2019 March Reading Group
    05 Mar 2019 6th PCFR New and Prospective Member Breakfast
    25 Feb 2019 Iran’s and North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Programs: Problems Solved, or Continuing Threats?
    21 Feb 2019 Can Sport Save Globalization?
    12 Feb 2019 Southeast Asia and the US Strategy for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific
    29 Jan 2019 The Democratic Transition in Tunisia
    17 Jan 2019 January Reading Group
    16 Jan 2019 NORAD at 60: Heritage, Vigilance, and Innovation
    12 Dec 2018 The Rule of Law in Hong Kong and Human Rights
    04 Dec 2018 Kazakhstan in a Changing Eurasia
    28 Nov 2018 Nemtsov: Film Screening and Discussion
    15 Nov 2018 November Reading Group
    25 Oct 2018 How China’s Exponential Technological Disruption and Infrastructure Investment is Driving a Radical Transformation of the Future
    02 Oct 2018 Calculated Risks: Safeguarding the World’s Largest Aerospace Company in a Globalized Business Environment
    27 Sep 2018 Understanding International Trade in the Trump Era
    20 Sep 2018 September Reading Group
    13 Sep 2018 U.S. - Mexico Geopolitical Forecast for 2018 - 2019
    19 Jul 2018 July Reading Group
    12 Jul 2018 The Future of the Two Koreas and Donald Trump
    07 Jul 2018 Young Professionals World Cup Watch Party
    26 Jun 2018 Mexico’s Presidential Election Cycle
    19 Jun 2018 Young Professionals Foreign Relations Summer Series
    17 May 2018 May Reading Group
    15 May 2018 US-China Relations in the Age of Trump and Xi
    01 May 2018 Maintaining the US Competitive Edge in the Resurgence of Great Power Competition
    10 Apr 2018 Inman’s View of the World: A look at overarching threats, challenges, and opportunities facing the U.S. followed by a geographic tour of hot spots.
    05 Apr 2018 Recent Trends in African Infrastructure Development
    27 Mar 2018 How to Lose Press Freedom in a Democracy: The Experience of an Exiled Journalist
    21 Mar 2018 Ethics in the Age of Cyber
    15 Mar 2018 March Reading Group
    20 Feb 2018 SOLD OUT- 13th Annual International State of the State
    18 Jan 2018 January Reading Group
    17 Jan 2018 TIME & LOCATION CHANGE - NAFTA and the Future of the World Trading System under President Trump
    14 Dec 2017 SOLD OUT - Censorship, Privacy, Retaliation and 'Fake News': The State of Freedom of The Press in the U.S. and Mexico
    16 Nov 2017 November Reading Group
    01 Nov 2017 Russian Machinations, Political Gridlock and other Challenges to US Democratic Systems
    25 Oct 2017 The Impact of Foreign and Cyber Threats on the 2016 and Future Elections: A Discussion with Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan
    24 Oct 2017 Challenges for Factual Reporting in the Age of Social Media
    11 Oct 2017 A Conversation on the U.S.-Canada trade partnership, Arizona’s relationship with Canada, and the future of NAFTA
    28 Sep 2017 September Reading Group
    26 Sep 2017 In Commemoration of Finland’s 100th Anniversary of Independence from Russia
    12 Sep 2017 China: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom
    23 Aug 2017 South China Sea: An update on Diplomacy and Developments
    20 Jul 2017 Law of War in the Age of ISIS
    12 Jul 2017 Arizona International Business Opportunities in a Changing Global Paradigm
    31 May 2017 Foreign Policy in a Time of Transition
    04 May 2017 REGISTRATION CLOSED - 12th Annual International State of the State
    27 Apr 2017 A Strategic Association for the XXI Century: Peru and the United States of America
    21 Apr 2017 April Reading Group
    05 Apr 2017 US-Mexico Relations Today: Arizona’s Positive Contribution
    28 Mar 2017 Is the World Getting Better or Worse? Health, Human Rights, and Quality of Life Around the Globe
    23 Feb 2017 U.S.-Russian Relations: From Rock Bottom to…What Next?
    17 Feb 2017 February Reading Group
    25 Jan 2017 Korea, What’s Next?
    12 Jan 2017 President Obama’s Legal Legacy in War
    13 Dec 2016 Quo Vadis? Latin America
    30 Nov 2016 Mexico-U.S. Relations Today and Tomorrow: The Case of Arizona
    17 Nov 2016 Fall Reading Group - The Unquiet Frontier: Rising Rivals, Vulnerable Allies, and the Crisis of American Power
    09 Nov 2016 Freeport in Peru: Twenty Years and Going Strong
    18 Oct 2016 SOLD OUT - National Security Challenges for the Incoming Administration
    07 Oct 2016 The View From the State Department: Religion, Conflict and Diplomacy
    29 Sep 2016 Russia’s War with Ukraine: What is at stake for the West?
    19 Sep 2016 America as the World’s Policeman

    Contact us to learn more about PCFR Events prior to 2016.

    Exploring Leading Foreign Policy Issues


    PCFR is dedicated to growing Arizona’s global prominence by providing forums that explore critical foreign policy issues and build enduring international connections.


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