At a midtown hotel in early November, Karen Greenberg, Ph.D., held forth on whom to blame for poor intelligence around the 9/11 attacks. A noted expert on national security, terrorism, and civil liberties, Greenberg is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law.
“We don’t blame anybody,” she told an audience of several dozen alumni representing many of Fordham’s 10 schools. “It was a failure of the intelligence system writ large.”
Greenberg spoke for only 20 minutes and then opened up the forum to 40 minutes of questions from the audience. This rare chance for a spontaneous Q&A with Fordham faculty experts is the basis of Fordham at the Forefront, a lecture series sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations that brings the faculty together with the Fordham community to probe topical subjects. The events also have taken University experts on the road—from as close as Princeton to as far as Phoenix—as well as to several off-campus venues around Manhattan.
“I think we’re on to something,” said Michael Griffin, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “We’re bringing together people from across the University and we’re also touching people who may not have responded to other efforts to engage with the University community.”
The Greenberg event brought in a diverse crowd that ranged in age and background, and included current students, parents, and their friends, as well as alumni.
Since launching in October of 2012, nine installments of the series have been completed so far. The program has tapped experts like Robert Hurley, Ph.D., professor of management systems, on restoring trust in business; Costas Panagopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, on the presidential election; and Christiana Peppard, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology, science, and ethics, on the global water crisis. Panagopoulos and Peppard did presentations out-of-state—he in Atlanta, she in Phoenix.
Matching faculty with research-relevant locations, said Griffin, is a new feature.
“Not only are we are engaging topically on issues that people care about, but we are stressing their relevance to the venue locales,” said Griffin, noting for example that fresh water scarcity and conservation—important issues just about wherever you live—are particularly so in places like Phoenix.
To that end, security expert Greenberg will speak again on March 19 at yet another Fordham at the Forefront event—this time in security-savvy Washington, D.C.
On March 11 Christine Janssen-Selvadurai, Ph.D., will speak at Fordham at the Forefront of Entrepreneurship in Hartford, CT.
For more on information on all upcoming Fordham alumni events, please visit www.fordham.edu/alumni
Listen below to hear Karen Greenberg at November’s Fordham at the Forefront: