Spring 2021 Lectures


Spring lectures will be held online via Zoom Webinar on Fridays from 1:30-2:30 PM. We will include the Zoom link in the 10:00 AM Friday newsletter the day of the lecture.

Reservations not Required

Reservations are not required to receive the Zoom link and attend lectures. We will include the Zoom link in the 10:00 AM Friday newsletter the day of the lecture. Each newsletter will also have information about the following Friday's lecture.

Zoom webinar

We will be using Zoom Webinar for the lecture series. Webinars provide for a more seamless experience for both speakers and participants when there is a large number in attendance. We will be using the following format:

  • You will only see the lecturer and person introducing him/her on the screen. You will not see yourself or other attendees.
  • Attendees microphones will be kept muted.
  • Questions will be taken at the end of the lecture for the speaker and managed through the Chat function.

You can find the Chat function at the bottom of your Zoom screen in the middle. Above the word "Chat" is an icon of a quote bubble. If you’d like to ask a question during the lecture, click on "Chat." A white dialogue box will appear to the right. Type a question and hit "Enter."


March 5
Michael Abramowitz, The Threats to Freedom and the Work of Freedom House

Michael J. Abramowitz is president of Freedom House.  Before joining Freedom House in February 2017, he was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. He led the museum’s genocide prevention efforts and later oversaw its public education programs. He was previously National Editor and then White House correspondent for The Washington Post.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. A graduate of Harvard College, he is also a board member of the National Security Archive.

March 12
Sandy Ungar, How Free is Free Speech?

Sanford J. Ungar, president emeritus of Goucher College, is director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University. He has been director of Voice of America and dean of the School of Communication at American University. During his journalism career, he was a staff writer for The Washington Post, Washington editor of The Atlantic, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, and co-host of “All Things Considered” on NPR. He is the author or editor of six nonfiction books, including The Papers & The Papers: An Account of the Legal and Political Battle over the Pentagon Papers. Ungar earned a BA in government magna cum laude from Harvard College and an MA in international history from the London School of Economics. He teaches undergraduate seminars on Free Speech at both Georgetown University and Harvard College.

March 19
Marie Arana, Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story

Marie Arana is the Literary Director of the Library of Congress. Her most recent book, Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story explores three enduring themes have defined Latin America since pre-Columbian times: the foreign greed for its mineral riches, an ingrained propensity to violence, and the abiding power of religion. The book is available at Politics and Prose. Among her other books is the widely praised biography of Simón Bolívar, Bolívar: American Liberator, and American Chicawhich described her bicultural childhood between North and South Americas. That book was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN-Memoir Award, and chosen best book of the year by several publications. Marie is the former editor in chief of "Book World" at The Washington Post.

March 26
Robert Einhorn, Nuclear Negotiation with Iran and North 

Robert Einhorn is a senior fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, both housed within the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. Einhorn focuses on arms control (U.S.-Russia and multilateral), nonproliferation and regional security issues (including Iran, the greater Middle East, South Asia, and Northeast Asia), and U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs. Before joining Brookings in May 2013, Einhorn served as the U.S. Department of State special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, a position created by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. In that capacity, he played a leading role in the formulation and execution of U.S. policy toward Iran’s nuclear program, both with respect to sanctions and negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries. He also helped shape the Obama administration’s overall approach to nonproliferation; supported nonproliferation goals through diplomatic contacts with China, Russia, and key non-aligned countries; and addressed nuclear security and strategic stability challenges in South Asia. He played a key role in the development of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and served as U.S. delegation head in negotiations with South Korea on a successor civil nuclear agreement.

April 2
Mark Leithauser, Moving Walls and Making Space: Designing Exhibits at the National Gallery

Mark Leithauser recently retired as Senior Curator, Chief of Design at the National Gallery of Art. He directed the Gallery’s Design Division, which is responsible for the design and installation of all exhibitions, both temporary and permanent, focusing on the architectural, historical and artistic intent of the presentation.  He is also an artist in his own right, and his drawings and paintings have been widely exhibited.

April 16
Raymond Caldwell, Making Theater Meaningful in DC and Beyond

Raymond Caldwell is the Producing Artistic Director at the Theater Alliance, which he joined in 2017 to curate and produce the company’s inaugural Word Becomes Action Festival. He was elevated to Associate Artistic Director at the beginning of 2018 and became the director in 2019. Previously he was a Resident Director and full-time lecturer at Howard University’s Theater Department. Caldwell is an accomplished actor, director, and teaching artist. As an actor, he has toured nationally and internationally. He has worked with playwrights including Ntozake Shange, Edward Albee, and Tarell Alvin McCraney. Internationally, he has directed and developed new-work in India, Ukraine, Greece, Germany, and the UK. For five seasons, he has worked for Arena Stage’s Community Engagement Division, following a year spent as the company’s prestigious Allen Lee Hughes Community Engagement Fellow. He received a BFA in Acting from the University of Florida, and a MFA in Acting from Ohio State University.

April 23
Adam Rothman, Georgetown Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation Initiative

Adam Rothman is professor of history at Georgetown, where he studies the history of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, and the history of slavery and abolition in the Atlantic world. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Atlantic history, 19th century U.S history, and the history of slavery. His most recent book is Beyond Freedom's Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, which has won several history and humanities awards. The book tells the story of three slave children who were taken from New Orleans to Cuba by their owner during the U.S. Civil War, and their mother's effort to recover them. His first book, was Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South. Adam served on Georgetown's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation in 2015-2016, and is currently the principal curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. He was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in 2018, where he created the African-American Passages: Black Lives in the 19th Century podcast.

April 30
William Howell, Populism and the Presidency

William Howell is the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, a professor in the Department of Political Science and the College, and the director of the Center for Effective Government. He has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. He currently is working on research projects on Obama's education initiatives, distributive politics, and the normative foundations of executive power. Howell is the author, most recently, of Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy and Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government—and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency. Additionally, he is the author or co-author of several other books on American political institutions. Before coming to Harris, Howell taught political science at Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin. He received his PhD from Stanford University.

OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.

We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers:
Paul Brown, Lesley Diaz (Staff Liaison), Chuck Edson, Judith Havemann,
Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent, Mary Fran Miklitsch (Staff), Mark Nadel (Chair), Stan Newman,
Diane Renfroe, Richard Ringell, Steve Sherman, Delbert Spurlock, and Ray Squitieri.