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Enrichment Guest Lecturers

For travellers who value learning and personal growth, Silversea offers the Silver Perspectives® Enrichment Programme on longer itineraries with multiple days at sea. In an intimate setting, guests can attend fascinating lectures presented by distinguished guest hosts. These experts include authors, journalists, naturalists, diplomats, professors and other specialists whose lecture topics range from politics to the environment, from tribal customs to ancient history. Lectures generally conclude with a stimulating question and answer session.

Martin Aronson, Civil Trial Lawyer, Lecturer

Martin Aronson is a litigator in Boston with vast experience as a civil trial lawyer, having tried countless cases before juries in Massachusetts.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School.  He was  managing partner of a Boston firm, White, Inker, Aronson, PC, until 2001.

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Patrick Allitt, Ph. D., Historian

Patrick Allitt is a graduate of Oxford (1977) who studied American history at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1986) and has been a professor at Emory University in Atlanta since 1988

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Donna Barbisch, Maj. Gen. (US Army Retd.), Security Expert

Donna Barbisch, DHA, MPH, is a dynamic role model, leader and agent for change. She is among the foremost subject matter experts in emergency preparedness and resiliency for catastrophic disasters, terrorism, and unconventional threats. 

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Eric Ball, Historian

Eric Ball is a third generation native Californian with a passion for history and travel.   Eric majored in US history at the University of California, Berkeley.  From Alaska to Australia to Antarctica, Eric brings to life the art, history, culture and the stories of people who made an impact on the world.  

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Dan Benedict, Astronomy Journalist and Educator

Astronomy journalist and educator Dan Benedict's interest in astronomy began in earnest one August night in 1960 when his father gathered the family in the front yard to watch America’s first successful communications satellite, Echo-1, travel across the sky and disappear into Earth’s shadow. 

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David Bilsland, Chef, Silversea Culinary Trainer

Chef David was educated in classical French cooking at Thames Valley University, completing advanced Chef Diplomas in both Cuisine and Patisserie. He then began his professional culinary career in some of the top establishments in the UK, including the Waldorf Hotel, Langans Brasserie and Stringfellows.

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Michael Boll, Ph.D., Historian, Destination and World Affairs Expert

Dr. Michael Boll is an historian, professor and former government specialist with extensive experience in international relations and world affairs. 

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Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE Author, Broadcaster, Historian

Alastair Bruce is the Royal, Constitutional and Religious Commentator for Sky News, the UK’s premier 24hr satellite news channel.

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Verla Brown, Guest Lecturer and Artist

Verla Brown is an accomplished lecturer and artist who has been specializing in art appreciation lectures and art workshops around the world.  Verla’s preferred art medium is oriental brush painting, and she is well known for her “People Around The World” collection.

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Dr. Lawrence Blair, Film-maker, Indonesia Expert

Dr. Blair's Emmy Award-nominated BBC/PPC adventure series Ring of Fire documentary chronicles the Blair brother' astonishing ten-year journey through the mysterious, unexplored islands of Indonesia.

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Henry and Monica Bradsher, Journalists, Intelligence Experts

Henry has won American national prizes in two different careers, journalism and intelligence, and Monica has won national awards for educational work.
After serving overseas as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, Henry reported from South Asia for The Associated Press for five years and then was AP bureau chief in Moscow for 4-1/2 years. 

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Ronald Bowers, Prosecuting Attorney, Author

For 43 years, Mr. Ronald E. Bowers has been a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. During his long career, he has been involved in some of the most sensational trials of the century and has become one of the foremost experts on visual presentations in jury trials. 

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Laurel Corona, Ph.D., Author and Historian

Laurel Corona has combined her love of writing and teaching for more than three decades. She has taught in the San Diego area since 1975, working first at SDSU then at UCSD, and is currently a professor of Humanities at San Diego City College.

 

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Jay Christofferson, Marine Biologist

Jay P. Christofferson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Utah in 1961, a master's degree in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1970 in zoology from the University of Hawai'i.  

 

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Judy Carmichael, Entertainer, Radio Host

Grammy nominated pianist Judy Carmichael is one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing. A native of California, Judy Carmichael moved to New York in the early 80’s and has maintained a busy concert schedule throughout the world ever since.   

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Dr. Norman Caisse, Astronomer

Norman Caisse’s richly illustrated presentations will take us on a fascinating journey from our own Solar System, through the Milky Way galaxy, and on to the edge of the known Universe.   

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Dr. Peter Crimes, Geologist, Geographer

Dr. Peter Crimes recently retired as Director of the Geography and Geology Honours Department of Liverpool University, which is the largest and one of the most prestigious Earth Science Departments in the European Community.

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Peter Damisch, Adventurer, Explorer, Author

Throughout his life Peter Damisch has pursued many passions, with a special emphasis on the search for knowledge and a joy of sharing that information in an environment which promotes safety, fun and learning.

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Brian Davis, Wine Expert

Brian Davis nurtured his passion for wines whilst entertaining clients in the chemical industry over 30 years. Through reading and tasting, membership of wine clubs and inspired by Jasper Morris MW, Brian passed his WSET Diploma in 1999.

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Maurice Dodson, Major General NZ Army (Retd.)

Maurice Dodson is a New Zealander who received his military education at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia.  He graduatedinto the New Zealand Infantry in 1965and served as a Platoon Commander with NZ Infantry in Malaysia and in Vietnam.  In Vietnam he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.

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Lord Geoffrey Dear, Ex-Police Commissioner

Geoffrey Dear has pursued three quite distinct, and separate, careers.  Having joined as a constable, he held some of the most senior positions in the British Police Service, at different times being responsible for counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence and combatting organised crime. He was Head of Operations in London and later commanded the biggest provincial police force in the UK.

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Lawrence d'Almeida, Silversea Wine Ambassador

Lawrence d’Almeida, who grew up in Paris and studied history at Yale and Harvard, was for years a winemaker and production consultant in Tuscany before becoming a wine buyer and educator.  He lives near Florence, in the heart of Tuscany. 

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Dr. Mark H. Elovitz, World Affairs Expert

World class expertise coupled with high class presentation combine to make Dr. Elovitz a first class world affairs commentator. For the past decade, Dr. E. -as he is known to his well-traveled, well-educated and upscale audiences - has been presenting World Affairs Hot Spot lectures to international acclaim.

 

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Linda Ferreri, Art Historian and Author

Linda Ferreri is both an art historian and a lawyer.  Widely travelled in the Mediterranean, she is a graduate of Duke University and New York University.  Later entering the legal profession, she served as general counsel of The J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles and subsequently as vice president and general counsel of Christie's in New York.

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Lewis Falb, Ph.D. Drama Professor

Lewis W. Falb is a retired college professor and academic administrator. He served as Senior Director of the Division of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at New York University’s School of Continuing Education. Before that he was Associate Dean of the New School for Social Research as well as Director of Programs in Humanities and Theater.

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Will Friedwald, Author, Journalist, Music Expert

Will Friedwald writes about jazz and popular music for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of eight books on music and popular culture, including the new and critically acclaimed A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers.   

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John Field, Magic Expert

John Field was admitted as a solicitor in 1976 and has practised law ever since. However he gave his first stage show as a magician in 1965 and has been performing magic for longer than he has been practising law!

 

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Howard Franklin, Royal Historian, Designer

Howard Franklin is an accomplished and highly respected speaker on British Heritage, the Stately Homes and Gardens of Britain, and the British Monarchy and their Royal Palaces. 

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Michael Freedland, Journalist, Broadcaster and Author

Michael Freedland says he is more of a story-teller than a lecturer.  His usual style is to sit on a stool and talk.  “I think it is presumptuous for me to say I am lecturing on the subjects I have chosen".

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John Freedman, Destination Expert

Dr. John Freedman is an independent scholar and passionate world traveler who has explored over 100 countries on seven continents. He is a sought-after enrichment lecturer on cruise ships as well as an experienced expedition leader for numerous educational travel programs.

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Nicholas Glakas, World Affairs Expert

Nicholas J. Glakas is an international lawyer and experienced lecturer who was recently president and chief executive officer of The Washington Campus – a non-profit educational consortium of 17 graduate business schools of major universities.   

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Leeza Gibbons, TV Host, Personality, Author

Leeza Gibbons is currently the co-host of America Now, the nightly syndicated TV news magazine and the TV show My Generation (on PBS stations). For 17 years she also has hosted and produced the nationally syndicated radio program Hollywood Confidential.

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Captain Richard Hayman, Mariner and Author

An adventurer who has sailed the seven seas and dozens of rivers in various vessels – from sea schooners in the Pacific to kayaks in the Amazon to icebreakers in Antarctica – Captain Richard Hayman is a true world explorer.

 

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David Horner, Historian

Professor David Horner is one of Australia’s leading historians. Currently Professor of Australian Defence History at the Australian National University, he is Australia’s premier military historian with an international reputation for military history and strategic analysis, although his expertise also ranges across Australian and international history.

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Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Historian

An award-winning historian and novelist, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman is the Dwight E. Stanford Professor at San Diego State University. Among other books, she is the author of American Umpire and Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War. She lectures on American and world history.

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Brian Hoey, Author, Broadcaster and Monarchy Expert

Brian Hoey is an author and broadcaster who has written 26 books about the British Royal Family including the official biography of HRH The Princess Royal and the official history of the Royal Yacht Britannia. He also wrote the first guide to Buckingham Palace when it opened to the public in 1993.

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Philip Hurst, Historian, World Affairs Expert

Former Deputy Director of The Australian Institute of International Affairs in Canberra and Counsel at The World Bank, Philip Hurst is a prominent Anglo-Australian international and constitutional lawyer, lecturer and writer.

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Andrew Johnson, Author, Cultural Observer

Andrew Johnson is an international corporate executive with a high reputation for leading change in a multi-cultural environment. Following graduation (in Business Administration) he worked in the international travel industry followed by 20 years in auto clubs, including Chief Executive, coordinating the activities of the clubs in 38 European markets.

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Thomas Jones, Ph.D., Former Astronaut, Scientist

Thomas D. Jones is a scientist, author, pilot, and former NASA astronaut. He holds a doctorate in planetary sciences, and in more than eleven years with NASA, flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit.

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Dr. Herb Keyser, Author, World Traveler, Music Expert

Dr. Herb Keyser is a man of many talents - doctor, author, traveler, lecturer, musician.  He was co-chairman of the Ob-Gyn department at one of the largest hospitals on Long Island. He also served as a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army Medical Corps during the war in Vietnam.

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Don Klein, Ph.D., Historian, Photographer and Author

Dr. Don Klein is an historian, writer and photographer specializing in Spanish and Portuguese voyages of exploration and discovery. His focus is on European expansion in the New World, Latin American history, and all aspects of the Amazon Rain Forest. 

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Peter Knego, Author, Maritime Historian

Born in Los Angeles, Peter’s interest in passenger ships started in eighth grade when he was assigned to research the Lusitania for an American History course. As a teen, he began visiting and photographing nearly every liner and cruise ship that came to Los Angeles. 

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John Kelly, Ph.D., National Security Expert

Dr. John F. Kelly is a Professor of National Security Studies, a Fulbright Scholar, a Ph.D. in Political Science (international relations and diplomatic history) a Juris Doctor, and a diplomate in military law.   

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Joseph Kess, Ph.D., Linguistics, Culture Expert

Dr. Joseph Kess is now retired from the University of Victoria, where he served as acting director and chair in Japan and Asia-Pacific relations at the Center for Asia-Pacific Initiatives.  He was also professor and chairman in the Department of Linguistics.

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Pat Kramer, Author, Photographer

A researcher, photographer, author, and professional speaker, Pat Kramer has designed a dynamic series of picture- and sound-filled presentations for our cruise.

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Wendy Leigh, Best-selling Author and Journalist

Wendy Leigh is the New York Times best-selling author of Prince Charming, The J.F.K. Jr. Story, The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy - now a play, which recently premiered in America - and True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess, and she is co-author of Life with My Sister Madonna.

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Dr. George Losey, Marine Biologist

A Professor of Zoology and Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii, George received his Ph.D. at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and has studied the behavior and ecology of marine animals throughout the world.

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Dr. Anthony P. Maingot, Caribbean and South America Expert

Anthony P. Maingot is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Florida International University in Miami.  He has also taught at Yale University where he was Director of the Antilles Research Program and at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.

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Gary McKechnie, Travel Writer

For more than a quarter century, Gary McKechnie has explored his homeland by bus, car, rail, and motorcycle in an attempt to unravel the mystery of the bold and unusual experiment known as the United States of America.

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Bill Miller, "Mr. Ocean Liner"

Bill Miller is considered an international authority on the subject of ocean liners & cruise ships.   This includes those great ships of the past, those “floating palaces,” as well as the current generation of cruise ships, the “floating resorts”.   Called “Mr. Ocean Liner,” he has written over 65 books on the subject:

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The Revd. Richard Martin, Historian, Theologian

The Reverend Richard Martin obtained his Master of Arts degree in Modern History from St. John's College, Oxford, after school in London, and went on to teach History and English for ten years at Harrow School. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1985 and became Chaplain and Head of Theology at Magdalen College School, Oxford.

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Philip Martin, Ph.D., Economist

Philip Martin earned a Ph.D. in Labor and Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975.  He is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California-Davis and chair of the University of California's Comparative Immigration and Integration Program.

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Steven Okulewicz, Geologist

Steven Okulewicz is a Professor of Geology at Hofstra University. He has lectured extensively on the volcanoes of the Hawaiian Islands, the eruptions of Mounts Vesuvius and Etna in Italy, the origins of volcanoes and coral reefs of the Caribbean Islands, and the origins of glaciers in Alaska.  

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Alexandra Orton, Family History Research Expert

Alexandra (Allie) Orton is the Senior Vice President of Genealogica, a company she co-founded to help families discover their ancestral roots through world travel, exciting research and meaningful story telling.  She has a background in television production, having served as a producer on the Emmy-nominated television series Who Do You Think You Are?  

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Gerald Pinciss, Ph.D. English Professor

Gerald M. Pinciss is Professor Emeritus of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was a Leopold Schepp Fellow at Dartmouth College and received his PhD at Columbia with a William Bayard Cutting dissertation fellowship.

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Fred Plotkin, Renaissance Man

Fred Plotkin discovered the concept of "The Renaissance Man" as a small child and has devoted himself to pursuing that ideal as the central role of his life. He is an expert on everything Italian, the person other so-called Italy experts turn to for definitive information. 

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Diana Preston, Author and Historian

Diana Preston is a writer with a special interest in the history of exploration. Her many books include A Pirate of Exquisite Mind, about the 17th century buccaneer William Dampier, who inspired Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and A First-Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole – a New York Times Book of the Week.

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Peter Quartermaine, Ph.D., Cultural Historian, Author

Formerly a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and a Research Director and Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter, Dr. Peter Quartermaine has lectured throughout the world on art, architecture, photography, and modern literature. Now early retired from academic life, he divides his time between writing and travelling.

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Christine Roussel, Author and Art Historian

Christine Roussel is an internationally acclaimed restorer, author, and art historian.  She has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and television shows including The Today Show, and has lectured extensively at universities, museums and professional organizations.  She is as entertaining as she is knowledgeable.

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Thomas Roberts, Ex-Military, Asia Expert

Thomas Roberts is a former Navy and Army officer. He is a retired colonel, US Army Intelligence, with over 31 years of military service. He worked for the CIA as advisor to Vietnamese Police Field Forces in Binh Dinh Province during the Vietnam War. He is a China Specialist, and a three-time US Military Attaché in China. 

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Bill Rothschild, Engineer, Space Travel Expert, Ex-USAF

Bill Rothschild has 43 years of experience in the aerospace industry involving project management, systems engineering, and rocket systems development and testing. Bill is currently working as a consultant for both NASA and the U.S. Air Force, after retiring as Boeing’s Director of Engineering Operations for the Space Exploration Division. 

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Bruce Riedel, International Affairs Expert, Adviser

A Senior Fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel has been a senior advisor on Middle East Policy for the last four US Presidents.

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Glenn Robinson, Ph. D., Middle East Expert

Dr. Glenn Robinson is an expert on Middle East security and political issues.  Teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the Center for Middle East Studies at Berkeley, he has published and lectured widely on Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and related challenges facing the Middle East.

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Steven Rivellino, Broadway Producer

Steven Rivellino is one of the leading Executive Producers and General Managers in the theatrical and entertainment industries. The former Vice President and General Manager of New York's Radio City Music Hall,  his projects span Broadway, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. 

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Eric Roorda, Historian

A Professor of History at Bellarmine University and Director of the Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport Museum, Dr. Eric Paul Roorda is a maritime history specialist whose subjects also include Western civilization and the history of Renaissance Italy.

 

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Rick Senat, Film Industry Expert

Rick has over 40 years’ experience in the film and media world. He joined Warner Bros in1976, becoming its Senior Vice-President for Business and Legal Affairs in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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Peter Sissons, Veteran BBC Anchor, TV Newscaster

After more than 40 years in journalism, 16 of which were at the BBC, Peter Sissons has become one of the best-known faces on British TV. Born in Liverpool in 1942, he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford.

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Adrian Sindall, Former British Ambassador

Ambassador Adrian Sindall is a former senior British diplomat. During his Foreign Service career Adrian served as British Ambassador to Syria, as British High Commissioner to His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei and as a senior policy advisor on South America, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

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Harvey Stearn, Photographer and Artist

Harvey Stearn has been a dedicated outdoor photographer and print maker for over 60 years. His images have won dozens of awards and have been exhibited in galleries, museums, offices and public buildings and are represented in private collections throughout the United States.  

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Daniel Silke, Politician, International Affairs Expert

Mr Silke holds a Masters degree in International Politics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has served six years in publicly elected office between 1995 and 2001 having faced three elections. He has served four years as a Member of Parliament in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in Cape Town after being re-elected in 1999.

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Robert Schrire, Ph.D, Professor, Author, Journalist, Africa Expert

Robert Schrire was born in Cape Town where he is holds the Chair of Political Studies and is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Cape Town. He is also a part-time professor at Princeton University.

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Rusty Schweickart, Astronaut and Scientist

Apollo 9 astronaut Russell L. (Rusty) Schweickart is a retired business and government executive who served for ten years as Chairman of the B612 Foundation, a non-profit private foundation that champions the development of spaceflight concepts to protect Earth from future asteroid impacts.  

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Joe Snyder, Former Diplomat and World Affairs Expert

Joe Snyder was a diplomat with the U.S. State Department Foreign Service for thirty years.  He served at diplomatic offices in Thailand, Iran, Taiwan, Malaysia and Austria, as well as in Washington.

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Andrew Steigman, Former US Ambassador

Andrew L. Steigman, from Bethesda, Maryland, is Associate Dean at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, where he works with the undergraduate program and teaches a course on international negotiation.

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Jeffrey Weinberg, Presidency Expert, Political Analyst

Jeffrey Weinberg is recognized in the U.S. and the U.K. for his unique insights into the U.S. presidency from the vantage points of both an academic and a practitioner. He has taught graduate courses and lectured on the presidency at universities in both countries.

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Captain William Wells, Maritime Historian

Promoted to Captain by the age of 28, William Wells then became a Trinity House licensed pilot in the Port of London operating between Gravesend and London Bridge.  During his career as a pilot he also served in the Middle East and the Bahamas where he regularly handled many of the world’s largest ships.

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Stephen Wessley, Ph.D. Historian

Dr. Stephen Wessley received his Ph.D. from Columbia University where he was a Lehman Fellow.  He is the winner of numerous awards, including fellowships and grants from the Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Philosophical Society. 

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Rob Warne, International Relations Expert, Former Diplomat

The former president of a Washington-based think tank, Rob Warne served for 28 years as a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State. Specializing in international economics, he held a variety of senior posts at the Department and abroad, including in Latin America. 

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