Press Release

Great Decisions 2017

January 16, 2017 – by Corinne Lyman

Free Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy Begins Feb. 17

DELAWARE, Ohio – The 2017 Great Decisions Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy is particularly timely given the change in the foreign policy leadership of the United States with the election of a new president.

The critical question is, will we see more continuity or change in our foreign policy? The question can be raised with each of eight Great Decisions topics, whether it be “Trade and Politics,” “Nuclear Security” or “Conflict in the South China Sea.”

The opening talk by economist Goran Skosples will focus on “The Future of Europe.” Europe faces multiple issues, including “Brexit” – the British intention to leave the European Community. Also causing great uncertainty are slow economic growth, Russian assertiveness on Europe’s Eastern borders, the rise of right-wing radicalism in response to immigration, international terrorist attacks and the inauguration of an American president who has raised issues about the NATO alliance.

All Great Decisions discussions will be held at noon in the Fellowship Hall of William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. Complimentary coffee and tea will be provided. Learn more at the Great Decisions of Delaware, Ohio Facebook page.


Distinguished speakers during the eight-session series are as follows:

  • February 17 – The Future of Europe
    • Goran Skosples, professor, economics, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • February 24 – Nuclear Security
    • Dennis Laich, major general, U.S. Army (retired)
  • March 3 – Saudi Arabia in Transition
    • Melinda McClimans, assistant director, Middle East Studies Center, The Ohio State University
    • Rand Guebert, former consultant, Oilinvest B.V.
  • March 10 – Latin America’s Political Pendulum
    • James Franklin, chair, politics and government, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • March 17 – Conflict in the South China Sea
    • Michelle Mood, assistant professor, political science and Asian studies, Kenyon College
  • March 24 – Trade and Politics
    • Ji Young Choi, professor, politics and government, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • March 31 – Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan
    • Alam Payind, director, Middle East Studies Center, The Ohio State University
  • April 7 – U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum
    • Michael Houlahan, foreign service officer (retired), U.S. State Department

View the complete speaker biographies (PDF) for the Great Decisions 2017 series.

Audience Participation

Following each discussion, participants will have the option of completing a quick survey, prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, to add their opinions to thousands of others across the nation. Survey results will be sent to executive and legislative policymakers in Washington, D.C.


Grateful thanks to the following local organizations for their generous and continuing support: the American Association of University Women, Kiwanis, the League of Women Voters, the International Studies Program at Ohio Wesleyan University, William Street United Methodist Church, Willow Brook Christian Communities, Cruise One, and private donors.

About Great Decisions

The Great Decisions Discussion Program, a free community discussion series, is designed to encourage debate and discussion of the role of the United States in world affairs. Developed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) in 1954, Great Decisions is the longest-standing and largest grassroots world affairs educational program of its kind.

About the Foreign Policy Association

The Foreign Policy Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, FPA provides independent publications, programs, and forums to increase public awareness of, and foster popular participation in, matters relating to those policy issues.