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Oct. 24, 2017
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2017 CHINA Town Hall with:

Ambassador Susan E. Rice
Amb. Susan E. Rice

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is pleased to announce that Ambassador Susan E. Rice will be the national webcast speaker for our eleventh annual CHINA Town Hall, to be held on October 24, 2017. In addition to her foreign policy experience as national security advisor (2013-2017) and U.S. permanent representative to the UN (2009-2013), Ambassador Rice also served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Her decades of public service and critical role in developing and executing the Obama administration's policies towards China make her perspective on the relationship especially relevant as we navigate this uncertain time in the bilateral relationship. 

On-site Speaker:  Christopher Twomey, Ph.D.
Topic: “Managing the China Challenge in the Asia Pacific.”

Christopher Twomey, PhDDr. Christopher P. Twomey is an associate professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he focuses on Chinese foreign policy and East Asian security in his teaching and research. He also serves as Associate Chair for Research in the department and directs the Center on Contemporary Conflict. He works with the Departments of Defense and State on a range of strategic and Asian security issues. He authored The Military Lens: Doctrinal Differences and Deterrence Failure in Sino-American Relations (Cornell University Press, 2010), and his work has appeared in journals such as Security Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, The Washington Quarterly, and Asian Survey. He is currently a member of the Institute of International Strategic Studies, a member of the Adjunct Staff at RAND, and has consulted for the National Bureau of Asia Research continually since 2009. He has previously taught or researched at Harvard, Boston College, RAND, CASS in Beijing, and IGCC. Dr. Twomey received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California San Diego and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Monday, November 13, 2017
CCC/CFR Luncheon Program – The Fess Parker

James Ketterer, PhDSpeaker: James Ketterer, Ph.D.
- Dean of International Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
- Director, Bard Globalization & International Affairs program, New York NY
Topic: Jazz Diplomacy: Representing the Opportunities and Challenges of American Democracy


Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Annual Christmas Luncheon Program

Gil Rosas, Santa Barbara’s Iconic Pianist
Montecito Union school chorus
Speaker: Lori Marino
Topic: Dolphins and Whales: Brainiacs of the Sea


Lori MarinoLori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence who was on the faculty of Emory University for twenty years.  Lori is currently president and co-founder of The Whale Sanctuary Project (, whose mission is to create the first seaside sanctuaries for orcas (killer whales) and beluga whales in North America.  She is also founder and executive director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy (, a science-based non-profit organization focused on bringing academic scholarship to animal protection efforts.

Lori is internationally known for her research on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales (as well as in primates and farmed animals).  In 2001 she co-authored a ground-breaking study offering the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins. She has pioneered magnetic-resonance imaging studies of dolphin and whale brains. And in 2015 she co-authored a paper presenting the first evidence for a previously undiscovered auditory region in the dolphin brain.

Lori has published over 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and magazine articles on marine mammal biology and cognition, comparative brain anatomy, self-awareness in other animals, human-nonhuman animal relationships, the evolution of intelligence, as well as marine mammal captivity issues, such as the validity of dolphin assisted therapy and the educational claims of the zoo and aquarium industry.