Autocracy, Immigration Debate, and Ukraine on IAF fall agenda

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s International Affairs Forum will launch its 29th season of events on Thursday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dennos Museum Center Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City, preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m.

IAF’s season opener will be an in-person event: “Democracy vs. Autocracy” with Erica Frantz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. Dr. Frantz will explore global examples of the erosion of democratic ideals and the dangerous slide into authoritarianism. She has published seven books on these themes, including Authoritarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2018). She is a frequent contributor to publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post. This event will also be available to livestream.

The fall season continues with the following:

  • Thursday, October 20, 6:30 p.m. (in-person event + livestream): “Immigration Debate” with David V. Aguilar, former acting commissioner for Customs and Border Protection who during his tenure commanded 80,000 CBP agents, and Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Aguilar and Cardinal Brown will engage in an Oxford-style debate with a focus on immigration reform and potential solutions. The debate will include questions from the audience.
  • Tuesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. (virtual event): “The New World Order: After Ukraine” with Ambassador John C. Kornblum, ambassador to Germany from 1997-2001 and expert on U.S.-European political and economic relations. Amb. Kornblum occupied high-level diplomatic posts including U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Process), deputy U.S. ambassador to NATO, and U.S. minister and deputy commandant of forces in divided Berlin. He will decipher the knotty geopolitical power shifts spurred on by Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.

Presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Receptions begin at 5:30 p.m. when available.

All IAF regular season events are open to the public. Tickets are required and available for purchase online or at the door. In-person admission is $15 per person. Current students and educators receive free admission with a school I.D. or name badge.

Events are also livestreamed. Registration is required with a suggested donation of $10. For in-person tickets, livestream registration, and all event details, visit

IAF is welcoming new members and sponsors for the current season September 2022 -June 2023. Membership starts at $100 for individuals or $160 for families and includes in-person admission and livestream access to all regular season events. Learn more about IAF membership, event sponsorship, and student outreach at

The International Affairs Forum is a program of Northwestern Michigan College.

Release date: August 30, 2022

For more information:

Alex Tank
Communications & Production Coordinator
International Affairs Forum at Northwestern Michigan College
(231) 995-1844


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