The Rapidian

Spotlight on South Africa as 'Great Decisions' continues

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With South Africa at a strategic political crossroads, Ms. Desiree Cormier, a former State Department diplomat, shares her perspective on this strategic U.S. partner.

/Former State Department diplomat Desiree Cormier will speak on South African politics on March 19

Desiree Cormier, senior director at Albright Stonebridge Group, on "South Africa at a Crossroads"

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
Great Decisions Series

12 noon at Calvin College, Recital Hall in the Covenant Fine Arts Center
6 p.m. Aquinas College, Performing Arts Center

$10 general admission
Free to member business and college employees, faculty and students

/Susan Glasser of POLITICO spoke on Putin's Russia.

Recession and unemployment. Accusations of corruption. Internal divisions and public frustrations. The resignation of President Jacob Zuma. Major issues threaten to bring down the African National Congress (ANC), the party that has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. What are the implications for the country and for U.S. foreign policy in the region?

Desiree Cormier, a former State Department diplomat in South Africa and Mexico, and now a senior director at the Washington D.C. Albright Stonebridge Group, will give a presenation on "South Africa at a Crossroads: Implications for U.S.-South Africa Relations."

Ms. Cormier will share her insights as part of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan's "Great Decisions" series on Monday, March 19 at 12 noon in Calvin College's Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall and at 6 p.m. in Aquinas College's Performing Arts Center.

There will be a generous question-and-answer time following Ms. Cormier's remarks.

She is the director of ASG's Africa Practice, where she advises and assists clients on growth strategies across the African continent. Prior to joining ASG, she was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she served in Tijuana, Mexico; Pretoria, South Africa; and Washington, D.C. From 2014 to 2015, she was the African Union and Multilateral Affairs Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs, where she focused on facilitating engagement with partner countries and organizations on areas of mutual concern.

From 2012 until 2014, Ms. Cormier served as staff assistant to the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa, where she coordinated various mission-wide priorities and strategic plans. 
Ms. Cormier is the recipient of four Department of State Meritorious Honor Awards and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Undergraduate Fellowship. She holds a B.A. in political science and psychology from Stanford University and a M.A. in public policy from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
On Monday, March 12, the "Great Decisions" series featured Politico's chief international columnist Susan Glasser on the topic "Putin, Russia and the New Cold War?"
Glasser stated: "This period of time is almost the equivalent in reverse of 1989's wave of democratization and freedom." 

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