Richard Verma meets with former President Barack Obama shortly after his appointment as ambassador.

Former Ambassador to India Richard Verma Discusses Past and Present U.S.-India Ties

In the inaugural lecture at the newly founded Cornell India Law Center, former U.S. ambassador to India Richard Verma spoke about India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations. The lecture, which took place on Thursday, was the first in a series hosted by the Cornell India Law Center in the law school, which seeks to provide Cornell law students with the opportunity to study Indian law as well as obtain a more in-depth understanding and connection with India through a variety of programs, including speaker series, summer internships in New Delhi and a dual-degree program with Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India. According to Verma, by 2030 “India will lead the world in almost every category.” But while India’s strategic location and its position as a democracy “in a tough part of the world” make it an important ally, the country still faces many “risk factors” such as significant climate risks, governance issues across the country, and for many of its citizens, a lack of access to clean water and electricity. “When you go to India, you can feel the excitement, you can feel the energy. People know that this is an exciting time.” Verma said.

Prof Lectures on Role of Diaspora in Health Care in Africa

Prof. Chinua Akukwe, global health and prevention and community health, at George Washington University, lectured yesterday at Uris Hall on the African Diaspora Health Initiative launched by the African Union in September 2008. 
Yesterday’s talk, “The Potential Role of Africans in the Diaspora in Improved Healthcare Delivery in Africa” was the first lecture of the “Issues in African Development Special Topic Seminar Series.” The series is designed “to foster awareness of African issues in the University,” according to Evangeline Ray, assistant program coordinator in C.U.’s Institute for African Development. which is sponsoring the lecture series.

History Class Builds Connection to Iran

Rarely does the scope of a class extend beyond its required reading or the duration of a semester. For students in Prof. John Weiss’s, history, class, however, th curicullum serves as a springboard for more far-reaching global aims.
The goal of History 2161: Iran and the World is to foster relations between Cornell students and Iranians through dialogue at a time when relations between the U.S. and Iran are volatile and fears of a nuclear-armed Iran are growing.
Class periods often include speakerphone interviews with leading Middle East policy experts and students are assigned to establish contact with Iranians. Furthermore, many students who have taken the class remain committed to working on the project even after the semester has ended.

The Global Election

One of the things that have made this election especially interesting has been the extent to which it has been followed around the world. Even excluding Obama’s and McCain’s international tours, worldwide expectations and interest are at an unusual high. This phenomenon can be traced to a variety of factors, but the events of the last eight years under President Bush probably lie at the core of foreign interest. International figures have made their endorsements, from the Mayor of London to Iranian officials, with even Al-Qaeda weighing in.