Havighurst Lecture

Annual Havighurst Lecture 2021-2022  

 Dalia Grybauskaite portrait 

March 10
Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of Lithuania
In celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the Restoration of Lithuanian Independence (March 11, 1990) the Havighurst Center invited former President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė to give the Annual Havighurst Lecture.

Grybauskaitė served as the eighth President of Lithuania from 2009 until 2019. She was the first woman to hold the position and in 2014 became the first President of Lithuania to be reelected for a second consecutive term.  She also served as Minister of Finance, as well as European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009.


 Past Havighurst Lectures

2020-21 | Art, Memory, and Protest in Belarus

"Art, Memory, and Protest in Belarus" featured three speakers, each opening a window into the meanings of the protests and Belarusian history. Sasha Razor, a scholar who has written about the protests for the LA Review of Books, provided important contexts to the events. Rufina Bazlova, a Belarusian artist based in Prague, shared and talked about her works that have captured the tenor of the protests. Valzhyna Mort, a US-based Belarusian poet whose collection Music for the Dead and Resurrected was named one of the best poetry books of 2020 by The New York Times, talked about her writing on political violence and the artistic response to it.

For background information, check out Havighurst Center Director Stephen Norris's recent article on "History, Memory, and the Art of Protest in Belarus."

The lecture is now posted on the Havighurst Center YouTube Channel

2019-20 | Roza Otunbayeva, former President of Kyrgyzstan

Roza Otunbayeva is a Kyrgyz diplomat and politician who served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from April 2010 until December 2011. She was sworn in on July 3, 2010, after acting as interim leader following the April 2010 revolution which led to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

2018-19 | Herta Müller, 2009 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
A Conversation about Truth and Power

Herta Müller was born in a farming family living in Nitchidorf, outside Timisoara, Romania. Her family belonged to Romania's German-speaking minority, whose vulnerable position during Ceaușescu's communist regime came to color her life and literary works. Herta Müller was dismissed from her position as a translator after refusing to cooperate with the Securitate secret police, becoming a teacher and author instead; she went into exile in Germany in 1987. Her literary works address an individual's vulnerability under oppression and persecution, rooted in her experiences as one of Romania's German-speaking ethnic minority. Herta Müller describes how dictatorship breeds a fear and alienation that stays in an individual's mind.

2017-18 | Georgi Gospodinov and Dejan Kyuranov
Communism Lived and Remembered

Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov and former dissident Deyan Kyuranov, a political scientist at the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, took part in an armchair-style discussion about Communism Lived and Remebered, as part of the Havighurst Center's Truth and Power series.

2016-17 | Jack Matlock, former Ambassador of the United States to the USSR and Russia

Former Ambassador of the United States to the USSR and Russia, Jack Matlock (1987-1991) engaged in an armchair-style discussion about Russia today and American policy toward Russia.

2012-13 | John Pepper, Former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble

John Pepper joined Procter & Gamble in 1963 and was named the president in 1986. Mr. Pepper retired from the company in 2002 and continued as chair of the Executive Committee of the board for an additional year. In his book Russian Tide, Pepper traced the development of P&G's business in Russia during the tumultuous 1990s as the company pioneered the bumpy road that was Russia's new economy and new free market at that time.

2011-12 | Andrey Illarionov
Cato Institute Fellow
Former economic policy advisor to President Vladimir Putin, 2000-2005

Andrei Illarionov is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. From 1993 to 1994, Illarionov served as chief economic adviser to the prime minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin. He resigned in February 1994 to protest changes in the government’s economic policy and founded the Institute of Economic Analysis. From 2000 to December 2005, he was the chief economic adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illarionov has coauthored several economic programs for Russian governments and has written three books and more than 300 articles on Russian economic and social policies.

2009-10 | Philip Dimitrov
EU Ambassador to Georgia
Former Prime Minister of Bulgaria

Philip Dimitrov served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 1991. He was appointed as the Ambassador of Bulgaria in April of 1997 at the United Nations. From 1998 to 2002 he was the Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States. He was a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2003. Philip Dimitrov has authored several books including "The New Democracies and the Transatlantic Link".

2008-09 | Maria Gaidar, Founder of Democratic Alternative (DA!)

Maria Gaidar is a political activist from Russia who has challenged the Putin regime on its violations of electoral freedom. She is the daughter of the former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, who launched economic reforms in Russia in the 1990's. Ms. Gaidar is the founder of the youth political organization Democratic Alternative (DA!), and is a leader of the anti-Putin organization The Other Russia as well as the opposition Union of Right Forces party. Gaidar, who is currently pursuing a masters degree in public administration at Harvard, previously served as deputy governor of the Kirov region.

2007-08 | Susan Eisenhower, The Eisenhower Group
Roald Sagdeev, University of Maryland

Susan Eisenhower is President of the Eisenhower Group, Inc. She has consulted for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies doing business in the emerging markets of the former Soviet Union. Eisenhower also serves as Chairman of the Eisenhower Institute’s Leadership and Public Policy Programs, where she was the Institute’s founding director and the first president and became known for her work in the former Soviet Union and in the energy field. She has testified before the Senate Armed Services and Senate Budget Committees on policy towards the region of the former Soviet Union. Susan Eisenhower is an expert on international security, and relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.

Ronald Sagdeev is a Soviet and Russian expert in plasma physics and a former director of the Space Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He served as a science advisor to former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. Sagdeev is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and is a Senior Advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, where he assists with issues involving Russia and countries in the former Soviet Union. Ronald Sagdeev is a Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland.

2006-07 | Aleksandr Kwasniewski, former President of Poland

Aleksander Kwasniewski served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005. He participated in the famous “Round-Table” negotiations in Poland that finally brought the peaceful transformation of Poland and the whole Central and Eastern Europe from communism to democracy.He was a co-author of the new democratic Constitution of Poland, which he signed into law on July 16th, 1997.

2005-06 | Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Gorbachev was the seventh and last leader of the Soviet Union. He was previously the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Gorbachev's policies of glasnot and perestroika, as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

2004-05 | Constantin Orbelian, Conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra

The pianist and conductor Constantine Orbelian is the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia. His appointment in 1991 as Music Director of the celebrated Moscow Chamber Orchestra was a breakthrough event, and came in the midst of Orbelian's successful career as a concert pianist. Orbelian made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In his early teens he went to the then Soviet Union on a music scholarship, then studied at Juilliard.He has been the musical director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra from 1991, Philharmonia of Russia and State Academic Chamber Orchestra of Russia. In January, 2004 President Putin awarded Orbelian the coveted title "Honored Artist of Russia," a title never before bestowed on a non-Russian citizen.

2002-03 | Vitaly Komar, Artist

Vitaly Komar is a Russian born painter and performance artist. He was born in Moscow and graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design. Komar experienced Soviet censorship when his work was removed from the 8th Exhibition of Young Artists in 1969. Komar and fellow artist Alex Melamid were expelled from the Young Division of the Artist's Union for "distortion of Soviet reality". In 1974 Komar was arrested for "Art Belongs to the People", which was a performance in a private apartment. Komar and Melamid were the first Russian artists to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

2001-02 | Yegor Gaidar. former Prime Minister of Russia

Yegor Timurovich Gaidar was a Soviet and Russian economist, politician, and author, and was the Acting Prime Minister of Russia from June 15 to December 14, 1992. He was best known as the architect of the controversial shock therapy reforms administered in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which brought him both praise and harsh criticism. Many Russians held him responsible for the economic hardships that plagued the country in the 1990s that resulted in mass poverty and hyperinflation among other things, although liberals praised him as a man who did what had to be done to save the country from complete collapse. Gaidar died on December 16, 2009, at the age of 53, from pulmonary edema.

2000-01 | James Billington, Librarian of Congress

James Billington served as the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 1973-1987. He founded the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Billington has authored several books including "The Icon and the Axe", "Fire in the Minds of Men", and "Russia transformed: Breakthrough to Hope". Billington has accompanied ten congressional delegations to Russia and the former Soviet Union. In June 1988 he accompanied President Ronald Reagan to the Soviet Summit in Moscow.