Global Town Hall: Hope in a Time of Uncertainty

OCTOBER 8 | 2020 | 8:30 – 10:00 AM (CST)

This event will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

The burden of the global pandemic on health systems, economies, and societies has been the most disruptive force in 2020.  It has brought into sharper focus other problems such as racial disparities and gaps in global governance, and it has dampened the spirits of people around the world. In the face of mounting global pressures—from the economic outlook to the climate crisis—many of us feel anxious and disheartened about the future. At the same time, faculty and students have a strong desire and capability to address these challenges.

Join us for a GLOBAL TOWN HALL featuring experts across disciplines and countries as they share which societal problem has them most concerned and what gives them hope for the future.


Global Town Hall: Hope in a Time of Uncertainty will bring us together on October 8th to launch the McDonnell Academy International Symposium by virtually convening a panel of leading academics and senior experts from across the world and across disciplines. Our goal is to exchange candid views about current global challenges as well as offer reasons for hope for the future.

Welcome remarks
Andrew D. Martin, Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis

Kurt Dirks, Director, McDonnell International Scholars Academy; Vice Chancellor for International Affairs; Bank of America Professor of Leadership, Washington University in St. Louis

Distinguished Speakers

  • Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, Assistant Professor, Tiomkin School of Economics, IDC Herzliya; Deputy Governor, Bank of Israel (2014-2019)
  • Shalini Bharat, Director/Vice Chancellor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
  • Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor, Makerere University, Uganda; Registered Architect; Member, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology
  • Alejandro Poiré, Dean, School of Social Sciences and Government, Tecnológico de Monterrey; Secretary of the Interior of Mexico (2011-2012)
  • William Powderly, Dr. J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine; Larry J. Shapiro Director, Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law; Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute and Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Rocky Tuan, Vice Chancellor and President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Lee Quo Wei and Lee Yick Hoi Lun Professor of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


The McDonnell Academy invites you to tune in for the Global Town Hall and engage in the lead up to the event by participating in the following initiatives:

Compete for cash prizes!
What gives you hope for the future?
Get your questions answered live!


In addition to the Global Town Hall, throughout the fall the McDonnell Academy will host various virtual workshops and panel discussions with colleagues from our partner universities.