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Martin Forums | 2021-2022

As part of the 2021-22 Martin Forums, the Martin Institute presents:

"Ukraine, Russia, China – the World," featuring Stephen Kotkin, the John P. Birkelund Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Tuesday, April 26.

Stephen Kotkin, one of the country’s pre-eminent scholars of Russian History, is the John P. Birkelund Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University as well as a Senior Fellow (adjunct) at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. He directs the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy, which he founded.

His scholarship encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present. He has published two volumes of a three-volume history of the world as seen from Stalin’s desk: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 (Penguin, November 2014) and Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 (Penguin, October 2017). The final installment, Totalitarian Superpower 1941-1990s, is underway.

He writes reviews and essays for Foreign Affairs, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Wall Street Journal, and served as the business book reviewer for the New York Times Sunday Business Section.

Ambassador Nancy J. Powell retired from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 31, 2014 after a thirty-seven year career. She held the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service, with the title of Career Ambassador.

Her overseas tours include Canada, Nepal, Pakistan, Togo, India, Bangladesh, Uganda and Ghana. Ambassador Powell has been an Ambassador to Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, Nepal and India.

Other senior positions include Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, National Intelligence Officer for South Asia at the National Intelligence Council and the State Department Senior Coordinator for Avian Influenza. Ambassador Powell returned to the State Department for three months in September 2014 to coordinate the agency’s Ebola effort.

Ambassador Powell is the recipient of the Homeland Security Service to America Medal for 2006 for Avian Influenza preparations and the U.S. State Department Arnold L. Raphel Award for 2003. Ambassador Powell graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1970. She currently resides in Lewes, Delaware.

Commander Nicholas Meyers, Commanding Officer of USS IDAHO, will deliver a free, public address titled “The Role of the Navy in International Affairs: Economics, Politics and Security,” at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in the College of Education Building, room 141.

The event will also be available via webinar; check back here as we get closer to the date.

CDR Meyers earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also studied at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and earned a Masters in Business Administration from Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

During an initial sea tour aboard USS COLUMBIA (SSN 771), homeported in Pearl Harbor, he completed a Western Pacific Deployment and the crew earned the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for most improved Pacific Fleet unit. Later, as Navigator and Operations Officer aboard USS ALASKA (SSBN 732), CDR Meyers completed four deterrent patrols as the ship twice-earned the Omaha Trophy for best performing strategic asset.

Ashore, Nicholas was a 2014 Legislative Fellow assigned to the personal staff of Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-2), and also Flag Lieutenant and aide to Vice Admiral William Hilarides, then-commander of Naval Sea Systems Command. Returning to Pearl Harbor in 2016, CDR Meyers was Executive Officer of USS GREENEVILLE (SSN 772) before returning to his home in Vienna, Virginia, to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N97), Undersea Warfare Division.

CDR Meyers and his wife reside in East Lyme, Connecticut with their two children.

(Biography credit:

Ryan C. Crocker was a career Foreign Service Officer who served six times as an American Ambassador: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He is currently a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

Crocker serves on the Board of Advisors of No One Left Behind, an NGO dedicated to ensuring that America keeps its promises to Afghans and Iraqis who risked their lives to support us.

Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 2009. Other recent awards include the West Point Association of Graduates Thayer Award in 2020 and the inaugural Bancroft Award, presented by the Naval Academy in 2016. He was also named an Honorary Fellow of the Literary and Historical Society at University College in Dublin in 2016 and presented the annual James Joyce Award. Crocker is an Honorary Marine.

Other academic appointments have included:

  • Diplomat in Residence at Princeton University
  • Inaugural Kissinger Fellow at Yale University
  • The James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia
  • Dean of the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M

Previous forums this academic year include:

  • "The U.S. and India: New Challenges and Opportunities"  featuring Nancy Powell, former U.S. Ambassador to India, Pakistan and Nepal (Feb. 16, 2022)
  • “The Role of the Navy in International Affairs: Economics, Politics and Security” featuring Commander Nicholas Meyers, Commanding Officer of USS IDAHO (October 8, 2021)
  • "The Meaning of Afghanistan" featuring Ryan C. Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq (Sept. 21, 2021)

Martin Forum speakers deliver a public lecture, visit classes when possible, and meet with campus and community audiences in informal settings. These have covered a wide range of issues over the years, including war and peace, human rights, resources and development, and socioeconomics.

US and India New Opportunities and Challenges

University of Idaho Martin Forum with Ambassador Nancy Powell. February 16, 2022.

Martin Forum The Meaning of Afghanistan

September 21 2021

Stephen Kotkin
Professor Stephen Kotkin
Former Ambassador Nancy Powell
Former Ambassador Nancy Powell
Commander Nicholas Meyers
Commander Nicholas Meyers
Former Ambassador Crocker
Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker

The Martin Institute

Physical Address:
338 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Martin Institute
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Phone: 208-885-6527

Fax: 208-885-9464


Web: Martin Institute