The Fairfax Free Citizen welcomes the opportunity to post summaries and videos of the superb presentations made by national and international experts at The Westminster Institute in McLean, VA (6729 Curran Street) every other Wednesday.“Superb” is an understatement in this case. The Institute brings in speakers who have participated in making policy, analyzing intelligence, and often making history in the United States and overseas. For example, during this past winter and early spring, speakers have included:
- Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor in the Reagan Administration.
- James Carafano, Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies.
- Dr. Shmuel Bar, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute who has a Ph.D. in History from Tel-Aviv University.
This is the place to get unique insights into current issues—how they developed and what are the prospects for their resolution. Speakers deliver prepared remarks for 30-45 minutes and provide plentiful time for questions and answers. The informal setting encourages a productive give-and-take.
Robert R. Reilly, the Director of The Westminster Institute, served in high level national security-related positions across the U.S. Government for 25 years. He has also authored a number of books, with many focused on the history of Islam and its troubled relationship with the West. His book entitled The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis is an acclaimed classic. You can read a summary of his biography here.
Here’s how the Institute’s website describes the organization and its activities:
At the most recent meeting on April 19, the Institute hosted Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese civil-rights activist who is known internationally as “the barefoot lawyer.” After “disturbing the public order” in China, he was imprisoned for over fours years and placed in a heavily guarded house arrest for three more years. In the words of the Institute’s announcement of his talk:
Promoting individual dignity and freedom for people throughout the world by sponsoring high-quality independent research with a particular focus on the threats from extremism and radical ideologies.
The Westminster Institute was established in 2009 to promote individual dignity and freedom for people throughout the world by sponsoring high-quality research, with a particular focus on the threats from extremism and radical ideologies. The Westminster Institute is an independent non-profit organization that is funded by contributions from individuals and private foundations. It receives no government funding. The Institute holds briefings and events throughout the year. The events are free and open to the public. To receive notification of upcoming events and/or publications, please sign up for the Westminster Institute mailing list (here).
In a daring escape that captured worldwide headlines, he (Chen) fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. After high-level negotiations between the U.S. and China, Mr. Chen was allowed to leave for America. Since 2013, he has been a senior research fellow at Catholic University of America, the Witherspoon Institute, and the Lantos Foundation.Chen has written a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, titled The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man’s Fight for Justice and Freedom in China. The Atlantic Monthly said, “This exceptional book will join the ranks of classic accounts of individual bravery, principle, and vision in the face of cruelty and repression. Chen Guangcheng is known around the world for the daring of his escape from captivity; as The Barefoot Lawyer makes clear, his journey and the accomplishments before that were at least as remarkable. Anyone who wants to understand the struggle for China’s future, being waged inside that country and by friends of China around the world, will want to read this book.”
Again, Robert Reilly and his Westminster Institute offer terrific presentations by public policy professionals twice a month at their offices in McLean, VA. They’re a delight and a must-attend for those seeking greater understanding of the major issues facing America today and tomorrow.
You can find a list of past and future presentations at The Westminster Institute here. See you there!