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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Where Are We Now?

A Back to Class Special Edition

Mar 1, 2023

20 minute read

Faculty Lifelong Learning

About the Program

What is our understanding of the Russia-Ukraine crisis now, how has it evolved, and what have we learned? 

Watch this informative exploration into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its worldwide ramifications. Daniel Webster Professor of Government William Wohlforth, faculty director of the Dartmouth Initiative for Global Security at the Dickey Center for International Understanding, will provide an update on the war and answer audience questions. 

U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski ’87 will join Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding Victoria Holt to discuss Ukraine from a European perspective, the broader Russian threat, the role of NATO and the U.S., and the refugee situation.

Headshot collage of Brzezinski, Holt, and Wohlforth

About the Speakers

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski ’87 

Mark Brzezinski was sworn in as ambassador to Poland on December 22, 2021. Ambassador Brzezinski previously served as U.S. ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015, spearheading innovative new approaches to advance U.S.-European trade and landing key Swedish investments, including Volvo's decision to build a $1 billion factory in South Carolina. He also arranged the first-ever U.S. presidential visit to Stockholm, which brought together all five heads of governments of the Nordic countries for a summit that galvanized a U.S.-Nordic strategic approach on energy, innovation, and sustainability. In 2015, he was asked by the White House to lead a strategic effort on the Arctic as the first executive director of the White House's Arctic Executive Steering Committee. 

Most recently, Ambassador Brzezinski was founder and principal of Brzezinski Strategies LLC. He was a managing director at Makena Capital Management, where he led the firm’s sustainable and ESG investing efforts. For a decade, he was a partner at the law firm McGuireWoods LLP, where he helped build the law firm's international compliance practice. From 1999 to 2001, he served on President Clinton's National Security Council staff, first as a director for Russia and Eurasia, and then as a director for the Balkans. 

Ambassador Brzezinski is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Poland in 1991-93, during which he researched and wrote a book entitled "The Struggle for Constitutionalism in Poland." In 2010, he was named to the State Department's Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. He received a BA from Dartmouth College, a JD from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in Political Science from Oxford University. 

He is the proud father of a teenage daughter, Aurora Brzezinski. 

Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding Victoria Holt

Victoria K. Holt is the Norman E. McCulloch Jr. Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. She joined Dartmouth in September 2021, with a background in public policy, leadership and diplomacy. In Washington, DC, she served as vice president at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a research and policy institute focused on international affairs, and directed the Transforming Conflict and Governance program. Earlier Holt was tapped to be deputy assistant secretary for International Security, Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO), and served at the State Department from 2009 to early 2017. In that role, she was responsible for policy and guidance for actions in the UN Security Council and oversaw the Offices of Peace Operations, Sanctions & Counterterrorism and UN Political Affairs. Holt led the development of U.S. diplomatic initiatives, including the 2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping, hosted by President Obama to increase capacities for UN operations. 

Holt's track record includes research, writing and teaching. She joined Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in 2018, where she has taught graduate seminars on U.S. policy on conflict prevention in the post-Cold War world. Before 2009, she co-directed the Future of Peace Operations program at Stimson, writing and speaking widely on UN and regional peace operations, the protection of civilians and atrocity prevention, targeted sanctions, rule of law and U.S. policy. Holt served on the Genocide Prevention Task Force as the lead on military options and wrote a pioneering report on UN missions and the protection of civilians. 

During the Clinton Administration, Holt served as senior policy advisor in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, following a role as executive director of a bipartisan diplomatic campaign to pay U.S. arrears to the United Nations. Previously, she served on Capitol Hill for members of the House of Representatives, first as senior legislative assistant to Rep. George Hochbrueckner and then as legislative director for Rep. Tom Andrews, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, from 1987 to 1994. Holt also worked at Washington-based policy institutes on international affairs and nuclear weapons issues. She is a graduate of the Naval War College and Wesleyan University. 

Daniel Webster Professor of Government William Wohlforth 

William Wohlforth is the Daniel Webster Professor of Government and has been a member of the Government Department’s faculty since 2000. Professor Wohlforth teaches and conducts research on international relations, with an emphasis on international security, strategy, and Russian foreign policy. Before coming to Dartmouth, he taught at Princeton and Georgetown. Professor Wohlforth graduated with a degree in international relations from Beloit College, worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and conducted graduate work at Yale University, earning an MA in international relations and PhD in Political Science. Beyond Dartmouth, he has held fellowships at the Institute of Strategic Studies at Yale, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and the Hoover Institution. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and has served as a consultant for the National Intelligence Council and the National Bureau of Asian Research.