Inaugural Convening/EWI Reunion

The Mroz Global Leadership Institute held its Inaugural Convening on March 20-22, 2022. More than 60 domestic and international guests came to the College of Charleston for two full days of talks and panel discussions on the topics of leadership, diplomacy, and international security. The Inaugural Convening was an opportunity to celebrate the world-wide impact of the EastWest Institute over its 40-year history and the launch of the Mroz Institute and its vision of preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders.


“Old Friends – New Friends” welcome reception

For two days of the convening, we organized two keynote addresses, two featured talks, five breakout sessions and five roundtable discussions. The convening was the highlight of the spring semester and was attended by Charleston Mayor Tecklenburg; CofC President Hsu; Provost Austin; Hilton and Catherine Smith; LCWA board members; and many faculty, staff, students and members of the Charleston community. We hosted sixteen speakers, including five CofC faculty members, who shared their insight on migration, COVID and climate change, global governance, the challenges of democratic governance and the threat of authoritarianism, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Conversation with David Firestein

The convening was very impactful on campus. We invited 16 speakers, including five faculty members from the College of Charleston and held 17 formal and informal events – two keynote addresses, two featured talks, five breakout sessions, five roundtable discussions, and three receptions including two events held by President Hsu and First Lady Chen, among others. We hosted more than 60 guests from out of town, including many international guests from Serbia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Each panel or talk was attended by 85-110 guests and one panel discussion had standing room only with about 190 in attendance. We offered an opportunity to attend panels and discussions to our off campus guests, who connected remotely from Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Serbia and many U.S. states.


Left to right: Brian Finlay, Bruce McConnell, Jonathan Fanton, Max Kovalov & Stephen Heintz

We hosted the leaders of our partner organizations – David Firestein from the Bush-China Foundation; Brian Finlay and Bruce McConnel from the Stimson Center; and Anneleen Roggeman from the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) America – for a panel discussion. These organizations, along with the Mroz Institute, continue the legacy of John Edwin Mroz and the EastWest Institute.

Among the speakers were world-renowned experts on leadership, executive coaches, leaders of non-profit organizations, think-tanks and international organizations. The highlights of the convening were the keynote addresses by Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author of books on leadership and mentorship, and Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary-General of NATO.

The participation of the EWI colleagues energized the Convening and student engagement increased the impact of the sessions. The talks, discussions, panels, small-group interactions and individual conversations were challenging, thought-provoking and inspiring.


Full Program

View the complete Inaugural Convening Program, including list of speakers and their bios. For those who did not have an opportunity to join us in person, check out the recordings of all panels and talks on our Events page or the Mroz Institute Youtube channel.


Program in Brief

Sunday, March 20, 2022

  • Old Friends – New Friends” – welcome reception hosted by President Hsu, Provost Austin, Mayor Tecklenburg, Hilton and Catherine Smith, and Karen Linehan Mroz.

Monday, March 21, 2022

  • Lowcountry boil reception

    Regenerative Leadership: How Leadership Must Change for a Sustainable Future with John Izzo, renowned business leadership expert and community builder

  • International Energy Perspective: A  Regional Insight into the Middle East with Randa  Fahmy, President of Fahmy Hudome International
  • The Business of Non-Profit with Stephen Heintz and John Fanton.  Stephen  Heintz is President and CEO of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Jonathan  Fanton is a Special Adviser to the World Refugee & Migration Council and former President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and president of the McArthur Foundation
  • Mentoring Leaderswith Marshall Goldsmith and David Allen. Marshall Goldsmith is a New York Timesand Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and one of the world’s prominent leadership thinkers and executive coaches. David Allen is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on personal and organizational productivity
  • Roundtable: Leadership through Difference  and Change with Marshall Goldsmith, Randa Fahmy, John Izzo and David Allen
  • Champagne Reception to toast the impact and legacy of EWI and officially inaugurate the Institute.
  • Stakeholder Centered Leadership – keynote address by Marshall Goldsmith

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

  • Around the World with Mroz Affiliates: Panel discussion with David Firestein (Bush-China Foundation), Brian Finlay (Stimson Center), Bruce McConnell (Stimson Center), and Anneleen Roggeman (ORF America)

    EWI History Project: Of Archives, Memory and Oral Histories with John White, Dean of Libraries, CofC; Emily Whalen, postdoctoral fellow at the Clements Center for National Security; and Karen Linehan Mroz, Honorary EWI Alumna and member of the Mroz Global Leadership Institute Steering Committee and LCWA Advisory Board

  • Democracy as Strategy in an Age of  Authoritarian Resurgence  with Damon Wilson, President & CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy
  • COVID, Climate Change and Conflict:  Who’s in Charge?  with Brian Finlay, President and CEO of the Stimson Center, and Bruce McConnell, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center
  • Migration and the State: Securitization, Citizenship and Vulnerabilitywith CofC faculty Sarah Koellner, Assistant Professor of German Studies; Amy Malek, Assistant Professor of International Studies; and Briana McGinnis, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
  • Ukraine and Russia: What’s Driving  the Conflict? with Damon Wilson, President & CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy; Max Kovalov, Instructor of International Studies and Bennett Director of the Mroz Institute; and Frank Emerson, former Foreign Service Officer with more than 25 years of experience in U.S. national security and foreign policy.
  • Bringing East and West Together: The Legacy of John Edwin Mroz. Keynote Address by Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary of NATO and lead negotiator of the nuclear arms control treaty with Russia (New START).

Many of our guests during the Inaugural Convening expressed their willingness to support the Mroz Institute and our programs – thank you! There are multiple ways to engage with the institute moving forward, including:

  • Marshall Goldsmith’s keynote address

    participating in the Archive and Oral History Project.

  • serving as a speaker or connecting us to speakers who can be invited to present at our programs – World Affairs Colloquium Series and Mroz Visiting Fellows;
  • mentoring our International Scholars and Global Ambassadors;
  • including the Mroz Institute in your annual philanthropy. All of these engagement opportunities will be meaningful to our efforts, so please let us know what would be meaningful to you. Contact Brian Rowe at 843.991.4361 or, if you have questions about philanthropy.
  • Contact Max Kovalov at if you want to contribute to the Archive and Oral History project, the Colloquium Series, the Visiting Fellows Program, or mentoring programs.

Photos from the convening