John C. Bersia
(In memoriam) Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives and Director
John C. Bersia, the University of Central Florida’s Pulitzer Laureate, was the Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives. He also directed the Global Perspectives Office, served as a University Professor and was the Executive Producer and host of the award-winning “Global Perspectives” show on WUCF-TV/PBS. Bersia previously served as a Foreign-Affairs Columnist for McClatchy-Tribune Information Services and the Orlando Sentinel. He won the first Pulitzer Prize of the 21st century (2000) for Tribune news media. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Walker Stone Award of the Scripps Howard Foundation, the first-place “Green Eyeshade” editorials award of the Society of Professional Journalists, the annual Media Award for Editorial Excellence of The National Association of Consumer Advocates and other national awards. Previously, Bersia worked in the global political-risk analysis and publishing businesses, as well as for the U.S. government. He authored World War 4: Confronting Terrorism (2003); served as Editor of the Worldviews for the 21st Century monograph series; chaired, co-chaired or directed various UCF programs with emphases on the Middle East, human trafficking, Islamic studies, small countries, China-Taiwan, global peace and security, India and Kurdish political studies; and served on several national boards. Further, he was the Chair (a voluntary position) of the Global Connections Foundation, a non-profit, non-ideological, non-political, regional, educational network that partners with UCF and other institutions to encourage international awareness and understanding. He also chaired the World Affairs Council of Central Florida, served on the board of Civil Lawyers Against World Sex-Slavery and was a board-member of Global Ties U.S. Bersia held degrees from UCF (B.A., Political Science/International Relations and French), Georgetown University (M.A., Government/Foreign Policy), The American University (M.S.P.I.A., Public Information Administration) and the London School of Economics (M.Sc., International Relations).
Ambassador Ulric Haynes, Jr.
Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Ambassador Ulric Haynes, Jr. was the U.S. Ambassador to Algeria from 1977 to 1981, culminating his tour of duty as one of the negotiators for the release of the American Embassy hostages in Iran. He served as a Partner of SpencerStuart and Associates, as President of Management Formation, Inc., and in various capacities with the Cummins Engine Company. He also was Dean of the School of Business and Executive Dean of University International Relations at Hofstra University. He has taught at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College. Amb. Haynes is working on various projects, including a book on American foreign policy.
Dr. Stephen Sloan
Stephen Sloan is a Distinguished Fellow for the Global Perspectives Office. Previously, he was the Lawrence J. Chastang Distinguished Professor of Terrorism Studies, a University Professor and a Fellow in the Global Perspectives Office at UCF. He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Red Teams and Counterterrorism Training (2011), The Challenge of Nonterritortial and Virtual Conflicts (2011),Terrorism: The Present Threat in Context (2006), Terrorism: Assassins to Zealots (2002), theHistorical Dictionary of Terrorism (1994), Corporate Aviation Security (1993) and Beating International Terrorism (1992). Until 2004, he served as Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught the first U.S. university course on terrorism. He also has held positions at Booz, Allen Hamilton and the Center for Aerospace Doctrine Research. Sloan conducts terrorism seminars and simulations for government officials, military audiences, law enforcement personnel and other groups in the United States and abroad. He completed a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Comparative Politics at New York University in New York City. He obtained a B.A. from Washington Square College of New York University.
Gabriela Othon Lothrop
Gabriela Othon Lothrop is the Millennium Fellow for the Global Perspectives Office. Previously, she served as the Program and Research Coordinator for the Office, the Diplomacy Program, the Terrorism Studies Program and other affiliated initiatives. She was responsible for helping to manage globally oriented projects, programs and research, and served as the business and research liaison to key partners, such as the Global Connections Foundation, the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Foundation for Democracy and Development) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the U.S. Department of State. She was also the Business and Research Editor for the Worldviews for the 21st Century monograph series. Lothrop was responsible for managing budgets and serving as manager for support staff. She also conducted research on topics of international, national and metropolitan significance; participated in externally funded research projects; explored grant opportunities; and facilitated public events. Further, she played a vital role in key research projects at UCF on terrorism trends and the marketing of high technology projects from the United States to India. She was formerly a Research Specialist for the Global Perspectives Office, a Global Connections Scholar and a Global Fellow. Prior to those positions, she worked as manager in the retail sector for several years. Lothrop is a graduate of UCF, with a B.A. in Political Science, International Relations Track, and is a recipient of the Bledsoe-Young Award. She is a native of Panama, speaks Spanish, and has traveled extensively in the Americas and Europe.
Global Connections Researcher and Analyst
Joshua Smith is a Researcher and Analyst for the Global Perspectives Office, sponsored by the Global Connections Foundation. He works primarily with Dr. Stephen Sloan on terrorism and national security issues, but also conducts research on other international topics and assists with the production of theWorldviews for the 21st Century monograph series. A graduate of the University of Central Florida in Information Technology and Liberal Studies, he focused on computer science, economics and international relations. He was born in Illinois and has traveled to Mexico.
Global Connections Advanced Scholar of Terrorism Studies
Abeer Beshir Abdalla is a Global Connections Advanced Scholar for the Global Perspectives Office, the Diplomacy Program, the Terrorism Studies Program and affiliated organizations, including the Global Connections Foundation. Abdalla’s studies focus on the interconnected relationship between multimedia, terrorism and the radicalization of Islam. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, with a B.A. in Radio and Television and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. She has earned a M.A. in Mass Communications, also at UCF. While at UCF, Abdalla served as the Political and Media Columnist for the Central Florida Future and ran WGKN Radio Station. She is a native of Washington D.C., speaks Arabic, and is also studying Mandarin Chinese and French. She is sponsored by the Global Connections Foundation.
Michelle Harrington is a Fellow of the Global Perspectives Office and the Global Connections Foundation. She assists with projects in both organizations. Until 2005, she was a Project Specialist in the Global Perspectives Office, responsible for programs related to Latin America and Asia, and for serving as the business liaison to key partners. Harrington also was the Business Editor for the Worldviews for the 21st Century monograph series. Prior to that, she worked with a world affairs council, an international trade firm and the state attorney general’s office in Washington state. Harrington holds an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida, and a B.A. in international studies and Spanish from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. She has studied abroad in Spain, has traveled in Ecuador and throughout Europe, and speaks Spanish.