The welcome and opening remarks to the Affordable World Security Conference. The world today faces unprecedented challenges from a growing population, increased resource scarcity and economic instability; it also faces military competition, nuclear proliferation and rising concerns about cybersecurity. All of these are transnational problems that demand transnational solutions. By examining our priorities and taking stock of our resources, we can build a new, affordable approach to security."
Francis Finlay, EastWest Institute's Co-Chairman of the Board, is currently a director of several international investment companies and Chairman or a member of a number of endowment investment committees in the US and the UK. Mr. Finlay was formerly Chairman and CEO of Clay Finlay Inc., a global investment management firm based in New York which he co-founded in 1982. The firm was acquired in 2000 and Mr. Finlay stepped down from an executive role in 2006.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Finlay held senior investment management positions at Morgan Guaranty Trust in New York and Lazard Freres in New York and previously Paris, and was a member of the investment committees of both institutions.
Mr. Finlay's interests outside the investment world include serving as Co-Chairman of the EastWest Institute in New York, a Trustee of the British Museum, Chairman of the James Martin 21st Century Foundation, and a Governor and Trustee of the Ditchley Foundation.
Educated at Oxford University, he is an Honorary Fellow of Merton College and a member of the Chancellors Court of Benefactors. Mr. Finlay served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of Business 1981-1986 and was subsequently a Governor of the London Business School 2002-2011. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Polk graduated from The Madeira School and Harvard College. She worked for fifteen years as a photojournalist in the Middle East , South America and Asia.She co-founded Wings Trust, an educational organization and Wings WorldQuest which which celebrates the discoveries of women explorers and supports scientific exploration. Currently she is a contributing editor for The Explorers Journal. She has written and edited ten books including Women of Discovery, The Looting of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad and Egyptian Mummies and contributed chapters to others including the recent The Great Explorers.
She has been featured on CBS "Sunday Morning," She has been awarded Woman of the 21st Century from Women's E News.org, The Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh Foundation and the Women's Environmental Leader Award from Unity College. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a Fellow of the Explorers Club , Fellow of Wings WorldQuest and Honorary Fellow of the Canadian Royal Geographical Society. She is on the board of Arts, Cultural and Exploration organizations. Polk lectures frequently.
William R. Polk
William R. Polk is the senior director of the W. P. Carey Foundation. A graduate of Harvard University (B. A. Magna Cum Laude and Ph.D.) and Oxford University (B. A. and M. A.), he also studied at the Universidad Nacional de Mexico, the Universidad Nacional de Chile, the University of Baghdad and the American University of Cairo.
He taught at Harvard University from 1955 to 1961 when President Kennedy appointed him a Member of the Policy Planning Council of the United States Department of State.
On the Policy Planning Council, he was responsible for planning American policy over much of Africa and Asia and for a number of specialized issues such as development, refugee problems and cultural exchange. Dr. Polk was also the head of various interdepartmental Task Forces on America foreign policy and was a participant in the "crisis management committee" during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During this period, he was asked to become Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA.
In 1965, Dr. Polk resigned from government service to become Professor of History at the University of Chicago. There he also established the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and was a founding director of the Middle Eastern Studies Association. In 1967, he also became President of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs which, among other things, hosted the 20th Pugwash Conference on nuclear weapons problems, helped to organize the "Table Ronde" meeting that laid the groundwork for the European Union and did much of the planning for the United Nations Environmental Program.
He was called back to the White House briefly during the 1967 Middle Eastern War to write a draft peace treaty and to act as an advisor to McGeorge Bundy, the former head of the National Security Council, who was the president's personal representative during that crisis.
Born in Fort Worth, he grew up there and on a ranch in west Texas. He attended public school in Fort Worth and the New Mexico Military Institute where he was in cavalry training during World War II. After a period studying in Latin America, he worked on a newspaper in Rome before entering college.
Dr. Polk has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe and speaks several of the languages of those areas.
He is the Vice Chairman of the W.P. Carey Foundation.
He is married to Baroness Elisabeth von Oppenheimer and now spends most of his time writing in the south of France.