Admiral James Stavridis is an Operating Executive of the Carlyle Group, following five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. A retired 4-star officer in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security. He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009. He earned more than 50 medals, including 28 from foreign nations in his 37-year military career.
Earlier in his military career he commanded the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, winning the Battenberg Cup, as well as a squadron of destroyers and a carrier strike group – all in combat. In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Hillary Clinton and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position in the Trump Administration.
Admiral Stavridis earned a PhD in international relations and has published eight books and hundreds of articles in leading journals around the world. His 2012 TED talk on global security has over 800,000 hits. Admiral Stavridis is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News, and has tens of thousands of connections on social networks.
H. A. Shapiro is the W. H. Collins Vickers Professor of Archaeology, Emeritus, in the Department of Classics at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of several books on Greek archaeology, myth, and religion, including Art and Cult under the Tyrants in Athens (1989), Personifications in Greek Art (1993), Myth into Art: Poet and Painter in Classical Greece (1994), and Re-fashioning Anakreon in Classical Athens (2012). He has also curated exhibitions of Greek art at the New Orleans Museum of Art (Greek Vases from Southern Collections, 1981) and the Onassis Cultural Center in New York (Worshipping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens, 2008).
Based in California, Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne is an international olive oil consultant and educator. Her work in olive oil started with research and outreach at University of California Cooperative Extension. She has written on many aspects of olive oil for both popular and scholarly publications, including the Wiley publication Olive Oil Sensory Science, and is the author of the reference book Olive Oil: A Field Guide from AOCS Press.
An official olive oil taste panel member since 2003, she has been involved in organizing and/or presenting on olive oil at diverse venues, including international conferences, Olive Oil Sommeliers of Japan, University of California Davis, Culinary Institute of America, 3EP Symposium Athens, American Oil Chemists’ Society, Copia Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California State Fair, Los Angeles, Napa and Yolo County Fairs and an on-line class for
the International Olive Oil School.
Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1988. Professor Ehrman has published extensively in the fields of New Testament and Early Christianity, having written or edited thirty-one books, including six New York Times Bestsellers: Misquoting Jesus; God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer our Most Important Question – Why We Suffer; Jesus Interrupted; Forged: Why the Bible’s Authors are Not Who We Think They Are; How Jesus Became God; and The Triumph of Christianity. His Introduction to the New Testament has been the most widely used textbook in colleges and universities for over twenty years. He has recorded eight lecture courses for The Great Courses (The Teaching Company). More than two million copies of his books and courses have been sold, and his books have been translated into twenty-seven languages.
Professor Ehrman’s work has been featured in the New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other print media. He has appeared on NBC’s Dateline, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the BBC, Fresh Air, other major NPR shows, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Colbert Report, and other top media outlets.
A widely sought after lecturer, and winner of numerous university awards and grants, Professor Ehrman is the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.
Bert Harrill, a biblical scholar and Professor of History and Classics at The Ohio State University, received his B.A. with highest honors in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament and early Christian literature from the University of Chicago. For over 25 years he has taught undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the apostle Paul, in the different contexts of history, religious studies, theology, and divinity school faculties. Professor Harrill’s research profile in Pauline studies specializes on Greco-Roman social and family history. His books include Paul the Apostle: His Life and Legacy in Their Roman Context (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Slaves in the New Testament: Literary, Social, and Moral Dimensions (Fortress Press, 2006), and The Manumission of Slaves in Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck, 1995). He has served on the editorial boards of New Testament Studies, Journal of Biblical Literature, and the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary and Reference Library, a monograph series from Yale University Press. His teaching has received numerous awards, including ones from Ohio State University and Indiana University, Bloomington.
Claire Fontijn is Phyllis Henderson Carey Professor of Music at Wellesley College, MA, where she teaches courses on Early Music; the Symphony; Music, Gender, and Sexuality; and Music in Public Discourse. She is the author of three books: a monograph, Desperate Measures: the Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo (2006; 2013); a set of essays, Fiori Musicali: Liber Amicorum Alexander Silbiger (2010), and another monograph, The Vision of Music of Saint Hildegard’s Scivias—Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation, and Theory (2013). Early in her career, she was an award-winning semi-professional baroque flutist; currently, she plays the renaissance alto flute with the Wellesley College Collegium Musicum. She is an avid Europhile who has lived and worked in France, the Netherlands, and Italy.