Great Decisions program at Galaxie Library

The Dakota County library system will host Great Decisions, a series of nonpartisan discussions that provide education on important American policy issues. Presenters with expertise in policy issues around the world will set the stage for discussing diverse viewpoints.

All discussions will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays at the Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley. For more information, visit or call 651-450-2900.

Participants are encouraged to check out a copy of the Great Decisions 2017 briefing book prior to the events. A desk copy is available to read at the Galaxie Library.

Discussions are scheduled on the following dates:

March 28 – Conflict in the South China Sea. Discuss the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea and how nations are attempting to prevent tensions from boiling over through careful diplomacy. Presenter Richard Bohr, professor of history and director of Asian Studies at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, has devoted his professional career to promoting U.S.-Asia relations.

April 11 – Trade and Politics. Examine the metrics used to gauge economic strength and the picture of U.S. economic stature they paint. Discuss how statistics around international trade could help develop appropriate policy solutions for the challenges at hand. Presenter Ambassador Ross Wilson served as American ambassador to Turkey in 2005-08 and to Azerbaijan in 2000-03. In 2010-2014, Wilson served as director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, where he led the council’s work on the former Soviet states, Turkey and regional energy and economic issues.

April 25 – Saudi Arabia in Transition. The Saudi Arabian government is attempting to transform the country while also struggling to adjust to the drastic decline in oil revenue. Bipartisan criticism of Saudi Arabia is rising in Congress. Both countries need each other, but they are at a crossroads in bilateral relations. Presenter Molly Hayes served as the State Department’s counterterrorism advisor for East Africa, desk officer for Kenya, Morocco, Western Sahara and Tunisia, and assistant to the coordinator for counterterrorism.