Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
January 14, 2008

Former U.N. Weapons Inspector, Ambassador to Discuss Mainstream Media In Iraq/Iran

The University of Pittsburgh’s Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies will host Scott Ritter, former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector, and Ambassador Edward Peck, who served as chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania, in a discussion titled “What Mainstream Media Don’t Tell Us About Iran/Iraq.”

The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The discussion will be moderated by Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor and former U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. The discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Ritter was one of the United Nations Special Commission’s most senior weapons inspectors in Iraq between 1991 and 1998, after having served for eight years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a Marine, Ritter conducted arms inspections in the former Soviet Union and provided analysis of Iraq’s missile capacity to U.S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. in the 1991 Gulf War.

Peck served as chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania; embassy officer in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt; deputy director of the cabinet Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan White House; deputy coordinator of covert intelligence programs at the State Department; and liaison officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. With two tours of active duty as a paratrooper, Peck served in ranks ranging from private to first lieutenant.

Ritter is the author of Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change (Nation Books, 2006) and Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement (Nation Books, 2007). He will be available for book signings following the discussion.

The event is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, Center for International Legal Education, the University Center for International Studies’ Global Studies Program, Carnegie Mellon University, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Pittsburgh Persian Gulf Initiative, Consortium of Educational Resources on Islamic Studies, Thomas Merton Center, and American Friends Service Committee.

The Ridgway Center is affiliated with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for International Studies, both at the University of Pittsburgh.
—By Amanda Leff

Falk Foundation President to Speak at Pitt’s Center on Race And Social Problems

Kerry O’Donnell, president of the Falk Foundation, will deliver a lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 14, at Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), part of the School of Social Work.
Her talk, titled “The Erosion of Civil Rights and Community Responses,” will take place at 2017 Cathedral of Learning. It is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided and registration is not required. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit The event kicks off the Reed Smith Spring 2008 Speaker Series within CRSP.

Prior to joining the Falk Foundation, O’Donnell served as program manager in the Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program for International Peace at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She also managed postdoctoral Fulbright exchanges with Latin American countries at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. She founded and directed a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that offered help to both juvenile offenders and crime victims. Under a contract with the U.S. Department of Justice at American University, she has evaluated more than 700 adult, juvenile, and tribal drug court programs across the country.
—By Sharon S. Blake

Pitt-Bradford Professor Shows Works in Exhibitions for Artists With Disabilities

Kong Ho, a faculty member and director of the art program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, showed works in two exhibitions and took part in a discussion panel on the arts in China.

Three of Ho’s paintings were part of the National Acquisitions Exhibition for Artists with Disabilities in Schenectady, N.Y. The show ran Oct. 24 through Dec. 29.

Ho, himself a survivor of polio, said he likes to participate in shows for artists with disabilities because “their work is not always thought of as high art.”

Two of Ho’s digital photographs from a trip to Hong Kong were also shown at Connection 3: “Exposed,” an international juried photographic exhibition by artists with disabilities, Oct. 25 through Nov. 25 at the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery in Toronto. The show was part of the Abilities Arts Festival, a 10-day-long celebration of disability arts and culture.

Earlier in the fall, Ho spoke on “The Rise of Contemporary Chinese Visual Artists” as part of a panel discussion on modernity in visual and dramatic arts in China at the University of Maryland, part of the Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies Conference held in late October.

Ho has participated in more than 80 international and regional exhibitions, including 14 solo exhibitions. His works have been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Macedonia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Malaysia.
—By Kimberly Marcott Weinberg