Great Decisions 2010, a free community discussion series on U.S. foreign policy, will begin its eight-week run at noon on Friday, Feb. 5, in the William Street United Methodist Church parlor.

Great Decisions 2010, a free community discussion series on U.S. foreign policy, will begin its eight-week run at noon on Friday, Feb. 5, in the William Street United Methodist Church parlor.

Each program includes a roughly 30-minute talk by the speaker, followed by a 30-minute discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

The series will begin with Ohio State University-Marion history professor David Steigerwald, who will discuss "The Special Envoy in American Foreign Policy."

Steigerwald's talk will include an examination of President Obama's appointment of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the appointment of former Senate majority leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) as special envoy for the Middle East.

Future speakers include OWU professor of economics Goran Skosples, who on Feb. 12 will discuss "The Global Financial Crisis and Its Effects;" OWU history professor Mark Gingerich, who on Feb. 19 will address "Europe's 'Far East': the Uncertain Frontier;" OWU professor of religion and chairman of the department of religion Blake Michael, who on Feb. 26 will discuss "The United States and the Persian Gulf;" Dan Christie, OSU-Marion professor of psychology, whose March 5 topic is "Enhancing Security through Peacebuilding;" Kathryn Meyer, history professor and assistant director of the Criminal Justice Program at Wright State University, who on March 12 will address "Transnational Crime: Globalization's Shadowy Stepchild;" Ji Young Choi, OWU politics and government professor, whose topic on March 19 will be "China Looks at the World: the World Looks at China;" and Randolph Quaye, OWU Black World Studies professor and director of the Black World Studies program, who on March 26 will discuss "Charisma, Patronage and the Democratization of Violence in East Africa."

The Great Decisions series is designed to encourage conversation and debate. After each discussion, participants will be asked to complete a quick survey. The surveys will be sent to Washington, D.C.