Dozens of distinguished speakers, including former President Abdul Kalam of India and humanitarian Alison Thompson, will present talks at the University of Central Florida this year hosted by UCF’s Global Perspectives Office.

The presentations are part of the office’s mission to sharpen UCF’s international focus. Global Perspectives recently celebrated 10 years of advancing global initiatives at the university and is entering its second decade with a robust programming schedule.

Each event connects to the office’s annual theme for 2012-2013, “The Changing Face of Freedom in Today’s Turbulent Times.” The theme is a natural development from last year’s: “People Power, Politics and Global Change.”

Kicking off the season are two speakers who soften serious observations about political crises with a bit of humor. Doug McMarlin and Jason Recher will share their experiences as conservative political strategists and former White House aides. Drawing from their inside look at how the White House handles national and global crises, the duo will discuss lessons for political leaders.

The event will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.  4, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the UCF Student Union.

This semester’s other highlights, which are free and open to the public, include:

  • Former President Abdul Kalam of India, who will present “Sustainable Development for 3 Billion,” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • Kenyan human-rights activist Chris Mburu, who will present “The Right to Education: A Solution to Global Problems,” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • Humanitarian and author Alison Thompson, who will be featured in the annual Women and Leadership forum, with the theme “Reaching out to Touch the World,” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • Lawyer and author Corban Addison, who will present, “A Walk Across the Sun: Abolishing Modern Slavery,” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • For a full list of upcoming events or to learn more about the Global Perspectives Office, visit