Linda Cotter Speaker Series

In memory of Linda Cotter, wife of former Colby President William Cotter, the Mid Maine Global Forum presents an annual speaker event to bring in nationally renown practitioners, experts to address critical global issues facing the world today. The goal of the Linda Cotter Speaker Series is to bring in individuals who have played significant roles in understanding, interpreting and forming U.S. national policy toward pressing global issues.

The Beginning

Vision and Purpose

Linda Cotter was the individual who envisioned an organization that would sponsor and host events to educate and engage the people of Central Maine in current global issues. As a result of her efforts the Mid-Maine Global Forum was formed bringing the people of Central Maine and Colby closer together to better understand the world we live in.


Since the very beginning the Forum has successfully brought in dynamic and meaningful speakers to provide an insight into complex global issues that otherwise would not be provided. From Ambassador Dennis Ross, Presidential Special Envoy to the Middle East, to Heather Conley, President of the German Marshall Fund in the United States, to Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Ambassador to China, to Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor, the Forum has hosted internationally renown figures to meet the mission of educating and engaging the people of Central Maine in international issues. 

Linda Cotter Speaker Series 2023

Abrahm Lustgarten, Investigative Reporter

Abrahm Lustgarten, Emerson Collective Fellow, is a senior reporter at ProPublica, where he has written about the environment and climate change since 2008, and a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine. During his time as a fellow, he worked on a book about how climate change will force a great global migration and a demographic reorganization of the United States for Farrar Straus & Giroux. Lustgarten was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his 2015 work about water scarcity and the Colorado River. He won a George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club's Whitman Bassow Award, and the National Academies of Sciences' communication award, among others, for his reporting on the environment.

Selected Work
The Great Climate Migration Has Begun ( An article for the New York Times Magazine investigating the declining environmental conditions for approximately one fifth of the global population and how people in Central America, as an example, will likely migrate north to the United States in response.
How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis ( An exploration of how the global north stands to benefit economically and climatologically as the climate warms, and may harness global migration in the process, for the New York Times Magazine.