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 2024

David J. Kramer, Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute

David J. Kramer serves as the Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and is a leading expert on Russia and Ukraine. David Kramer will speak on the “Threat of Authoritarianism." This year's event will be held on the evening of Wednesday, July 24th at the Colby College Alumni Center, Parker Reed Room, Waterville, Maine. Doors open at 6 p.m. 


There are few as qualified to speak on the rise of this international threat to democracies around the world. David Kramer serves as the Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute. Prior to joining the Bush Institute, he taught at Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, where he also was Senior Fellow in the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy and Director for European and Eurasian Affairs. Kramer worked in Washington, DC for 24 years, including as Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy with The McCain Institute for International Leadership; President of Freedom House; and Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Kramer also served eight years in the U.S. Department of State during the George W. Bush administration, including as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues); Professional Staff Member in the Secretary’s Office of Policy Planning; and Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Global Affairs. He also was Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington. He is author of the book, Back to Containment: Dealing with Putin’s Regime. Kramer chairs the board of the Free Russia Foundation and serves on the board of the International Republican Institute. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States; for Refugees International; for Foreign Policy for America; and is a Contributing Editor at The American Purpose. A native of Massachusetts, Kramer received his M.A. in Soviet studies from Harvard University and his B.A. in Soviet Studies and Political Science from Tufts University.


Email to reserve your seats today. Seats are limited to 100 and can be reserved for $50 each or $400 for an eight-person table.