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Former U.S foreign service officer to present at CLC

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The Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government logo

Thomas Hanson, a former U.S. foreign service officer with the Department of State, will speak on "China Rising, Emerging Tech, and the Challenge to U.S. Interests and Democracy" at Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government forums set for noon and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Central Lakes College's Chalberg Theatre in Brainerd.

The forums are free and open to the public.

In describing his presentation, Hanson said: "The United States confronts a new array of challenges in the face of shifting global power dynamics and rapidly changing technologies. As it rises, China is investing heavily in 5G networks, artificial intelligence and quantum communications, all of which have significant military implications. Indeed, the crux of U.S.-China tensions today is not trade, but tech. At the same time, the onrush of other technologies such as facial recognition and Deepfake add to the strains on democracy already posed by resurgent nationalism and populism around the world. This program will describe these trends and what they may portend for the future."

Hanson's diplomatic postings included East Germany, France, Norway and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He also participated in the opening of new U.S. embassies in Mongolia and Estonia, worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and served as director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Hanson serves as diplomat in residence at the Alworth Institute for International Affairs at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He is program secretary of the Committee on Foreign Relations Minnesota and is a member of the Great Decisions advisory committee at the Minnesota International Center, where he is a frequent Great Decisions speaker.

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He contributes to local and international media and is a board member of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (U.S. Foundation); Partnership for Change, an NGO based in Norway; the International Leadership Program at St. Thomas University; and the Cultural Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Hanson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and graduate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; the Institute of Advanced International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland; and the National School of Administration in Paris, France.

The Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government is a nonpartisan organization which strives to educate and encourage participation of citizens in effective government and the political process.

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