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Hostler Institute and President’s Lecture Series

Hostler Institute and President’s Lecture SeriesThe Hostler Institute hosts two lectures per year in collaboration with the President’s Lecture Series. The Institute prides itself on encouraging robust critical debate, including the airing of highly controversial themes. Its operating motto is AUDIATUR ET ALTERA PARS (Let the Other Side be Heard). The Institute’s speakers are drawn from all areas of global affairs, including international diplomacy, academia, national security, and protest politics.

Charles Hostler was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain under President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993) and served as the Honorary Consul General of the Bahrain in the USA since 1993. He was buried with full military honor next to his father (a WWI Army Officer) at the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. He is survived by his wife, Chinyeh and 2 step-sons.


Upcoming Event: Tuesday, March 12th at the Parma Payne Goodall

President's Lecture Series

Adela de la Torre

President, San Diego State University


Lance Nail

Thomas and Evelyn Page Dean, Fowler College of Business

cordially invite you to attend the

President’s Lecture Series
in conjunction with the
Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs


Four-Star Admiral Eric Olson, U.S. Navy (Retired)

“The World at Night”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Light reception to follow

San Diego State University
Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center
Fowler Family Ballroom

Admiral Eric Olson will explore how dynamic demographics, economies, technologies, ideologies and requirements for natural resources are shaping a minor revolution in military thinking.

The lecture is free and open to the public.


Admiral Eric Olson

 Admiral Eric Olson retired from the United States Navy in 2011 after more than 38 years of military service. He served in special operations units throughout his career, was engaged in several contingency operations and commanded at every level.

Olson’s military career culminated as the head of the United States Special Operations Command, where he was responsible for the mission readiness and deployment of all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces. In this capacity, he led over 60,000 people and managed an annual budget in excess of $10 billion dollars. His duties involved much interagency and international collaboration. 

Olson graduated from the United States Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School and has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of both institutions. He is a designated specialist in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. 

He received numerous military decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star for gallantry in combat, and the Bronze Star for valor. His foreign awards include appointment as an Officer in the French Legion of Honor. 

Olson is now an independent consultant who supports a wide range of private and public sector organizations. Currently, he serves as an adjunct professor and senior research scholar in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, a director of Iridium Communications, Inc. and Under Armour, Inc., a senior advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, and chairman of the nonprofit Special Operations Warrior Foundation. 

Overview: Hostler Institute

The Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs plays a critical role in the educational mission of SDSU. It was founded in 1942 as the Institute on World Affairs to inform students, faculty, and the wider public on global affairs. The Institute has provided the SDSU and greater San Diego community with high level and spirited intellectual engagement on a rich diversity of international issues and controversies.

The institute has hosted ambassadors from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, and Yemen. Distinguished speakers have included Nobel Laureates Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, and Harold Urey, as well as leading international relations and legal scholars Hans Morgenthau and Richard Falk, British Ambassador to the United Nations Lord Caradon (who drafted UN Security Council Resolution 242, the “land for peace” Middle East resolution), American statesman Ralph Bunche, California Governor Pat Brown, Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, Russian Premier Alexander Kerensky, and a leading global jurist and diplomat Richard Goldstone (former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals on the Former Yugoslavia and on Rwanda. Recent topics have included drone warfare and targeted killings, international war crime courts, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, refugee crises and new challenges in U.S. foreign policy.

It is now honored to bear the name of Charles W. Hostler, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain. Ambassador Hostler served his country with distinction and provided generous support in time and money to the Institute and many other worthy causes.