Since its foundation in 1823, the Oxford Union has grown to become the most famous speaking and debating society in the world. Each term, in our prestigious debating chamber, we play host to the people who shape our world- whether it be Presidents Nixon, Carter, and Reagan; Prime Ministers Churchill, Heath, Brown, and May; the leaders of the March for our Lives movement, or the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. As the COVID-19 crises continues, we have found a new platform to uphold this tradition. Our inaugural Podcast series, spanning eight weeks of the Oxford term, will feature actors, activists and global leaders, debates on our world's defining issues, and lighter relief at the weekend. This summer, we hope you will listen in.
Loretta Lynch, Former Attorney General of the United States
AG Lynch is an American lawyer who served as the 83rd US Attorney General under President Obama. She was the first African-American woman to hold this office. She previously served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, from 1999 to 2001 and 2010 to 2015. In July 2016, AG Lynch announced the decision of the Justice Department to close the investigation into the use of a private email server by then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A longstanding advocate of criminal justice reform, she has dedicated much of her career to holding institutions, including Police Departments in New York, Chicago and around the country to account.
Love Island: Should We Regret The Summer Of Love?
Love Island is not just a reality TV show, it is a cultural phenomenon. Its impact extends far beyond the gossip columns; in a supposedly egalitarian and liberated era, what does its popularity tell us about ourselves? Is it just harmless fun, or does it represent something deeper? Joining me to answer these questions are two former contestants, Jack Fowler, who featured in Season 4, and Amy Hart, who was on the island in Season 5.
India: A Failure of its Founding Fathers’ Vision?
72 years into its independence, is India continuing along the path of progress, or is it going backwards? Following a year of political turmoil, from secular violence to the revocation of the special status of Kashmir, does India live up to its found- ing principles? If not, does blame lie with its Hindu nationalist politicians, or with the constitution itself? Joining us to answer these questions are feminist constitutional lawyer Indira Jaising, leading journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and senior advocate Harish Salve.
Ryan McCarthy, US Army Secretary
Secretary Ryan McCarthy is the current US Secretary of the Army, serving, de facto, since 2017. Having served in Afghanistan as a US Army Ranger, he has since worked as a professional staff member on the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as a special assistant to former United States Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, and at defence company Lockheed Martin.
Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary General of the UN
Ban Ki-moon is a South Korean diplomat and politician, who served as the eight Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 until 2016. Elected in 2006 to succeed Kofi Annan, his key achievements include the negotiation of early stages of peace in Darfur, the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the signing of the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015. Alongside this, he pursued an agenda of bureaucratic reform and transparency within the UN, and oversaw the creation of UN Women. He has since co-founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, and has served as President and Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute, a treaty-based international organisation for sustainable development.
COVID-19: Finding Solutions
The COVID-19 crisis has pushed health policy to the forefront of government agendas, for the first time in generations. With the race for a vaccine underway across the world, lockdowns easing, and international organisations at breaking point, where does international health policy go from here? What lessons must be learned from the crisis? Joining us to answer these questions are Dr Leana Wen, Prof. David Baltimore and Prof. Lawrence Gostin.