Published: June 19, 2014

On June 1 John Griffin became the fourth director of the Conference on World Affairs (CWA) since its inception in 1948. An Associate Professor of political science at CU-Boulder, Griffin will step down from his post as director of the LeRoy Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment to direct the CWA. A Colorado native, Griffin received a B.A. from Boston College in 1990, a J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1995, and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 2002. Griffin replaces Jim Palmer, who held the position for 16 years before retiring from CU at the end of May. 

In addition to overseeing CWA week each April, Griffin will direct the CWA Athenaeum program, which brings distinguished visitors to campus throughout the academic year. An Athenaeum program typically includes classroom visits, an evening public talk or performance, and a social event with students, faculty, staff and community supporters. At all events, there is a particular focus on personal exchanges between students and speakers.

“In the coming academic year I am excited to work with students, faculty, staff and community members to produce the 2015 Conference” says Griffin. “Jim Palmer’s final year as Director was a tremendously successful one. In 2014, one in four CWA attendees was a CU undergraduate or graduate student, and one in five audience members was a CU Alum. In addition, the CWA set a record for gifts to its annual fund in fiscal 2014. These are figures we are at once proud of and working to build on.” 

The 2014-15 CWA Athenaeum Series will open with the celebrated New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin Sept. 22 and 23. The full Athenaeum program and presenters will be announced soon.

The Sixty-seventh Annual Conference on World Affairs will be held on the Boulder campus the week of April 6-10, 2015, featuring 100 international presenters from the widest range of backgrounds and expertise in 200 sessions, all free and open to the public.

To receive information on the CWA Athenaeum program and all Conference on World Affairs events, sign up for the CWA Fans e-list at