Richard McGregor engages UNC Charlotte students as part of the International Speakers Series in a witting presentation on the US, China relationship.

On Sept. 5, the UNC Charlotte International Speakers Series program hosted Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times Richard McGregor. I would describe McGregor as a relationship expert: constantly figuring out the dynamic relationship between the U.S. and China as key leaders in the world and how one can benefit from the other. He is an award-winning author and journalist receiving numerous accolades for his observations on China’s political, cultural and socio-economic system.

Dr. Min Jiang, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and College Diversity Coordinator, describes McGregor as “among the best western observers of contemporary China.” McGregor is the author of award-winning book “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Community Rulers.” Published in 2010, The Party was the centerpiece of his discussion in the packed Harry Lee Dalton Reading Room in the library. “ I read the book in two days and cited his work in some of my own work,” says Jiang.

He gave a short lecture, leaving time for questions from the audience of students, professors and professionals. McGregor had a diplomatic approach in answering questions and often encouraged the audience’s help in discussion, a humble approach of someone who doesn’t cease learning about a topic he knows so much about. After the presentation, he signed books and left time for one-on-one conversation.

As an international public relations and journalism student, curiosity for global understanding runs in my veins. The International Speaker Series brings global experts to UNC Charlotte giving students, like myself, the chance to engage and ask important questions about events and topics happening around the world. I noticed how a renowned author and journalist like McGregor brought together a diverse group of UNC Charlotte students into a discussion that otherwise might not have taken place. If you have the right mind-set with the hunger to learn more about the world, regardless of where in the world you are from, then don’t miss the International Speakers Series.

By Brianna Woods, UNC Charlotte (WAC Charlotte Intern – Fall 2013)