Martin O'Malley, The Onion headline annual JHU Foreign Affairs Symposium

Maryland governor kicks off student-run lecture series Feb. 19

The annual student-run Foreign Affairs Symposium returns to the Homewood campus at Johns Hopkins this month, with several prominent speakers scheduled to appear during the spring semester under the theme, "Confronting Global Dissonance: The Balance Between Realism and Idealism."

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Image caption: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley, the second-term governor of Maryland who is a rumored 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, will open the series on Feb. 19. Before becoming governor, O'Malley served as mayor of Baltimore, where he was recognized by Time magazine as one of America's "Top 5 Big City Mayors."

Writers from award-winning satirical news organization The Onion will visit on Feb. 26. Founded in 1988 as a student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the weekly paper reaches millions of fans through television, print, online, radio, and mobile outlets and has been described by The New Yorker as "arguably the most popular humor periodical in world history."

Other speakers visiting the campus this spring include former United Nations ambassador John Bolton (March 13); best-selling author, intellectual, and Princeton University Professor Cornel West (March 26); and Jessica Jackley, founder of KIVA, the world's first peer-to-peer microlending website (April 16, Mudd Hall). This year's Presidential Event on April 1, will be a debate titled "The Price of Privacy: Re-evaluating the NSA," featuring Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, and David Cole, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University.

The Foreign Affairs Symposium, which began in 1998, is run by students and sponsored by the university's Office of Student Development and Programming.

All events are free and open to the public and take place at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall Auditorium (with the exception of the Jessica Jackley event). Each lecture is followed by a reception with the speaker and a book signing, if applicable.

Reserve tickets can be purchased on the symposium's website.