New Money

Alec Ross will present the 2014 Poitras-Gleim lecture

Alec Ross will present the 2014 Poitras-Gleim lecture. He will discuss Bitcoin and other digital currency.

Dickinson will present its annual Poitras-Gleim lecture on bitcoin—the digital currency that is dominating financial and technology news—and the future of other decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currencies on Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in Allison Hall, 99 Mooreland Avenue. The lecture was endowed by a gift from Ted and Kay Gleim Poitras and provides a forum to explore and promote cross-disciplinary thought and communication. The Student Senate Public Affairs Committee oversees the event and is tasked with fostering vibrant campus discussions about academic and political issues through seminars, lectures and debates. 

Leading the discussion will be Alec Ross, who served as a senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ross, one of America’s leading experts on innovation, will share his predictions for bitcoin’s short- and long-term future and explain how the currency is valued, mined and stored. He also will discuss the associated risks of using alternative currency—such as hacking, identify theft and bankruptcy—and his advocacy of secure mobile banking as a way to empower and advance citizens of impoverished or war-torn countries. 

For four years, Ross served as Clinton’s senior advisor for innovation, a role she created for him to maximize the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic goals and to steward 21st century statecraft. In that role, Ross established a global internet-freedom agenda that became the first distinctly 21st century human-rights agenda, deploying $100 million in funds for cutting-edge projects that keep the internet open and help protect citizens and activists in authoritarian environments. He also developed a program to build the capacity of civil-society organizations that work on issues consistent with America’s foreign-policy goals, training more than 1,100 civil-society organizations from 81 countries to date.

Currently, Ross is a senior fellow at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. He also serves as an advisor to investors, corporations and government leaders to help them understand the implication of factors emerging at the intersection of geopolitics, markets and increasingly disruptive network technologies. In his forthcoming book, to be published by Simon & Schuster, Ross discusses the industries and businesses of the future. 

Ross has been named to The Huffington Post’s list of “10 Game Changers in Politics” and one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy Magazine. He is the recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award and the 2013 Oxford University Internet & Society Award. 

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 717-245-1289 or email

Learn more

Digital Diplomacy (The New York Times Magazine)

Technology for diplomacy: A chat with State's Alec Ross (The Washington Post

Published March 17, 2014