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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 – 10:00 AM (Pacific Time)

The World Affairs Council of Orange County Presents:

Mara Hvistendahl

A webinar on Industrial Espionage

Zoom Link: Press Here

Zoom PMI:  962 3637 5781

Zoom Passcode: 061820

Ms. Mara Hvistendahl is an accomplished author, speaker, and commentator who was formerly based in Shanghai. Prior to her international residence, Hvistendahl testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and appeared on several media outlets to discuss industrial espionage. She is a founding member of the writer cooperative Deca, promoting narrative journalism on and throughout the world. Hvistendahl was National Fellow with New America and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. While in China, Hvistendahl served as China Bureau Chief for Science.

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The Scientist and the Spy: The FBI and the US-China Technological Battle

In September 2011, sheriff’s deputies in Iowa encountered an ethnic Chinese man named Robert Mo near a field where a farmer was growing corn seed under contract with Monsanto. What began as a simple trespassing inquiry mushroomed into a two-year FBI operation in which investigators bugged Mo’s rental cars, used a warrant intended for foreign terrorists and spies, and flew surveillance planes over corn country—all in the name of protecting the trade secrets of Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer.

Mara Hvistendahl spent four years researching this unusually far-reaching investigation. Through previously unreleased FBI files and her reporting from across the United States and China, she describes a history of shoddy counterintelligence on China, much of it tinged with racism, and questions whether criminal prosecutions are the best way to address trade secrets theft and protect innovation in America. Hvistendahl will discuss science, espionage, and rising tensions in U.S.-China relations.