At my invitation as a Board member, Robert Bruce Adolph participated in the 2023 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. His book talk interview was one of the best attended and his book, “Surviving the United Nations”, sold out after his talk. Attendees were so impressed by his comments and passionate demeanor that he was sought after for conversation for the rest of the Conference. The concluding event on Breaking News featured Mr. Adolph prominently and he did not disappoint. I recommend him highly as a speaker.
Marcia S. Cohen, Esq.
Bob Adolph presented the Re-Visioning Terrorism Conference keynote address to over 100 scholars from every continent, which resulted in, among other things, the book Re-Visioning Terrorism: A Humanistic Perspective, Purdue University Press, 2016 and over 71 thousand downloads from around the world as of September 11, 2021 (Re-visioning Terrorism | Purdue University). Bob was unquestionably the hit of the conference. He was the only participant who had actual experience in both anti-terrorism and counterterrorism, along with considerable U.N. diplomatic experience in peacekeeping. He was also the only person participating, who had lived in and operated across 15 nations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In addition to being a prolific writer, Bob is also a great public speaker. His “Observations on Al Qaeda” were received enthusiastically and elicited numerous questions and favorable comments.
Ben Lawton, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor, Purdue University
The Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies (APCSS) hosts speakers from throughout the world, who are subject specialists in topics that have global consequences. In one of our comprehensive programs, Robert Adolph addressed our multi-national audience of senior government representatives, which consisted of more than fifty counties. His chosen topic was “Islamic Terrorism”, which was at the forefront of worldwide concern. Bob was very effective in addressing Muslim concerns and sensitivities in characterizing terrorism more properly as extremism – part and parcel of the human conditions – and “Islamic” as no more descriptive than “Catholic” was illuminating of the IRA, although the IRA was indeed Catholic/Christian. His talk was extremely well received, especially by the Muslim majority audience. Bob’s presentation proved to be critical in improving the necessary trust and cooperation required among crucial regional allies.
Terry P. Cook, Colonel (ret), Special Forces, Former Associate Dean APCSS
Bob presented his perspectives on the impact of corruption on the United Nations to my graduate seminar on responding to emergencies. From word one, the students were transfixed. Bob’s natural charm and command of the subject matter ensured that the ideas he conveyed came alive. Long after his talk and the formal discussion was through, students found themselves returning to the concepts and questions Bob artfully raised in the hour he spent with them. No other resource – be it a document or a person – has the impact Bob does. He couples his personal experiences (which are legion) with challenging perspectives on leadership, accountability, and integrity. He delivers a rich and provocative view on the United Nations and how it delivers on its global mission.
Dr. Christopher Ankersen, Clinical Professor of Global Affairs, New York University
Robert Bruce Adolph served as a guest speaker at Saint Peter’s University. The event was co-sponsored by the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership. Based on hard-won experience, his presentation highlighted the differences between the aspirations and reality of UN service. Mr. Adolph was an excellent speaker, and his enthusiasm was amazing. Full of energy, entertainment, and mind-altering knowledge, he created a genuinely successful one-hour presentation — making a positive impression on all students and faculty members. Not only was Mr. Adolph well received by the audience, but he was easy to work with, personable, and spent extra time answering the students’ questions.
Samar Issa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance, Saint Peter’s University
Bob Adolph gave a gripping and eloquent talk at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs about his personal experiences as a UN Chief Security Officer in Sierra Leone, Yemen, and Iraq. His stories had the students in our mid-career master’s program on the edge of their seats, as he recounted the challenges confronted in negotiating with warlords, kidnappers, and child soldiers while navigating the sometimes-flawed bureaucracies of UN peacekeeping operations. He offers an inspiring example of principled leadership in the face of the Sisyphean challenge of multilateral peacekeeping in situations where there may be no peace to keep.
Professor Matthew Levinger, Ph.D., National Studies Program, George Washington University, Washington, DC
It is rare that a speaker in the college circuit nowadays gets so directly to the crux of the matter. The truth, always a bit shy in difficult political times, is today seen as something of a liability. Yet, when it does make its way through the sophistry of career experts and paid pundits, students know it; rather, they feel it — especially those from communities not typically represented in higher education. Mr. Adolph came to us and told it as it is.
Professor Eduardo Albrecht, Ph.D., Mercy College
I have had the honor of hosting Robert Bruce Adolph twice on The Published Author’s Show that is recorded in The Netherlands, but with an international audience. Interviewing him was fun, enlightening, and inspiring. He possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge in multiple subject areas. His interviews on the platform rank among the most watched — this is due to his eloquence, wisdom, and the words of encouragement he shared. Robert may be retired, but he is most definitely not tired.
Kenneth Muyingo, CEO of Author’s Bridge, Holland
I liked the presentation, and I found it useful to inject some hard reality in a group of young social scientists who only know things from academic books. The presentation works fine, with a good mix of factual exposés and personal anecdotes making it interesting… I think that our young audience was captured by your talk, and even those who criticized your approach were fascinated.
Professor/Ambassador Luigi Narbone, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Our students said they enjoyed your lecture and learned a lot from it. Thanks again for the enlightening talk.
Professor Muhammet Bas, New York University of Abu Dhabi
Robert Bruce Adolph has been a recurrent guest on the Kuinua Coaching Podcast for Leadership. The episodes are recorded in the UK but have a global listener and viewership. Robert’s episodes are a consistent high performer. He is an exceptionally eloquent speaker with a wealth of background knowledge. With his many decades of field experience, he draws upon relevant and illustrative examples that provoke thought and question. A consummate professional, Robert is a pleasure to work with.
Marie Oldfield, Kuinua Coaching Podcast for Leadership (UK)
I have interviewed Robert Bruce Adolph on my Live Stream, Litvak Leadership Live, twice over the past year. Each time, I found Robert engaging, knowledgeable, and convincing in his positions that have developed over a lifetime’s work to protect and support the public. As impressive as all that is about Robert, what impresses me most is his willingness to listen to dissenting opinions to his positions and engage in the conversation. Too often in our current day, people are unwilling to engage in passionate yet polite discourse when someone disagrees with them. Robert is a gentleman, a scholar, and someone I will quickly call a friend!
The introduction couldn’t be tastier: We are going to listen to the narrative of the personal experiences of a high UN security advisor and former US Special Forces Officer with the unique distinction that he had been fired twice and promoted twice by the UN. Everybody is curious to know that story. Bob Adolph is brilliant in his exposition. He catches everyone’s attention. He knows to explain in detail the action ‘on the ground’ of UN missions in crisis regions like Iraq, Yemen or elsewhere and the problems UN officers have facing local actors, but most of all within the organization itself – and that leads to the reasons for him being fired twice. It seems that Adolph is about to expose a stance of rupture with the UN, full of bitterness about him being unjustly accused of not having prevented a terrorist attack he himself had been victim of, when all of a sudden he turns the tide and makes a deep-hearted confession of his commitment to the mission of the international organization in the world – and this tells us why he has also been promoted twice, ending his career as a top UN security officer. It is a thrilling journey through an exciting experience, and Adolph’s oratory skills make it even more interesting. And for sure, all of us are now better able to understand the reality of UN action in all its shades.
Professor Christian Blasberg, Luiss University, Rome, Italy
Bob has done a superb job accurately documenting and describing the UN Canal Hotel suicide bombing. Throughout his story, I felt like I was taking that journey with him–it was an emotional experience. His book is for those who aspire to be better leaders.
Michael McNulty, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna, Austria
I found his talk both instructive and encouraging, based as it was on Colonel Adolph’s first-hand experience and his willingness to provide the necessary tools for understanding UN missions, while getting to know its aberrations. In particular, I really appreciated his optimism, when he said that “dishonesty and bad acts are unable to long endure a spotlight;” his appeal to our responsibilities, when he stated that “One way of remaining ignorant of possible criminal behavior is to choose not to investigate it;” and his comparison between the UN giant and each one of us, when he suggested that “the UN is imperfect because we are.” My gratitude to Robert Adolph, who was able to share the most painful aspects of his fascinating life: this will help us go ahead with our goals without surrendering to difficulties.
Professor Carolina Zincone, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
Robert Adolph came to Pavia to speak to the Master students on our course in World Politics and International Relations. He was one of the most engaging speakers we’ve had in a long time, and many of our students found his talk fascinating because of its combination of idealism and grim realism, providing rare insights into the dysfunctional aspects of the UN. One student began her question by saying: “I was hoping to pursue a career in the UN, now I’m not so sure”. He answered: “Don’t give up on that ambition, the UN is all we’ve got!”
Professor Ian Carter, University of Pavia (Italy)
I have had Robert Adolph as a guest on The Team House twice to speak about his experiences in the military and as a UN security chief. Both times, our hosts and audience found Bob’s life experience from Baghdad to Sierra Leone to be impressive and his insights into global politics to be unique as they are well informed. Adolph’s career trajectory is unconventional, having served as an enlisted soldier and then as an officer, having worked with the UN interfacing with refugees, warlords, and diplomats alike. It is our hope that Bob’s voice reaches and informs new audiences as there was plenty for even the seasoned soldier, intelligence professional, or foreign service officer to learn from his talks and interviews.
Jack Murphy, former Green Beret, investigative journalist, and host of The Team House
Robert Bruce “Bob” Adolph has lectured three times at John Cabot University on different topics, drawing from his widespread experience in the US military and the United Nations. The students present, along with the rest of the audience, learned a great deal from these talks.
Professor Federigo Argentieri
“…thank you for today’s absolutely superb essay by Robert Bruce Adolph. It was powerful, compelling, and spot-on. And he certainly has the credentials to back up his analysis. It beautifully reflects the sublime and grotesque that together make up our “Land of Liberty.”
Professor Charles Dew
Shannell Butler – It was truly amazing and impactful! …incredible and inspiring.
Tabata Patino – He was extremely wise and inspiring… I was very impressed by him.
TBAR – Really fascinating interview…
Nathan Bourdeau – Super cool episode…
EnigmaIRL – This is awesome…
Platypus Scotsman – Very interesting perspective…
Alex Bennett – One for the books!
JC Rising Late – …he’s an intelligent honest fellow…
Hest Hastessan – …super interesting guy and story.
Mr TryAnotherOne – …very gentlemen like (yet capable) demeanor.
Chaos – One of the best interviews I have seen in a very long time!
Chris Hughes – …great episode…
Gavin Queit – Excellent guest.
David Black – I think I just got a master class in philosophy.
James Patmore – What a fantastic guest!!!