Military Historian, Keynote speaker


Joseph V. Micallef is a military historian, bestselling author, keynote speaker, syndicated columnist, war correspondent and a commentator on international politics and the future. He has produced, directed or written dozens of documentary programs on military history and world politics as well as written several books.

He is a weekly columnist for and a contributor to the Huffington Post and, Washington’s most influential political website. Joe also writes a weekly column, Global Pulse, on international politics that is syndicated to over 1,800 different media outlets. 

He is a member of the National Speakers Association and has often been a key note speaker for a variety of business, military and professional organizations. He has also appeared as a commentator on a variety of broadcast venues including CNN, Fox News and Fox News Radio.

Joe has spoken extensively on military history and world affairs at a variety of venues including the Institute of Strategic Studies (London), the NATO Defense College (Rome), the Italian Institute of International Affairs (Rome), and at universities around the world. He holds a Graduate Degree (M.Sc.) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs

He covered Mediterranean and Middle East Politics, including the civil war in Chad, for several Italian newspapers from 1978 to 1980

Joe also holds the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wines and Spirits Education Trust in London. He writes and speaks frequently on the history of wines and spirits as well as judges several international competitions.

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A Selection of Topics Relating to South Pacific/Asia/Australia/New Zealand

   1, The Discovery of the Pacific: The Spanish and Portuguese Explorers

The Portuguese (1512) and the Spanish (1513) were the first Europeans to set eyes on the Pacific and began a period of exploration that would result in the first crossing of the Pacific (Magellan, 1522) and its subsequent mapping. This was the beginning of the trans-Pacific trade routes by Spanish Galleons.

   2. The Discovery of Australia: The Dutch in the Pacific

Under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch emerged in the 17th century as the principal commercial and maritime power in the Pacific. A series of Dutch explorers explored the region between the Cape of Good Hope and South America, discovering Australia, New Zealand, and many of the island groups in the south-central Pacific.


   3. From Drake to Cook: The British Exploration of the Pacific

Beginning with Sir Francis Drake’s crossing of the Pacific, (1579), a host of British expeditions explored the Pacific. Cook discovered the eastern coast of Australia, circumnavigated New Zealand, and discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Beginning in the 18th century, the British began the colonization of Australia founding the cities of Sydney, and Brisbane and eventually creating modern Australia.

   4. The French Explorers of the Pacific

France was the last of the European countries to explore the Pacific. Under de Bougainville, de Galaup, and others, the French explored much of the South Pacific, discovered Tahiti, New Caledonia, the Santa Cruz Islands, portions of the Solomon Islands, and even attempted to lay claim to Australia.


   5. The Ming Dynasty Expeditions: China Explores the Pacific

From 1404-1433, a series of Chinese voyages under the command of the Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He explored much of the South Pacific. Circumstantial evidence suggest that the Ming explorers reached as far south as the Antarctic mainland and may have been the first discoverers of Australia


   6. The World of South Sea Pearls

The Pacific Ocean region produces over 95% of the world’s cultured pearl, with South Sea Pearls from Australia, Tahitian Pacific Black pearls, and Golden Pearls from Indonesia among the most prized. In this presentation, we will look at the natural history of South Pacific pearls, their history, as well as the characteristics. (Note: I am a certified expert on pearls by the Gemological Institute of America)


   7. Indonesia’s South Sea Golden Pearls

Bali’s is at the center of production of Indonesian South Sea golden pearls. Today, we examine the origin of golden pearls, their characteristics and the factors that make them unique.


   8. The Black Pearls of the South Pacific

In this presentation, we look at the world of South Pacific Black pearls, their origins, their production, their characteristics and how to evaluate them.


   9. Darwin and Australia’s South Sea Pearls

Darwin’s is the center of Australia’s South Sea pearl industry. Australia produces the largest and finest pearls in the world. We will also examine the origins of ther South Sea pearl, their production, their characeristics and their evaluation.


   10. The Blue Pearls of New Zeland

The Pacific Ocean region produces over 95% of the world’s cultured pearls. In this presentation, we will look at the natural history of South Pacific pearls, their history, as well as the characteristics of the different types of pearls: Fresh Water, Akoya, Indonesian Golden, Australian South Sea, Pacific Black and the rare New Zealand Blue pearl.


   11. The Pacific Ring of Fire

The Pacific Ocean is the most active geological region in the world.The “Pacific Ring of Fire” represents an extremely active volcanic zone and boasts the world’s largest, most destructive volcanoes and earthquakes. In this presentation, we look at the complex geology of the Pacific Ocean, the geologic forces that have shaped it and how they continue to transform it today


   12. Understanding the Wines of New Zealand

New Zealand has rapid developed a reputation for its quality wines. In this presentation we will look at New Zealand’s principal wine regions, their distinctive characteristics, and the phenomenol wines they produce.

   13. The Maori of New Zealand and the Polynesian Diaspora

When the British arrived in New Zealand they found a thriving and well established Maori culture that was resistant to British colonization. In this presenttaion we look at the Pacific/Polynesian origins of Maori culture, its characteristcs and the struggle between the British and ther native Maoris for control of New Zealand.


   14. The Dragon’s Rise: China and the Pacific in the 21st Century

The rise of China has had a dramatic affect on the interational relations of the Pacific basin. From resource competition to the growing struggle to control the South and East China Seas, Beijing’s long shadow is transforming the Pacific region.

Joseph V. Micallef