Upcoming Speakers

Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman

Monday, November 4, 2019

Topic: Iraq after ISIS: Caught between the United States and Iran

Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman is president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2019 after 35 years.  He served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2016-19 and U.S. ambassador to Kuwait from 2014-16.  From 2013-14, he served as a senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, working on Iraq issues and the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

Silliman was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq from 2012-13, minister counselor for political affairs in Baghdad from 2011-12, and deputy chief of mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008-11. His other State Department positions include:  director of the Department of State’s Office of Southern European Affairs, political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, and the regional officer for the Middle East in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

In 2018, Silliman received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Donald J. Trump. He has received numerous awards from the Department of State, including the Secretary’s Award for Public Outreach in 2007 and senior performance awards.  Silliman received the Sinclaire Language Award in 1993 and the W. Averell Harriman Award for outstanding junior officer in 1988 from the American Foreign Service Association.

In addition to his position as president of AGSIW, Silliman serves on the board of advisors of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, which helps American businesses expand their international business and trade ties, especially in the Middle East and Gulf region.

Silliman received a Bachelor of Arts in political science, summa cum laude, from Baylor University in Texas, where he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Master of Arts in international relations from the George Washington University. He speaks Arabic and French.


Paul Mayewski

Monday, December 16, 2019

Topic: Maine and Arctic Climate Change

Dr. Paul Andrew Mayewski is Director of the Climate Change Institute and Distinguished Professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, School of Policy and International Affairs, the Business School, and the Center for Ocean and Coastal Law (Law School) at the University of Maine. He has led more than 55 expeditions to some of the remotest polar and high altitude reaches of the planet (eg., Antarctica, Greenland, Himalayas, Tibet, Andes, sub-Antarctic Islands); has more than 430 scientific publications; received numerous honors including: the first internationally awarded Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research, the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Medal, honorary PhD from Stockholm University, honorary fellow in the American Polar Society, and fellow in the American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Explorers Club; developed and led major international and national climate change research programs in Antarctica, Greenland, Asia and New England; worked with outreach entities such as the American Museum of Natural History and Boston Museum of Science; released two popular books; and has appeared hundreds of times in the media including multiple CBS 60 Minutes broadcasts, several NOVA films, NPR pieces and the 2014 Emmy Award winner “Years of Living Dangerously”.

Deborah Bronk

Monday, January 13, 2020

Topic: The Health of the World's Oceans

Dr. Deborah Bronk is the President and CEO of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.   As a researcher, she is fundamentally concerned about the health of aquatic systems, and especially the role of nitrogen.  Dr. Bronk’s work ranges from pioneering basic research into how organisms take up and produce nitrogen in the ocean to applied questions about the composition and removal of nitrogen in wastewater treatment plants.  She has led or participated in over 50 research expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica, which were the basis for her paradigm-changing scholarship.

Dr. Bronk has a history of service to the aquatic science community and the nation.  In 2008, she was elected President of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the largest international society devoted to the aquatic sciences.  From 2012-2015, she served at the National Science Foundation (NSF) ultimately as Director of the Division of Ocean Sciences.  As Division Director, Dr. Bronk oversaw a budget of $356M and was responsible for the core funding programs (Biological, Chemical, and Physical Oceanography, and Marine Geology and Geophysics), and ocean research facilities (the Ocean Observing Initiative, Ocean Drilling, and NSF use of the oceanographic research fleet).  She also co-chaired the Subcommittee of Ocean Science and Technology, which is composed of representative from the 24 federal agencies with links to ocean science.  In 2018, she served as the chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, an organization that represents over a million scientists across a broad range of disciplines in the US.

Dr. Bronk’s achievements have been recognized with many awards.  She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindeman Award, given annually by ASLO in recognition of the outstanding paper by a young aquatic scientist, the Antarctic Service Medal, from the US Armed Forces for service in Antarctica, the Dean’s Prize for the Advancement of Women in Science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence from William & Mary.  In 2015, she was named a Sustaining Fellow of ASLO, and in 2016, she named her the Moses D. Nunnally Distinguished Professor of Marine Science.  In 2018, she received the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private universities.

Frank A. Rose

Monday, February 10, 2020

Topic: Outer Space: Cooperation or Confrontation?

Frank A. Rose is a senior fellow for security and strategy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.  He focuses on nuclear strategy and deterrence, arms control, strategic stability, missile defense, outer space, and emerging security challenges.  From 2017-18, he served as principal director and chief of government relations at the Aerospace Corporation, a federally-funded research and development center focused on national security space.

Mr. Rose served as assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance from 2014-17.  In this position, he was responsible for advising the secretary of state on a wide variety of arms control, strategic policy, verification, and compliance issues. From 2009 to 2014, he served as the deputy assistant secretary of state for space and defense policy where he was responsible for key issues related to arms control and defense policy including missile defense, space security, chemical and biological weapons, and conventional arms control.

Prior to joining the State Department in June 2009, Mr. Rose held various national security staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including service as a professional staff member on both the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  He has also held numerous positions within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, was as a national security analyst with Science Applications International Corporation and on the staff of U.S. Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA).

Mr. Rose received his bachelor’s degree in history from American University in 1994 and a master’s degree in war studies from Kings’ College, University of London in 1999. He is the recipient of numerous State Department, Defense Department and international awards.

Shuja Nawaz

Monday, March 9, 2020

Topic: Pakistan

Shuja Nawaz is a political and strategic analyst.  He is a Distinguished Fellow, South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council In Washington DC.  Mr. Nawaz writes for leading newspapers and The Huffington Post, and speaks on current topics before civic groups, at think tanks, and on radio and television.   He has worked on projects with RAND, the United States Institute of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council, and other leading think tanks on projects dealing with Pakistan and the Middle East.  In January 2009 he was made the first Director of the South Asia Center at The Atlantic Council of the United States.

Mr. Nawaz was educated at Gordon College, Rawalpindi, where he obtained a BA in Economics and English literature, and at the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University in New York, where he was a Cabot Fellow and won the Henry Taylor International Correspondent Award.  He was a newscaster and news and current affairs producer for Pakistan Television from 1967 to 1972 and covered the western front of the 1971 war between Pakistan and India as well as President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s visit to China January-February 1972.

Mr. Nawaz has worked for the New York Times, the World Health Organization, and has headed three separate divisions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  He was also a director at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna from 1999 to 2001, while on leave from the IMF.  Mr. Nawaz was the managing editor and then Editor of Finance & Development, the multilingual quarterly of the IMF and the World Bank. He served on the editorial advisory board of the World Bank Research Observer.

Mr. Nawaz’s latest book, The Battle for Pakistan:  The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood, will be published under the Vintage imprint and release in August 2019.  He also is the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press 2nd edition 2017).  He is the principal author of FATA: A Most Dangerous Place (CSIS, Washington DC January 2009), Pakistan in the Danger Zone: A Tenuous US-Pakistan Relationship (Atlantic Council 2010), Learning by Doing: The Pakistan Army’s Experience with Counterinsurgency (Atlantic Council 2011), and with Mohan Guruswamy and with a Foreword by former Secretary of State George Shultz, India-Pakistan: The Opportunity Cost of Conflict (Atlantic Council 2014).  His book of verse in English Journeys was published originally by Oxford University Press and re-issued by Fort Hill in 2017. His second book of verse The Inner World (Archway 2017) is also available on the web.

Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Topic: 21st Century Security: Challenges and Opportunities

Admiral James Stavridis is an Operating Executive of The Carlyle Group, following five years as the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  A retired 4-star officer in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security.  He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009.  He earned more than 50 medals, including 28 from foreign nations in his 37-year military career.

Earlier in his military career he commanded the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, winning the Battenberg Cup, as well as a squadron of destroyers and a carrier strike group – all in combat.  In 2016, he was vetted for Vice President by Hillary Clinton and subsequently invited to Trump Tower to discuss a cabinet position in the Trump Administration.

Admiral Stavridis earned a PhD in international relations and has published nine books and hundreds of articles in leading journals around the world.  His 2012 TED talk on global security has over one million views.  Admiral Stavridis is a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News, and has tens of thousands of connections on the social networks.


Upcoming Speakers

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