PolicyWest 2019

October 4, 2019 • Beverly Hills, CA
The Pacific Council's signature annual conference, PolicyWest, is a one-day event dedicated to debate and discussion about the most pressing global issues of our time. PolicyWest will take place on Friday, October 4, 2019, in Beverly Hills. The day will feature a high-level keynote speaker, breakout sessions about the biggest challenges facing the United States, social gatherings, and more. As part of our commitment to inclusivity, PolicyWest is designed to be more accessible to our entire membership, with the same quality and depth of content that you've come to expect from the Pacific Council. *Please note that the agenda is subject to change*
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  • 04 October

Registration & Breakfast

09:15 AM 09:40 AM

Co-Chair Welcome

09:40 AM 09:45 AM

Marc B. Nathanson

TED-Style Talks: LA and International Trade, Democracy, Climate Change, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

09:45 AM 11:00 AM

Glenn Gerstell

Liz Koslov

Antonio Mugica

Karen Richardson

Patrick Schaefer

China's Military: Peer or Paper Dragon?

11:15 AM 12:30 PM

Katelyn Davidson

Derek Grossman

Patricia  Kim

Economic Diplomacy in the 21st Century: U.S. Competitiveness Abroad

11:15 AM 12:30 PM

Grant Harris

Joshua Kirschenbaum

Staci Warden

The Internet of Things: Quantum, 5G, AI, and You

11:15 AM 12:30 PM

Eric Eide

Paul McLachlan

Joanna Ptasinski

Monique Rodriguez

Co-Chair Introduction & Lunch Debate: The United States Should Spend Less on Defense

12:40 PM 02:30 PM

Aaron Brooks

Eric Gomez

Rebecca Grant

Rockwell A. Schnabel

Mandy Smithberger

Dakota Wood

A Century of America in the Middle East

02:45 PM 04:00 PM

Frances Z. Brown

Antonella Caruso

Jerry Green

James Verini

National Security and Silicon Valley

02:45 PM 04:00 PM

Tom Foldesi

Kara Frederick

Sarah Sewall

Jonathan Wong

The Politics of American Foreign Policy

02:45 PM 04:00 PM

Ana Kasparian

Robert Shrum

Thomas Zimmerman

Coffee Social

04:00 PM 04:45 PM

CEO Remarks & Keynote Panel: From Kiev to Washington

04:45 PM 06:00 PM

Thomas Campbell

Sewell Chan

Jerry Green

Agnia Grigas

Jon Michaels

Closing Reception

06:00 PM 07:30 PM




Aaron Brooks

Aaron J. Brooks is an operations and logistics professional with global experience, coming from 21 years of Marine Corps service before receiving an Honorable Discharge as a field grade officer.

Aaron's overseas deployments include: a UN multi-national coalition (Operation Southern Watch, 2002), detainee & intelligence operations (Joint Task Force Guantanamo, 2004-05), Security Cooperation with Gulf nations (2007-08), the phased US withdrawal from Iraq (2009) and the surge of Marine Expeditionary Brigade Afghanistan (2009-10) before returning to stateside assignments. Aaron's USMC career culminated with a rewarding tour as the Commanding Officer of Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron One.

Aaron is a member of the Truman National Security Project, an associate member of The Royal Institute of International Affairs, and has served on several nonprofit boards in the communities where he has lived. He completed a two-year term as the VP of Programs for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (SD / Baja) where he regularly partnered with member companies that straddle the busiest international border crossing in the world.

Aaron has also contributed as a talk show host, field reporter, and desk anchor for a weekly radio and television program as part of Homefront Media. Aaron has recently served as Reading Clerk for the Florida Legislature, providing him with a front row seat to changing law and policy in a dynamic swing state.

Aaron loves dogs and gardening, and he believes that hospitality is still the best form of diplomacy.

04 October

Frances Z. Brown

Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Frances Z. Brown is a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who arrived at Carnegie after fifteen years as a White House staffer, USAID official, and non-governmental organization practitioner. She writes on conflict, governance, and U.S. foreign policy.

Before joining Carnegie in fall 2017, Frances served for eighteen months as director for democracy on the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff. Serving under both the Obama and Trump administrations, she helped manage policy processes on key political transitions, post-conflict stabilization efforts, and democracy support. Prior to the NSC, Brown worked for five years at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives, managing stabilization and political transition programs in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa from the field and Washington.

Previous research roles include a year as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow; fellowships with Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the U.S. Institute of Peace; and her current doctoral work at Oxford, which examines donors’ stabilization programs in conflict-affected states. Other experience outside of government includes two years in Beirut, Lebanon; a year at the Kabul-based Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit; consulting for the Quadrennial Defense Review; shorter project-management roles in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, and Pakistan; and political risk forecasting. She has published field research projects on Afghanistan stabilization and subnational governance and on Syria stabilization, as well as shorter analyses in the American Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Herald Tribune, Axios, and elsewhere. On television, Brown has commented on U.S. foreign policy for BBC World News, ABC News (Australia), al-Jazeera, and elsewhere. She is a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project and a prior term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

04 October

Thomas Campbell

Professor, Doy and Dee Henley Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence
Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
Tom Campbell served as Dean of the Fowler School of Law from 2011 to 2016. He came to Chapman in January 2009 as a visiting Presidential Fellow and Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law. Prior to joining Chapman, he was the Bank of America Dean and Professor of Business from 2002 to 2008 at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Tom was a Professor of Law at Stanford University from 1987-2002; Associate Professor at Stanford, 1983-1987; a member of the United States Congress from 1989-1993 and 1995-2001; a member of the California State Senate from 1993-1995; and the director of the California Department of Finance from 2004-2005. He has a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, and a JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he also served as a member of the board of editors of the Harvard Law Review. He was a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Byron White, and to US Court of Appeals Judge George E. MacKinnon; a White House Fellow; executive assistant to the Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice; and, director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission.

Tom's principal area of academic work is in the application of economics to legal questions. He has published articles in the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Hastings Law Journal, and the Antitrust Law Journal, among others. He is the author of the book Separation of Powers in Practice, published by Stanford University Press (2004). Since 2001, Tom Campbell and his wife Susanne have taught in Africa as volunteers on seven separate occasions, in Ghana, Eritrea and Rwanda, where they taught courses in fund raising (Susanne) and international financial institutions, business strategy and constitutional law (Tom), at the following universities: Ashesi University, Accra, Ghana; Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Kigali, Rwanda; School of Banking and Finance, Kigali, Rwanda; and the University of Asmara, Asmara, Eritrea

04 October

Antonella Caruso

Founder & Executive Director
LAMEDINA, Los Angeles Institute for International Dialogue
Antonella Caruso is Founder and Executive Director of LAMEDINA, Los Angeles Institute for International Dialogue, in the process of being formed and filing for nonprofit status. She was previously the UN Director of the Middle East and West Asia division in the Department of Political Affairs. She previously worked in Baghdad where she developed and directed a track II Iraqi Dialogue on national reconciliation, that led to the formation of the first parliamentary caucus on national reconciliation (2008-12). She worked in private and public sectors, in particular as Senior adviser on the MENA region to the CEO of the Italian energy company ENI and to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has collaborated with the Italian media group l’Espresso and she has authored several scientific publications on medieval and contemporary Islam.

04 October

Sewell Chan

Deputy Managing Editor, News
LA Times
As deputy managing editor for news, Sewell Chan oversees the foreign and national desks, the News Desk, the Data Desk, the multiplatform copy desks, the audience engagement team, newsletters and the editorial library. He also works across departments to lift the quality and timeliness of the daily news report.

Before joining the Times in September 2018, Chan worked for 14 years at the New York Times, where he was a metro reporter, Washington correspondent, deputy Op-Ed editor and international news editor. He was part of a team of journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of a scandal that brought down Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York.

Chan began his career in 2000 as a reporter at the Washington Post, reporting on local government, education and social services.

A native New Yorker, Chan grew up in an immigrant family and was the first in his family to finish college. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in social studies and received a master’s degree in politics from Oxford, where he studied on a British Marshall scholarship.

Chan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Board of Incorporators of Harvard Magazine.

04 October

Katelyn Davidson

USS Carl Vinson
Operations Division Officer
LT Katie Davidson is a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy currently stationed in the greater Seattle area. She is an acting Operations Division Officer onboard USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier. She is a 2013 Marshall Scholar and graduated at the top of her class academically at the U.S. Naval Academy. Katie conducted postgraduate study at Oxford and Cambridge, where she focused on foreign policy questions regarding gender, peace, and security as well as the contemporary nuances of cybersecurity. She has worked with various defense organizations including the CNO's Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, National Defense University, NATO Allied Transformation Command, and the United Kingdom's Defense, Doctrine and Concepts Centre and Defence Personnel Secretariat Diversity and Inclusion Team. Most recently, she was selected to help build Naval Surface Group Western Pacific, a Navy organization designed in response to the 2017 collisions and to mitigate the manning, training, and equipage issues for Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan. Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, she likes exploring and hunting for the perfect cold brew coffee. She dreams of a day when she will be in one place long enough to have a dog again.

04 October

Eric Eide

Director of Ecosystem Development
Alliance for Southern California Innovation
Eric is a seasoned economic development professional with experience spanning the private sector, federal and municipal government, and academia. Before joining the Alliance, Eric grew the Government Relations team at Bird Rides and expanded electric scooter rental operations domestically and internationally. Previously, Eric served as Director of International Trade for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In this role, Eric worked to increase international business activity, facilitate the import and export of goods, and attract investment to Los Angeles. Eric also served in the U.S. federal government as an Advisor for Strategic Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, where he collaborated with U.S.-based entrepreneurs, firms, and universities with interests in South and Central Asia. In a prior role, Eric represented the U.S. Small Business Administration with the startup community and improved the overall performance of a $2.6 billion federal program that funds early stage technology companies.

Eric holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, where his research focused on innovation ecosystems, industrial policy, and globalization.

04 October

Tom Foldesi

Director of Commercial Operations
Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)
Tom is Director of Commercial Operations and is responsible for DIU’s private sector interface and activities.He brings a combination of military service and nearly 20 years of executive experience in strategy, product, and business development.

Before joining DIU, Tom was Vice President of Digital and Connected Products at LVMH, the world's largest luxury conglomerate, where he delivered several major digital platforms and product lines for TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Louis Vuitton. Prior to LVMH, Tom was a Senior Director at Intel and led both product and business development teams in IoT, mobile, wearables, and data analytics. During his time at Intel, he led teams that delivered dozens of products for major global partners, including TAG Heuer, New Balance, Fossil, Nike, Vodafone, and Orange.He also worked at Credit Suisse and UBS as an investment banker.

Tom served honorably in the United States Navy as a SEAL officer. He was assigned to SEAL Team THREE and served as a squad leader, assistant platoon commander, and assistant operations officer.He completed a deployment to Iraq in 2006 and served in the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force HQ in Balad and in the Naval Special Warfare Task Group in Fallujah.

Tom holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.He speaks fluent Russian, German, and Hungarian.

04 October

Kara Frederick

Associate Fellow, Technology and National Security Program
Center for a New American Security
Kara Frederick is the Associate Fellow for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

Prior to joining CNAS, Kara helped create and lead Facebook’s Global Security Counterterrorism Analysis Program. She was also the team lead for Facebook Headquarters’ Regional Intelligence Team in Menlo Park, California. Prior to Facebook, she served as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for a U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, and spent six years as a counterterrorism analyst at the Department of Defense. While at the Department of Defense, she deployed three times to Afghanistan in support of special operations forces, served as a briefer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and as a liaison to the National Security Agency.
She received her M.A. in War Studies from King's College London and her B.A. in Foreign Affairs and History from the University of Virginia, where she played varsity soccer.

04 October

Glenn Gerstell

General Counsel
National Security Agency (NSA) & Central Security Service (CSS)
Mr. Gerstell was appointed in August 2015 as the General Counsel of the National Security Agency and Central Security Service.

Prior to joining NSA, Mr. Gerstell practiced law for almost 40 years at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where he served as the managing partner of the firm's Washington, D.C., Singapore, and Hong Kong offices. Earlier in his career, he was an Adjunct Law Professor at the Georgetown University School of Law and New York Law School.

Mr. Gerstell served on the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which reports to the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security on security threats to the nation's infrastructure, as well as on the District of Columbia Homeland Security Commission.

A graduate of New York University and Columbia University School of Law, Mr. Gerstell is an elected member of The American Academy of Diplomacy and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

04 October

Eric Gomez

Policy Analyst
Cato Institute
Eric Gomez is a policy analyst for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. His research focuses on U.S. military strategy in East Asia, missile defense systems and their impact on strategic stability, and nuclear deterrence issues in East Asia. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the State University of New York-College at Geneseo, and a Masters of Arts in International Affairs from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Eric Gomez is the co editor of America’s Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward-Looking Anthology, recently published by the Cato Institute.

04 October

Rebecca Grant

National Security Analyst
IRIS Independent Research
Dr. Rebecca Grant is a national security analyst based in Washington, DC. She earned her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics at age 25 then worked for RAND and on the staff of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Since founding IRIS Independent Research, she has specialized in research for government and aerospace industry clients ranging from analysis of military campaigns to projects on major technology acqusition such as the B-21 bomber. Dr. Grant has written over 100 articles for Air Force Magazine and appears regularly on the Smithsonian Channel, Fox News, CNN, Veterans Radio and other media outlets talking about airpower and national security. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and daughter and spends her leisure time with Thoroughbred ex-racehorses off the track. She has flown with the United States Air Force in the T-38, E-3 AWACS, B-52, F-16 Aggressors, F-15 in Exercise Cope North and in the B-2 Spirit bomber.

04 October

Jerry Green

President & CEO
Pacific Council
Jerrold D. Green is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. He is concurrently a Research Professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He has previously been a Partner at Best Associates in Dallas, Texas, a privately held merchant banking firm with global operations. Green also occupied a number of senior management positions at the RAND Corporation where he served as the Director of International Programs and Development and was awarded the RAND Medal for Excellence. Green has a B.A. (summa cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. His academic career began at the University of Michigan where he was a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies. He subsequently joined the University of Arizona where he became a Professor of Political Science and Sociology as well as Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Green has lived and worked in Egypt, where he was a Fulbright Fellow, Iran, and Israel. He has lectured on six continents and been a visiting fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Science's West Asian Studies Center in Beijing; a visiting lecturer at the Havana based Center for African and Middle East Studies (CEAMO), a fellow at the Australian Defense College, and delivered papers at conferences sponsored by the Iranian Institute of International Affairs in Tehran. Green led three U.S. Department of Defense sponsored Pacific Council delegations to Afghanistan and another to Iraq as well as Pacific Council delegations to China, Cuba, Japan, North Korea, Turkey, South Sudan, Myanmar, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and numerous other countries. He has also represented the Pacific Council as an observer at the legal proceedings being conducted at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Green is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies, The California Club, the Lincoln Club, the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), the Advisory Board of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California, and the Bill Richardson Center for Diplomacy/FBI Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell Influencers Group. He also served on the Selection Committee for the U.S. Department of State Herbert Salzman Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance by a Foreign Service Officer. He is currently a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department where he received the Meritorious Service Award, and has previously served as a Specialist Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department where he advised on terrorism and intelligence issues.

Dr. Green is currently an International Medical Corps Ambassador, and serves on the Los Angeles Steering Committee of the USA Eisenhower Fellowships. He served for 8 years as a member of the United States Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel where he was awarded the Department of the Navy, Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his service. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the California Club, the Advisory Committee of The Asia Society of Southern California, the Advisory Board of Whitney International University, the Advisory Board of Academic Partnerships, the Board of Managers of Falcon Waterfree Technologies, and the Board of Columbia University’s Middle East Institute in New York. Dr. Green is a technical advisor to Activision Publishing in Santa Monica, California, where he consults on the highly successful Call of Duty series.

Green has written widely on Middle East themes focusing on American Middle East policy, the role of religion in the region, inter-Arab relations, Iranian politics, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. His work has appeared in such publications as World Politics, Comparative Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, Survival, Middle East Insight, Politique Etrangere, The World Today, The RAND Review, The Harvard Journal of World Affairs, The Iranian Journal of International Relations, and The Huffington Post.

04 October

04 October

Agnia Grigas

Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council

Dr. Agnia Grigas is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council working on energy and geopolitical economy. She is the author of three acclaimed books: “The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas” (Harvard University Press, 2017), “Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire” (Yale University Press, 2016) and “The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia” (Routlege 2013, 2016).

She is also an Associate with the Argonne National Laboratories, and an advisory board member for educational institutions and energy companies such as the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs at Occidental College, the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, LITGAS, and others. She has testified for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on American LNG exports to Europe.

Agnia has fifteen years of experience in business development and strategic advisory for multinational corporations and U.S. government institutions on growth opportunities and political risks to execute global business development goals. Previously she was an energy and FDI advisor to the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She started her career as a financial analyst at JPMorgan and subsequently advised on emerging markets for Eurasia Group, Barclays Bank, and other Fortune 100 companies.

Dr. Grigas is an in-demand keynote speaker and a frequent media contributor, regularly appearing in WSJ, NYT, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Foreign Affairs.

Agnia holds a Master’s and Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University. Follow via: @AgniaGrigas & grigas.net

04 October

Derek Grossman

Senior Defense Analyst
Derek Grossman is a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation focused on a range of national security policy and Indo-Pacific security issues. He is particularly interested in China’s relationships with Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Japan, and the Koreas. Grossman has over a decade of experience in the Intelligence Community (IC), where he served as the daily intelligence briefer to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the briefer to the assistant secretary of Defense for Asian & Pacific Security Affairs at the Pentagon. Grossman leveraged this experience to write an award-winning paper for the IC's "Galileo Competition," which solicits innovative ideas to optimize IC enterprise management practices.

Prior to DIA, Grossman worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) where he pioneered a new assessment format to enhance NSA's intelligence support to policy. He also served at the CIA and on the President's Daily Brief staff. Grossman worked at the Jamestown Foundation as the China program manager and editor of China Brief. He previously supported the then-Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Grossman has published articles for Asia Policy, China Brief, Defense Dossier, Foreign Policy, Global Taiwan Brief, International Security, Journal of International Security Affairs, Newsweek, PacNet, Studies in Intelligence, The Diplomat, The Hill, The National Interest, and War on the Rocks. He holds an M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in U.S. national security policy and a B.A. with Honors from the University of Michigan in political science and Asian Studies.

04 October

Grant Harris

Harris Africa Partners LLC
Grant T. Harris is CEO of Harris Africa Partners LLC and advises companies and organizations on strategy, policy, and mitigating risk with respect to doing business in Africa.

For four years, Harris served as the principal advisor to President Barack Obama on issues related to Africa, serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the White House from August 2011 to August 2015.

In this role, Harris initiated and coordinated U.S. policies toward the 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including political, economic, and security matters. Harris conceived of and was a primary lead in implementing the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, in which President Obama hosted 51 African Leaders in Washington, DC in August 2014. The Summit generated $37 billion in new commitments to support trade, investment, and development across Africa.

Harris also initiated and coordinated the Doing Business in Africa Campaign, to encourage greater U.S. trade and investment; launched the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative, to support emerging leaders; and conceived and was the primary architect of the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, signed by President Obama in 2012. During his time at the White House, Harris also oversaw U.S. efforts to create and implement the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, and led the U.S. response to various peace and security crises across Africa.

Prior to this position, Harris was Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. Previously, Harris was an associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he focused on international business transactions. Prior to that, Harris served in the African Affairs Directorate at the National Security Council at the White House under President Bill Clinton and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations under Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.

Harris holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a Master’s in Public Affairs, with Distinction, from Princeton University, and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley. His writings have appeared in such publications as The Washington Post; Forbes; TIME; U.S. News & World Report; Foreign Affairs; Foreign Policy; HuffPost SA; The Hill; Yale Journal of Law & Policy; Berkeley Journal of International Law; Horizons; Israel Law Review (peer-reviewed); and The San Francisco Chronicle. He is a frequent conference speaker and has been widely quoted on Africa issues in U.S., international, and African media. In January 2017, Harris was appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Harris has also served as a non-executive independent director on the board of the Africa Finance Corporation, an international financial institution that has invested more than $4 billion in infrastructure projects across Africa.

04 October

Ana Kasparian

Host & Executive Producer
The Young Turks
With a sharp sense of humor and pointed wit rivaling anyone in the industry, Ana Kasparian has captivated viewers as host and executive producer of the online news show The Young Turks and a new show titled NoFilter where Kasparian expresses her unfiltered opinion and commentary on tough topics.

Her bold and intelligent style has transformed her into a favorite of millions while playing a vital part to the astronomical rise of TYT, the largest online news show in the world. Her honest coverage and dedication to truthful commentary was honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016 and in the Daily Dot as one of the Top Women of YouTube. Most recently, Kasparian was part of the inaugural group of YouTube creators to take part in speaking with world leaders at the Munich Security Conference as part of #yourMSC. Prior to TYT, Kasparian has also served as a contributor on MSNBC. As a dynamic speaker with the natural ability to connect and engage people; she uses her platform to provide a voice to those who are silenced around the world.

In 2018, she was recognized by the American Humanist Association with the Humanist Media Award. She was also awarded a Webby Award after appearing on the Sundance Channel's "Dream School" where she successfully encouraged high school dropouts to finish their education. Other accolades include the 2018 People’s Voice Webby Award for Online News and Politics Series, 2017 Streamy Subject Award for News and Culture, 2011 People’s Voice Webby Award for “Best News & Political Series,” as well as the 2009 “Best Political News Site” award.

Kasparian gets fired up when discussing the criminal justice system and education. Aside from being a regular op-ed writer for Raw Story, Kasparian has also written for the New York Times and Time.com. She also teaches journalism at California State University Northridge, the same school where she received her Bachelor's in journalism and Master's in political science.

It's not all work and no play for Kasparian, who enjoys running, going to music concerts, rapping along to Drake when she's alone in her apartment, and abandoning online shopping carts she fills with items she could never afford. She is the proud owner of a rescue dog named Charlie who has her wrapped around his little paws.

04 October

Patricia Kim

Senior Policy Analyst, China
United States Institute of Peace
Patricia M. Kim is a senior policy analyst with the China Program at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Her areas of expertise include Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian security issues. Dr. Kim's research portfolio includes topics ranging from U.S.-China great power competition, China's policies toward the Korean Peninsula, to China-Africa relations. She is currently the project director of the China-Red Sea Senior Study Group at USIP which examines China's activities and influence in the Gulf and Horn of Africa.

Previously, Dr. Kim held positions as the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, International Security Program Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program at Princeton University. She is currently a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Kim’s writing has been featured in outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, The South China Morning Post, and The Washington Post. She has testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Patricia received her PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University and her BA with highest distinction in political science and Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Korean, and proficient in Japanese.

04 October

Joshua Kirschenbaum

Senior Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy
German Marshall Fund of the United States
Joshua Kirschenbaum is a senior fellow at GMF’s Alliance for Securing Democracy, focusing on illicit finance. Josh joined GMF from the Treasury Department, where he worked from 2011 to 2018. He served as acting director of the Office of Special Measures at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, overseeing international money laundering investigations under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Previously, Josh worked on Iran sanctions at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

He received a master’s degree in international security from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Northwestern University.

04 October

Liz Koslov

Assistant Professor, Urban Planning and Environment and Sustainability
Liz Koslov is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where she explores the social dimensions of climate change, questions of environmental and climate justice, and how cities are adapting to effects such as extreme weather and sea level rise. Her current book project, Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City, draws on four years of fieldwork in communities that sought home buyouts after Hurricane Sandy. Related articles, “The Case for Retreat” and “Avoiding Climate Change: ‘Agnostic Adaptation’ and the Politics of Public Silence,” have been published in Public Culture and Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Liz’s work also appears in Public Books and has been cited in outlets such as Scientific American, The Intercept, and NPR. Prior to joining UCLA, Liz was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT. She received a PhD in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University, where she was affiliated with the Institute for Public Knowledge, Rebuild By Design, and the Superstorm Research Lab. She holds an MSc in Culture and Society from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Communication and Spanish and Latin American Literature from George Washington University.

04 October

Paul McLachlan

Head of Data Science & Principal Data Scientist
Ericsson Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator
Dr. Paul McLachlan is Head of Data Science (San Francisco) and Principal Data Scientist at Ericsson’s Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator. At Ericsson, he develops new 5G technology that will empower the next generation of interactive mobile content, with a particular focus on digital advertising, extended reality, and virtual reality. At his AI team at Ericsson, he designs architecture to harness the power of 5G networking and edge computing, with the aim of protecting users’ privacy while enabling greater personalization and interactivity.

Paul is also a member of Ericsson’s data monetization and exposure working groups, which provide Ericsson’s board of directors with expert opinions and technology briefs on the latest developments and opportunities in the data science and AI ecosystems. In addition to delivering new product lines, giving presentations, and teaching courses, he serves as an innovation ambassador for Ericsson’s internal incubator. In this role, he coaches teams to help them translate their ideas into successful businesses and improve their go-to-market strategies. Numerous startups and nonprofits, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad, have formally invited Paul to serve as a mentor or advisor.

Prior to his current role at Ericsson, Paul was Director of Data Science at Ericsson Emodo, which focuses on applying mobile operator data to digital advertising. Before joining the telecommunications world, he was Director of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence practice lead at Epsilon, which was recently acquired by Publicis Groupe for $4 billion. At Epsilon, he led development of AI applied to marketing data. Before entering the corporate world, he was a member of the data science faculty at Emory University.

Reflecting his wide-ranging interests, Paul has published in multiple academic disciplines and has multiple patents pending. He earned his PhD from the University of California, San Diego.

04 October

Jon Michaels

Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law
Jon Michaels is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. His scholarly and teaching interests include constitutional law, administrative law, national security law, the separation of powers, presidential power, regulation, bureaucracy, and privatization.

Michaels (view CV) is a graduate of Williams College, Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and Yale Law School, where he served as an articles editor for the Yale Law Journal. Michaels clerked first for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then for Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court. Immediately prior to his appointment at UCLA, Michaels worked as an associate in Arnold & Porter’s National Security Law and Public Policy Group in Washington, DC.

A two-time winner of the American Constitution Society’s Cudahy Award for scholarly excellence in administrative law, Michaels is a frequent legal affairs commentator for national and local media outlets and contributes regularly to the Take Care blog.

His book, Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic, was published by Harvard University Press in October 2017.

04 October

Antonio Mugica

Chief Executive Officer
Antonio's the founder and CEO of the Smartmatic Group. Since the year 2000, he has defined the corporation’s vision and its goals.

He believes in a hands-on approach to management, and accordingly he actively participates in the strategic planning of all areas and departments.

Antonio's envisioned many of the technological solutions and breakthroughs Smartmatic has made. As of 2013, he held 11 issued and two pending patents in the United States, with more under way. He has an electronic engineering degree from the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas (Venezuela).

One of Antonio's strengths has been the ability to balance being both a leader and a team player.

When he founded Smartmatic, he wanted to create the kind of technology that could help improve societies around the world. The elections solution was created to eliminate voting fraud and solidify democracy.

The ID management solution was designed to help governments provide their citizens with secure and agile identification means. The public safety solution aims at solving crime prevention issues and at improving the response times of safety agencies.

The public transport solution uses various technologies to improve the quality of life of the people who use public transit services – and to fulfill crucial sustainability commitments.

Antonio is always seeking ways to complement his work with other interests, such as music and writing. He enjoys playing and composing music and he wrote a children’s book that was recently awarded the prestigious Moonbeam Children's Book Gold Medal in the Spanish Language category.

04 October

Marc B. Nathanson

Co-Chair of the Board of Directors
Pacific Council on International Policy
Mr. Marc B. Nathanson is currently Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at the Pacific Council on International Policy. In 2012, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, appointed Mr. Nathanson as her representative to the Board of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Nathanson is Vice Chair of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and was founding Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) for Los Angeles. He previously founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Falcon Cable TV. Mr. Nathanson additionally served as Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors during the Clinton and Bush Administrations (1995-2002). He was also a member of the Presidentially-appointed Albanian Enterprise Fund. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute, and Center for the Digital Future at USC. Mr. Nathanson is also a member of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

04 October

Joanna Ptasinski

Head of Cryogenic Electronics & Quantum Research
Naval Information Warfare Center
Dr. Joanna Ptasinski serves as the head of the Cryogenic Electronics and Quantum Research Branch at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific.She has been with NIWC Pacific for 17 years, joining the Center as a junior engineer with four years of college.Her career at NIWC Pacific allowed her to pursue a Master’s degree at SDSU, and then a PhD degree at UCSD under the SMART Scholarship program.Her research interests include Nanophotonics, Plasmonics, and Quantum Information Technologies.Her recent work concentrates on understanding and exploiting quantum phenomena present in biological systems for computing applications, as well as applications of quantum enhanced optimization for Navy-relevant problem sets.Dr. Ptasinski holds 28 US Patents and she has authored over 25 publications, presentations or technical reports including two book chapters.

04 October

Karen Richardson

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of State
Karen Richardson formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Public Affairs at the U.S. State Department. From January 2009 to February 2014, she worked at the White House as Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she was responsible for developing and managing domestic outreach to NGOs, advocacy organizations, and constituency groups, in close coordination with the White House National Security Staff, to promote the President’s position on a broad range of foreign policy issues. In this capacity, Richardson was also an advisor to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on international issues, including managing Ms. Jarrett’s involvement in international gender policy development in her role as Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Richardson began working for President Obama at his Senate Office in August 2005, serving as Deputy to the Policy Director. Shortly after Obama announced his presidential run, Richardson joined the Obama for America campaign as the State Policy Director for Iowa, a role she assumed in several states throughout the presidential primary. In July 2008 Richardson became the Policy Director at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and also joined the DNC as part of then-Senator Obama’s Congressional Liaison team. After the presidential general election, she joined the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Richardson has a BA from Howard University, a JD from Howard University School of Law, and a Masters in International Affairs from the London School of Economics.

04 October

Monique Rodriguez

Senior Director of Government Affairs
Monique Rodriguez is Senior Director of Government Affairs for QUALCOMM Incorporated. In this capacity, she manages part of QUALCOMM's international public policy agenda on a range of issues, including international trade, technology policy, competition and innovation, and intellectual property. In addition to maintaining and strengthening QUALCOMM's relationships with branches of the United States and foreign governments, she often represents the company before industry associations and multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations and World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ms. Rodriguez also manages all legislative matters at the local and state level, including political fundraising and acting as the QUALCOMM liaison to local and state government in all 50 states. In this capacity, Ms. Rodriguez is responsible for creating and executing corporate strategy in areas ranging from quality of life, technology neutrality, environmental stewardship, and taxation.

Ms. Rodriguez serves on the boards of the National Center for APEC, National Foreign Trade Council and the New Children’s Museum. She also serves as a member of the San Diego & Imperial District Export Council.

Ms. Rodriguez graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. She also received a Masters in Business Administration from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego in 2008

04 October

Patrick Schaefer

Executive Director
Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness
Patrick is the Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, part of the University of Texas at El Paso, which produces detailed economic and legal analysis of the various markets that converge in the transboundary, Paso del Norte region. The Institute provides an open platform of regional databases, strategic sector analyses, critical sector mapping, and economic impact models in order to foster greater cohesion among local, regional, and international stakeholders and market actors. Prior to founding the Institute, Patrick held positions with the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., where he advised client-states on legal reforms to improve their commercial and financial sectors. In particular, his work centers on the comparative commercial, financial, and natural resource laws within the Ibero-American context, with a special emphasis on Mexico, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. He received his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law and his LL.M. from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has also studied at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, the Universidade de São Paulo, the Université Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne, the Hague Academy for International Law, the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, graduating magna cum laude, and St. John’s College, where he received his undergraduate degree. His publications have dealt with international bankruptcy and trans-boundary natural resource management. He is an adjunct professor of NAFTA Law at the University of Texas at El Paso and has coached two teams from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez to two international arbitration competitions in Vienna and Los Angeles. Patrick is also an active member of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, the Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos de Finanzas, the State Bars of New York and New Mexico, as well as the American Society of International Law.

04 October

Rockwell A. Schnabel

Co-Chair of the Board of Directors
Pacific Council on International Policy
Ambassador Rockwell Schnabel serves as Co-Chair of the Pacific Council on International Policy’s Board of Directors. He is the founder and Chairman of The Sage Group, a boutique merchant bank in Los Angeles. He co-founded Trident Capital, a Palo Alto based venture capital firm. In addition to his long, successful career in business, Ambassador Schnabel has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government, serving as U.S. Ambassador to Finland (1986-1989), U.S. Ambassador to the European Union (2001-2005), and Acting Secretary of Commerce (1991-1992).

He served in the United States Air Force reserves for 6 years and was a member of the Los Angeles Olympic Committee, Chairman of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and President of the Fire and Police Pension Fund. He was the former President of Bateman Eichler, Hills Richards, Inc. (Wells Fargo Bank).

Mr. Schnabel has served on the board of numerous public and private companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and a member of The USC Center on Public Diplomacy Advisory Board of the Annenberg School and he attended Trinity College in Europe.

04 October

Sarah Sewall

Executive Vice President of Policy
Sarah Sewall is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center. Concurrently, she is the Speyer Distinguished Scholar and Professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC., and serves on the boards of the Center for Naval Analyses and Creative Associates.

An expert on security and on human rights, she served as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights from 2014 to 2017 and earlier as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance. Her appointment at the Belfer Center brings her back to the Kennedy School where she was a member of the faculty for a decade and headed the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

As Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights from 2014-2017, Sewall was responsible for more than 2000 employees and a $5 billion budget overseeing issues that included counterterrorism, law enforcement, conflict prevention, refugees, human rights, and global justice. She was a key architect of the Obama administration’s Combating Violent Extremism (CVE) policy, which the United Nations ultimately adopted and renamed Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). While Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, she established a U.S. peacekeeping office and advised the Secretary of Defense on peace operations and humanitarian assistance. At DoD, she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Prior to her work in the Obama administration, Sewall taught foreign policy courses at Harvard Kennedy School for more than a decade. While Director of the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, she launched the MARO (Mass Atrocities Response Operations) Project to assist the U.S. military with contingency planning to protect civilians from large-scale violence. Many of her recommendations for reducing the impacts of conflict on civilian populations were incorporated into U.S. Army doctrine.

Sewall is the author or co-author of a number of publications including Chasing Success: Air Force Efforts to Reduce Civilian Harm (Air University Press, 2016); Mass Atrocity Response Operations: A Military Planning Handbook, with Raymond, D. & Chin, S. (Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, 2010); and A Radical Field Manual, The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. (University of Chicago Press, 2007).

Sewall has taught at the Naval War College and served on the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Defense Policy Board. She graduated from Harvard and received her doctorate from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

04 October

Robert Shrum

Director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future
University of Southern California
Robert M. Shrum is the Director of the Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife. He is a former political strategist and consultant who was described as "the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party," by The Atlantic Monthly.

Mr. Shrum served as speechwriter to New York Mayor John V. Lindsay from 1970 to 1971, speechwriter to Sen. George McGovern’s 1972 Presidential campaign and speechwriter and press secretary to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy from 1980 to 1984. He served as senior advisor to the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000 and to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004. Other former clients include Barbara Mikulski, Joe Biden, and John Glenn in their Senate campaigns, Bob Casey in his run for Governor of Pennsylvania, and Tom Bradley's run for Mayor of Los Angeles. He continued his storied career as a political consultant until 2009.

Overseas his clients included Ehud Barak in his campaign for Prime Minister of Israel, the British Labour Party and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Ireland and the President of Colombia.
His political memoir, No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner, was published in June 2007 by Simon and Schuster.

04 October

Mandy Smithberger

Director of the Center for Defense Information
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Mandy Smithberger rejoined POGO as the director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in December 2014. Previously she was a national security policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) worked on passing key provisions of the Military Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law, which expands protections by increasing the level of Inspector General review for complaints, requiring timely action on findings of reprisal, and increasing the time whistleblowers have to report reprisals. Previously an investigator with POGO, she was part of a team that received the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine Award for contributions in the area of open government.

Ms. Smithberger received her B.A. in government from Smith College and her Masters in Strategic Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. She also served as an analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency and U.S. Central Command.

04 October

James Verini

Contributing Writer
New York Times Magazine & National Geographic
James Verini is a Contributing Writer at The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atavist, Vanity Fair, Foreign Policy and many other publications. He has received a National Magazine Award and a George Polk Award.

04 October

Staci Warden

Executive Director
Milken Institute's Global Markets Development
Staci Warden is executive director of the Global Market Development practice at the Milken Institute, where she leads initiatives on strengthening capital markets, financial inclusion, financial-market education, and innovative financial solutions to development challenges. Warden is also chair of the Rwandan Capital Markets Authority, a cabinet-appointed position. Prior to the Milken Institute, Warden spent six years at JPMorgan in London, where she ran its public-sector client franchise in EMEA, and two years in New York as part of the Sovereign DCM team. Before that, she was a director at NASDAQ and led its two market offerings for micro-cap companies, the BBX and the OTCBB. In the public and nonprofit sectors, she has served as an international economist at the U.S. Treasury Department, start-up COO of the Center for Global Development, and a development associate at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Warden has worked or done business in over 50 countries and has served as an advisor to several ministers of finance on sovereign-wealth management, debt management, capital-market development, and financial inclusion. She speaks and writes widely on economic and financial development, financial innovation, and public sector strategy. Warden holds an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has completed her coursework for a Ph.D. in economics from Brandeis University.

04 October

Jonathan Wong

Associate Policy Researcher
Jonathan Wong is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research focuses on the role of new technologies, processes, and concepts in shaping how militaries fight. He also contributes to other force development research and RAND's military logistics, manpower, intelligence policy, and strategy portfolios.
Previously, Wong was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, advising corporate clients on strategic decision-making in the industrial goods and public sector spaces. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted infantryman, infantry officer, and manpower planner from 2001-11, deploying multiple times to Iraq and the Western Pacific.

Wong has a B.A. in political science from the University of California San Diego, an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

04 October

Dakota Wood

Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
The Heritage Foundation
Dakota Wood served as a U.S. Marine for 20 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is currently the Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs at The Heritage Foundation.He holds degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval War College,and earned meritorious distinction from the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting.While in uniform, Mr. Wood served as a strategic analyst for the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Secretary of Defense. His operational assignments included deployments and/or contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific, Euro-Mediterranean-Africa, and Middle East regions.Following retirement in2005, he helped to stand-up a global bio surveillance program. From 2006 to 2011,he served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.Following his time with CSBA, he served as the Strategist for the Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command.

04 October

Thomas Zimmerman

Director of Programs
Pacific Council on International Policy
Thomas Zimmerman is the Director of Programs at the Pacific Council on International Policy, where he oversees programing for Council members and the general public. He started his career working in Kabul Afghanistan with American Councils for International Education. After working on Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, Thomas joined the Pakistan Desk at the Department of Defense before moving to the White House to serve as Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor. In 2012, he managing the national security and foreign policy research portfolio for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Most recently, Thomas worked at the Center on International Cooperation and as a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, focusing on Afghanistan, Somalia, and Chinese regional policy. He specializes in the facilitation of Track II dialogues.

Thomas holds a BA from Williams College and an MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is originally from Austin, Texas, and currently lives in Los Feliz where he’s still not over his being minutes away from hiking trails, record stores, and breakfast tacos.

04 October

Goldman Sachs Gives

Goldman Sachs Gives is committed to fostering innovative ideas, solving economic and social issues, and enabling progress in underserved communities globally. Through a donor-advised fund, Goldman Sachs’ current and retired senior employees work together to recommend grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals.

Closing Today’s Illicit Finance Loopholes

America has bolted the front door to illicit financial activity but left the back door wide open, writes Joshua Kirschenbaum. Read the full article here. Josh will be participating in the "Economic Diplomacy in the 21st Century: U.S. Competitiveness Abroad" panel at 11:15am.

We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution

Technology is about to upend our entire national security infrastructure, writes Glenn Gerstell. Read the full article here. Glenn will be speaking about "The Fourth Industrial Revolution" during the TED-style talks starting at 9:15am.

Understanding China’s Military Expansion

When responding to China’s growing military power, the United States should focus on its comparative advantages by strengthening military capabilities, alliances, and security partnerships, maintaining a leading edge on technological innovation, and championing liberal values, writes Patricia Kim. Read the full article here. Patricia will be participating on the “China's Military: Peer or Paper Dragon?” panel at 11:15am.

Registration & Breakfast

09:15 AM 09:40 AM Beverly Hills Ballroom

Co-Chair Welcome

09:40 AM 09:45 AM Beverly Hills Ballroom


TED-Style Talks: LA and International Trade, Democracy, Climate Change, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

09:45 AM 11:00 AM Beverly Hills Ballroom

A series of TED-style lightning round talks on:

Los Angeles and International Trade

The Future of Elections and Election Security
In an age of rapid technological change, the adoption of advanced election technologies has been lagging. But there are bright spots here in Los Angeles as well as around the world where secure voting machines have been deployed in remote lands while countries like Estonia, a formerly impoverished Soviet satellite, have fully embraced digitized democracy. What lessons are there for the United States in Estonia’s approach, and what are the potential benefits and pitfalls of digitizing our democracy?

Climate Change's Human Impact

Humanity must prepare for a future in which our climate won't be the same as the one we enjoy today. Doing so means shaping our homes and our cities to deal with natural disaster and uncertainty.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The threats of cyberattack and hypersonic missiles are two examples of easily foreseeable challenges to our national security posed by rapidly developing technology. It is by no means certain that we will be able to cope with those two threats, let alone the even more complicated and unknown challenges presented by the general onrush of technology — the digital revolution or so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution — that will be our future for the next few decades.


China's Military: Peer or Paper Dragon?

11:15 AM 12:30 PM Dayton

China's military capabilities have grown in both scope and sophistication in recent years. Observers of this trend have quietly asked when the day might arrive that China's armed forces become the peer of their U.S. counterparts. However, today some have begun to ask a different set of questions: has China's military become our peer? If so, in which domains? What are their capabilities, and their ambitions?


Economic Diplomacy in the 21st Century: U.S. Competitiveness Abroad

11:15 AM 12:30 PM Palm

Economic diplomacy is defined as the full spectrum of economic tools a state uses to achieve its national interests. Put another way, economic diplomacy is what a country does to try and successfully compete abroad. But what is the American approach to economic diplomacy? How does it differ from that of our competitors? And how can it be improved to better support U.S. businesses? 


The Internet of Things: Quantum, 5G, AI, and You

11:15 AM 12:30 PM Whittier

A problem that would take traditional computers hundreds or thousands of years to crack will be solved in seconds. That information will be seamlessly piped into internet connected devices. The devices will simultaneously manifest the commands they’ve received to crack encryptions, guide autonomous vehicles, and reduce research timelines. Such is the potential of a world powered by iot, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G; and while the positive second and third order economic effects of these technologies are acute, so too are the potential pitfalls.


Co-Chair Introduction & Lunch Debate: The United States Should Spend Less on Defense

12:40 PM 02:30 PM Beverly Hills Ballroom

A debate on whether the United States should spend less on defense.

For 18 years the United States has been at war. The cost of these wars in all its forms has been tremendous. What's more, it has left elements of our armed forces less prepared to fight conventional wars than insurgencies. Some observers decry what they see as dangerous spending on dangerous things, while others say we need to prepare our war weary force today for an uncertain tomorrow. So should the United States be spending less on its defense?

For the motion:

Mandy Smithberger and Eric Gomez

Against the motion:

Rebecca Grant and Dakota Wood


A Century of America in the Middle East

02:45 PM 04:00 PM Dayton

The United States’ role in the Middle East has evolved dramatically over the last 100 years. While patterns of regional imposition and insurgency that began in the early 20th century have repeated themselves time and again, the United States has gone from being overshadowed in the region by the UK and France to being the leading Western player by 2003. How has a century of U.S. involvement and deployment in the Middle East contributed to the rise of militant nationalist and Islamist movements that started out as insurgencies, but have solidified into fixtures of the political landscape? What lessons has the United States learned in their approach to the Middle East moving forward?


National Security and Silicon Valley

02:45 PM 04:00 PM Palm

Cultural and policy divisions between the U.S. national security establishment and our technology sector have widened since the end of the Cold War, so much so in fact that some companies are refusing to support work that benefits the Department of Defense. But how did we get to where we are today, and what is being done to close this schism? Given the international nature of many tech companies, how does partnering with the DoD impact their ability to operate abroad? And as tech with national security implications emerge, how can we work with companies to ensure their products aren’t used malevolently by others?


The Politics of American Foreign Policy

02:45 PM 04:00 PM Whittier

The 2020 presidential election is set to take place at a time of tremendous international upheaval, but will that impact how Americans vote? What international issues do voters focus on and can global events shape election day outcomes? This panel will bring together political professionals who have worked on foreign policy and messaging for presidential campaigns to discuss the role foreign policy plays in American political discussions.


Coffee Social

04:00 PM 04:45 PM Beverly Hills Ballroom Foyer

CEO Remarks & Keynote Panel: From Kiev to Washington

04:45 PM 06:00 PM Beverly Hills Ballroom

Our keynote panel will take a look at how a domestic political issue in Ukraine has come to dominate front pages across the United States, featuring experts on Ukrainian regional politics and U.S. national security law.


Closing Reception

06:00 PM 07:30 PM The Garden