China’s Rising Authoritarianism: Implications for Ethnic and Religious Groups & the Uyghur Genocide
Ms. Rushan Abbas was born, raised, and attended university in Urumchi, the capital city in East Turkistan (AKA Xinjiang). She has been an activist since her days at university in East Turkistan, where she co-organized pro-democracy protests in the mid and late 80s. Since coming to the United States in 1989, she has been a tireless advocate for Uyghur rights. Recently, after Beijing accelerated the genocidal policies in East Turkistan, in 2017, she established the Campaign for Uyghurs to advocate for her people among the government officials and lawmakers, interfaith organizations, universities and think tanks and as well as the grassroots movements. In September 2018, her own sister, Dr. Gulshan Abbas was abducted by the Chinese regime and illegally sentenced to prison in retaliation for Ms. Abbas’s activism. Today, Ms. Abbas continues to advocate for her release and the freedom of millions of other Uyghurs as well as delivering remarks at national and international forums. She frequently testifies at the Congress, briefs, and advises on policy and legislative response. Ms. Abbas received a Freedom Fighter 2019 Award for her work raising awareness on the current Uyghur Genocide. She resides in Virginia.
Fractured Himalaya: Understanding India-China Bilateral Relations with Nirupama Rao
Nirupama Rao is a former Indian Foreign Service officer. She retired as Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the senior most position in the Foreign Service, being the second woman to occupy the post (2009-2011). She was the first woman spokesperson (2001-02) of the Indian foreign office. She served as India’s first woman High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka (2004-2006) and to the People’s Republic of China (2006-2009).
She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013. In retirement she has taught at various universities, including as a Senior Visiting Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University where she has taught an undergraduate senior’s course on “India in the World” and George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Ambassador Rao was a Fellow at the India-China Institute of The New School, New York in 2016, Public Policy Fellow at The Wilson Center, Washington D.C. in 2017 and Pacific Leadership Fellow at the School of Global Politics and Strategy, University of California at San Diego in 2019. She was a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow from 2015-2016 and a Practitioner-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy in 2017.
She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, on the Board of the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER), and a Councilor on the World Refugee and Migration Council. She is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the US India Business Council. She has an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (2012) from Pondicherry University, India. She is a staunch believer in the power of social media as an advocacy platform for policy and currently has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter.
If you are interested in purchasing Rao’s book, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/3hKcpq6
“Challenges of Leadership in Our Democracy” with Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
The son of Italian immigrants, born and raised in Monterey and graduate of Santa Clara University and Santa Clara University School of Law, Secretary Panetta began his long and distinguished public service career in 1964 as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, and upon discharge went to work in Washington as a legislative assistant to United States Senate Minority Whip Tom Kuchel of California. In 1969, he was appointed director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office for Civil Rights, where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws. Later, he served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. He then returned to Monterey, where he practiced law until his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1976. Serving in Congress for sixteen years, Secretary Panetta was a key participant in agriculture, healthcare, ocean and federal budget issues. From 1989 to 1993, he chaired the House Budget Committee. He authored a wide range of legislation, including the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, Medicare and Medicaid coverage for hospice care for the terminally ill, and numerous measures to protect the California coast, including creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
In 1993, Secretary Panetta left Congress to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton administration. There, he was instrumental in developing the policies that led to a balanced federal budget and eventual surpluses. In 1994, he accepted appointment as the president’s chief of staff, and immediately brought order and focus to White House operations. Upon leaving the Clinton administration in 1997, Secretary Panetta joined with his wife Sylvia to establish and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. Reflecting Secretary Panetta’s own ideals and personal example, the nonpartisan, not-for-profit study center seeks to attract thoughtful men and women to lives of public service and prepare them for the policy challenges of the future.
Returning to public service in the Obama administration as director of the CIA, he ran the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, and, as Secretary of Defense, led the effort to develop a new defense strategy, helped bring two wars to an end, and opened up opportunities for everyone to serve in the military. Secretary Panetta returned to the Panetta Institute as chairman on February 27, 2013 and resumed his role as moderator of the renowned Leon Panetta Lecture Series. He chronicles his life in public service in his best-selling memoir Worthy Fights, which was published in 2014.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarus’ Opposition Leader on Fighting the Lukashenko Regime from Exile
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of the Belarusian democratic forces who independent observers agree won the presidential election on August 9, 2020, against the autocratic President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. As the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, she has visited 26 countries, gathering support and advocating for the release of almost a 1000 of political prisoners and a peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections. In meetings with President Biden, Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, President von der Leyen, President Charles Michel, and other world leaders, Tsikhanouskaya emphasized the need for a braver response to the actions of the Belarusian dictatorship. Tsikhanouskaya’s story began when she entered the race after her husband Siarhei Tsikhanousky was arrested for voicing his presidential aspirations. Lukashenka publicly dismissed her as a “housewife,” saying that a woman cannot become president. Nonetheless, Tsikhanouskaya united and successfully led the democratic coalition along with two other leaders, Maria Kalesnikava and Veranika Tsapkala. Following her forced exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya inspired unprecedented peaceful protests in Belarus, with some rallies numbering at least 200,000 people.
Melinda Haring is the deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Previously, she was the editor of the Atlantic Council’s popular publication, the UkraineAlert blog. She is the author of the report Reforming the democracy bureaucracy (FPRI, 2013) coauthor of Biden and Ukraine: a strategy for the next administration (Atlantic Council, 2021), Biden and Belarus: a strategy for the next administration (Atlantic Council, 2021), Ukraine’s internally displaced persons hold a key to peace (Atlantic Council, 2017), and a contributor to Does democracy matter? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).
Impact of Cyber Tactics on the Economy, Politics, Diplomacy, and Future Wars”
Dmitri Alperovitch is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a non-profit focused on advancing American prosperity and global leadership in the 21st century and beyond. He is a Co-Founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike Inc., a leading cybersecurity company. A renowned cybersecurity visionary and business executive, Alperovitch is a thought-leader on cybersecurity strategy and state tradecraft and has served as special advisor to the Department of Defense. His writing on cyber and foreign policy issues has appeared in major news outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs and he is a regular contributor to national broadcast news programs including PBS Newshour and NBC News. Alperovitch is also an active angel investor and board member of multiple high-growth technology companies. He has been named as one of Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” most influential young people in business and Politico Magazine has featured Alperovitch as one of “Politico 50” influential thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics. In 2013, Alperovitch received the prestigious recognition of being selected as MIT Technology Review’s “Young Innovators under 35” (TR35) and Foreign Policy’s Leading Global Thinkers. In 2021, he launched the Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
“The Future of Arctic Security: Conversation with Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard"
Admiral Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties as the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. As Commandant, he oversees all global Coast Guard operations and 41,000 active-duty, 6,200 reserve, and 8,500 civilian personnel, as well as the support of 25,000 Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers. He previously served from August 2016 to May 2018 as Commander, Atlantic Area where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions spanning five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. He concurrently served as Director, DHS Joint Task Force-East, responsible for achieving the objectives of the DHS Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan throughout the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Region, including Central America. Prior flag assignments include Director of Operations (J3), U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida; Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, California; and Director of Governmental and Public Affairs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Previous operational assignments include Sector Commander in Miami, Florida, as well as command tours aboard Cutters VENTUROUS, ACACIA, and FARALLON. His senior staff assignments include Chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; Congressional Liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives; Liaison Officer to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Assignment Officer at the Coast Guard Personnel Command; and Command Duty Officer in the Seventh Coast Guard District Operations Center in Miami.
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska’s senior U.S. Senator, is a third generation Alaskan proudly serving as the first Alaskan born senator. Since joining the Senate in 2002, Senator Murkowski has worked tirelessly for Alaskans and earned a reputation in the Senate for her ability to work collaboratively and across the aisle to reach common sense solutions. Murkowski is well-known for her love and dedication to her state, which means putting Alaska first. A leader on energy and public lands issues, Senator Murkowski recognizes that sound national policy will promote not only job creation and economic growth, but also higher standards of living and greater global stability. She supports the safe and efficient production and use of all forms of domestic energy, as well as research to help develop emerging technologies. Senator Murkowski continues to pursue policies to advance renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and make America’s energy cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable.
“Obtaining and Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights Worldwide: A View from the Frontline"
Our speakers for this special event include: John Sganga (Knobbe Martens Partner), Vladimir Lozan (Knobbe Martens Partner), Baraa Kahf (Knobbe Martens Partner), and Johnson Ge (Managing Partner Uni-Intel), who will be participating from China. This is a live international webinar event sponsored by Knobbe Martens.
The topics we will specifically covering include:
– How IP rights in the US compare to protection oversees
– International treaties for protecting IP rights
– Enforcing IP rights worldwide, Blocking infringing imports at the US border
– Recent development in US law to strengthen IP rights
– Obtaining and enforcing patents in China
– Enforcing trade secrets against international theft
“Conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Implications for Regional Security"
Ambassador David H. Shinn was a Foreign Service Officer with US Department of State for 37 years, including assignments as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Ambassador Shinn is an adjunct professor of international affairs at The George Washington University and received his BA, MA, and PhD from The George Washington University. He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. During his tenure in the US Foreign Service, he had assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, and Sudan, outside of his duties as ambassador. He has been teaching at the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of non-governmental organizations. An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012), the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2013), Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gulen Movement (2015), and has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, Chinese diplomacy, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, US policy in Africa, and the African brain drain. He speaks several languages including English, French, and Swahili.
Dr. Zainab Usman is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. Her fields of expertise include institutions, economic policy, energy policy, and emerging economies in Africa. Her forthcoming book, Economic Diversification in Nigeria: The Politics of Building a Post-Oil Economy, is set to be published by Zed/Bloomsbury Press in November 2021. Prior to Carnegie, Usman was at the World Bank initially as part of the prestigious Young Professionals Program and later as a public sector specialist. At the World Bank, she worked on social sustainability, policy reforms, natural resources management, and disruptive technologies. She has worked on these issues in Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Serbia, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan. She has also worked at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and has consulted for the Department of International Development (DfID) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Nigeria.
“Hunger and the Climate Crisis in Latin America"
Climate change is a key driver of hunger globally. Nowhere is that truer than in Central America, where years of extreme weather events, coupled with COVID-19’s economic crisis, is creating severe food insecurity. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, hunger in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua has increased almost fourfold over the past two years—from 2.2 million people in 2018 to close to 8 million people in 2021. Hurricanes, torrential rain, flooding, and recurring droughts have devastated communities and disrupted food production, especially staples like maize and beans which depend on regular rainfall. During the record 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricanes Eta and Iota upended the lives of 6.8 million people who lost their homes and livelihoods. Climate-induced hunger is also driving migration, as people displace in search of food and work. For every 1 percent increase in food insecurity, the U.N. World Food Programme reports a 2 percent increase in migration. Join our panelists as we explore the climate crisis’ interrelated impact on hunger, livelihoods, and migration in Latin America and how the U.N. World Food Programme is building resilience and food security among vulnerable communities.
“How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future”
Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University and resident faculty at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES). At CES, he co-chairs the Seminar on Democracy – Past, Present, Future. Ziblatt specializes in the study of European politics, state-building, democratization, and historical political economy. His latest book How Democracies Die (co-authored with Steven Levitsky) was on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 22 languages.
Steve Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University and coauthor of the 2018 New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, with Daniel Ziblatt. In it, they argue that democracies die not because of revolutions or military coups, but due to the slow weakening of critical institutions and the gradual erosion of political norms. Levitsky is a former Kellogg visiting fellow and an expert on Latin American politics. His research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions. He is researching the durability of revolutionary regimes, the relationship between populism and competitive authoritarianism, problems of party-building in contemporary Latin America, and party collapse and its consequences for democracy in Peru.
Ann L. Phillips is the senior advisor to the Nagorno-Karabakh Project, part of the Inclusive Peace Processes program at USIP. In addition to ongoing research and writing, she has drafted a conflict assessment, helped develop the workshop agenda for journalists from the region, and worked on other options for engagement. Previously, she was senior advisor to USIP’s civilian-military relations program, which focused on improving the effectiveness of civilian and military actors working in the same conflict-affected or fragile state. In addition, she co-led workshops in the ACOTA program for African Union peacekeepers and led the governance module for the Ministry of Defense Advisory program for U.S. advisors detailed to foreign countries.
“Foreign Policy and American Global Leadership in 2021”
A free webinar with Ambassador Nicholas Burns
Moderated by Jane Harman
Ambassador Nicholas Burns is the Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School. He is Faculty Chair of the Future of Diplomacy Project and also of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Burns is Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group and the Aspen Security Forum; he is Senior Counselor at The Cohen Group. He is Chairman of the Board of Our Generation Speaks, which seeks to bring together young Palestinians and Israelis in common purpose.
Jane Harman resigned from Congress February 28, 2011 to join the Woodrow Wilson Center as its first female Director, President, and CEO.
Representing the aerospace center of California during nine terms in Congress, she served on all the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence, and eight on Homeland Security. During her long public career, Harman has been recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues, and has received numerous awards for distinguished service.
“Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence”
A free webinar with General John Allen & Director Darrell West, Brookings Institution
Moderated by Michael Sellitto
John Rutherford Allen assumed the presidency of the Brookings Institution in November 2017, having most recently served as chair of security and strategy and a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings. Allen is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
Darrell M. West is the Vice President and Senior Fellow of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He holds the Douglas Dillon Chair in Governance Studies. Previously, he was the John Hazen White Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University. His current research focuses on American politics, technology policy, and artificial intelligence.
Michael Sellitto is Deputy Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). From 2015 to 2018, Michael served in the White House as director for cybersecurity policy on the National Security Council staff. In that role he led international engagement on cybersecurity policy and strategy, promoted international adoption of a framework for strategic stability in cyberspace, and advanced U.S. interests on issues related to the digital economy and Internet governance. He also led international negotiations to develop cybersecurity partnerships. Michael previously served as special assistant to Deputy Secretaries of State William Burns and Antony Blinken, advising them on political, energy, security, and trade issues related to South and Central Asia and on worldwide cyber and counterterrorism policy and operations. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BS from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Director Brennan will discuss his experience in government, which spanned over 33 years. He served 29 years at the CIA and four at the White House. During his career he served six presidents, three Democrat and three Republican, beginning with Presidents Carter and Reagan and concluding with George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Janet Napolitano is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She served as the twentieth president of the University of California, the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.
Fateful Decisions: China’s Domestic Challenges and their Implications for US/China Relations
A free webinar with Professors Thomas Fingar and Jean Oi
The current narrative depicting China as an unstoppable juggernaut determined to displace the United States atop the international system underestimates the magnitude of looming domestic challenges and overestimates the likelihood that political leaders will make effective policy choices. Jean Oi and Thomas Fingar will describe key challenges, constraints, and choices facing Chinese leaders and examine their implications for US-China relations.
Will the recently passed Caesar Bill w/ US sanctions end Assad’s tyranny and the violence in Syria?
A Free Webinar with panelists Congressman Eliot L. Engel and Saed Moujtahed
Congressman Eliot Engel represents New York’s 16th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, which includes the northern Bronx and parts of southern Westchester County.
Congressman Engel is currently in his 31st year as a member of Congress. In 2019 he became the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, having previously served as the Committee’s Ranking Member since 2013. He also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee including the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The Congressman was also the founder of the Oil and National Security Caucus, which seeks to reduce American reliance on foreign oil so that we can achieve true energy independence.
Saed Moujtahed is an electrical engineer, and founder of Apex Consulting, an engineering consulting firm.
He is also an activist who has put the Arab-American community on the American political map by volunteering his time to empower Arab-Americans to exercise and protect their rights in the U.S. and to have a strong political voice.
"Becoming Kim Jong Un: Insights into North Korea's Dangerous and Enigmatic Young Dictator"
A Free Webinar with Dr. Jung H. Pak SK-Korea Foundation Chair, Korea Studies, Brookings Institution; Sr. fellow Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies; Office of the CIA & DNI; South Korea Fulbright Scholar.
Moderator: Dr. Stephan Haggard, Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; Director, Korea-Pacific Program School of Global Policy & Strategy, UCSD
Dr. Jung H. Pak is a senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at the Brookings Institution. She focuses on the national security challenges facing the United States and East Asia, including North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities, the regime’s domestic and foreign policy calculus, and internal stability. She also has expertise in US-South Korea relations and northeast Asia geopolitical dynamics.
Prior to Brookings, Pak held senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence where she led the U.S. intelligence community’s strategic analysis on Korea issues as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer. Prior to her work in national security, she taught history at Hunter College in New York City and studied in South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar. A graduate and former trustee of Colgate University, Pak received her PhD in U.S. history from Columbia University.
A Free Webinar with Congressman Harley Rouda on a Washington Update During This Pandemic
A Free Webinar with Congressman Harley Rouda, The United States House of Representatives For California’s 48th Congressional District speaking on a Washington Update: Global, National and Local Impacts of the CoronaVirus, and Policy Responses.