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New America and Arizona State University invite you to the Future of War Conference 2017 on March 21 in Washington, D.C. The event will feature leaders from government, military, journalism, academia, and the private sector exploring questions of international security and defense, including:
This conference is one of the signature events of the Future of War project—a partnership between New America and Arizona State University—which brings together interdisciplinary experts working to develop new paradigms for understanding and addressing the changing nature of armed conflict and systematic violence.
Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force
Gen. David L. Goldfein is Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 660,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President.
Prior to assuming his current position, General Goldfein was the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, where he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group. Before serving as the Vice Chief, General Goldfein was the Director, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
General Goldfein received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, F-16C/D, F-117A, MQ-9 and MC-12W. He has flown combat missions in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Allied Force and Enduring Freedom.
Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
General Mark A. Milley assumed duty as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army August 14, 2015 after most recently serving as the 21st Commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, General Milley graduated and received his commission from Princeton University in 1980. He has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 35 years.
He has served in command and leadership positions from the platoon and operational detachment alpha level through Corps and Army Command including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California; the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York; the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, Iraq.
He commanded the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; served as the Deputy Commanding General for the 101st Airborne (Air Assault); and served as the Commanding General for 10th Mountain Division. While serving as the Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, he deployed as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan. Additionally, he served on the operations staff of The Joint Staff as the J33/DDRO, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.
His operational deployments include the Multi-National Force and Observers, or MFO, Sinai, Egypt; Operation JUST CAUSE, Panama; Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, Haiti; Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; and three tours during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan. He also deployed to Somalia and Colombia. General Milley’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Princeton University, Master’s Degrees from Columbia University (International Relations) and from the U.S. Naval War College (National Security and Strategic Studies). He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.
General Milley and his wife have been married for more than 30 years and have two children.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Bronze Star Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters; Army Achievement Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two bronze service stars; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 5; NATO Medal with bronze service star; and the Multi-national Force and Observers Medal. He is authorized to wear the Combat Infantryman Badge with star; Expert Infantryman Badge; Master Parachutist Badge; Scuba Diver Badge; Ranger Tab; Special Forces Tab; Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; and Meritorious Unit Commendation and the French Military Parachutist Badge.
Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.
Eric Schmidt is the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. He is responsible for the external matters of all of the holding company's businesses, including Google Inc., advising their CEOs and leadership on business and policy issues.
Prior to the establishment of Alphabet, Eric was the chairman of Google Inc. for four years. From 2001-2011, Eric served as Google’s chief executive officer, overseeing the company’s technical and business strategy alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation, growing from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology.
Prior to joining Google, Eric was the chairman and CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Previously, he served on the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Bell Laboratories and Zilog. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Eric is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a fellow in 2007. Since 2008, he has been a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Since 2012, Eric has been on the board of the Broad Institute and the Mayo Clinic. In 2013, Eric and Jared Cohen co-authored the New York Times bestselling book, The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives. In September 2014, Eric published his second New York Times bestseller, How Google Works, which he and Jonathan Rosenberg co-authored with Alan Eagle. Eric became the Chairman of the Department of Defense’s Innovation Board in 2016 and was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in January of 2017 by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
Co-director of The Weaponized Narrative Initiative of New America and ASU's Center on the Future of War
Braden R. Allenby is the co-director of the The Weaponized Narrative Initiative of the Center on the Future of War, a partnership of Arizona State University and New America. He is the Lincoln Professor of Engineering and Ethics, and Professor of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, and of Law, at Arizona State University, having moved from his previous position as the Environment, Health and Safety Vice President for AT&T in 2004. He is the founding director of the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management, and the founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations, and National Security, at ASU. He is also an AAAS Fellow, a Batten Fellow in Residence at the University of Virginias Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. He was the U.S. Naval Academy Stockdale Fellow in 2009-2010, a Templeton Fellow in 2008-2010, and the J. Herbert Hollowman Fellow at the National Academy of Engineering in 1991-1992. During 1995 and 1996 he served as Director of Energy and Environmental Systems at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Allenby received his BA from Yale University in 1972, his J. D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1978, his Masters in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1979, his Masters in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University in the Spring of 1989, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers in 1992. His areas of expertise include industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, earth systems engineering and management, and emerging technologies. His latest books are Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering (co-authored with Tom Graedel, 2010), The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Engineering (Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2011), and The Techno-Human Condition (with Dan Sarewitz, 2011).
Future of War Fellow, New America
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Jason Amerine is a Future of War Fellow at New America.
Jason is a 1993 graduate of the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor of Science in Arabic.
As an infantryman, Amerine’s military assignments included the 442nd Infantry, Fort DeRussy, Hawaii; 5/87th Infantry, Fort Davis, Panama; and the Joint Security Force Company, Pan Mun Jom, Republic of Korea.
In 1998, he was selected to attend the Special Forces Detachment Officer Qualification Course. Upon graduation, he was re-branched to Special Forces and was given command of ODA 572 at Ft. Campbell as part of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and later commanded ODA 574.
Jason Amerine went on to receive a Masters in International Affairs from Texas A&M in 2003. In 2004, Amerine was assigned as an assistant professor of International Relations in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He later served as an assistant professor of Arabic in the Department of Foreign Languages.
Following his assignment at West Point, Amerine worked as a strategist at the United States Pacific Command where he focused on military policy issues related to China and the Pacific. He was then assigned to the Pentagon where he led a team of strategists supporting the Army Staff. Amerine retired in 2015.
Associate Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
Severine Autesserre is an expert in war, peace, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and African politics. She currently work as an Associate Professor of Political Science, specializing in international relations and African studies, at Barnard College, Columbia University (USA).
She has written two award-winning books and a series of articles. Her latest book, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2014), examines how everyday practices, habits, and narratives influence the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions on the ground. Her previous book, The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2010), focuses on local violence and international intervention in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is currently researching a new project that examines successful international contributions to local and bottom-up peacebuilding.
Before becoming an academic, Autesserre worked for humanitarian and development agencies in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicaragua and India. She holds a post-doctorate from Yale University (2007), a Ph.D. in political science from New York University (2006), and master’s degrees in international relations and political science from Columbia University (2000) and Sciences Po (France, 1999).
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Director and Producer, Legion of Brothers
Described by the New York Times as “a filmmaker of artistic and political consequence,” award-winning documentarian Greg Barker looks for strong personal narratives that illuminate the complexities and moral ambiguities of global politics and war. His films include HBO’s Manhunt, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, (Sundance premiere, Emmy® for Outstanding Documentary Special), Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, as well as Sergio (Sundance editing award, 2009), Koran by Heart, and numerous films for PBS/Frontline, including the acclaimed Ghosts of Rwanda.
Executive Editor, Defense One
Kevin Baron is executive editor of Defense One. He is also national security/military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Baron has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, and Stars and Stripes. He previously ran investigative projects for five years at the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau, and cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron is twice a Polk Award winner and former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. He earned his M.A. from George Washington University and B.A. from the University of Richmond. Raised in Florida, Baron lives in Northern Virginia with his three sons.
Vice President and Director, International Security, Future of War, and Fellows Programs, New America
Peter Bergen is a journalist, documentary producer, vice president at New America, CNN national security analyst, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and the author or editor of seven books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by the Washington Post. The books have been translated into twenty languages. Documentaries based on his books have been nominated for two Emmys and also won the Emmy for best documentary in 2013.
In 2011 he published The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. Newsweek and the Guardian named Longest War as one of the key books about terrorism of the past decade and it won the Washington Institute’s $30,000 Gold Prize for the best book on the Middle East. In 2012 he published Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad. It won the Overseas Press Club award for the best book on international affairs. HBO based the film "Manhunt" on the book and it won the Emmy for best documentary. In 2013 he published Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics and Religion, a collection of essays about the Taliban that Bergen co-edited. In 2014 he published Drone Wars, a collection of essays about drone warfare that Bergen co-edited. In 2016, he published United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists and HBO adapted the book for the documentary film "Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma." Bergen has hosted, produced, or executive produced multiple documentaries for HBO, CNN, National Geographic, and Discovery.
He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy and writes a weekly column for CNN.com. He is a member of the Homeland Security Project, a successor to the 9/11 Commission; the Aspen Homeland Security Group; and a fellow at Fordham University's Center on National Security. He has held teaching positions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. For many years he was a fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security. He has testified on Capitol Hill on more than a dozen occasions about national security issues. He has a degree in modern history from New College, Oxford.
Director, New America NYC
Elana Broitman is the director of New America NYC. She has served as the deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Manufacturing & Industrial Base Policy in the Department of Defense and as a senior advisor to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), having spent time in a technology company, with prior service as counsel to the House International Relations Committee. Broitman brings philanthropic experience, having worked as senior vice president at UJA-Federation. Broitman comes to New America from Greenberg Traurig, where she was a shareholder. Broitman's work has focused on cybersecurity, national security, human rights, and refugee issues. She is a graduate of Trinity University and the University of Texas School of Law and speaks both Russian and German.
ASU Future of War Senior Fellow, New America; Columnist, Foreign Policy; and Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
As a senior fellow at New America, Rosa Brooks works with the ASU Future of War project, writing about the changing nature of warfare, the changing role of the U.S. military and need to rethink core assumptions about the laws of war. She is the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything. A professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Ms. Brooks served as Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Special Coordinator for Rule of Law and Humanitarian Policy in the Pentagon from 2009-2011. During the Clinton Administration, she also served as a senior advisor at the US Department of State. Ms. Brooks spent four years as an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times, and currently writes a weekly column for Foreign Policy. She is a frequent contributor to other print and TV media outlets as well. Brooks received her A.B. from Harvard, a master's degree from Oxford, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Senior Advisor and Director, Resource Security Program, New America
The Honorable Sharon E. Burke is a senior advisor to New America, where she focuses on international security and a new program, Resource Security, which examines the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources.
Before joining New America, Burke served in the Obama Administration as the assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, a new office that worked to improve the energy security of U.S. military operations. Prior to her service at DoD, Burke held a number of senior U.S. government positions, including at the Department of State in the George W. Bush Administration, and was a vice president and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She attended Williams College and Columbia University, where she was a Zuckerman and International fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs. She serves as an advisor to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Decarbonizing Energy, and the Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate.
CEO, Linking the World
Mina is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and was selected for the Harvard John F Kennedy Senior Executive in National and International Security program. She formerly served as a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations at West Point, assisting in the development of academic programs tied to humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
On February 11, 2015 Mina was appointed UN Cross Cultural Ambassador for United States UNESCO. UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Associate Dean for Research, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
Erica Chenoweth, Ph.D. is Professor & Associate Dean for Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. An internationally recognized authority on political violence and its alternatives, Foreign Policy magazine ranked her among the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2013 for her efforts to promote the empirical study of civil resistance. Chenoweth received the 2014 Karl Deutsch Award, which the International Studies Association gives annually to the scholar under the age of 40 who has made the greatest impact on the field of international politics or peace research.
Together with Maria J. Stephan, she won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, which is presented annually in recognition of outstanding proposals for creating a more just and peaceful world order. Their book, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011), also won the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, given annually by the American Political Science Association in recognition of the best book on government, politics, or international affairs published in the U.S. in the previous calendar year.
Before coming to DU, she taught at Wesleyan University, where she was the 2010 recipient of the Carol A. Baker Memorial Prize for excellence in junior faculty research and teaching. She has also held visiting appointments at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Maryland. She was an Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) from 2012-2015, and she is currently co-chair of the Academic Council at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Fellow at the One Earth Future Foundation, a Councilor at the Peace Science Society International, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Lecturer in Defence Studies, King's College London
Dr. Ellner joined the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London as a Lecturer in Defence Studies in September 2007. Prior to this she lectured for nearly ten years on International Security Studies and related subjects at the University of Reading, where she also led the Graduate Institute of Political and International Studies for three years. In 2006/7 she served on the Committee of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES). In 2005 she was a visiting lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She is also Programme Leader European Security and Transatlantic Relations, Centre for Defence and International Security Studies (CDiSS), and Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘European Security’. Dr. Ellner received her MA in History from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, and her PhD in Political Science on British Naval Policy, 1970-1990, from the Free University of Berlin.
Former Ambassador of Iraq to the United States
Lukman Faily was ambassador of Iraq to the United States from July 2013 to June 2016, having previously served as Iraq's ambassador to Japan from June 2010 to May 2013 and, prior to that, as an ambassador in the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Before joining the Iraqi public sector, Ambassador Faily lived in the United Kingdom for 20 years, working in the information technology (IT) sector for several transnational companies. During his last 10 years abroad, he held senior management positions in two American companies, Ceridian Centrefile and then Electronic Data Systems, which is now part of Hewlett-Packard. In addition, he held consultancy and team-leader positions in the IT sector. While living and working in the United Kingdom, Ambassador Faily was also an active community leader within the large Iraqi exile community and served as a trustee for several nongovernmental Iraqi organizations. He played an active role in opposing Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and advocated for democracy and rule of law in Iraq.
Ambassador Faily holds a bachelor's of science degree in mathematics and computer science from Britain's Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as a master's in business administration in technology management and a postgraduate degree in computing for commerce and industry.
Fluent in English, Arabic and Kurdish, Ambassador Faily was born in Baghdad in 1966. He is married to Lameis Faily and is the father of four boys.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia
From 1997 to 2001 Farkas was a professor of international relations at the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She served in Bosnia with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1996 to 1997, and was an election observer in Afghanistan in 2009. She has published numerous journal articles and opinion pieces and Fractured States and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, Ethiopia, and Bosnia in the 1990s (Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, 2003, 2008). She speaks Hungarian and German; has studied French, Spanish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Hindi; and appears as a commentator on major television networks, including NBC, CNN, and Fox. Dr. Farkas obtained her MA and PhD from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar advisory board.
Director, Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society
Professor Tom Frame joined the RAN College, HMAS Creswell, as a 16-year old junior entry cadet midshipman in January 1979. He served at sea and ashore, including a posting as Research Officer to the Chief of Naval Staff, and completed a PhD at UNSW Canberra in 1992 on the 1964 HMAS Voyager disaster. He resigned from the RAN to train for the Anglican ministry in 1993. After parish work in Australia and England he was Bishop to the Australian Defence Force (2001-2007) and then Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre (2007-14).
He has been a Visiting Fellow in the School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University (2000-2003); Patron of the Armed Forces Federation of Australia (2002-06), a member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial (2004-07) and judged the inaugural Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History (2007).
A graduate of the Universities of NSW, Melbourne and Kent, he was appointed Director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) in July 2014 and commissioned to produce a 50-year commemorative history of the partnership between the University of NSW and Defence.
He is one of the directors of the PLuS Alliance research project on moral injury linking ASU, University of New South Wales and King's College London.
Tom Frame is the author or editor of 26 books including Where Fate Calls: The HMAS Voyager Tragedy; HMAS Sydney: Loss and Controversy; Living by the Sword: the Ethics of Armed Intervention; The Life and Death of Harold Holt and Losing My Religion: Unbelief in Australia.
Professor of Practice of Leadership and Special Advisor to President Michael Crow for Leadership Initiatives, ASU
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Benjamin C. Freakley serves as the Professor of Practice of Leadership for Arizona State University and as a Special Advisor to ASU President Michael Crow for Leadership Initiatives. Additionally, he serves at The McCain Institute for International Leadership. He recently retired from the U.S. Army after more than 36 years of active military service, and was serving as Commanding General, U.S. Army Accessions Command, at the time of his retirement.
General Freakley was responsible for worldwide recruiting for the Active Duty and Reserve components as well as overseeing the Nation’s Junior and College ROTC programs. As an infantry officer, General Freakley commanded at all levels through division and combined joint task force. His operations assignments began with 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia, first as the Executive officer, 3rd Battalion-7th Infantry then as the S-3 (Operations), 1st Brigade. From March 2003 to June 2003, he served as Assistant Division Commander (Operations), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. From 2003 to 2006 he commanded the Army’s largest training institute, the Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning, Georgia. In January 2006, as the Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division (Light) and Fort Drum he led the division in Afghanistan serving as the Commanding General Combined Joint Task Force-76, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, where he served until February 2007.
In addition to his service with Combined Joint Task Force-76, General Freakley’s joint assignments included Deputy Director for Operations, National Military Command Center, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. (July 2000–May 2001); Deputy Director for Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment, J-8, The Joint Staff (May 2001–January 2002). Among his other assignments, General Freakley commanded 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 2d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, from February 1992 to July 1994. Following graduation from the Army War College, he returned to 24th ID, where he served as G-3 from June 1995 to August 1996. He then served briefly as Deputy Chief of Staff, III Corps, at Fort Hood, before taking command of 3d Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (February 1997–December 1998). He was the Commander, Operations Group, National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California (January 1999 to July 2000). General Freakley was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry through the U.S. Military Academy in 1975. He later earned a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the School of Advanced Military Studies. Additional military schooling includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, British Long Armor/Infantry Course, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.
General Freakley’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor and ARCOM for Valor. He is an Eagle Scout and in 2010 was named the Education Policy Leader of the Year for the National Association for State Board Educators. He is married to the former Susan French of Woodstock, VA. They have five sons, four daughter-in-laws and seven grandchildren. Two sons are serving as Infantry Officers.
Deputy Director for the Defense Industrial Base, White House National Trade Council
Alexander Gray assumed duties as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for the Defense Industrial Base at the White House National Trade Council on January 20, 2017.
Previously, Mr. Gray had been a Member of the U.S. Department of State “Landing Team” for the Presidential Transition Team since November 2016, focusing on Asia-Pacific issues.
From July to November 2016, Mr. Gray was Senior Defense Advisor to the Trump-Pence presidential campaign, based in New York City, where he advised the Republican presidential nominee on defense and national security, particularly the formulation of the candidate’s plan to rebuild the U.S. military.
Prior to joining the Trump campaign, Mr. Gray served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus. Mr. Gray handled the Congressman’s portfolio focused on Asia-Pacific security, trade, and broader foreign policy issues.
Mr. Gray began his career as a Policy Analyst with the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, DC-based think tank.
Mr. Gray’s writing on defense and Asia-Pacific issues has appeared in Foreign Policy, National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, The National Interest, Naval War College Review, Strategic Studies Quarterly, and the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings. He has appeared on the nationally-syndicated radio program The John Batchelor Show and Voice of America Radio, as well as radio and TV programs in India, Taiwan, and Japan, and guest lectured at the U.S. National War College, the Institute of World Politics, and the American Academy of Strategic Education.
Named a “Future Leader” by the Foreign Policy Initiative, Mr. Gray was educated at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University and the War Studies Department of King’s College London.
Director of Research and Development, Jigsaw
Yasmin Green is the Director of Research and Development for Jigsaw, a technology incubator within Alphabet Inc. focused on solving global security challenges through technology. She oversees the team’s research and business development functions. Yasmin was previously Head of Strategy and Operations for Google Ideas, now Jigsaw.
At Google, Yasmin has assumed roles as Head of Sales Strategy and Operations for Southern Europe, Middle East, and Africa and Africa Operations Manager, and prior to joining Google, she consulted for Booz Allen Hamilton. Yasmin has extensive experience living and leading projects in some of the world’s toughest environments, including Iran, Syria, UAE and Nigeria. In 2012 she led a multi-partner coalition to launch Against Violent Extremism, the world's first online network of former violent extremists and survivors of terrorism. Last year, Yasmin launched the Redirect Method, a new deployment of targeted advertising and video to confront online radicalization.
Yasmin is a Senior Advisor on Innovation to Oxford Analytica and Co-Chair of the European Commission's’ Working Group on Online Radicalization. She also serves on the Board of the Tory Burch Foundation. Outside of geopolitics and technology, Yasmin pursues her passion for art — in 2016, she produced the psychedelic papier-mâché art feature film Adam Green’s Aladdin.
Yasmin received her B.Sc. in Economics from University College London and her M.Sc. in Management from the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Yasmin was also a member of the England Junior Women’s National Basketball team.
Founder and CEO, Nuru International
Jake graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and served seven and a half years as an Infantry and Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps. He led four operational deployments and was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat. Jake’s experiences convinced him that the “War on Terror” can’t be won on the battlefield alone; the contributing causes of terrorism–specifically extreme poverty–must also be eradicated. Jake left the military and enrolled at Stanford Graduate School of Business to found Nuru International. Upon graduation, Jake led a team to launch Nuru’s first project in Kenya.
Director, New Models of Policy Change initiative, New America
Heather Hurlburt is director of the New Models of Policy Change initiative at New America's Political Reform program.
Hurlburt will lead research into how policy advocacy is adapting to be effective in our current environment of intense political polarization, and provide guidance to advocates and funders seeking to navigate politics effectively on behalf of policy solutions.
Previously, she ran the National Security Network, a premier source for internationalist foreign policy messaging and advocacy, held senior positions in the White House and State Department under President Bill Clinton, and worked on Capitol Hill and for the International Crisis Group. She holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.
Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, University of Oxford
Dr. Annette Idler is Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations, and affiliate at the Latin American Centre, all University of Oxford. She is also Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute Geneva. Idler holds a doctorate from the Department of International Development and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
Idler has conducted extensive fieldwork in the war-torn and crisis-affected borderlands of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, analysing the relationships among rebels, criminals and paramilitary groups and exploring their impact on citizen security.
Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow, New America
Theodore Johnson is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at New America. He will write a book about black voting behavior in the post-Obama political landscape. He is currently a national security research manager and an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Previously, Johnson was a commander in the United States Navy where he served in a variety of positions including as a White House fellow and speechwriter for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also written extensively on race, politics, and society for publications such as, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, National Review, the New Republic, and the Wall Street Journal. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Hampton University and Harvard University, and holds a doctorate of law and policy from Northeastern University.
Director of the Changing Character of War Centre, University of Oxford
Dr. Rob Johnson is the Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow of Pembroke College, and Associate of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.
As Director, Dr. Johnson sets and manages the research agenda, is responsible for the management of staff, and offers supervision to Visiting Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Researchers, and postgraduate students. He also advises and delivers direct support to government and armed forces in defence and security matters, transferring his knowledge in related academic and research fields. His bespoke advisory support is not limited to the United Kingdom, but is requested by US and European armed forces. The Director is now prominent within professional military education, as a member of the advisory panel of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, lecturer for the Royal College of Defence Studies, and as the director of ‘insight and understanding’ study days and workshops. His former military career involved innovations in counter-terrorism, but also gives him a clear understanding of the requirements and thinking of the armed services. He is a visiting lecturer in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Turkey and France.
Dr. Johnson has delivered courses in Strategic Studies (Politics and IR) and the History of War (History), an unusual interdisciplinary combination for academics. He offers postgraduate supervision on theses concerned with strategy, as well as undergraduate tutorials for a number of colleges, tuition on foreign exchange programmes, lectures in the undergraduate International Relations and General History circus and an unexamined lecture series on the history of war and strategy. He delivers teaching to overseas academic programmes, including those of Stanford, Harvard and Yale.
Dr. Rob Johnson’s primary research interests are in strategy, its development, and the history of war which informs it. His regional interest is in the Middle East, but there is a requirement to be familiar with a number of global conflict and security issues. In light of recent strategic challenges, his research has necessarily addressed ‘War Amongst the People’, that is, terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency. He has also examined how conflicts can be terminated, through transition and negotiation. Dr. Johnson is concerned with the issue of civil-military relations in the making of strategy, and has examined the problems of maintaining internal security, the dynamics of insurrection, and the role of auxiliary forces in a number of other publications. He has published on strategic advantages and risks of partnering irregular indigenous forces, and a strategic study of the First World War in the Middle East. He has delivered papers on ‘cohesion in combat’, ‘joint operations’, ‘future operating environment’ and ‘strategy-making in the twenty-first century’. He convenes the UK Strategy Forum and is assisting the British armed forces in planning for reconfigured structures and missions and is focused on the difficulties of ‘planning future war’ using historical examples. He is actively involved in developing the British Army’s new ‘Integrated’ doctrine. He also runs strategic exercises, including scenario-based learning processes grounded in history and recent conflicts, at the Royal College of Defence Studies.
Senior Fellow, New America International Security program and CEO, the Hoplite Group
As a Senior Fellow with the International Security program at New America, Ioannis "Gianni" Koskinas focuses on foreign policy issues with an emphasis on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and the Levant. He is the CEO of the Hoplite Group, a company focused on sustainable and innovative solutions to complex problems, in the most challenging environments and harshest conditions. Previously he was the Executive Vice President of the Asia Africa Projects Group and the President of the Global Initiatives Group, focusing on natural resources development and national security projects, respectively. Gianni retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2011 after a twenty-year career in Special Operations. He has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Connecticut, as well as three Master's degrees in Operational Art, Strategy, and International Relations. He is also a candidate for a Ph.D. in War Studies from King's College, London.
Producer, Legion of Brothers
Tresha Mabile is the producer of CNN FILMS, LEGION OF BROTHERS. The film is about the U.S. Special Forces who were the first on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11. It premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theatres later this year.
Mabile produced and directed her first military documentary in 2000, based on the book BLIND MAN’S BLUFF by Chris Drew and Sherry Sontag. For this two-hour film Mabile interviewed U.S. submariners and their Russian counterparts about spying on each other under the oceans during the Cold War.
In the decade and a half following 9/11, Mabile produced multiple documentaries in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Iraq, Mabile documented in 2003 as the US efforts to install a democratic government gave way to an insurgency for a film called AFTER SADDAM and in 2004 she documented as a team of US attorneys helped Iraqis build a legal case against Saddam Hussein for a film called THE CASE AGAINST SADDAM. In 2005 she produced and directed SADDAM’S REIGN OF TERROR for National Geographic.
In Afghanistan in 2007 for CNN Mabile produced NARCOSTATE in which she showed how poppy farmers were joining the ranks of the Taliban because US promises for replacement crops had failed.
In TALIBANISTAN, Mabile documented for National Geographic the resurgence of the Taliban. In Pakistan, she embedded with the Pakistani military in the tribal areas, which straddle Afghanistan, on the front lines of their war against the Taliban. TALIBANISTAN was nominated for an Emmy in 2011.
In 2014, Mabile produced and directed a film for National Geographic, AMERICAN WAR GENERALS. The film tells the stories of the top generals who led America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They had joined the Army as America’s war in Vietnam was winding down and they had vowed never to make the mistakes their generals had made in Vietnam. Nonetheless, these post-9/11 generals found themselves and their Army bogged down again in Vietnam-like insurgencies in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States
Before being appointed Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Hamdullah Mohib served as Deputy Chief of Staff to H.E. The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The role included oversight of the spokesperson’s office, the office of correspondence and diplomatic communications, protocol office, petitions office, and the Presidential secretariat.
During his tenure at the Presidential Palace, his role involved liaison with governmental counterparts and drafting of bilateral and multilateral agreements. Dr. Mohib also engaged in the substantive preparation and implementation of official presidential visits to Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Germany, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States as part of the administration’s strategy for geopolitical and economic integration. Dr. Mohib led the presidential negotiating team for several inter-government cooperation agreements and the formulation of Afghanistan’s national development “Realizing Self-Reliance” reform strategy.
Dr. Mohib has a PhD and Bachelors degree with honors from Brunel University in the United Kingdom. The university honored him with an award for social and cultural contributions to campus, and a research scholarship to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy. Before joining the government, Dr. Mohib worked for the American University of Afghanistan and Intel Corporation.
Dr. Mohib has been an active leader in civil society among the global Afghan community. He founded the largest Afghan diaspora youth association in Europe, the Afghan Students Association of the UK. He also founded and served as Chairman of the Board for the Afghan Professionals Network (APN). As part of APN, he started a think-tank “Discourse Afghanistan”, and initiated community service programming to support special needs orphans in Kabul, and to recognize achievements of Afghan women.
Dr. Mohib is fluent in English, Pashto, and Dari, with proficiency in Urdu/Hindi. He is a published writer on Afghan politics, as well as on academic research.
Vice-President, Intelligence Division, Defense Group, Inc.; Director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis
James Mulvenon is Vice-President of Defense Group Inc.’s (DGI) Intelligence Division and Director of DGI’s Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis (CIRA). Dr. Mulvenon is an expert on the Chinese military and Chinese cyber issues, and has published widely on Chinese military affairs, party-army relations, C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, and reconnaissance), and nuclear weapons doctrine and organizations.
Among his professional affiliations, Dr. Mulvenon is a founding member and current President of the Cyber Conflict Studies Association, is presently a member of the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations, and was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations between 1999 and 2004. He is a regular commentator on both the Chinese military and cyber warfare in major U.S. print and TV media.
Dr. Mulvenon's book, Soldiers of Fortune (Sharpe, 2001) details the rise and fall of the Chinese military's multi-billion dollar international business empire. His more recent publications include Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernization (co-authored with William C. Hannas and Anna B. Puglisi; Routlege, 2013) and “PLA Computer Network Operations: Scenarios, Doctrine, Organizations, and Capability,” (in Roy Kamphausen, et al. Beyond the Strait: PLA Missions Other Than Taiwan, NBR, 2009). Dr. Mulvenon holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and attended Fudan University in Shanghai from 1991-1992.
Dr. Mulvenon has testified before the Commission before, and is the lead researcher on a forthcoming report sponsored by the Commission on cloud computing in China.
Retired Special Forces, Small Business Entrepreneur
Scott Neil is a retired Special Forces Veteran with significant executive, operational and combat experience, having served as a Senior Advisor to several General Officers, Senior Civilian Policy Makers, National Members of Interagency Task Forces as well as several House and Senate Committee Members. Following the tragic events of 9/11, he conducted numerous successful special operation combat missions as part of the Commander’s In-Extremis Forces, one of the first to lead the Direct Action and Counter-Terrorism charge into Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. Scott survived an IED incident in Iraq and numerous exposures to high explosive events. Following treatments for TBI and cognitive therapy, Scott became a voice in the veteran community as part of his relentless drive to ensure our veterans receive the necessary support so needed to ensure a successful re-integration into civilian society. Scott has raised a significant amount of funds for various veteran’s charities with a focus on larger venues in New York City such as the annual Green Beret Foundation Gala and the Horse Soldier Monument at Ground Zero. He has developed and launched a transition and resiliency program for the Green Beret Foundation and has been featured in a Veteran’s Day tribute by Google and the National 911 Museum. He actively collaborates with the George W. Bush Veterans Initiative and Team 43, a collaboration of former veterans and the former President and his staff focused on the power of outdoor recreational sports such as mountain biking and golf. Scott continues to work with several Veterans Affairs Committees and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship championing key contemporary issues facing our veterans who are establishing their own veteran owned businesses. In addition to his speaking engagements mainly in Washington, DC and New York City, he is a regular contributor to major news and media outlets including Fox News, Newsmax, Global News, LA Times, and Bloomberg Business Week.
Special Education Teacher, Spouse of a Green Beret
Amy Nutsch received her Masters from Austin Peay University in Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education and is an endorsed Kindergarten through 12th grade Special Education Instructor and K through 9th grade Elementary educator. Amy teaches at the pre-Kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school levels in Kansas and Tennessee public schools.
Amy is the proud wife of a Special Forces soldier, Mark Nutsch, since 1999. She’s in an exclusive group of military spouses known as the “Steel Magnolias,” who support the Green Beret Foundation and provide unconventional support to Special Forces families and veterans.
Amy is the mother of four children and has raised their growing family largely by herself. She has experienced the repeated separation and impacts of her husband’s numerous special operations deployments for training and overseas combat operations while maintaining their family household base through moves across three states.
Amy coordinates educational supplies and textbooks for delivery to rural Afghanistan elementary and secondary schools in support of private humanitarian relief and educational efforts to support children and families who worked with Special Forces in the gaps of these war-torn areas.
She is the recipient of the “Shield of Sparta,” which is awarded by the National Infantry Association, for her service as a distinguished military spouse. It symbolizes these women as true patriots with selfless ideals and the courage to send their Soldier into harm’s way.
As the wife of a Special Forces soldier, she participated in the CNN documentary film LEGION OF BROTHERS and is portrayed in the upcoming feature film by Jerry Bruckheimer Studios and Black Label Media entitled THE HORSE SOLDIERS.
Research Analyst, Institute for Defense Analyses; Small Business Entrepreneur; former Special Forces Officer
Mark Nutsch served for 24 years as a U.S. Army Infantry, Ranger Regiment and Special Forces officer in active duty and reserve capacities. As America’s response to the attacks of 9-11, then Captain Nutsch led one of first “TF Dagger” combined Special Forces A-team’s (ODA-595) to infiltrate Northern Afghanistan. Working closely with General Dostum, the current elected First Vice President of Afghanistan, and various regional personalities in the armed resistance against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces. Mark’s team would distinguish themselves in extended austere combat operations, overcoming incredible challenges. Their personal actions inspired the people of both America and Afghanistan. His command spearheaded unprecedented Unconventional Warfare operations while mounted horseback in what has become known as the “Campaign for Mazar-e Sharif” - the liberation of 6 Northern Afghan Provinces, which served as the catalyst for the collapse of the Taliban Regime and expanded pursuit of al Qaeda and international terrorists.
Featured in books, a New York City Veteran’s Day tribute, by Google and the National 9-11 Museum, Mark’s command (ODA-595) known as “The Horse Soldiers” is the inspiration for the design of the “America’s Response Monument” which now overlooks the National 9-11 Memorial as a tribute to our nation’s Special Operations Forces and Intelligence Community.
For the past 18 years, Mark has been deployed to the Middle East and former Soviet Central Asian states with multiple combat tours to Afghanistan as well as the Horn of Africa. He repeatedly deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in uniform, as a private citizen, and Department of Defense contractor. He worked with diverse and collaborative teams including: U.S. and Coalition representatives of government, military, and intelligence officials; academics, engineers, and technicians; and local leaders and non-governmental humanitarian organizations.
Mark has unique expertise in DoD manned aerial intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance programs fielding new and emerging technologies. He has experience with engineering teams from various national research labs, to fully operationalized proto-type, and wide area aerial surveillance capabilities. He was the Agent in Charge of a high threat, protective security detail for the former interim Prime Minister of Iraq while living with, training, and mentoring a multi-ethnic Iraqi and Kurdish security force. He directed a forward deployed intelligence cell, providing analytical support on the Syrian crisis and regional issues for multiple Combatant Commands and helped degrade ISIS network operations. He supported former Afghan interpreters attempting to obtain their Special Immigrant Visa and coordinates private humanitarian relief operations in Afghanistan supporting educational efforts.
Mark is a research analyst for the Institute for Defense Analyses – Joint Advanced Warfare Directorate. He supports the Joint Special Operations University seminars in unconventional warfare and counter-insurgency. Related studies and publications include co-authoring Mazar-e Sharif: First Victory of the 21st Century, 2010. He assisted at Joint Military Professional Education institutes and courses.
A guest speaker for corporate, public and military events, Mark and his business partners are working to open a special operations veteran owned, craft whiskey distillery brand, American Freedom Distillery, in Tampa, FL. Mark, his wife Amy, and the 595 team are featured in the documentary film LEGION OF BROTHERS and portrayed in the upcoming feature film by Jerry Bruckheimer Studios and Black Label Media entitled THE HORSE SOLDIERS.
ASU Future of War Senior Fellow, New America and Managing Partner, Mantid International LLC.
Douglas A. Ollivant is a Managing Partner and the Senior Vice President of Mantid International, LLC, a global strategic consulting firm with offices in Washington, Beirut, Baghdad, Hilla and Basra, since 2012. He has also been appointed an ASU Future of War Senior Fellow at New America. A retired Army officer (Lieutenant Colonel), his last assignment in government was as Director for Iraq at the National Security Council during both the Bush and Obama administrations. Ollivant spent one year in 2010-2011 in Afghanistan as the Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to the Commander, Regional Command-East.
Prior to his posting at the White House, Ollivant served in Iraq as the Chief of Plans for Multi- National Division Baghdad in 2006-2007. During this time he led the planning team that designed the U.S. and coalition portion of Baghdad Security Plan, the main effort of what later became known as the "Surge." He spent an earlier Iraq tour in 2004-2005 in Baghdad, Najaf, and Fallujah. He also taught politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point for three years.
A graduate of Wheaton College, Ollivant holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies. He is a frequent television commentator on defense and Middle East issues, on networks including CNN, PBS, NPR, MSNBC, and ABC before becoming an exclusive contributor with Al Jazeera America in July of 2015. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Political Science Association, he also serves in various advisory capacities to Monument Capital Group, Meridian Hill Advisors, and TranScan LLC. He is working on a book manuscript on the topic of Hybrid Warriors, as well as various manuscripts on the Iraq conflict, 2003-present.
Chief Warrant Officer Four (Ret.), US Army
CW4(Ret.) Bob Pennington has served in the United States Army with valor, distinction, professionalism, exceptionally meritorious service and increased leadership responsibility while serving over 30 years of active duty service. Over 26 of those years were served within the Special Forces Regiment as a “Green Beret.” During his military service, he served with distinction in Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM, Operation DESERT SPRING, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM I, II, III, V, and VII and numerous contingency operations throughout the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. In this capacity, he has served over five years of overseas duty; completing seven combat tours, seven operational tours and numerous exercise/training missions throughout the Central Command Area of Operation. During combat operations, CW4 Pennington served valiantly as a Weapons Sergeant, Assistant Detachment Commander, Detachment Commander, Company Operations Warrant and S-3 Operations officer/Regional Operational Control Element. While serving at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, he served as Doctrine Writer/Team Chief, Senior Warrant Officer Advisor/Command Chief Warrant Officer and Company Commander.
CW4 Pennington entered the Army in November 1985 and completed basic training and Advanced Individual Training as an Infantry Mortar-man at Fort Benning, Ga. He retired on 31 January 2016 at Fort Bragg, NC. After completion of the SFQC in 1990, CW4 Pennington served on Special Forces Operational Detachment’s-Alpha 576, 566, 595, 593, and 590/5330. From 1996 to 1999 he served in a joint billet, at Nellis AFB, Nv. as an SF Operations and Intelligence Sergeant; assisting in the development of Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Joint Combat Search and Rescue and other Personal Recovery mission sets.
In 1999, CW4 Pennington was selected as a Warrant Officer Candidate and assigned to Fort Rucker, Al., where he completed the Warrant Officer Candidate Course. After completion of the Warrant Officer Basic Course at Fort Bragg, NC, he was reassigned to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky. While assigned to SFOD-A 595, from 1999-2004, CW4 Pennington’s Detachment, during OEF, was one of the first detachments conducting combat operations in Northern Afghanistan. Identified to President Bush as the “Horse Soldiers”, ODA-595 with Northern Alliance Commander, General Rashid Dostum and his force, were credited for the liberation of over 50 towns and cities, destroying over 200 enemy vehicles and bunkers, and killing or capturing over 5000 Taliban fighters during their campaign.
From June 2010-October 2012, Mr. Pennington was reassigned at Fort Bragg, NC and served as a Doctrine Writer/Analyst and Team Chief for Team One, Special Forces Division, Capabilities Directorate of Integration and Doctrine, USAJFKSWCS. In October 2012, after his assignment at doctrine, CW4 Pennington was hand-picked by the 1st SWTG Commander and Command Chief Warrant Officer to serve as 1st BN’s Senior Warrant Officer Advisor/Operations Warrant.
Bob is a member of the distinguished Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society and received the 2014 St Philip Neri Medal (Bronze Award), presented annually to outstanding Special Forces Soldiers for 20 plus years of undying sacrifice and contributions to the regiment. As an original Horse Soldier, while assigned to ODA-595 from combat actions in OEF, he continues to support “Horse Soldier” functions in NYC, DC and other parts of the country.
CW4 Pennington’s awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantryman’s Badge 2nd Award, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Special Forces Tab.
Ambassador of Colombia to the United States
Juan Carlos Pinzón presented his Letters of Credence to the President of the United States on August 3, 2015.
Throughout his career, Pinzón has been a leader in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, Pinzón served as Minister of Defense of Colombia for nearly four years. Under his leadership, the Armed Forces dealt the most severe blows to terrorist organizations – FARC and ELN – and Criminal Bands, highly degrading their capabilities, structure and leadership, which was critical to President Santos’ Peace Strategy. This resulted in improved security conditions throughout the country and the lowest homicide rate in 35 years. During his tenure, the Armed Forces’ equipment and training was modernized, the welfare of the men and women in uniform and their families was improved, and a transformation plan for the next 20 years was designed. Colombia also became an exporter of security expertise, aiding over 60 nations.
Prior to serving as Defense Minister, Pinzón was Chief of Staff to President Juan Manuel Santos (2010–2011) and Vice Minister of Defense (2006-2009). In 2011 the World Economic Forum selected him as a Young Global Leader.
In addition to his longstanding dedication to advancing national and regional defense issues in Colombia, he has specialized in economics, public policy and strategic studies. He has also held positions as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank, Vice President of the Colombian Banking Association, Assistant Vice President of Investment Banking at Citibank, Private Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Finance, and Economist for Colombia at Citigroup.
Pinzón taught economics at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the Universidad de Los Andes.
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Pinzón received an honorable mention for his outstanding academic performance while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He holds a Master of Science in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and he was awarded a scholarship to receive his Master’s in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Pinzón also completed advanced courses in international relations and strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, and in science and technology at Harvard University.
Ambassador Pinzón was born on December 22, 1971. He is married to Pilar Lozano and has two children, Natalia and Juan Pablo.
Senior Advisor, International Security Program, New America Contributing Editor, Foreign Policy magazine
Thomas Ricks is Senior Advisor on National Security at New America's International Security Program. He also is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the blog “The Best Defense,” which was named the best blog of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2010, as well as the best military blog by Military Reporters & Editors.
Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for 17 years. He reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2000 for a series of articles on how the U.S. military might change to meet the new demands of the 21st century. The series is posted at: http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2000/national-reporting/works
Ricks also was part of a Washington Post team that won the 2002 Pulitzer prize for reporting about the beginning of the U.S. counteroffensive against terrorism. Those articles are posted at: http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2002/national-reporting/works/
He is the author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-05, which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second book on that war, The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-08, was published in 2009. He also wrote Making the Corps, which won the Washington Monthly's "Political Book of the Year" award. His first novel, A Soldier's Duty, about the U.S. military intervening in Afghanistan, was published by Random House in June 2001—some four months before the U.S. actually did intervene there. He also has written on defense matters for the Atlantic Monthly and other publications.
His most recent book is The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today. He currently is writing a book about Churchill, Orwell and the 20th century. He currently is in the early stages of a book growing out of the Future of War project examining the military transitions that accompanied the industrial revolution, and the lessons and parallels they might hold for our current transition into the information age.
Fellow, New America International Security program and Founder, One Defense
Stephen P. Rodriguez is a fellow with New America’s International Security program and the founder of One Defense, an agile network of market leading, non-traditional technology companies, venture capital firms, and research universities dedicated to scouting advanced software and hardware applications and enabling their transition into the Department of Defense (DOD). Rodriguez began his career at Booz Allen Hamilton shortly before 9/11, supporting their national security practice. In his capacity as an expert on game theoretic applications, he supported the United States Intelligence Community and DOD as the lead wargame architect for the Thor’s Hammer, Schriever II/III, and Cyber Storm exercises. He subsequently was a vice president at a venture-backed political risk company (Sentia Group) and served as chief marketing officer for a mid-size international defense corporation (NCL Holdings). Upon moving to New York, he launched One Defense that has supported the growth of more than 30 venture-backed startups as well as the above-market portfolio performance of Scout Ventures, Archangel, Manhattan Venture Partners, and Abundance Partners.
Rodriguez serves on the board of CENSA, ClearChat, Coin.co, WarOnTheRocks, Public Spend Forum, GraySpace, and Training Leaders International. He is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations where he also serves on the term member advisory council and acts as the President of the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Leadership Council. He received his B.B.A degree from Texas A&M University and an M.A. degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has published numerous articles on innovation in the Department of Defense and his graduate thesis on conflict resolution in the Caucasus resulted in an invitation to join Secretary Robert Gates' transition team in late 2006. Rodriguez resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Laura, a venture capitalist with Bulldog Innovation Group and their son, Fletcher.
Co-Director, Center on the Future of War and Professor of Practice, School of Politics and Global Studies (ASU)
Daniel Rothenberg is Professor of Practice, School of Politics and Global Studies and co-director of the Center on the Future of War at ASU as well as a Senior Fellow at New America. Previously, he was the founding executive director of the Center for Law and Global Affairs at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Managing Director of International Projects at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law, Senior Fellow at the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and a Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. Rothenberg has designed and managed rule of law and human rights projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Central Africa and throughout Latin America, including programs to train human rights NGOs, aid indigenous peoples in using international legal remedies, support gender justice, and collect and analyze thousands of first-person narratives from victims of atrocities. His books include Memory of Silence: The Guatemalan Truth Commission Report, Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy.
Managing Partner, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx)
Prior to joining DIUx, Raj was the senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks, which acquired Morta Security, where he was CEO and Co-Founder. Prior to this, he was a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Raj served as an F-16 pilot in the United States Air Force where he completed multiple combat tours. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and an affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Former Head of News, Government and Elections, Twitter
Called "the human embodiment of Twitter" by the New York Times, Adam Sharp has forged a distinctive career of more than twenty years at the intersection of politics, journalism, and technology.
As the former Head of News, Government and Elections at Twitter, Sharp led a team driving creative use of the platform by journalists, government officials, and political campaigns around the world. He was the longest-serving member of Twitter’s global media partnerships team and its most visible broadcast spokesperson.
Sharp joined Twitter in 2010 as the company's first hire in Washington, DC, after previous roles at NBC News, the U.S. Senate, and C-SPAN. After the 9/11 attacks, he produced and shot documentary video at "Ground Zero" for the City of New York and went on to work on projects for the U.S. Department of Labor and other clients of Alan Weiss Productions.
Sharp is Vice President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, a National Press Foundation board member, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former President of the bipartisan U.S. Senate Press Secretaries Association. He lives in his childhood hometown of Stamford, CT, with his wife and young daughter.
Strategist and Senior Fellow, New America
Peter Warren Singer is Strategist at New America and an editor at Popular Science magazine. He has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation's 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, and by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the ten most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in the field of robotics. Peter's award winning books include Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, Children at War, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century; and Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know. His latest is Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, a technothriller crossed with nonfiction research, which has been endorsed by people who range from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the co-inventor of the Internet to the writer of HBO Game of Thrones.
His past work include serving as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign's defense policy task force, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as the founding director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, where he was the youngest person named senior fellow in its 100 year history.
President and CEO, New America
Anne-Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing America in the Digital Age. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.
Dr. Slaughter has written or edited eight books, including The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Dangerous World (2017), Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015), The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (2007), and A New World Order (2004), as well as over 100 scholarly articles. She was the convener and academic co-chair, with Professor John Ikenberry, of the Princeton Project on National Security, a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States. In 2012 she published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in the Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.
Dr. Slaughter is a contributing editor to the Financial Times and writes a bi-monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 140,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard. She is married to Professor Andrew Moravcsik; they live in Princeton with their two sons.
Terrorism Analyst and former Kronos Advisory Principal and COO
Michael S. Smith II is a terrorism analyst and counterterrorism policy adviser who specializes in the influence operations of Salafi-Jihadist groups like al-Qa’ida and the Islamic State. From 2011-2016, Mr. Smith served as COO & Principal of Kronos Advisory, a firm he co-founded in 2011 with Medal of Honor recipient Major General James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret) to provide irregular warfare support services to US national security managers. In recent years, he has been involved with a variety of collection programs targeting online communications which help improve both strategic and tactical intelligence pictures of threats posed by Salafi-Jihadist elements comprising the Global Jihad movement. His insights on al-Qa’ida’s and the Islamic State’s activities, along with opportunities to counter their recruitment and incitement programs, have frequently been sought by members of Congress, executive branch officials, counterterrorism practitioners in the United States Intelligence Community, and federal, state and local law enforcement officials. In 2016, for his work collaborating with hactivists who have infiltrated Islamic State social media networks and online infrastructure to expose threats to the US and its allies, Smith was listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers.”
Jackie has a B.S. in Behavioral Sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Loyola Marymount University. Her interests include snowboarding, scuba diving, surfing, anime and the impact of emerging technology on human behavior and systems.
Visiting Professor of Practice at the Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU and Fellow, New America
Dr. Isaiah (Ike) Wilson III (Colonel, U.S. Army, retiring) has earned a reputation as a versatile and innovative soldier-scholar. A decorated combat veteran with combat tours in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Wilson has become a leading advocate for change in America's concepts of and approaches to security policy, war, and peace.
Wilson's military career has spanned troop-leading, staff-planning, strategic advisory and teaching assignments, and he has published extensively on organizational politics, civil-military relations, national security (defense) policy, and grand strategy. His 2007 book, Thinking beyond War: Civil-Military Relations and Why America Fails to Win the Peace, along with his service on the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group, helped to increase public attention to the problems and errors in U.S. post-war planning for the Iraq War and sparked governmental movement toward policy reforms. He has been at the center of innovative planning in the future of U.S. intervention policy.
His most recent military assignment was serving as chief, commander’s initiatives group (CIG) for the Commanding General, United States Central Command (2013-2016). Working in one of the most challenging combatant commands, Colonel Wilson played a leading role in the Command’s overall efforts relating to three major named operational campaigns, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM/FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (Afghanistan), INHERENT RESOLVE (counter-ISIL in the greater Levant), and SPARTAN SHIELD (counter-Iranian Threat Network) and numerous related supporting operations, to include U.S. Central Command’s 2013 Operation NIMBLE WARNING (anti- and counter- CBW by the Assad Regime in Syria), several CENTCOM-JSOC directed raids and hostage rescue efforts (2013-2016), as well as United States Central Command’s support for the Operation RESTORATION OF HOPE Gulf Cooperative Council Coalition in Yemen, among others. Previously, Colonel Wilson served as a strategic planning advisor to GEN Stanley McChrystal, COMISAF, and the ISAF combined-joint planning staff in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) in 2009, and as chief of plans for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and resident strategist to the commanding general, David Petraeus, Mosul, Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM-1 (OIF, 2003-04).
Dr. Wilson holds a B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy at West Point, master's degrees in Public Policy and Government from Cornell University, master's degrees in Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College and School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and a Ph.D. in political science (Government) from Cornell University.
Dr. Wilson currently serves as a visiting professor of practice in international affairs with the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He served as professor of political science and the Director of the American Politics, Policy, and Strategy program at West Point from 2005 to 2013, and was the architect and founding director of the West Point Grand Strategy Program. He has taught at the National War College, Yale University, and Columbia University, and currently serves as visiting professor of the practice of international affairs with the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Dr. Wilson is a nonresident Fellow with New America, and a nonresident scholar with The Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Wilson is also a life member with the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Council’s International Affairs Fellowship program selection committee.
Director of Peace and Conflict, Mercy Corps
Dr. Rebecca J. Wolfe is a leading expert on political violence, conflict and violent extremism. Currently, she is the Director of Mercy Corps’ Peace and Conflict team, where she has developed and supported programs in various countries across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Dr. Wolfe is able to draw on her practitioner and academic backgrounds to effectively research important development issues and communicate to multiple audiences. Dr. Wolfe has taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and at the Wagner School for Public Service at New York University. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard University.
ASU Future of War Senior Fellow, New America, Huffington Post Staff Correspondent Author, What Have We Done
David Wood is the author of What Have We Done, a book on moral injury, the effects of war on those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on civilians at home who sent them. It will be published by Little, Brown in 2016. A staff correspondent for the Huffington Post, he won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series on the severely wounded of those wars. He is a former conscientious objector who has covered the military and wars since 1977 as a staff correspondent for Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service, and other publications.
Associate Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies and Faculty Affiliate, Center on the Future of War (ASU)
Dr. Reed Wood is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center on the Future of War at Arizona State University. He received a Ph.D. (2010) in Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.A. (2001) in History and Human Rights Studies from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. His research broadly focuses on political violence, conflict processes, and human rights, and he teaches courses on insurgency and terrorism, gender and conflict, human rights, and international politics. Dr. Wood’s current research projects investigate the causes and implications of women’s participation in armed resistance movements, the influence of female representation in national legislatures on peace durability and conflict resolution, and the influence of development and other forms of foreign aid on patterns of violence during civil conflicts. He is the co-creator of the Women in Armed Rebellion Dataset (WARD). This novel dataset includes information on the prevalence of female combatants in some 200 rebel movements active between 1979 and 2009 as well as other information on women’s participation in organized violent rebellions. He also co-manages the Political Terror Scale (PTS), which is an annually updated index of state violations of physical integrity rights.
Principal Deputy Special Envoy & Coordinator, Global Engagement Center, US Department of State
Dr. Ahmed Younis is the Principal Deputy Special Envoy & Coordinator and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (PDAS) with the Global Engagement Center (GEC), US Department of State.
Prior to joining government, Dr. Younis served as Scientist at Argonne National Laboratories, assigned to the Department of Homeland Security as Senior Adviser for Strategic Engagement in the Office for Community Partnerships. During his tenure, Younis participated in the development of Countering Violent Extremism interagency program development for the Los Angeles region through partnerships between law enforcement, mental health providers, and local government. From 2012/13 – 2015/16, Younis served as Adjunct Assistant Professor and International Ambassador for Global Ethics and Social Justice at The Paulo Freire Democratic Project in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University. Younis holds a Ph.D in the Philosophy of Education (Critical Pedagogy) and is the 2016 recipient of the James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award, the highest academic honor for graduate students at Chapman University. His dissertation, American Muslim Conscientização: A Philosophy for Liberation, explores the process of Islamic legal reform in the development of American Muslim critical consciousness. Younis also holds a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee School of Law (Lexington, VA, 2004).
Dr. Younis served as a Senior Consultant for the Gallup Organization and Senior Analyst for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies from 2007 to 2012. He led the construction and deployment of the Silatech Index, the largest survey research study on youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2009, 10, 11, he was named as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims globally. In 2011 and 2012, Arabian Business Magazine named Dr. Younis as one of the "Power 500" of the Arab world and one of the 500 Most Famous Arabs in the world.
Younis is author of Gender Justice: The Situation of Women and Girls After the Arab Spring (Harvard International Review – Feature), and the author of American Muslims: Voir Dire [Speak the Truth] (MVI -2002), a post-Sept. 11 look at the reality of the debate surrounding American Muslims and their country. Younis is also a coauthor of The Role of Entrepreneurship & Job Creation in US-Muslim Relations (Brookings, US Islamic World Forum 2011). As part of his Gallup portfolio, from January 2009 to June 2011, Dr. Younis served as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for Silatech, a youth employment initiative to promote large-scale job creation in the Middle East and North Africa founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, of Qatar.
How Do We Inject Innovation into the Defense Department?
Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention.
LEGION OF BROTHERS, which had its its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and is directed by Greg Barker and produced by John Battsek, Barker, Peter Bergen, and Tresha Mabile and executive produced by Amy Entelis and Vinnie Malhotra, tells the story of the fewer than one hundred Special Forces troops that were deployed to Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks, for a secret war initiated by the United States government. In coalition with the rebels of the Northern Alliance, these troops faced off against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, successfully driving both out of power by the end of 2001, with minimal coalition casualties and without conventional, large-scale military operations. Despite this victory, the U.S. and its allies soon became mired in a seemingly unending war.