Meet our Next Speaker

Jennifer Cooke

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Topic: Africa: The Case for US Engagement

Jennifer Cooke is director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she leads research and analysis on political, economic, and security dynamics in Africa. She is a frequent writer and lecturer on U.S.-Africa policy and provides briefings, testimony, and policy recommendations to U.S. policymakers, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. military. Recent projects include an examination of militancy and extremism in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, religious authority and the state in Africa, energy trends in sub-Saharan Africa, and the launch of the “Spotlight on Africa” conference series, which provides an in-depth look at political and economic developments in Africa’s largest and most dynamic economies.

Cooke is a frequent commentator in print, on radio, and on television, and she has testified before Congress on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, and the African Union. She travels widely in Africa and has been an election observer in Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana. Growing up, she lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic, as well as Belgium, Italy, and Canada. Prior to CSIS, she worked at the National Academy of Sciences in the Office of Human Rights and the Office of News and Public Information and in the U.S. Congress on the House Subcommittee on Africa. She holds an M.A. in African studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

Meetings open to members and members’ guests only.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings take place at Hedges Hall at Point Lookout.  Please plan on arriving by 11:30AM for noon meetings.  The speaker begins promptly at noon and lunch is served from 1PM.

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Upcoming Speakers

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Announcements

“Fire & Fury” or “Shock and Awe”: it is always the start of a Quagmire (by Juan Cole, our November speaker)

Posted on Wednesday August 9

If we weren’t talking about two nuclear-armed states with unhinged leaders, the war of words between the US and North Korea would be hilarious. Trump’s threat Tuesday that “”North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” was […]

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America’s Misadventures in the Middle East (by Chas Freeman, our May speaker)

Posted on Tuesday April 25

“From now on,” President Donald Trump declared in his inaugural address, “it’s going to be only America first, America first!” If so, no region stands to be more affected than West Asia and North Africa—what Americans call “the Middle East.” America’s interests there are now entirely derivative rather than direct. They are a function of […]

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ISIL Terror-Trolls French Election by Juan Cole (our September speaker)

Posted on Sunday April 23

Thursday’s shooting at the Champs Elysee, left one policeman dead, another gravely injured, a third lightly wounded along with a German tourist shot in the heel. It was carried out by Karim Cheurfi, a French national aged 39, born at Livry-Gargan in Seine-Saint-Denis. He had opened fire with a Kalashnikov machine gun and was killed […]

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Recent New York Times Article by Julia Preston

Posted on Sunday February 5

IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME TO U.S. AS CHILDREN FEAR DEPORTATION UNDER TRUMP                             Brought to the United States from Venezuela as a toddler, Carlos Roa was among the first young undocumented immigrants to be protected from deportation under a program President Obama set up in […]

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Colin Woodard on the Trump Election

Posted on Thursday January 19

Since Election Day, many readers of “American Nations” have been asking for an analysis of the election via the underlying regional cultures identified in the book. Finally, with help from my colleague, Christian MilNeil, at the Portland Press Herald and Will Mitchell of Portland, Maine’s NBT Solutions, I’m able to comply.   Continue reading  

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Article by (our May speaker) Hedrick Smith

Posted on Friday May 20

The Populist Earthquake of 2016 Washington – The political earthquake now shaking the foundations of the Republican Party throws into bold relief the unique feature of Campaign 2016 –  the fault-line this year is not the typical polar clash of Left vs Right, but a far more fundamental Up-Down cleavage between rank and file Americans […]

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“The Theology of American National Security” by Andrew Bacevich (our Jan. 2016 speaker)

Posted on Friday December 4

Reproduced from TomDispatch.com: The Theology of American National Security by Andrew Bacevich In April 2003, with Baghdad occupied by American troops, the top officials of the Bush administration were already dreaming of building bases in Iraq that would be garrisoned more or less in perpetuity. Everyone was too polite to call them “permanent bases,” so […]

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Climate Change in a Nutshell (from Senator King)

Posted on Thursday December 3

Friends, Thank you for your interest in one of the climate change cards I keep in my pocket. For me, the graphs on the card are the simplest and clearest way to show not only the unprecedented and growing amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, but also its close correlation to global temperatures in the […]

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Commentary by Past Forum Speaker, Graham Fuller

Posted on Friday October 9

We Hate ‘Em All! October 8, 2015 by Graham E. Fuller We Hate ‘Em All! With the arrival of Russian forces on the scene the Syrian situation has now grown unbearably complicated. Among the totality of players on the scene, Washington hates them all. The US has long detested Asad father and son; for years it has […]

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Jessica Mathews on Henry Kissinger

Posted on Wednesday May 20

In a March issue of The New York Review of Books, our July speaker, Jessica Mathews dissects the new book by Henry Kissinger: “Almost from the beginning of its history, America has struggled to find a balance in its foreign policy between narrowly promoting its own security and idealistically serving the interests of others; between, as […]

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Stephen Walt on Arming Ukraine (a really bad idea)

Posted on Thursday February 12

One of our 2013 speakers, Professor Stephen Walt, has a recent article in Foreign Policy about General Breedlove’s dubious plan to send US arms to Ukraine.  Click here for full article.

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A Nuclear Deal With Iran?

Posted on Friday December 12

Excerpts from January speaker Hossein Mousavian’s article entitled Why geopolitical shifts dictate a nuclear deal with Iran: “Although a week of high-level talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna made good progress, negotiators failed to reach an agreement and instead set a new deadline of March 1, 2015, for a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and a […]

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Gregory Johnson’s Harrowing Escape

Posted on Friday December 5

Gregory Johnson was our Forum speaker last April.  Read his recent BuzzFeed story on My Last Day in Yemen: “Yemen was like a home away from home for me — until the day I was nearly abducted in broad daylight, and narrowly missed suffering a grim fate similar to other journalists drawn to covering, and […]

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Rania Abouzeid on the Mess in Iraq

Posted on Friday July 11

Read what Rania Abouzeid (our September 22nd speaker) had to say in her June Politico article:  “The Jihad Next Door: The Syrian roots of Iraq’s newest civil war”

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Stephen Walt on His Forum Experience

Posted on Thursday August 9

We often write about our speakers after they appear at the Forum, but Steve Walt is the first one to write about us after speaking.  Click here for his latest Foreign Policy article.

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