Upcoming Speakers

Ambassador Ronald Lehman

Monday, June 8, 2020

Topic: The Importance of STEM to U.S. National Security

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

IT WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A LATER DATE.

 

The Honorable Ronald F. Lehman II is the Counselor to the Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).   For many years, he was the Director of the Center for Global Security Research at LLNL.

Ambassador Lehman has been the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy in the Department of Defense, Ambassador and Chief Negotiator on Strategic Offensive Arms (START I), and Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. He has also served on the National Security Council staff as a Senior Director, in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary, on the Senior Professional Staff of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and served in Vietnam as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. In the past he has served as the Chair of the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC), on the Presidential Advisory Board on Proliferation Policy, on the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board, as chair of the NATO High Level Group, on the governing board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and as a U.S. representative to a number of United Nations disarmament and review conferences.

Ambassador Lehman co-chaired (with David Franz) the National Academy of Sciences’ study on the future of Cooperative Threat Reduction and formerly co-chaired (with Ash Carter) the Policy Advisory Group on nonproliferation for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was on the Defense Science Board Task Forces on Globalization and Security, on Tritium, on Global Strike, and on Defense against Biological Weapons. He is served on the National Research Council Committee on U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Military Capabilities in the 21st Century and served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Science, Technology, and Health Aspects of the Foreign Policy Agenda of the United States and on its Committee on Alternative Technologies to Replace Anti-Personnel Landmines. He was detailed to the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration as counterterrorism coordinator after the September 11, 2001, attacks. For the Department of Energy he was the U.S.-Snezhinsk Working Group Co-Chair for the Joint Russian-American Steering Committee on the Nuclear Cities Initiative. He served on the advisory panel for USSTRATCOM’s Global Innovation and Strategy Center. He was on the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on the U.S. Nuclear Posture. He was a Public Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.

He received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University (1975) and his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College (1968).

Sean McFate

Monday, July 13, 2020

Topic: Privatization of Warfare

Dr. Sean McFate is a foreign policy expert, author and novelist.   He is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs.

McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s 82ndAirborne Division.  He served under Stan McChrystal and David Petraeus, and graduated from elite training programs, such as Jungle Warfare School in Panama.  He was also a Jump Master.

McFate then became a private military contractor.  Among his many experiences, he dealt with warlords in the jungle, raised armies for U.S. interest, rode with armed groups in the Sahara, conducted strategic reconnaissance for the extractive industry, transacted arms deals in Eastern Europe, and helped prevent an impending genocide in the Rwanda region circa 2004.

In the world of international business, McFate was a Vice President at TD International, a boutique political risk consulting firm with offices in Washington, Houston, Singapore and Zurich.  Additionally, he was a manager at DynCorp International, a consultant at BearingPoint (now Deloitte Consulting), and an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

McFate’s newest book is The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder (William Morrow).  Admiral Jim Stavridis (retired), the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said: ”Stunning. Sean McFate is a new Sun Tzu.”  He also authored The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (Oxford University Press) which explains how the privatization of war changes warfare.  The Economist called it a “fascinating and disturbing book.”

Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Topic: 21st Century Security: Challenges and Opportunities

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

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

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

 

Ambassador Jeffery L. Bleich

Monday, September 14, 2020

Topic: The Geopolitics of Australia's Situation

Ambassador Bleich is Chair of the Board of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Attorney, and former Special Counsel to the President, U.S. Ambassador, and California State Bar President.

Mr. Bleich served as a member of the Senior Advisory Group to the Director of National Intelligence from 2014 to 2016. Mr. Bleich also served as U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013 and as Special Counsel to President Obama from 2008 to 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Bleich was a long-time partner at the California law firm Munger, Tolles & Olsen. Mr. Bleich has more than three decades of experience resolving complex domestic and international disputes, with a specialty in cybersecurity. He is a long-time California resident.

Mr. Bleich has been a director of PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company since April 2019. Since 2017, he also has served on the boards of Nuix Pty. Ltd and Amber Kinetics, Inc.  Mr. Bleich is Chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (appointed by President Obama).

Michael Camilleri

Monday, October 12, 2020

Topic: Bolsonaro’s Brazil: Latin America’s Noisy Neighbor?

Michael Camilleri is Director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. An international lawyer and former diplomat, he served in the Obama administration from 2012 to 2017 as the Western Hemisphere adviser on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and as Director for Andean Affairs at the National Security Council.

Prior to joining the U.S. government, Michael was a human rights specialist at the Organization of American States and a senior staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). He also worked with a coalition of civil society organizations in Guatemala and at a large international law firm.

Michael’s commentary and analysis on legal and policy issues in the Americas have appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Americas Quarterly, BBC, Fox News, Univision, NTN24, and CNN en Español. Michael is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he has been an adjunct professor of law and international affairs at the George Washington University, American University, and the University of Baltimore. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Upcoming Speakers

Past Speakers