Past Speakers

Jack Goldsmith

June 10, 2024

Topic: The Decline of Congress in the Conduct of Foreign Affairs

Jack Goldsmith is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is the author, most recently, of After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency and In Hoffa’s Shadow: A Stepfather, A Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth, as well as of other books and articles on many topics related to presidential power, terrorism, national security, international law, and internet law. Before coming to Harvard, Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, from October 2003 through July 2004, and Special Counsel to the General Counsel to the Department of Defense from September 2002 through June 2003. Goldsmith taught at the University of Chicago Law School from 1997-2002, and at the University of Virginia Law School from 1994-1997. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Washington & Lee University. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, and Judge George Aldrich on the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.

Robert Einhorn

May 20, 2024

Topic: Are We Heading Toward a World with Many Nuclear-armed States?

Robert Einhorn is a senior fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, both housed within the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Einhorn focuses on arms control (U.S.-Russia and multilateral), nonproliferation and regional security issues (including Iran, the greater Middle East, South Asia, and Northeast Asia), and U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs.

Before joining Brookings in May 2013, Einhorn served as the U.S. Department of State special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, a position created by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. In that capacity, he played a leading role in the formulation and execution of U.S. policy toward Iran’s nuclear program, both with respect to sanctions and negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries. He also helped shape the Obama administration’s overall approach to nonproliferation; supported nonproliferation goals through diplomatic contacts with China, Russia, and key non-aligned countries; and addressed nuclear security and strategic stability challenges in South Asia. He played a key role in the development of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and served as U.S. delegation head in negotiations with South Korea on a successor civil nuclear agreement.

Between 2001 and 2009, Einhorn was a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he directed the Proliferation Prevention Program. Prior to joining CSIS, he was assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation from 1999 to 2001, deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs from 1992 to 1999, and a member of the State Department policy planning staff from 1986 to 1992. Between 1972 and 1986, he held various positions at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), including as ACDA’s representative to the strategic arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union. In 1984, he was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Einhorn has written extensively in the area of arms control and nonproliferation. He authored “Negotiating from Strength: Leverage in U.S.-Soviet Arms Control Negotiations” (Praeger Publishers, 1984), co-edited “Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for the Global Partnership” (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2003), and “The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider their Nuclear Choices” (Brookings Institution Press, 2004), and published numerous articles in such journals as Survival, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, Arms Control Today, The Washington Quarterly, The Nonproliferation Review, and Yaderny Kontrol.

Einhorn holds a bachelor’s in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public affairs and international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Matt Goodwin

May 6, 2024

Topic: Brexit, Trump, Le Pen and the Rise of National Populism

Matt Goodwin is an academic, bestselling author, pollster, and speaker known for his research on: politics, populism, elections, voting, public opinion, Brexit, Europe, academic freedom and more. He is Professor of Politics at Rutherford College, University of Kent, recently served as Senior Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, at Chatham House, Senior Fellow with the UK In a Changing Europe, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute, and Senior Advisor to the UK Education Committee. In 2022, Matt was appointed Social Mobility Commissioner.

The author of six books, he wrote the No.2 Sunday Times bestseller Values, Voice, and Virtue: The New British Politics, and the Sunday Times bestseller, National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, which was translated into multiple languages and listed among the Financial Times and Times Literary Supplement as one of the books of the year. He is also co-author of the 2015 Political Book of the Year, Revolt on the Right, which was long-listed for the Orwell Prize and listed among the Financial Times and Guardian books of the year. 

Goodwin has published dozens of academic studies and research reports on European politics and populism. He regularly writes for and appears in international media, including the BBC News, Financial TimesNew York Times, and Politico. He also shares his views on his Substack, writing fortnightly newsletters and discussions with leading experts, thinkers, and writers.

Goodwin has consulted and given talks to more than 400 organizations, from the UK Prime Minister’s Office to the President of Germany, US State Department, European Commission, Google, Deutsche Bank, UBS, JP Morgan, Rothschild and Cie, Trilateral Commission, Goldman Sachs, Clifford Chance. Between 2011-2015, he sat on the UK government’s working group on tackling prejudice.

Goodwin holds a BA in Politics and Contemporary History, MA in Political Science, and PhD in Political Science. After finishing his doctorate, Matt joined the Institute for Political and Economic Governance at the University of Manchester where he was later awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2015, he was appointed Professor of Politics at the University of Kent and was awarded an ESRC Senior Fellowship to examine Britain’s 2016 EU referendum. In 2018, he was named a European Young Leader. In 2019 he was seconded to the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House and in 2021 was appointed Director of the Centre for UK Prosperity at the Legatum Institute where he remains a Fellow, working on issues relating to academic freedom, levelling-up, and politics.

Ambassador Anne Hall

April 8, 2024

Topic: The Baltics: Lessons in Courage

Anne Hall served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania from September 2016 until July 2019. Prior to that position she served as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Ms. Hall was a career member of the senior Foreign Service and has broad experience in Europe. From August 2013 to July 2014 she served as Director of the Office of Central European Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. In that capacity she was responsible for managing relations with Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lichtenstein, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. From 2010 to 2013 she served as Deputy Chief of Mission and an extended period as Charge d’Affairs at the American Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania. From 2006 to 2009 Ms. Hall was Principal Officer and Consul General of the American Consulate General in Krakow, Poland.

Ms. Hall also served as the Senior Cyprus Country Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs from 2003 to 2005, participating in negotiations in support of a Cyprus settlement. From 2001 to 2003 Ms. Hall served as the Country Officer for Norway and Denmark in the Office of Nordic and Baltic Affairs, during the lead-up to the Baltic states’ 2004 entry into NATO and the European Union.

Ms. Hall’s other Washington assignments include Special Assistant to the Secretary of State (1994-1995), the Executive Secretariat (1993-1994), and Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs. She also served overseas in China (1997-2000), Brazil (1989-1990) and Colombia (1988-1989).

She is the recipient of several Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.  In July 2009 she became the first American Consul General to be awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.  She speaks Lithuanian, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.  She graduated from the University of Maine and received master’s degrees from the University of Texas.

Ambassador Jake Walles

March 11, 2024

Topic: Conflict in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. interests

Jake Walles is a nonresident senior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on Israeli-Palestinian issues, Tunisia, and counterterrorism. He was a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State for more than 35 years, serving as the U.S. ambassador to Tunisia from 2012 to 2015 and as consul general and chief of mission in Jerusalem from 2005 to 2009.  Walles also served as the Director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs from 1998 to 2001 and as Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem from 1996-1998.

Other assignments included: Deputy Chief of Mission in Athens, First Secretary for Economic Affairs in Tel Aviv, Vice Consul in Amsterdam, and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs in Washington. Walles also served as senior adviser in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism from 2015 until his retirement in 2017.

During his long career at the State Department, Walles was actively involved in Middle East peace negotiations beginning with the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference in 1991 and continuing through the Obama administration. He was the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award in 2016 for his contributions to U.S. national security policy. He also was the recipient of Presidential Meritorious Rank Awards in 2007 and 2012, and the Department’s Superior Honor Award in 2001 and 1994 for his work in promoting peace in the Middle East.

Heather Cox Richardson

Saturday, February 10, 6PM at the Camden Opera House

Topic: Democracy Awakening

Please note: this event is open only to Forum members and guests.

Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College. She has written about the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the American West in award-winning books whose subjects stretch from the European settlement of the North American continent to the history of the Republican Party through the Trump administration. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. She is the cohost of the Vox Media podcast, Now & Then.

In her compelling new book, DEMOCRACY AWAKENING: Notes on the State of America [Viking-2024], Richardson explains how a small group of wealthy people have made war on American ideals, leading us down a dangerous path to authoritarianism. By weaponizing language and promoting a false history, they have created a disaffected population and then promised to recreate an imagined past where those people could feel important again. Richardson argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation’s true history that marginalized Americans have always upheld – their dedication has sustained our democracy in the past and can be a roadmap for our future. 

Ambassador Ronald Lehman

January 8, 2024

Topic: Technology and the End of the Cold War -- and the End of the End of the Cold War

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).

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