Spring Conference 2017

April 14 • Los Angeles, CA
Led by Pacific Council members and held in downtown Los Angeles, Spring Conference is a day of debates and exchanges during panel discussions, roundtable dialogues, and a high-level keynote interview.
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  • 14 April

Ronald L. Bailey

Deputy Commandant Plans, Policies, and Operations
U.S. Marine Corps
Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey currently serves as the Deputy Commandant Plans, Polices, and Operations.

Lieutenant General Bailey was born in St. Augustine, Florida and graduated from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. On 1 July 1977, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

After graduation from The Basic School, Infantry Officers Course and the Basic Communication Officers Course in August 1978, he was ordered to the 3d Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan to serve with 2d Battalion, 4th Marines as a Rifle Platoon Commander and 81mm Mortar Platoon Commander.

He earned a Masters Degree in Business Management and Administration from Webster University.

From August 1997 to 1998, Lieutenant General Bailey attended National War College, Washington, DC where he earned his second Masters Degree in National Security Strategy.

In June 2013, Lieutenant General Bailey was promoted to his current rank and assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations.

Lieutenant General Bailey's awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with bronze oak leaf, Legion of Merit with combat V, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

14 April

Colleen Bell

U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2014-2017)
Colleen Bell served as the United States’ Ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. Prior to her diplomatic service, Ambassador Bell was a leading business executive at an award-winning production company responsible for some of the most-watched television programming in the world, reaching more than 40 million people in more than 100 countries across five continents. While a producer at Bell-Phillip Television Productions in Los Angeles, Ambassador Bell’s work frequently earned the field’s most prestigious recognition for creative content, social awareness, and public-health education. Ambassador Bell’s artistic vision has been recognized for its pioneering impact on the lives of a wide array of marginalized populations in the United States and abroad. 

In addition to her long career in international business and the arts, Ambassador Bell is a dedicated philanthropist and an industry-leading advocate committed to tackling some of the United States’ most vexing domestic and global public policy challenges.

14 April

Rosa Brooks

Columnist
Foreign Policy
Rosa Brooks is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, a columnist for Foreign Policy, and a law professor at Georgetown University. She previously worked at the Pentagon as Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; in 2011, she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Brooks has also served as a senior advisor at the US Department of State, a consultant for Human Rights Watch, and a weekly opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  Read more about her background.

14 April

Rory Carroll

U.S. West Coast Correspondent
The Guardian
Rory Carroll was born in Dublin in 1972 and grew up in Brussels. He studied politics and economics at Trinity College and obtained an MA in journalism from Dublin City University. He started out in 1995 in Belfast with the Irish News. Named Young Northern Ireland Journalist of the year 1997, he moved to London and joined The Guardian. He was posted to Rome in 1999 as the paper's southern Europe correspondent, a beat which encompassed the Vatican, Berlusconi, the Mediterranean, and the end of the Balkan wars. After 9/11, he did several stints in Pakistan and Afghanistan before moving to Johannesburg as Africa correspondent. That meant covering HIV/Aids, humanitarian crises, and conflict in Congo, Liberia, and Zimbabwe.

In January 2005, he took over The Guardian's Baghdad bureau to cover Iraq's slide into civil war. In October, he spent too long at an interview and was kidnapped. He was released two days later.

In 2006, he was appointed The Guardian's Latin America correspondent and covered Mexican narco-wars, Peruvian glaciers, Chilean miners, Nicaraguan hurricanes, and Haitian rubble. He lived in Caracas during Hugo Chávez's reign and wrote a book titled Comandante: Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. He currently lives in Los Angeles covering the western United States for The Guardian.

14 April

Fadi Chehadé

Chairman & CEO
Chehadé & Company
Fadi Chehadé is Chairman and CEO at Chehadé & Company. He also serves as the Senior Advisor to Prof. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, on the Digital Economy and Society. In this engagement, the focus is on leveraging the Forum's unique platform to enable a global system of partnerships, forming collaborative networks of private and public institutions to address issues affecting the digital economy and society.

Fadi is currently Senior Advisor to ABRY Partners in Boston, a private equity firm focused solely on media, communications, and digital business/information services investments. He is a director on the boards of two ABRY portfolio companies: Sentry Data Systems, a leader in healthcare technology solutions, and Vocado LLC, a cloud-based education software company Fadi founded in 2007.

Fadi is also a fellow at both Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government. He works closely with the faculty and students of these leading institutions to explore innovations in digital governance. He is also a board member at the University of Southern California’s Center for Public Diplomacy.

14 April

Shira Efron

Policy Researcher
RAND Corporation
Shira Efron is a policy researcher at RAND, a special advisor on Israel with RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She has extensive experience investigating geopolitical trends in the broader Middle East as well as domestic policies in Israel. In addition to her Middle East expertise, Efron's research focuses on Africa, food security, and technology adoption in developing countries.

Efron graduated from the Pardee RAND Graduate School with a Ph.D. in policy analysis. In her dissertation she employed a mixed-method approach to examine the feasibility—both technical and non-technical—of using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for agriculture in Africa. She also has an M.A. in international relations/international business from New York University (NYU) and a B.Sc. in biology and computer science from Tel Aviv University.

Prior to RAND, Efron primarily conducted research and analysis on Middle East issues. She was the policy director and country representative of the Institute for Inclusive Security in Israel. Previously, she was a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, where she edited the Middle East Bulletin, a multi-weekly online publication for a high-level U.S. government and stakeholder audience focusing on the intersection of U.S. political, economic, and security interests in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Efron was also a research analyst at a hedge fund in New York, an editor at the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, and a reporter in the Israeli Defense Forces.

14 April

Eric Eide

Director of International Trade
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Eric Eide is the Director of International Trade for the Mayor of Los Angeles. In this role, he works to increase international business activity, facilitate the import and export of goods, and attract investment to Los Angeles. Previously, he served as an Advisor for Strategic Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, where he directed engagement with U.S.-based entrepreneurs, firms, universities, think tanks, and diaspora communities with interest in South and Central Asia. Also at the State Department, Eric engaged in the strategic development of foreign policy goals addressing the bilateral U.S.-India relationship. In a prior role, Eric represented the U.S. Small Business Administration with the startup community and improved the overall performance of a $2.5 billion federal program that funds early stage technology companies. Eric holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

14 April

John Emerson

U.S. Ambassador to Germany (2013-2017)
John Emerson served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 2013 to 2017. He has led a distinguished career in both public service and the private sector. Prior to taking up his post in Berlin, he was President of Capital Group Private Client Services from 1997 to 2013. He previously served on President Clinton’s senior staff from 1993 to 1997. In 2010, President Obama appointed Ambassador Emerson to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

14 April

Kimberly Marteau Emerson

Advisory Board Member
USC Center on Public Diplomacy
Kimberly Marteau Emerson is an attorney and civic leader. In her role as a de facto diplomat, Kimberly speaks at and hosts several official events a week on behalf of the U.S. Government in an effort to promote and support the trans-Atlantic friendship and partnership between the two countries. Kimberly worked in the Clinton Administration as Director of Public Liaison for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), where she was the domestic spokesperson, and traveled as the senior USIA political liaison on President Clinton’s overseas trips to the Far East, Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union.

She continues to serve on the International Board of Human Rights Watch and remains active with HRW in Berlin. In addition to serving on the CPD Advisory Board, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and has served as an international election observer with the National Democratic Institute, traveling to Nigeria for its Presidential and National Assembly elections under the leadership of, among others, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 2005, she joined relief organization Operation USA to evaluate tsunami-related projects in Sri Lanka.

Kimberly is a trustee of foster care NGO, United Friends of the Children, and was past President and a 12-year member of the mayoral-appointed LA Zoo Commission. Over the past two decades, she has avidly advised, staffed and raised support for progressive, national, state and local political candidates. Prior to the Clinton Administration, she spent several years in the film and television industry, working in creative and business affairs, and practiced law with LA-based law firm Tuttle & Taylor.

Kimberly earned her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law, a Master’s Degree “with distinction” in French Private Law from the Universite d’Aix-Marseilles, France, and a BA with honors from UCLA. She and her husband, John Emerson, have received several joint honors, including the Ira E. Yellin Community Leadership Award from the American Jewish Committee, and the Spirit of Liberty Award from People For the American Way. Kimberly speaks French and has traveled extensively throughout the world. She and her husband, John B. Emerson, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. have three daughters.

14 April

Jerrold D. Green

President and CEO
Pacific Council on International Policy
Dr. Jerrold D. Green is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. He is also a Research Professor of Communications, Business, and International Relations at the University of Southern California.

Prior to this he served as a Partner at Best Associates in Dallas, Texas, a privately held merchant banking firm with global operations. He also served as the Director of International Programs and Development at the RAND Corporation where he oversaw the activities of the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy as well as the Center for Russia and Eurasia. At the same time he directed RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy. Green has a B.A. (summa cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. His academic career began at the University of Michigan where he was a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies. He subsequently joined the University of Arizona where he became a Professor of Political Science and Sociology as well as Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Green has lived and worked in Egypt, where he was a Fulbright Fellow, Iran, and Israel. He has lectured on six continents and been a visiting fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Science's West Asian Studies Center in Beijing; a visiting lecturer at the Havana based Center for African and Middle East Studies (CEAMO), a fellow at the Australian Defense College, and delivered papers at conferences sponsored by the Iranian Institute of International Affairs in Tehran. Green has led three U.S. Department of Defense sponsored Pacific Council delegations to Afghanistan and another to Iraq as well as Pacific Council delegations to China, Cuba, North Korea, South Sudan, Myanmar, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and numerous other countries. He has also represented the Pacific Council as an observer at the legal proceedings being conducted at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Green is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The California Club, the Lincoln Club, the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), and the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the United States Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel where he was awarded the Department of the Navy, Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his service. Green also served on the Selection Committee for the U.S. Department of State Herbert Salzman Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance by a Foreign Service Officer. He is currently a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and has previously served as a Specialist Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department where he advised on terrorism and Middle East issues. Green serves on the Board of Managers of Falcon Waterfree Technologies, is a member of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs Tourism Committee, is an International Medical Corps Ambassador, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Whitney International University System and the Senior Advisory Board of Academic Partnerships both based in Dallas. Dr. Green has previously served on the Advisory Board of the Suu Foundation headed by Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma/Myanmar, the Board of Directors of the California Club, the Advisory Committee of The Asia Society of Southern California, and the Board of Columbia University’s Middle East Institute in New York. Dr. Green is currently a technical advisor to Activision Publishing in Santa Monica, California, where he consults on the highly successful Call of Duty series.

Green has written widely on Middle East themes focusing on American Middle East policy, the role of religion in the region, inter-Arab relations, Iranian politics, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. His work has appeared in such publications as World Politics, Comparative Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, Survival, Middle East Insight, Politique Etrangere, The World Today, The RAND Review, The Harvard Journal of World Affairs, The Iranian Journal of International Relations, and The Huffington Post.

14 April

Nina Hachigian

U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN (2014-2017)
Nina Hachigian is an American political scientist who most recently served as the United States Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. She was sworn in as the United States Ambassador on September 19, 2014 and served until January 20, 2017.

She was a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and served as the director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy for four years. From 1998 to 1999, she was on the staff of the National Security Council in the White House. She was a Senior Fellow and Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress.

Hachigian was on the board of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Affairs at Stanford University. She was a member of the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council on International Policy.

14 April

David Kang

Director, Korean Studies Institute
University of Southern California
David Kang is Professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California, with appointments in both the School of International Relations and the Marshall School of Business. At USC he is also director of the Korean Studies Institute. Dr. Kang’s latest book is "East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute" (Columbia University Press, 2010). He is also author of "China Rising: Peace, Power, and Order in East Asia" (Columbia University Press, 2007); "Crony Capitalism: Corruption and Development in South Korea and the Philippines" (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and "Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies" (co-authored with Victor Cha) (Columbia University Press, 2003). Dr. Kang has published numerous scholarly articles in journals such as International Organization and International Security, and his co-authored article “Testing Balance of Power Theory in World History” was awarded “Best article, 2007-2009,” by the European Journal of International Relations. Dr. Kang has also written opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as writing a monthly column for the Joongang Ilbo in Korean. He received an A.B. with honors from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Berkeley.

14 April

Ira Kasoff

Senior Counselor
APCO Worldwide
Dr. Ira Kasoff has been a senior counselor and member of APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council since 2010. He is a recognized expert on Asia who came to APCO after a long career with the U.S. government. His extensive experience in Asia spans more than three decades, with seven commercial service assignments in the region, in addition to private sector and academic experience. He served from 2007 to 2010 as deputy assistant secretary for Asia at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he oversaw Asia trade policy for the department, engaged in trade negotiations with officials of key counterpart governments, including China, Japan and Korea, and served as the senior adviser on Asia to two secretaries of commerce, Carlos Gutierrez and Gary Locke.

Prior to serving as deputy assistant secretary of commerce, Dr. Kasoff was principal commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, commercial counselor at the American Embassy in Tokyo and senior commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kasoff worked for the Boston Consulting Group, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and as the Beijing representative for the Fuqua World Trade Corporation.

Dr. Kasoff received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he specialized in Chinese and Japanese history. He is the author of a book on Chinese intellectual history entitled The Thought of Chang Tsai, published by Cambridge University Press.

14 April

Scott Kraft

Deputy Managing Editor
Los Angeles Times
As deputy managing editor, Scott Kraft is responsible for the front page, the Column One feature and major investigative, explanatory and narrative reporting projects. During more than two decades at The Times, Kraft has been a national and foreign correspondent as well as a news department head. He joined the paper as a staff writer in its Chicago bureau and later was bureau chief in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Paris. After a decade abroad, Kraft moved to Los Angeles and became deputy Foreign editor. A year later, he was named National editor, overseeing national correspondents and the Washington bureau. Kraft returned to writing in 2008 and helped anchor coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. He became the Page One editor in 2011 and was named deputy managing editor in August 2012. He came to The Times from the Associated Press, where he was a national correspondent based in New York and a 1984 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing.

14 April

Ted Lieu

Representative (D-CA 33)
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2014, Ted W. Lieu was elected to California’s 33rd Congressional District, succeeding retiring 40-year incumbent Henry Waxman. In the 114th Congress, he was elected president of the Democratic Freshman class by his colleagues. Today he serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus.

Congressman Lieu is a former active duty officer in the US Air Force and currently serves as a Colonel in the Reserves.

In Congress, he has established himself as a leader on protecting the environment; Social Security and Medicare; civil liberties; and veterans.

He has been an outspoken proponent for tackling climate change. The first bill Congressman Lieu wrote and introduced after coming to Congress was the Climate Solutions Act, which aims to make California’s ground-breaking renewable energy goals and climate emissions reduction targets a national model. Read more about his background.

14 April

Susan McCaw

U.S. Ambassador to Austria (2005-2007)
Susan McCaw was sworn in by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court on November 30, 2005. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presided over the ceremony. She officially assumed her post as Ambassador after presenting her diplomatic credentials to Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer on January 9, 2006. She served in that post until 2007.

Previously, Ambassador McCaw was President of COM Investments and Managing Partner of Eagle Creek Capital, private investment firms located in the state of Washington. Prior to this, she was Principal at Robertson Stephens & Company, a San Francisco-based investment bank where she was responsible for financing emerging growth companies in the technology industry. She has also worked as an Associate in Robertson Stephens' Venture Capital Group, and served as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, in New York and Hong Kong.

Ambassador McCaw was a member of Stanford University's Board of Trustees, and served as Co-Chair of Stanford's $1 billion Campaign for Undergraduate Education. At Stanford, she was also active in international student outreach. In Seattle, she was the Co-founder and Board Chair of Team Read, a reading program for at-risk 2nd and 3rd grade students. In addition, she was a member of the University of Washington Investment Committee. Mrs. McCaw was also a member of the Grameen Technology Advisory Council. She served as Finance Co-Chair for Bush-Cheney '04 in Washington State and was a member of the national steering committee for W Stands for Women. She also served on the Women's Coalition Advisory Board of the Republican National Committee.

Ambassador McCaw earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Stanford University, where she was senior class president and graduated with highest honors and distinction.

14 April

Michael Castle Miller

Executive Director
Refugee Cities
Michael is an attorney who has helped develop special economic zone (SEZ) programs in over a dozen countries. He founded Refugee Cities to apply best practices from SEZs to expand opportunities for migrants so they can exercise their skills and vocations even while displaced.

In addition to leading Refugee Cities, Michael is the Managing Director of Locus Economica, where he has helped develop laws, policies, and regulatory authorities for SEZ programs in Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal, Madagascar, Lesotho, Qatar, Pakistan, Lao PDR, Chile, Peru, and Mexico. As part of this work, he recommends business environment reforms, drafts laws and regulations, trains regulatory personnel, structures public-private partnerships, and develops social and environmental safeguards.

Previously, Michael was a consultant with the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency on urban law and development issues in the Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Finance Unit. Before that, he worked with the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), though which he helped advise the governments of South Sudan, Georgia, and Yemen on post-conflict transition and minority representation.

Michael graduated with a J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, from American University, Washington College of Law and an M.A. in International Politics from American University, School of International Service. His publications in legal journals cover the political economy of international trade and investment, comparative local government, U.S. immigration law, and expropriation jurisprudence. Michael is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and a Senior Program Officer for WEPZA, a trade association of SEZ practitioners. He is also a member of the Bar of the State of New York.

Steve Miska

National Security Consultant
Steve Miska consults on matters of national security, having retired as a colonel after 25 years of service in the military. His last assignment was teaching three years as the army chair at the Marine Corps University. He has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Previously, he served in the White House as a director for Iraq on the National Security Council. In 2007, on his second of three combat tours in Iraq, Steve led a team that established an underground railroad for dozens of interpreters from Baghdad to Amman to the United States. He has published numerous articles, most recently on protecting local allies during conflict. He earned top academic honors as a counterterrorism fellow at the College of National Security Affairs and has taught national security at Marine Corps War College.

He has spoken on Iraq-based threats at the Defense Intelligence Agency, RAND, and numerous media outlets and think tanks. He holds degrees from Cornell University, National Defense University, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also serves as a consultant to several nonprofits, including the Global Peace Foundation, No One Left Behind, IRAP, and the i5 Freedom Network in Southern California. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Cornell Club of LA.

14 April

Kimberly Murphy

Assistant Managing Editor, Foreign & National
Los Angeles Times
Kim Murphy is a longtime foreign and national correspondent who became national editor in June 2013. As assistant managing editor for foreign and national news, she oversees a large network of Times bureaus across the U.S. and around the world.

14 April

John Nahas

Partner
Engeocom-Invicta Trading LLC
John Nahas specializes in international policy, trade, and communication. He is a graduate from University of Southern California (USC) with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Communication, and also earned a Master’s Public Diplomacy (M.P.D.) from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and The USC School of International Relations.

He began his career working for a boutique corporate finance advisory firm in Santa Monica working with start-up and middle market clients. John then assisted in the launch of Millennial news website Mic, and currently is a partner at Invicta Petroleum and Engeocom- Invicta Trading, where he focuses on international trade and finance.
Additionally, John has worked and collaborated with numerous academic, international, and non-governmental organizations such as the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East Center (CMEC) in Beirut, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), and the American University of Dubai (AUD).

14 April

Dawn Nakagawa

Executive Vice President
Berggruen Institute
Dawn is the Executive Vice President of the Berggruen Institute. In this position, Dawn is responsible for building the institution to become an organization of global reach and influence. Prior to joining the Berggruen Institute, Dawn was the Executive Vice President of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a global leadership network dedicated to enhancing awareness of and developing solutions to global challenges. In her position she oversaw all aspects of the organization and drove several special initiatives including the Energy, Environment and Security Committee and the Equitable Globalization Committee. She also co-directed the project on California’s Adaptation to Climate Change, recruiting the members of the taskforce which ultimately was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to be the California Adaptation Advisory Council to the State. Prior to joining the Pacific Council, Dawn worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company where she developed growth strategy for Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries, including high tech, medical device, biotech, consumer products and retail industries. She holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the McGill University in Canada. Dawn sits on the board of the Values Schools charter school organization, and an active member of the California Peace Action Network and California League of Conservation Voters.

14 April

Peter Neffenger

TSA Administrator (2015-2017); Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard (2014-2015)
Peter Neffenger was appointed in 2015 by President Obama to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a position he held until January 2017. Prior to this he enjoyed a distinguished and high profile career in the U.S. Coast Guard, most recently serving as the 29th Vice Commandan, and as the Deputy National Incident Commander during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, the largest and most complex in U.S. history. When he took the helm of the embattled TSA, the agency's challenges were substantial and numerous. His subsequent transformation of the entire organization earned the TSA widespread recognition as the turnaround agency of the year and led to his being named one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of 2016 by Business Travel News.

He holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, Master of Arts in Business Management from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace University, from where he recently received an honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Public Service). He is a two-time recipient of the Department of Homeland Security's Distinguished Service Medal and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience.

14 April

Margaret Peters

Assistant Professor
UCLA Department of Political Science
Dr. Margaret Peters is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. Her work focuses on the politics of migration, including refugees, in both immigrant receiving countries and emigrant sending countries.

Prior to coming to UCLA, she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University and an Assistant Professor and Thrice Family Scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses broadly on international political economy with a special focus on the politics of migration. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2011. Her forthcoming book, Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization (2017, Princeton University Press) examines the relationship between trade and capital policy and immigration policy and is based on her award winning dissertation. Her work has appeared in International Organization, World Politics, and International Interactions, among other outlets. She teaches classes on international political economy and migration.

14 April

Karen Richardson

Deputy Assistant Secretary (2016-2017)
Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Karen Richardson is the former Public Engagement Advisor responsible for conducting outreach to the international community, which includes domestically-based advocacy and non-governmental organizations, amongst others, working on a variety of foreign policy issues. Her portfolio also included conducting outreach to the health care and seniors community, a role she assumed in January 2009 as health care outreach coordinator for the White House Office of Health Reform and the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richardson has also been Senior Advisor to Ambassador Melanne Verveer at the U.S. State Department. Richardson began working for President Obama at his Senate Office in August 2005, serving as Deputy to the Policy Director. Shortly after Obama announced his presidential run, Richardson joined the Obama for America campaign as the State Policy Director for Iowa, a role she assumed in several states throughout the presidential primary. In July 2008 Richardson became the Policy Director at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and also joined the DNC as part of then-Senator Obama’s Congressional Liaison team. After the presidential general election, she joined the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Los Angeles, California, Richardson has a BA from Howard University, a JD from Howard University School of Law, and a Masters in International Affairs from the London School of Economics.

14 April

Paul M. Rosen

Chief of Staff (2013-2017)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Paul M. Rosen has more than a decade of experience serving in all three branches of government leading teams, working with the private sector, managing external affairs, and solving some of the most complex and sensitive legal, policy, and regulatory issues. In doing so he has focused on national security, cybersecurity, data privacy, technology matters, federal prosecution of financial crimes, and management of large government organizations, budgets, and personnel.

Mr. Rosen recently worked in senior leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from 2013-2017. Most recently, he served as the Department’s Chief of Staff overseeing for the Secretary's 240,000 employees, a $60 billion budget, and 22 federal agencies in the third largest department in the United States government. Mr. Rosen also advised the Secretary on all operational, policy, and legal matters, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity, border security, aviation security, trade and travel, immigration, import/export controls, national security risks of various foreign investments, federal disaster response, and criminal law enforcement matters. In recognition of his work, the Secretary awarded Mr. Rosen the DHS Distinguished Service Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Secretary to recognize exceptional and transformational public service. He also received the Director’s Distinguished Service Award from the United States Secret Service. Mr. Rosen previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor at DHS, and Chief of Staff at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

From 2010-2013, Mr. Rosen worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and for the Department of Justice Criminal Fraud Section, where he prosecuted a range of financial crimes including securities fraud, bank and mortgage fraud, FCPA, money laundering, insider trading, corruption, bankruptcy fraud, and government and procurement fraud. In recognition of his contributions to combating financial fraud, in 2012 the Council of Inspectors General recognized Mr. Rosen with its Integrity and Efficiency Investigation Award of Excellence.

At the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Rosen also served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. From 2006-2009, Mr. Rosen served as Counsel to then-Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.

Prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosen was a law clerk to the Honorable Gary Allen Feess, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California.

14 April

Carl Shusterman

Immigration Attorney
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman
Attorney Carl Shusterman has over 40 years of experience as an immigration lawyer. He served as an attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) until 1982, when he entered the private practice of law. For more than 10 years, he has been voted as one of the Best Lawyers in America and as a Super Lawyer by his colleagues in the bar.

Carl has been named as one of the top 15 corporate immigration attorneys in the U.S. by Human Resource Executive magazine. His hard work and dedication to immigration law have earned him the highest rating (“AV”) in legal ability and ethics from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory. He has also served as a member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission for the State Bar. Carl is also listed in The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and the Chamber’s USA Guide for Leading Business Lawyers.

Additionally, he has testified as an expert witness before the Senate Immigration Subcommittee in Washington, D.C.

Immigration law is very personal for Carl. His wife is a Filipino immigrant. His son was born in Canada and his daughter-in-law’s parents are Indian immigrants. His office staff speaks Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi, Turkish, German and a variety of other languages.

Carl is a former Chairman of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Southern California Chapter and served as a member of AILA’s national Board of Governors (1988-97). He has chaired numerous AILA Committees, spoken at dozens of AILA Conferences and has contributed a number of scholarly articles to AILA’s publications.

Carl is a frequent writer and lecturer on immigration law. His articles, letters to the editor and quotes have appeared in prestigious publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Canada’s Globe and Mail, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, National Law Journal, California Lawyer, Los Angeles Lawyer, Journal of the American Medical Association, Christian Science Monitor, Atlantic Monthly, Computer World, Information Week, Issues in Science and Technology, Variety, and numerous other publications. He has written for, and been quoted extensively in, leading periodicals specializing in immigration law including Interpreter Releases, Immigration Law and Procedure, Immigration Briefings, Inside Immigration, Immigration Journal and U.S. Immigrant Magazine. In addition, he has appeared on various television programs including NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s Headline News, the Nightly News with Peter Jennings, and on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio shows.

14 April

Pamela Starr

Director, U.S.-Mexico Network
University of Southern California
Pamela Starr is the director of the U.S.-Mexico Network, a university fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and an associate professor of teaching in the School of International Relations and in Public Diplomacy. She came to USC from the Eurasia Group, one of the world's leading global political risk advisory and consulting firms, where she was senior analyst responsible for Mexico. Prior to that, she spent eight years in Mexico as a professor of Latin American political economy at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), a private university in Mexico City. Dr. Starr is an active speaker, commentator, and author on Mexican politics, economics and foreign policy, and on economic reform and policy making in Latin America. Read more about her background.

14 April

14 April

Rick Van Schoik

Portfolio Director
North American Research Partnership
Mr. Van Schoik serves as the Portfolio Director of NARP. His three decade-long experience in developing, funding, managing, and interpreting international programs enables NARP to pursue complex, multidisciplinary, trinational research and policy work. His portfolios are transborder energy, water, sustainability, and security and their intersection.

He was previously the Director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) at Arizona State University and of the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP). He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a SEAL until returning to graduate school at the California State University at San Diego.

He conducted studies of various wildlife whose home range and habitat increasingly crossed jurisdictional boundaries sometimes national borders leading to his interests and expertise in transborder analyses. He has authored numerous reports, articles, and chapters on water, ecological integrity and environmental quality, clean energy, and climate security, and implementation of technology to improve security and processing of flows at ports of entry. He is an invited speaker at various professional and public events. He has taught at Arizona State University, San Diego State University and the University of California at San Diego.

He resides with his wife on the beach in California

14 April

Jay Wang

Director
USC Center on Public Diplomacy
Jian (Jay) Wang is Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) and an Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Dr. Wang has written widely about the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization. He has published four books and three dozen research articles in academic and professional journals. His books include Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Soft Power and Nation Branding at the World Expo, Soft Power in China: Public Diplomacy through Communication (editor), Foreign Advertising in China: Becoming Global, Becoming Local, and China's Window on the World: TV News, Social Knowledge and International Spectacles (co-author). He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication and is a member of the Public Diplomacy Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund.

Dr. Wang has led a number of research projects on topics ranging from nation branding and nonprofit branding, to public diplomacy evaluation, corporate public diplomacy and CSR practices in emerging economies. At CPD, he has led successful partnerships on research and programming with organizations including the BBC, the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Global Affairs Canada, NATO, the United Nations Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State.

Wang previously worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors. Prior to joining USC, he taught at Purdue University.

14 April

Jessica Yellin

CNN Chief White House Correspondent (2011-2013)
Jessica Yellin is a political journalist whose award-winning career includes reporting for CNN, ABC, and MSNBC. At CNN she covered the White House, Capitol Hill, and domestic politics. Her work was featured prominently in the last three campaign cycles and her documentary on President Obama aired throughout the 2012 election.

As CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Yellin interviewed President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, and has conducted interviews with Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. W.Bush and first lady Laura Bush among others. Yellin provided extensive coverage from the battleground states during the 2008 and 2010 elections and has reported from around the globe including Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. In Washington, Yellin covered significant policy debates including the push to reform the financial regulatory system. In 2010 she won a Gracie Award for her reporting on the intersection of women and politics.

Prior to CNN, Yellin was a White House correspondent for ABC News and an overnight anchor and correspondent for MSNBC. As a general assignment reporter for WTVT-TV she reported on the 2000 Florida recount in Tallahasee. She began her broadcast career in 1998 as a general assignment reporter for Orlando’s 24-hour cable news channel, Central Florida News 13. In 1999, she was named morning anchor.

Yellin graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University and graduated from the Westlake School for Girls. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.

14 April

Vera Zakem

Project Director and Director for Strategy and Partnerships
CNA Center for Strategic Studies
Vera Zakem is a Director for Strategic Partnerships and Project Director at the CNA Center for Stability and Development. She leads initiatives that analyze vulnerabilities in societies that give access to state and non-state actors, media and the internet, Russia’s influence and information operations, special operations, and incorporating development and diplomacy solutions to complex threats in today’s security environment. She directs initiatives on Russia’s strategic and operational calculus in the former Soviet Union, particularly in the Baltics, Ukraine, Balkans, and Central Asia. She is currently directing several initiatives on Russia’s influence in the media and information domains in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, on U.S. security interests in the Balkans, and civil-military collaboration. She taught adversary analytics and red teaming at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. For over a decade, she has collaborated with many U.S. Government organizations, industry, and non-profit institutions. Ms. Zakem is a native Russian speaker and is a published author on information operations and cyber security, conflict, stability, and civil-military collaboration. Ms. Zakem holds an M.A. in government from the Johns Hopkins University and has spent a year in Tel Aviv University in Israel. She is a Term Member at Council on Foreign Relations.

14 April

Collision Course: A New Moment for U.S.-China Engagement?

Panel
A panel discussion on the future of U.S.-China relations under the Trump administration.

Featuring:
Nina Hachigian, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN (2014-2017)
David Kang, Director, Korean Studies Institute, University of Southern California

Moderator:
Ira Kasoff, Senior Counselor, APCO Worldwide

Several areas are shaping up to be contentious between the United States and China, including trade, the South China Sea, and Taiwan.

After the U.S. presidential election, then President-elect Trump accepted a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking decades of bilateral protocol. In early February, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone, during which Trump reversed course and committed to honoring the “One China” policy.

Tensions in the South China Sea continue to grow as Beijing builds its military presence in the region. China is in the final stages of building nearly two dozen structures designed to hold long-range surface-to-air-missiles on artificial islands. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is routinely patrolling the area. Some current and former U.S. military officials believe it is a question of when, not if, a regional conflict takes place.

Will there be a trade war between China and the United States? What sort of engagement is in store for these two competing powers?

Freedom of Speech and Press in 2017: A Global Look

Panel
A panel discussion on the state of the freedom of speech and press globally and the role the press plays in holding power accountable.

Featuring:
Rory Carroll, U.S. West Coast Correspondent, The Guardian
Kimberly Murphy, Assistant Managing Editor, Foreign & National, Los Angeles Times
Vera Zakem, Project Director on European Stability, CNA's Center for Strategic Studies

Moderator:
Paul M. Rosen, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

According to Freedom House’s 2016 report on the freedom of the press around the world, press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015. Only 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys “coverage of [robust] political news, [the guaranteed] safety of journalists, [a minimal] state intrusion in media affairs… and [a] press not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.” Meanwhile, 41 percent of the world’s population lives in “not free” media environments.

The United States is also experiencing a challenge in terms of the relationship between the press and the government. In February, President Trump tweeted that the media “is the enemy of the American people,” and the White House barred reporters from certain media outlets from a regularly scheduled press briefing.

Is press freedom on the decline in the United States and around the world? What are the implications of such a decline?

Moving NAFTA Forward: Assessing Renegotiation Efforts

Panel
Presented as part of the Pacific Council's Mexico Initiative, a panel discussion on the proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Featuring:
Pamela Starr, Director, U.S.-Mexico Network, University of Southern California
Rick Van Schoik, Portfolio Director, North American Research Partnership
John Nahas, Partner, Engeocom-Invicta Trading LLC
Eric Eide, Director of International Trade, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

President Donald Trump has put renegotiating NAFTA at the top of his economic agenda. Talks between Mexico and the United States on renegotiating NAFTA are expected to begin in June, to be led by Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The Trump administration will push for protectionist policies that emphasize American-made products and parts, which some observers say could disrupt U.S.-Mexico supply chains and raise consumer prices. Guajardo has warned that Mexico will break off negotiations if the United States were to propose tariffs on products from Mexico.

The talks could be an area of potential cooperation or frustration between the two countries, and they come at a time of increased tension over the Trump administration’s policies on immigration and the border wall. Mexico and Canada have said that the trade deal should be renegotiated trilaterally.

What are each country’s priorities in a new trade agreement? How will a new NAFTA affect U.S.-Mexico relations as well as each country’s economy?

Rifts in the Alliance? The EU’s Struggle for Stability

Panel
A panel discussion on the security and stability of the European Union in the face of crises across the continent.

Featuring:
Colleen Bell, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2014-2017)
John Emerson, U.S. Ambassador to Germany (2013-2017)

Moderator:
Susan McCaw, U.S. Ambassador to Austria (2005-2007)

The European Union is currently facing an important moment following the Brexit referendum, the refugee crisis, the rise of populist movements, and growing opposition to the Eurozone. The European Commission recently outlined five scenarios for the future of the economic and political union, including: “carrying on,” “nothing but the single market,” “those who want more do more,” “doing less more efficiently,” and “doing much more together.” These topics will be addressed at the bloc’s 60th anniversary summit on March 25 in Rome.

The success of Brexit has led other countries to consider leaving the union. Several countries hold national elections this year, including France, Germany, and the Netherlands. All three have experienced a rise in populist movements, which exhibit anti-immigrant and anti-EU sentiment.

Will populist movements and their candidates continue to gain popularity in Europe? What would a less united European Union look like, and what would it mean for U.S. transatlantic foreign policy?

The Future of Conflict: Blurred Lines Between War and Peace

Panel
A panel discussion exploring hybrid and asymmetric warfare and the modern conception of war and peace.

Featuring:
Rosa Brooks, Columnist, Foreign Policy
Peter Neffenger, Administrator, TSA (2015-2017)
Karen Richardson, Former Public Engagement Advisor, The White House

As conflicts involving disparate capabilities between opponents—such as the war in Afghanistan—and the development of the hybrid warfare strategy combining conventional, irregular, and cyber warfare become more common, some wonder if the line between war and peace is blurring. State-centric defense systems are less relevant in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.

Dr. John Launchbury, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Innovation Office, recently told the Pacific Council that cyber threats are among the most serious facing the United States. However, he added that it’s almost impossible to tell who is responsible for launching a cyber-attack, and there are no international norms around cyber threats.

What will future wars and conflicts look like? When is a cyber-attack an act of war?

Read a summary of Dr. Launchbury’s analysis here.

Behind the Front Page: Issues in the Middle East

Panel
A panel discussion exploring major foreign policy issues in the Middle East that do not receive significant media attention.

Featuring:
Shira Efron, Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
Steve Miska, National Security Consultant
Dr. Jerrold D. Green, President and CEO, Pacific Council

Moderator:
Scott Kraft, Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times

Conflicts continue to rage in all corners of the Middle East, from Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen. East Aleppo, a long-time Syrian rebel stronghold, recently fell to the Syrian army with the direct help of Russia. In the battle for Mosul, Iraqi forces recaptured the eastern side of the city from ISIL and have continued pushing into the west. ISIL carried out a terrorist attack in Turkey on New Year’s Day, a harbinger of more violence there as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to crack down on dissent. Yemen has been devastated by a complicated war involving various fighting factions, including the United States. In Afghanistan, the war continues to drag on as the Taliban erodes progress made by U.S. forces.

Where do the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East currently stand? What are the emerging foreign policy issues in the Middle East that do not receive significant media attention?

Public Diplomacy Crossroads: Challenges, Opportunities, and Disruptions

Panel
A panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the field of public diplomacy.

Featuring:
Fadi Chehadé, Chairman and CEO, Chehadé & Company
Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Advisory Board Member, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Moderator:
Jay Wang, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

In today’s turbulent political climate, practitioners of public diplomacy are thinking about the future of their field. Public diplomacy is the actions of governments, the media, multinational corporations, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and others to influence and listen to foreign publics.

Public diplomacy faces challenges and opportunities. University of Southern California (USC) Professor Philip Seib wrote in a piece in our Newsroom that “in our hyper-connected world, diplomacy is being transformed into a global participatory process by new media tools and newly empowered publics.”

From transnational public diplomacy to human rights to the United States’ image abroad, this USC Center on Public Diplomacy-sponsored panel will explore and present forward-thinking perspectives for the practitioner and scholar.

What does the future of public diplomacy look like? Are public diplomats, non-state actors, and scholars in the field prepared for the major disruptions taking place in geopolitics and information technology?

Assessing U.S. Immigration Policy in 2017

Panel
A panel discussion assessing immigration policy in the United States in 2017.

Featuring:
Margaret Peter, Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Political Science
Carl Shusterman, Attorney Law Offices of Carl Shusterman

The rise of populism around the world has in part been fueled by a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment. Many Britons voted to leave the European Union last June to reclaim their borders. Far-right politicians and political groups like Marine le Pen in France and Alternative für Deutschland in Germany are driven mainly by nativism.

In the United States, President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees have run into several legal obstacles. His proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and recent deportations of undocumented immigrants has strained relations between the two countries.

This session will seek to explore the economic, legal, and security questions around immigration in the United States.

The Future Operating Environment for the U.S. Marine Corps

Panel
A conversation with Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey.

Lt. General Ronald L. Bailey will outline the current operating environment of the U.S. Marine Corps, including areas of both stability and instability. From there, he will address challenges impacting how they will operate in the future, including the impacts of climate change.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently described climate change as a national security threat that is “impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

The Pentagon is worried that as the ice caps melt in the Arctic, new economic competition between the United States and Russia over the oil, natural gas, and other resources will be created. Additionally, severe weather changes such as rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, and forest fires threaten major U.S. military infrastructure around the world. And mass migration and instability caused by climate change could lead to the radicalization of marginalized peoples, resulting in a direct threat to U.S. national security.

What does the Marine Corps’ future operating environment look like? What impact will climate change have on the security and stability of the United States?

America Needs a Strong Transatlantic Alliance. Here’s Why.

John B. Emerson is the former U.S. Ambassador to Germany (2013-2017), and a Pacific Council member. He will be on the "Rifts in the Alliance? The EU’s Struggle for Stability" panel at Spring Conference.
____________________

In the summer of 2013, eight weeks after I arrived in Berlin as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, news broke of the NSA scandal involving Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. Until then, the larger German concern was the impending U.S. “pivot to Asia” and what it would mean for the transatlantic relationship. And so, while the German public was outraged by the spying allegations, the concerns of many in government and civil society were less about “being listened to” and more about the likelihood that the scandal would undermine that crucial partnership.

But why? During the early post-war years, the transatlantic partnership was born out of a commitment to the European project, with the goal of a fully democratic Europe that was whole, free, and at peace. It was a project fueled by a commitment to mutual security, prosperity, and trust, and it has proven to be one of the great success stories of world history. But as a result of the explosive spying disclosures, its foundational trust was badly shaken, jeopardizing its stability.

Read the full article on the Pacific Council website.

For Our National Security, It’s Time for Climate Action

Ted Lieu represents California’s 33rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He will serve as the keynote speaker at Spring Conference
____________________

At this very moment, millions of individuals across Somalia, Nigeria, and the South Sudan are suffering from drought and famine. In recent years, the Philippines, a country in which the United States has invested heavily, has been devastated by typhoons and natural disasters. And not too long ago, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the Atlantic coast.

These events not only present environmental and humanitarian risks, they also create national security threats. While it may be difficult to attribute a specific event to climate change, it is not difficult to show carbon and methane pollution is causing a pattern of disruptions across the world. To ensure a strong defense and a prosperous future, it is absolutely critical that the United States address the connections between climate change and national security.

Read the full article on the Pacific Council website.

Can There Be War Without Soldiers?

Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a columnist for Foreign Policy, and a law professor at Georgetown University. She will speak on the "The Future of Conflict: Blurred Lines Between War and Peace" panel at Spring Conference.
____________________

The wars of the future will be fought with very different kinds of weapons, on very different kinds of battlefields. And we should be wary of them.

"What if they gave a war, and nobody came?" asked anti-war activists in the 1960s. The answer is: the war would carry on quite happily without us.

For most of human history, "the three indispensable ‘hardware’ elements of any war" have been "soldiers, weapons, and a battlefield," observed Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui in their 1999 book, "Unrestricted Warfare." But many of today’s conflicts don’t require soldiers — or, for that matter, weapons or battlefields. Tomorrow’s wars will require them still less.

Read the full article on the Pacific Council website.

U.S.-Mexico NAFTA Talks: More Positives, Same Uncertainty

Dr. Pamela K. Starr is a Pacific Council member, the director of the U.S.-Mexico Network, a senior advisor at ManattJones Global Strategies, and an associate professor of teaching in the School of International Relations and in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. She will be on the "Moving NAFTA Forward: Assessing Renegotiation Efforts" panel at Spring Conference.
_______________________

In a recent article for MacroGeo, an online international affairs journal, I argued that, in the Trump era, a non-cooperative outcome between Mexico and the United States on trade matters is all too likely, but a cooperative scenario remained plausible. In the weeks since that opinion was published, events have led me to modify the argument a bit. Now it seems that, while a non-cooperative outcome remains possible, the cooperative scenario is increasingly likely. Still, the trading relationship is unlikely to return to the pre-Trumpian status quo any time soon.

Candidate Trump’s emphasis on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a "disaster" was a bad sign for the 23-year old trade agreement. He insisted that the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico demonstrated it was a bad deal for Americans, he threatened to impose high tariffs on imports from Mexico or to pull the United States out of the treaty as a means to coerce Mexico into giving him what he wanted, and he implied that the trading relationship was inevitably zero-sum.

Equally troubling was the strong reaction Trump’s threats elicited from Mexico. While Mexico expressed its willingness to renegotiate NAFTA (there are, after all, many ways in which it can be improved), the Peña Nieto administration also made clear that it would walk away from the negotiations if Washington attempted to raise current tariff levels or impose quotas, or if the result did not advance Mexican national interests. The result was a fairly bleak scenario for the future of NAFTA in late January and early February.

Read the full article on the Pacific Council website

On Eve of Mar-A-Lago Summit, Whither U.S.-China Relations?

Dr. Ira Kasoff is a Senior Counselor at APCO Worldwide, a Pacific Council member, and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia. He was part of the first group of scholars sent to China following the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979. He will be on the "Collision Course: A New Moment for U.S.-China Engagement?" panel at Spring Conference.
____________________

National focus on Russian hacking and possible ties to the Trump campaign, healthcare reform, wiretapping, and other news has kept U.S.-China relations on the back burner. This has left us with nothing to do but speculate about where things might be heading as we watch and wait. Chinese leaders have been cautious as they do the same. Things began to ramp up a bit with the recent visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing, and now we are beginning to see some focus on China in the run-up to the Mar-A-Lago summit.

As I write this a few days before the summit, it is hard to envision anything other than a downturn coming in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major opportunity for Beijing to fill the gaps on the world stage that Washington appears to be leaving as we focus on "America First," withdraw from global climate change agreements, and more.

On the trade side, China has been aggressively promoting something called the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership" (RCEP), the Chinese-led alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP, of course, did not include China. RCEP includes the 10 ASEAN countries, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, as well as India, South Korea, and of course China. RCEP will be a regional free trade agreement with lower standards on issues like intellectual property protection, environmental standards and labor standards, but it will lower tariffs on trade among member countries, which will help U.S. competitors and hurt us. There is even some talk (by our staunch ally Australia) of inviting China into the TPP in our place, which would be the ultimate irony.

Read the full article on the Pacific Council website.

Amgen

Amgen is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. Amgen is a values-based company, deeply rooted in science and innovation to transform new ideas and discoveries into medicines for patients with serious illnesses. Learn more about their work.

Cedars-Sinai

Since its beginning in 1902, Cedars-Sinai has evolved to meet the healthcare needs of one of the most diverse regions in the nation, continually setting new standards in quality and innovation in patient care, research, teaching, and community service. Today, Cedars-Sinai is widely known for its national leadership in transforming healthcare for the benefit of patients. It's one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the U.S. with 886 licensed beds, 2,100 physicians, 2,800 nurses, and thousands of other healthcare professionals and staff. Read more about their work.

Whittier Trust

Whittier Trust Company is the largest multi-family office headquartered on the West Coast with offices in South Pasadena, Costa Mesa, San Francisco, Reno, and Seattle. It is an independent wealth management company serving high net worth families, individuals and foundations across the United States. They offer a wide array of capabilities to address the full spectrum of wealth management needs. Their services include Investment management and consulting, fiduciary family office, philanthropic, and direct investments in energy and real estate. Read more about their work.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered at the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. As of July 2015, it operates scheduled services to 290 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the world by number of destinations, as of 2014. It serves more destinations non-stop from a single airport than any other airline in Europe. Turkish Airlines flies to 119 countries, more than any other airline. Learn more about their work.

USC Center on Public Diplomacy

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) was established in 2003 as a partnership between the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. It is a research, analysis and professional education organization dedicated to furthering the study and practice of global public engagement and cultural relations. Read more about their work.

Breakfast

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Main Dining Room

Rifts in the Alliance? The EU’s Struggle for Stability

10:00 AM 11:00 AM Main Dining Room

A panel discussion on the security and stability of the European Union in the face of crises across the continent.

The European Union is currently facing an important moment following the Brexit referendum, the refugee crisis, the rise of populist movements, and growing opposition to the Eurozone. The European Commission recently outlined five scenarios for the future of the economic and political union, including: “carrying on,” “nothing but the single market,” “those who want more do more,” “doing less more efficiently,” and “doing much more together.” These topics were addressed at the bloc’s 60th anniversary summit on March 25 in Rome.

The success of Brexit has led other countries to consider leaving the union. Several countries hold national elections this year, including France, Germany, and the Netherlands. All three have experienced a rise in populist movements, which exhibit anti-immigrant and anti-EU sentiment.

Will populist movements and their candidates continue to gain popularity in Europe? What would a less united European Union look like, and what would it mean for U.S. transatlantic foreign policy?

Speakers

Collision Course: A New Moment for U.S.-China Engagement?

11:15 AM 12:15 PM French Room

A panel discussion on the future of U.S.-China relations under the Trump administration.

Several areas are shaping up to be contentious between the United States and China, including trade, the South China Sea, and Taiwan.

After the U.S. presidential election, then President-elect Trump accepted a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking decades of bilateral protocol. In early February, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone, during which Trump reversed course and committed to honoring the “One China” policy.

Tensions in the South China Sea continue to grow as Beijing builds its military presence in the region. China is in the final stages of building nearly two dozen structures designed to hold long-range surface-to-air-missiles on artificial islands. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is routinely patrolling the area. Some current and former U.S. military officials believe it is a question of when, not if, a regional conflict takes place.

Will there be a trade war between China and the United States? What sort of engagement is in store for these two competing powers?

Ahead of this discussion, read Dr. Ira Kasoff's Pacific Council op-ed on the future of U.S.-China relations

Speakers

Public Diplomacy Crossroads: Challenges, Opportunities, and Disruptions

11:15 AM 12:15 PM Sunset Room

A panel discussion sponsored by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy on the challenges and opportunities facing the field of public diplomacy.

In today’s turbulent political climate, practitioners of public diplomacy are thinking about the future of their field. Public diplomacy is the actions of governments, the media, multinational corporations, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and others to influence and listen to foreign publics.

With the rise of populism and developments such as the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the U.S. State Department budget—including such relevant agencies as the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs—the future role of public diplomacy appears to be a diminished one.

Public diplomacy faces other challenges and opportunities as well. University of Southern California (USC) Professor Philip Seib writes that “in our hyper-connected world, diplomacy is being transformed into a global participatory process by new media tools and newly empowered publics.”

From transnational public diplomacy to human rights to the United States’ image abroad, this USC Center on Public Diplomacy-sponsored panel will explore and present forward-thinking perspectives for the practitioner and scholar.

What does the future of public diplomacy look like? Are public diplomats, non-state actors, and scholars in the field prepared for the major disruptions taking place in geopolitics and information technology?

Speakers

Behind the Front Page: Issues in the Middle East

11:15 AM 12:15 PM 2nd Floor Dining Room

A panel discussion exploring major foreign policy issues in the Middle East that do not receive significant media attention.

Conflicts continue to rage in all corners of the Middle East, from Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen. East Aleppo, a long-time Syrian rebel stronghold, recently fell to the Syrian army with the direct help of Russia. In the battle for Mosul, Iraqi forces recaptured the eastern side of the city from ISIL and have continued pushing into the west. ISIL carried out a terrorist attack in Turkey on New Year’s Day, a harbinger of more violence there as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to crack down on dissent. Yemen has been devastated by a complicated war involving various fighting factions, including the United States. In Afghanistan, the war continues to drag on as the Taliban erodes progress made by U.S. forces.

Where do the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East currently stand? What are the emerging foreign policy issues in the Middle East that do not receive significant media attention?

Speakers

Keynote Lunch

12:30 PM 02:00 PM Main Dining Room

A welcome by the President and CEO of the Pacific Council, Dr. Jerrold D. Green, followed by lunch and a keynote discussion with Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA 33). 

Speakers

Freedom of Speech and Press in 2017: A Global Look

02:15 PM 03:15 PM French Room

A panel discussion on the state of the freedom of speech and press globally and the role the press plays in holding power accountable.

According to Freedom House’s 2016 report on the freedom of the press around the world, press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015. Only 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys “coverage of [robust] political news, [the guaranteed] safety of journalists, [a minimal] state intrusion in media affairs… and [a] press not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.” Meanwhile, 41 percent of the world’s population lives in “not free” media environments.

The United States is also experiencing a challenge in terms of the relationship between the press and the government. In February, President Trump tweeted that the media “is the enemy of the American people,” and the White House barred reporters from certain media outlets from a regularly scheduled press briefing.

Is press freedom on the decline in the United States and around the world? What are the implications of such a decline?

Speakers

Assessing U.S. Immigration Policy in 2017

02:15 PM 03:15 PM Sunset Room

A panel discussion assessing immigration policy in the United States in 2017.

The rise of populism around the world has in part been fueled by a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment. Many Britons voted to leave the European Union last June to reclaim their borders. Far-right politicians and political groups like Marine le Pen in France and Alternative für Deutschland in Germany are driven mainly by nativism.

In the United States, President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees have run into several legal obstacles. His proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and recent deportations of undocumented immigrants has strained relations between the two countries.

This session will seek to explore the economic, legal, and security questions around immigration in the United States.

Speakers

Moving NAFTA Forward: Assessing Renegotiation Efforts

02:15 PM 03:15 PM 2nd Floor Dining Room

Presented as part of the Pacific Council's Mexico Initiative, a panel discussion on the proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

President Donald Trump has put renegotiating NAFTA at the top of his economic agenda. Talks between Mexico and the United States on renegotiating NAFTA are expected to begin in June, to be led by Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The Trump administration will push for protectionist policies that emphasize American-made products and parts, which some observers say could disrupt U.S.-Mexico supply chains and raise consumer prices. Guajardo has warned that Mexico will break off negotiations if the United States were to propose tariffs on products from Mexico.

The talks could be an area of potential cooperation or frustration between the two countries, and they come at a time of increased tension over the Trump administration’s policies on immigration and the border wall. Mexico and Canada have said that the trade deal should be renegotiated trilaterally.

What are each country’s priorities in a new trade agreement? How will a new NAFTA affect U.S.-Mexico relations as well as each country’s economy?

Speakers

The Future of Conflict: Blurred Lines Between War and Peace

03:25 PM 04:25 PM Main Dining Room

A panel discussion exploring hybrid and asymmetric warfare and the modern conception of war and peace.

As conflicts involving disparate capabilities between opponents—such as the war in Afghanistan—and the development of the hybrid warfare strategy combining conventional, irregular, and cyber warfare become more common, some wonder if the line between war and peace is blurring. State-centric defense systems are less relevant in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.

Dr. John Launchbury, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Innovation Office, recently told the Pacific Council that cyber threats are among the most serious facing the United States. However, he added that it’s almost impossible to tell who is responsible for launching a cyber-attack, and there are no international norms around cyber threats.

What will future wars and conflicts look like? When is a cyber-attack an act of war?

Speakers

The Future Operating Environment for the U.S. Marine Corps

04:45 PM 05:45 PM Main Dining Room

A conversation with Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey.

Lt. General Ronald L. Bailey will outline the current operating environment of the U.S. Marine Corps, including areas of both stability and instability. From there, he will address challenges impacting how they will operate in the future, including the impacts of climate change.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently described climate change as a national security threat that is “impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

The Pentagon is worried that as the ice caps melt in the Arctic, new economic competition between the United States and Russia over the oil, natural gas, and other resources will be created. Additionally, severe weather changes such as rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, and forest fires threaten major U.S. military infrastructure around the world. And mass migration and instability caused by climate change could lead to the radicalization of marginalized peoples, resulting in a direct threat to U.S. national security.

What does the Marine Corps’ future operating environment look like? What impact will climate change have on the security and stability of the United States?

Speakers

Closing Reception

05:45 PM 07:00 PM 3rd Floor Patio