They are current and former ambassadors to and of the United States, military Generals, world-renowned scholars, and active agents. And that’s only the beginning of our list. With confirmations still ongoing, we are thrilled to announce the current speaker lineup for our 2019 Global Security Forum.
H.E. Roya Rahmani, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States
H.E. Roya Rahmani is the first woman ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States of America.
Ambassador Rahmani started her official work with the Afghan government at the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, as a senior advisor for Planning and Policy in early 2011. Prior to this, she directed and managed various organizations and programs at national and international levels. From 2009-2011, she managed a program implemented in 11 countries that promoted women’s empowerment. She worked as a part-time Subject Matter Expert with the NATO Joint Forces Training Center for two years and as a consultant with: the New York Department of Education, the United Nations Secretariat in New York, the Department of Trade and International Affairs of Canada, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Women Living under Muslim Laws and other INGOs.
Rahmani holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Software Engineering from McGill University. She has won several awards and fellowships and is a Fulbright Scholar. Rahmani served as a member of the board of directors of many organizations, is a Musawah Advocate and a member of Munich Security Conference Young Leaders.
Ambassador Rahmani has been featured in a variety of recent articles outlining her career and major accomplishments. Here are a few:
Ambassador Fareed Yaseen, Ambassador of Iraq to the United States
Fareed Yasseen is currently Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, a posting he assumed in November 2016. He Joined Iraq’s Ministry’s of Foreign Affairs in July 2004, and has previously served as head of the Ministry’s Department of Policy planning, as diplomatic advisor to Deputy President Adil Abd al-Mahdi and, prior to his posting in Washington, as Ambassador to France.
Educated in Iraq, Switzerland and the United States. Dr. Yasseen was initially trained as a physicist and carried out research at two leading universities in Europe and the United States before getting involved in political activism and human rights advocacy. He has worked and consulted for various start-ups, think tanks, and UN agencies, in particular, the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, where he led pioneering notable efforts in the use of the Internet.
Dr. Yaseen is a Member of the American Physical Society and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In 2016, he was Awarded the Robert and JoAnn Bendetsen Public Diplomacy Award at Tufts university, and was made Commander of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor.
See what Ambassador Yaseen said in 2017 when interviewed about the US-Iraq Relationship, Post-War Reconstruction, ISIS, and Universal Conscription:
Lieutenant General Michael R. Moeller, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Michael Moeller (Ret.) is the vice president of Business Development for Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines division, where he is responsible for engaging with governments and industries from around the world to secure new international and domestic business for Military Engines’ products and services. Additionally, he oversees the growth of the Military Aftermarket business through the worldwide facilities and air force bases where Pratt & Whitney performs overhaul, maintenance, supply chain management, and field services.
Mike joined Pratt & Whitney in 2015 after serving for 34 years in the United States Air Force. Prior to his current role, he held the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs. In this role, he led the development and integration of the United States Air Force’s long-range plans and the five-year, $604 billion Future Years Defense Program to ensure the Air Force’s ability to build and employ effective air, space and cyber forces to achieve national defense objectives. Before his last Air Force assignment, Mike served as the U.S. Security Coordinator, Israel-Palestinian Authority for the U.S. Department of State. While on Active Duty, Mike was a command pilot with more than 4,440 flying hours and 670 combat hours while participating in operations Desert Storm, Enduring, and Iraqi Freedom. He commanded at all levels of the United States Air Force including as a squadron, group, and twice as a wing commander.
His staff tours included serving as the Director of Strategy, Plans, and Policy for United States Southern Command and United States Central Command as well as on the Headquarters United States Air Force and Joint Staffs. Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master of Science degree from Embry-Riddle University, and a Master of Arts degree from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He also completed the National Security Leadership Course from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
In 2017, Lieutenant General Moeller participated in a C-SPAN panel centered around possible defense policies and strategies under President Trump. Topics included spending priorities, military readiness, and the defense of allies. Take a look:
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins (Ret.), Brookings Institute, WCAPS, U.S. Dept. of State (2009-17)
Bonnie Jenkins is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. She is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2009 – 017, she was an Ambassador at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) where she served as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. In that role, Jenkins coordinated the Department of State’s programs and activities to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism with programs funded by other US Departments and Agencies, and with similar programs funded by other countries. She served as the U.S. representative to the 30-nation G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. Jenkins was the Department of State’s lead to the four Nuclear Security Summits that took place from 2010 – 2016. Jenkins was the US Department of State, International Security and Non-Proliferation Bureau’s Nominee for the 2016 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs.
Jenkins was also a leading US official in the launch and implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), the global effort to build country capacities to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease, and led engagement efforts with the nongovernmental sector in furtherance of the GHSA. Before returning to government in 2009, Jenkins served as Program Officer for US Foreign and Security Policy at the Ford Foundation. She also served as Counsel on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Jenkins also worked at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in the Office of General Counsel.
Jenkins is a retired Naval Reserves Officer and received several awards for her service. She was a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (Belfer) at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. She also worked at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School where she advised law students on employment in the US government and public entities. Jenkins holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center; an M.P.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School and a B.A. from Amherst College. She is a member of the New York State Bar.
Check out this recent interview with Ambassador Jenkins, conducted by the Politic.
Ambassador Christopher Hill (Ret.), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Poland, Macedonia (2000-10)
Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is currently the Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver. Prior to this position, he was the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University, a position he held from September 2010 to December 2017.
In addition to overseeing the University’s Global Engagement, Ambassador Hill is author of Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir, a monthly columnist for Project Syndicate, and a highly sought public speaker and voice in the media on international affairs.
Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana, and on the Department of State’s Policy Planning staff and in the Department’s Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the Department of State’s Senior Country Officer for Poland. Ambassador Hill received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement, and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer where he supervised credit unions in rural Cameroon, West Africa.
Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a B.A. in Economics. He received a Master’s degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, and Macedonian.
Before Ambassador Hill sits down in Hartford, be sure to check out some of his writings, which vary on a range of issues and topics. Here is a 2018 piece that explores diplomacy under President Trump:
Farah Pandith, Harvard Kennedy School, Future of Diplomacy Project
Farah Pandith is an author, foreign policy strategist, and former diplomat. A world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, she is a frequent media commentator and public speaker.
She served as a political appointee under Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and most recently she was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving both Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She has served on the National Security Council, at the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in various senior roles. She has also served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, chairing its task force on countering violent extremism.
She is a senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School as well as an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Pandith divides her time between Washington, D.C.; London; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her book is How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.
Farah has been featured in many recent articles and interviews. Here are just a few that highlight her exceptional work:
Brian Turner, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Brian C. Turner assumed leadership of the FBI’s New Haven Division in September 2018. Prior to this assignment, he served as a Section Chief in the International Operations Division (IOD). While in IOD, Mr. Turner was responsible for Legal Attache operations in Europe and Eastern Europe/Eurasia.
Mr. Turner previously served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal and Administrative programs in the Minneapolis Division.
While assigned to the Phoenix Division, Mr. Turner was the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in the Tucson Resident Agency (TRA). Prior to serving as the JTTF SSA, Mr. Turner supervised a TRA criminal enterprise squad that targeted violent criminal activity associated with Mexican cartels on the US-Mexico border.
From 2008-2012, Mr. Turner was assigned to the Counterterrorism Division’s (CTD) Fly Team. While serving on the Fly Team, Mr. Turner routinely deployed to Africa in support of advancing CTD’s overseas mission to combat global terrorist threats. From 2002-2008, Mr. Turner was assigned to the Philadelphia Division, where he investigated white collar crime, criminal enterprises and supported surveillance operations. In 2008, Mr. Turner deployed to Iraq in support of FBI operational priorities in the region. Mr. Turner entered on duty with the FBI in April 2002.
Before joining the FBI, Mr. Turner served in the US Army for approximately 10 years. Before leaving the Army to join the FBI, Mr. Turner served as a faculty member at the US Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Turner graduated from West Point in 1991 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. In 1998, Mr. Turner earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership Development from Long Island University.
Lori Esposito Murray, Council on Foreign Relations
Lori Esposito Murray is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining CFR, she held the distinguished national security chair at the U.S. Naval Academy sponsored by the Class of 1960. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and president emeritus of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to educating and engaging the American public on global issues.
Murray was special advisor to the president on the Chemical Weapons Convention during the Clinton Administration, where she helped oversee the bipartisan approval of the convention. She is also the former assistant director for multilateral affairs of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency at the U.S. State Department, responsible for multilateral negotiations on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons issues.
She also served as executive director of the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military and Related Issues, established by Secretary of Defense William Cohen.
Murray’s congressional experience includes having worked for almost a decade as a senior legislative assistant on national security policy for Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-KS), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Her responsibilities included the full spectrum of foreign policy, defense, intelligence, and trade issues.
Subsequent to this position, Murray headed the U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission, a congressionally mandated commission that reports yearly to Congress on the economic and security issues regarding China. She also served as a consultant to the president’s Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction and U.S. Intelligence Capabilities, established by President George W. Bush and as a consultant to ABC News.
Dr. Murray received her BA from Yale University and her PhD from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Check out some of Dr. Murray’s latest work and contributions:
Arthur House, Chief Cyber Risk Officer, State of Connecticut
In Oct 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy appointed Arthur House to serve in the newly created position of the state’s Chief Cyber Security Risk Officer, where he is responsible for enhancing cybersecurity prevention and protection efforts in a comprehensive, cross-agency and cross-sector manner. This position serves as a leader for the state to coordinate the work responsible for safeguarding cyber systems and critical infrastructure in an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Prior experience includes service as chairman of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) where he served as its Chairman and played an extensive role in developing the Cybersecurity Action Plan, which identified solutions for enhanced cybersecurity across the state, specifically within the electric, natural gas, and water sectors.
House was part of a U.S. delegation to the Ukraine to study the attack on their power grid in December 2015, the first confirmed instance of hackers shutting down a power grid.
Prior to joining PURA, he served as Chief of the Communications Group for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency of the U.S. Department of Defense and the nation’s primary source of geospatial intelligence. He also served as Director of Communications at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Webster Bank.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused in International Relations from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Check out a recent interview with House, conducted by Cyber Security Dispatch:
Luke Knittig, McCain Institute for International Leadership
Luke Knittig is senior director of communications for the McCain Institute, responsible for strategic communications, media, external relations, events, publications, website, marketing and partnership activity. He is also executive producer and host of the Institute’s groundbreaking In The Arena podcast. Prior to joining the Institute, he was vice president of corporate communications for a mid-sized management consulting firm serving more than 40 government agencies.
Knittig previously served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he led high-visibility public relations initiatives, and advised the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the Honorable Doug Wilson. Also in the Pentagon, he served as special assistant to General Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, and public affairs officer for Army undersecretary, the Honorable Nelson Ford.
In 2006, Knittig was principal military spokesman and press center director during NATO mission expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. He also served as UK General Sir David Richards’ press officer.
A combat veteran, his early career positions were with the First Armored Division, where he achieved Distinguished Leader honors, and with the Third Infantry Division, where he earned Top Engineer Company Commander distinction.
An honor graduate of the Defense Information School (DINFOS) Public Affairs Officer Course, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Knittig is a member of the Public Affairs Council, the National Press Club, where he’s on the Headliners Committee, and serves on the strategic advisory board of the Virginia Chamber Foundation. He and his family reside in Arlington, Virginia.