Conference Speakers & Transcripts
- Major General Yaacob Ayish (ISR)
- Defense and Armed Forces Attaché, Embassy of Israel
Major General Yaacob Ayish was born in December 1962 in Kiryat Tiv’on, Israel.
In 1981 he was drafted to the Armour Corps, served as a combat fighter, an officer, and a company commander. He commanded operational activity throughout his career.
In 1990, he was appointed commander of the 82 Gaash armor battalion of Saar Mi-Golan 7th Brigade, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Between 1991 and 1994, Ayish served as a deputy brigade commander and afterwards as an operations officer of the 36 Gaash division in the Northern Command.
Later on, between 1996 and 1999, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and was appointed the commander of a reserve armor brigade as well as commander of the Armour and Engineering Training Centre at the IDF NTC.
Between 1999 and 2001, Ayish was appointed commander of the 7th Brigade, in the Golan Heights – Northern Command.
Between 2002 and 2004, during the Second Intifada, he served as the head of the Operations Department in the Operations Branch at the General Staff.
From 2004 to 2005 he served as the commander of the Mapatz 319 Division of the Northern Command and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
From 2005 to 2008, during the Second Lebanon War and the period that followed it, Ayish served as the Ground Forces Command chief of staff.
Between 2008 and 2010, Ayish served as the head of the Et Ha’asif, an IDF Defense efficiency program. This program was implemented with the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
In October 2010, he was promoted to the rank of major general and was appointed as the head of the Operations Branch (J3) in the General Staff.
In September 2012, Major General Ayish was appointed to the position of the Israeli defense and armed forces attaché to the United States and Canada.
Major General Ayish has a BA in political science from the Haifa University; he is a graduate of the Joined Staff and Command course in the British Army. Ayish has an MA in business administration from Tel-Aviv University.
Major General Ayish is married to Dalia and is the father of a daughter and three sons.
- Ambassador Frederick “Rick” Barton
- Assistant Secretary of State and Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization Operations
On December 1, 2009, Ambassador (Frederick) Rick Barton began serving as the U.S. representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York. In this position he works on development, peace building, climate change, human rights, and related issues.
Over the past fifteen years Mr. Barton has served as the founding director of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives; deputy high commissioner of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR); professor and lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School; and as a senior adviser and co-director of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has managed complex operations, directed strategic planning and built teams to improve the way that the United States and the international community approach the challenges of over thirty crisis places and fragile states in every part of the world.
Mr. Barton served on the Smart Power Commission, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Assistance, and the Presidential Transition’s Development Assistance Agency Review team. He was the chair of the Obama for President Subgroup on Post Conflict Reconstruction and co-chair of working groups at the United States Institute of Peace and for the Princeton Project on National Security.
An expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group and the Task Force on the United Nations, Mr. Barton led independent reviews of Iraq reconstruction, developed action strategies for Iraq, Sudan, and Sri Lanka, created new measurements of progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, and initiated path-breaking research and integrated approaches in Pakistan and Nigeria.
Mr. Barton’s public career includes service with Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Califano and Patricia Roberts Harris, U.S. Senator William D. Hathaway, chairmanship of the Maine Democratic Party, and as a nominee for U.S. Congress.
A graduate of Harvard College (1971), Mr. Barton earned his master’s in business administration from Boston University (1982), with an emphasis on public management. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Wheaton College of Massachusetts (2001).
- Jorge Enrique Bedoya Vizcaya
- Vice Minister of International Policy and Affairs, Colombia
Jorge Enrique Bedoya Vizcaya, economist and international relations expert,
was named vice minister for international policy and affairs at the Colombian
Ministry of Defense on October 6, 2011. He took office on November 1 of that
He came to the position after serving as the CEO of the National Federation
of Poultry Farmers (FENAVI) from 2003 until 2011. As CEO, Bedoya
represented the interests of the Colombian poultry industry to the national
government and defended sector interests in the free trade agreements
between Colombia and the United States, Canada, the European Union, South
Korea, and Turkey. He implemented quality management and follow-up
systems for FENAVI’s work and led in the design of public policy for the poultry
sector in Colombia.
Prior to serving as the CEO, he was the economic director for FENAVI, from 1997 to 2001.
In the area of academics and teaching, Jorge Enrique Bedoya has served as an
assistant professor and member of the Admissions Committee at the
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and as the student
liaison (2002) at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School
of Government. He was also a professor of macroeconomics at Pontificia
Universidad Javeriana and an economic researcher for the National
Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, or FEDECAFE (1996).
He earned a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard University, and a master’s in economics from
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.
- The Honorable Ashton B. Carter
- Deputy Secretary of Defense
Ashton B. Carter is the deputy secretary of defense. Previously, he served as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics from April 2009 until October 2011. As under secretary, Dr. Carter led the Defense Department’s efforts to accelerate the fulfillment of urgent operational needs; increase the department’s buying power; and strengthen the nation’s defenses against emerging threats.
Over the course of his career in public service, Dr. Carter has four times been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. For his contributions to intelligence, Dr. Carter was awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal.
Dr. Carter earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Prior to his most recent government service, Dr. Carter was chair of the international and global affairs faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and co-director of the Preventive Defense Project. Dr. Carter was also senior partner at Global Technology Partners; a member of the Aspen Strategy Group; a member of the board of trustees of the MITRE Corporation and the advisory boards of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories and the Draper Laboratory; and an advisor to Goldman Sachs.
During the Clinton administration, Dr. Carter was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. From 1990 until 1993, Dr. Carter was director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and chairman of the editorial board of International Security. Previously, he held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and Rockefeller University.
Dr. Carter is a member of the President’s Management Council and the National Council on Federal-Labor-Management Relations. He has previously served on the White House Government Accountability and Transparency Board, the Defense Science Board, the Defense Policy Board, the secretary of state’s International Security Advisory Board, and the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States.
Dr. Carter is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Diplomacy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Physical Society.
In addition to authoring articles, scientific publications, government studies, and congressional testimonies, Dr. Carter has co-edited and co-authored eleven books.
- Beth Cole
- Director, Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation, USAID
Beth Cole was appointed in May 2012 as director of the Office of Civil-Military Cooperation at USAID. Ms. Cole comes to USAID with more than thirty years of experience in the government and non-governmental sector working on stabilization and peacekeeping operations, arms control, and non-proliferation and civil-military relations. For the past eight years, Ms. Cole has held senior positions at the U.S. Institute of Peace including as dean of institutional affairs in USIP’s Academy, director of intergover-nmental affairs, and a senior program officer in the former Peace and Stability Operations division.
From 2005 to 2011, Ms. Cole has chaired the USIP-hosted Working Group on Civil-Military Relations in Non-Permissive Environments, the only regular forum for the U.S. armed forces, U.S. foreign affairs agencies, and non-governmental humanitarian assistance organizations. She is lead writer of the first interagency doctrine for stabilization operations, Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction, developed with the U.S. Army. Ms. Cole served on the Civil-Military Cooperation Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance (ACVFA) for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She is also an adjunct professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Among other past posts, Cole was director of the Congressional Roundtable on Post-Cold War Relations in the U.S. Congress and a senior fellow at George Mason University’s Program on Peacekeeping Policy. Cole was a co-author of the RAND book The Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building (January 2007). She co-authored a number of USIP special reports including, “Transitional Governance: From Bullets to Ballots” (2006) and “Building Civilian Capacity for U.S. Stability Operations: The Rule of Law Component” (2004) and the Peace Through Law Education Fund’s A Force for Peace and Security: U.S. and Allied Commanders Views of the Military’s Role in Peace Operations and the Impact of Terrorism on States in Conflict (2002) and A Force for Peace: U.S. Commanders Views of the Military’s Role in Peace Operations (1999). Cole also served in positions at the Congressional Research Service and the U.S. Department of State working on arms control treaty issues and was executive director of several non-governmental organizations, including the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and the Peace Through Law Education Fund.
- Thomas Debass
- Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
Thomas Debass serves as deputy special representative for global partnerships in the Global Partnership Initiative. He previously served as director for global partnerships, responsible for economic growth, global finance, and entrepreneurship; as well as leading the State Department’s diaspora engagement efforts. Prior to joining S/GPI, he was lead economist in the Office of Investment Policy with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, D.C. At OPIC he was responsible for economic evaluation and monitoring of OPIC-supported private investment projects in emerging and frontier markets. Thomas also served as a senior technical advisor in USAID’s Global Development Alliance (GDA) and Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT) teams. In this dual role, Thomas designed and launched new and innovative partnerships around diaspora-led activities; and also coordinated EGAT/MD’s work on microfinance’s transition to private capital, loan guarantees, and broader financial sector partnerships.
Prior to his development finance career, Thomas worked as a consultant for an agricultural research project in East Africa; and served as research associate for the USAID-supported Integrated Pest Management – Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM-CRSP) in Bangladesh and Uganda. Thomas is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a master’s degree in applied economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also has an Executive Certificate in International Business Management from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
- Dr. Stephen J. Flanagan
- Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy, National Security Staff, the White House
Dr. Stephen J. Flanagan is senior director for defense policy and strategy on the national security staff at the White House. Immediately prior to assuming this post, he held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Diplomacy and National Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Before joining CSIS, Dr. Flanagan served as director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies and vice president for research at the National Defense University from January 2001 through May 2007. Between 1989 and 1999, he held several senior positions in the executive branch, including as special assistant to the president and senior director for Central and Eastern Europe on the National Security Council staff, as associate director and member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, and as national intelligence officer for Europe. Earlier in his career, he was a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1978–1983). Dr. Flanagan has authored, coauthored, and coedited numerous books and articles on international security affairs, including The Turkey, Russia, Iran Nexus: Eurasian Power Dynamics (2012), Afghanistan: A Stress Test for Transatlantic Security Cooperation (2011), and Strategic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda (2008). He is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior and Meritorious Service Awards, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and decorations from the presidents of Poland and Romania. He earned his BA in political science from Columbia University in 1973 and his Ph.D. in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University in 1979.
- Michèle A. Flournoy
- Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group; Board of Directors, Center for a New American Security and the Atlantic Council
Michèle Flournoy served as the under secretary of defense for policy from
February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the
secretary of defense in the formulation of national security and defense
policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National
Security Council deliberations. She led the development of DoD’s new
Strategic Guidance and represented the department in dozens of foreign
engagements, in the media, and before Congress.Prior to confirmation, Ms. Flournoy co-led President Obama’s transition team
In January 2007, Ms. Flournoy co-founded the Center for a New American
Security (CNAS), a non-partisan think tank dedicated to developing strong,
pragmatic, and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS’s
president until 2009.
Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished
research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the
National Defense University (NDU).
In the mid-1990s, she served as principal deputy assistant secretary of
defense for strategy and threat reduction and deputy assistant secretary of
defense for strategy.
Ms. Flournoy has received several awards from the secretary of defense and
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She is a member of the Defense
Policy Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy
Ms. Flournoy earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard
University and a master’s degree in international relations from Balliol
College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.
- Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, USA
- Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1981 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in Military Intelligence. His first assignment was as a paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Since that time he has served in a variety of command and staff positions, including commander, 313th Military Intelligence Battalion and G2, 82nd Airborne Division; G2, 18th Airborne Corps, CJ2, CJTF-180 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan; commander, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade at the Army’s Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; director of intelligence, Joint Special Operations Command, with duty in OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); director of intelligence, United States Central Command, with duty in OEF and OIF; director of intelligence, the Joint Staff; director of intelligence, International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan; special assistant to the deputy chief of staff, G-2; and assistant director of national intelligence, partner engagement. Lieutenant General Flynn became the eighteenth director of the Defense Intelligence Agency on July 24, 2012.
Lieutenant General Flynn holds an undergraduate degree in management science from the University of Rhode Island and holds three graduate degrees: a master’s of business administration in telecommunications, a master’s in the military arts and sciences, and a master’s in national security and strategic studies. He also holds an honorary doctorate of laws from the Institute of World Politics, Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant General Flynn is also a graduate of the Army’s Signal Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Courses, the Combined Armed Services Staff Course, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, the United States Naval War College, and numerous executive leadership forums.
Lieutenant General Flynn also served in several other Army, joint, interagency, and coalition assignments over his distinguished career. Additionally, he has authored numerous professional journal articles on national security, and defense related issues. Lieutenant General Flynn is also the recipient of the distinguished Association of Special Operations Professionals Man of the Year Award for 2012.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters), the NATO Service Medal, and several service and campaign ribbons. Lieutenant General Flynn also has earned the Ranger Tab and Master Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency Identification Badges.
- Rear Admiral Robert P. Girrier, USN
- Director of Operations (J3), U.S. Pacific Command
Rear Admiral Girrier assumed duties as director for operations (J3), United States Pacific Command, in October 2011.
Girrier entered the U.S. Naval Academy from the State of New York, graduating with merit in 1983.
A surface warfare officer, he most recently commanded Carrier Strike Group Seven, USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group, and Carrier Strike Group Eleven, USS Nimitz Strike Group. In Ronald Reagan Strike Group he conducted a combat deployment in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn and provided disaster response for Japan during Operation Tomodachi. Prior to these tours he served as vice commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, with operational commander duties in 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleets.
In additional sea tours, Girrier commanded Destroyer Squadron 15, forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, where the squadron developed tactics, techniques, and procedures for anti-submarine warfare and maritime ballistic missile defense while exercising extensively with navies throughout the 7th Fleet area. He commanded USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Mediterranean theater, serving as air defense commander for the 6th Fleet. Additionally, Girrier commanded USS Guardian (MCM 5) – a forward-deployed Avenger-class mine countermeasure ship operating from Sasebo, Japan, in support of 7th Fleet operations.
Ashore, Girrier has served as an instructor at the Surface Warfare Officer’s School in Newport, Rhode Island. In Washington D.C., he has served as a policy planner and representative to NATO bodies on counter-proliferation for the Joint Staff (J-5); as the administrative aide to the secretary of the navy; the executive assistant to the deputy chief of naval operations for plans, policy and operations; and as the deputy director of the Navy Staff. Overseas he served as the executive assistant to commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples.
Girrier earned a master of arts in international affairs from the American University School of International Service; a master of marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island; and a master’s in public administration as a Moreau scholar from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, specializing in negotiation and conflict resolution.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, and five awards of the Legion of Merit.
He is co-author of the professional naval books Command at Sea, the Watch Officers Guide and the Division Officer’s Guide.
- Major General Christophe Gomart
- French Special Operations Commander
Major General Christophe Gomart is the commander of French Special Operations. His previous experience includes special reconnaissance team leader, 13ème Regiment de Dragons Parachutistes in Dieuze (the 13 RDP is the dedicated SR unit of the French Special Operations Command); instructor at the Saint Cyr Military Academy in Coëtquidan; Sabre Squadron commander, 2ème Regiment de Chasseurs in Verdun; press information officer, Service d’Information et de Relations publiques des Armées in Paris; Class 109, French Senior Staff College and Class 4, Joint Defense College in Paris; operations officer, 13 RDP in Dieuze; HUMI T operations officer, French Military Intelligence Directorate (DRM) in Paris; commanding officer, 13 RDP in Dieuze; staff officer, General Inspectorate of the Army in Paris; head of the Private Office of the French MoD Cabinet in Paris; and Intelligence Coordination Cell – French Presidency – Elysée Staff.
Major General Gomart has been deployed overseas in Chad (Operation Epervier-1986); Bosnia (Forpronu-1992); Rwanda (Operation Turquoise-1994); the Rapid Reaction Force in Bosnia with the Franco-British Brigade (1995); operations in Bosnia (2000-2001), Africa, and the Balkans (between 1997 and 2005); and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (2006).
His decorations include the Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, and the Croix de la Valeur militaire, two mentions in dispatches.
- Dr. Camille Grand
- Director, Foundation for Strategic Research, France
Appointed managing director of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique by its board in May 2008, Camille Grand has been in office since September 1, 2008.
Prior to this assignment, he was deputy director (i.e., deputy assistant secretary) for disarmament and multilateral affairs in the directorate for strategic, security and disarmament affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-08). In this capacity, he was in charge of chemical and biological non-proliferation, conventional arms control, small arms and light weapons, land mines and cluster munitions, OSCE and Council of Europe affairs, and has been directly involved in several arms control negotiations (including the CFE Treaty, the cluster munitions treaty, and the CWC and BTWC review conferences). He has also been the French representative in several groups within the EU (CODUN, COSCE) and NATO (HLTF).
He was previously the deputy diplomatic adviser to the French minister of defense, Mrs. Alliot-Marie (2002-2006). He also served as an expert on nuclear policy and non-proliferation in the strategic affairs department of the French MoD (1999-2002), and was an associate fellow in the the Institut français des Relations internationales (IFRI) (2000-2002).
He has also worked with the European Union Institute for Security Studies, as a visiting fellow (1999-2000), and the Institut des Relations internationales et stratégiques, as a research fellow and editor of the quarterly journal Relations internationales et stratégiques (1994-1998).
Camille Grand has taught graduate courses in international and security affairs at Sciences Po Paris since 1998 and at the Ecole nationale d’Administration since 2006. Among other past teaching positions, he was an associate professor in security studies at the French Army Academy, Ecole spéciale militaire (St Cyr-Coëtquidan) (1995-2002).
His publications include several books and monographs and numerous papers in European and American books and journals, on current strategic affairs primarily focused on nuclear policy, non-proliferation, and disarmament.
He holds graduate degrees in international relations, defense studies, and contemporary history, and is a graduate from the Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris. He also followed the training of the Institut diplomatique of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Brigadier General Ousmane Kane
- Chief of Staff, Air Force, Senegal
Brigadier General Ousmane Kane currently serves as chief of staff of the Senegalese Air Force. Prior to assuming this post, he served as the defense, military, naval, and air attaché of Senegal to the United States, a position he assumed in February 2009. Brigadier General Kane entered the service of the Senegalese Air Force as a cadet at the French Air Force Academy, Salon de Provence, France, in 1975. He has also served as a navigator, assistant defense attaché in Bonn, Germany, air base support group commander, assistant to the Senegalese Air Force chief of staff, and technical inspector for the Senegalese Defense Department. Internationally, he has served as mission chief for the repatriation of Senegalese nationals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and as mission chief for the repatriation of Senegalese nationals in Liberia. Brigadier General Kane’s education includes a bachelor of engineering with a specialization in navigation from the French Air Force Academy. He is a graduate of the General Staff Intelligence Course, the French Air Command and Staff Course, the German Air War College, the African Strategic Course at Nasser Higher Academy of Cairo, and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he received a master’s degree in national security studies. He is a native speaker of West African-Senegalese Fulani and Wolof, as well as being fluent in French, German, and English. His military awards include the Médaille de la valeur Militaire with Silver, Officier de l’Ordre national du Lion, and the Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite.
- Robert D. Kaplan
- Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor
Mr. Kaplan has been a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security since March 2008, and has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for over a quarter-century. He is the author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, published by Random House in October 2010.
In 2009, he was appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, which advises the secretary on key issues. He served on the Board through 2011. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis.
Mr. Kaplan is the best-selling author of twelve previous books on international affairs and travel, translated into many languages. In the 1980s, Mr. Kaplan was the first American writer to warn in print about a future war in the Balkans. Balkan Ghosts was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the “best books” of 1993. The Arabists, The Ends of the Earth, An Empire Wilderness, Eastward to Tartary, and Warrior Politics were all chosen by the New York Times as “notable” books of the year. An Empire Wilderness was chosen by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of 1998. The Wall Street Journal named The Arabists as one of the best five books written about America’s historical involvement in the Middle East.
Besides The Atlantic, Mr. Kaplan’s essays have appeared on the editorial pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as in all the major foreign affairs journals. He has been a consultant to the U. S. Army’s Special Forces Regiment, the U. S. Air Force, and the U. S. Marines. He has lectured at military war colleges, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, major universities, and global business forums. Mr. Kaplan has delivered the Secretary of State’s Open Forum Lecture at the U. S. State Department. He has reported from over one hundred countries. Two earlier books of his, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, have been re-issued, so that all his books are in print.
- Gregory M. Kausner
- Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Security and Arms Transfers
Gregory M. Kausner is the deputy assistant secretary of state for regional security and arms transfers in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. In this capacity, he is responsible for advancing U.S. foreign policy and national security interests through the management of political-military and regional security relations and the sale/transfer of U.S.-origin defense articles and services to foreign governments. Mr. Kausner also oversees the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, which is responsible for managing the PM Bureau’s congressional relations, public affairs, and public diplomacy functions.
Previously Mr. Kausner was a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His portfolio included oversight of defense policy, political-military affairs, security assistance, diplomatic security, and intelligence.
Prior to working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he served as an officer in the United States Navy. After graduating flight school with distinction, he deployed to Atsugi, Japan, to join the “Black Knights” of VF-154, the only permanently deployed F-14 squadron. In 2003, on board the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), he piloted combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Air Medal with Combat “V.” In 2005, after a squadron transition to the F/A-18F, he participated in a seven-month global deployment on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), which included four months of combat operations in the Persian Gulf. He was named VFA-154’s Junior Officer of the Year and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
During his shore tour, he served as the training officer for the East Coast F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron, where he was responsible for the initial training in strike fighter tactics for student naval aviators. He also served as a Senate liaison officer in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington D.C.
Originally from Sparta, New Jersey, Mr. Kausner received a BA in international relations from the University of Delaware and earned an MA in security studies from Georgetown University.
- General John F. Kelly, USMC
- Commander, USSOUTHCOM
General Kelly was born and raised in Boston, MA. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970, and was discharged as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North carolina. Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1976, he was commissioned and returned to the 2nd Marine Division where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer, and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, FL, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal and USS Independence. In 1980, then-Captain Kelly transferred to the U.S. Army’s Infantry Officer Advanced Course in Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Captain Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to the rank of major in 1987, he served as the battalion’s operations officer.
In 1987, Major Kelly transferred to the Basic School, Quantico, Virginia, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico. Completing duty under instruction and selected for lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Holding this command position for two years, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 1995 and was selected to serve as the commandant’s liaison officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to the rank of colonel.
In 1999, Colonel Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001, and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the assistant chief of staff G-3 with the 2nd Marine Division. In 2002, selected to the rank of brigadier general, Colonel Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the assistant division commander. Much of Brigadier General Kelly’s two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq. He then returned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the legislative assistant to the commandant from 2004 to 2007. Promoted to major general, he returned to Camp Pendleton as the commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). The command deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a year-long mission, replacing II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) as Multinational Force-West in Al Anbar and western Ninewa provinces. Lieutenant General Kelly commanded Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North from October 2009 to March 2011. General Kelly comes to United States Southern Command from his previous position as the senior military assistant to the secretary of defense from March 2011 to October 2012.
- Vice Admiral Michael LeFever, USN
- Deputy Director, Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center
Vice Admiral LeFever is currently serving as the deputy director for strategic operational planning, National Counterterrorism Center. LeFever is a 1976 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.
His career as a surface warfare officer includes assignments aboard USS Truett (FF 1095), USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968), USS Taurus (PHM 3) and USS Nicholson (DD 982), Destroyer Squadron 36, culminating in commanding officer of USS John Rodgers (DD 983), commander, Destroyer Squadron 21.Ashore, LeFever served in Navy Personnel Command (PERS 41), Joint Staff; U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and as senior fellow, Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies group.
LeFever graduated from the Naval Post Graduate School and holds a master of science degree in systems technology, command, control and communications, and has attended Armed Forces Staff College and various other joint warfighting training.
His first flag officer assignment was as deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare Division. In October 2004, he reported as commander, Expeditionary Strike Group One, Tarawa/13th Marine Expeditionary Unit Strike Group, and was additionally assigned as commander, Disaster Assistance Center, Pakistan, to coordinate the U.S. military response to Pakistan’s 2005 earthquake. In August 2006, he served as director of the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Policy Division (N13). In July 2008, he was assigned commander, Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan.
His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement Award, Award of “Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam” (Order of Great Leader) and Award of “Sitara-i-Eisaar” (Star of Sacrifice) from the president of Pakistan, and various service campaign and unit decorations.
- Vice Admiral Charles J. “Joe” Leidig, Jr., USN
- Deputy Commander for Military Operations, United States Africa Command
Vice Admiral Leidig assumed duties as deputy commander for military operations, United States Africa Command, in August 2010.
Leidig graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, and is an honorary graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2008.
Leidig’s operational tours include service in both attack and ballistic missile submarines. He served aboard USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN 655), USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635), USS Stonewall Jackson (SSBN 634), as executive officer aboard USS Pogy (SSN 647), and as commanding officer of USS Cavalla (SSN 684), where his crew earned two Meritorious Unit Commendations and the Navy Battle Efficiency “E.” He received the David Lloyd Leadership Award and the L.Y. Spear Award upon completion of the Submarine Officer Advanced Course.
Leidig’s other command tours include commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5; commander, Naval Forces Marianas; commander, Navy Region, Marianas, and U.S. Defense representative to Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and Micronesia; and commander, Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South (NATO); commander, Submarine Group 8; director of operations and intelligence, Naval Forces Europe and Africa; and, deputy commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.
Leidig’s staff assignments include service as Submarine Squadron 11 material officer, as senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, Atlantic Fleet; as assistant deputy director for regional operations (J-3) on the Joint Staff; as executive assistant to the director of the Joint Staff; and two tours at the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor and, later, as the 80th commandant of midshipmen. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as chief of staff for the director, strategic plans and policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff.
Leidig earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College as a distinguished graduate in 1994, completed the National Security Management Program at Syracuse University in 2001 and the Navy’s Executive Business Course at the University of North Carolina in 2005.
Leidig’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, along with other unit and service awards.
- Vice Admiral Teodoro E. López Calderón
- Commander, Spanish Joint Operations Command
At sea, Vice Admiral López Calderón commanded the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) – the former STANAVFORMED – which he harmonized with long periods commanding the Surface TG in NATO Operation Active Endeavour, in support of the global war on terror. He has also been in command of the 41st Frigate Squadron (FFG class), the frigate Cataluña (DEG Class), the 2nd Minesweeper Squadron and the fast patrol boat Villaamil. In the sphere of NATO cooperation with Russia, he planned and conducted the operational training at sea of the Russian Black Sea Fleet frigates designated to join Operation Active Endeavor. This was the first time that NATO and the Russian Navy operated together at sea. In the sphere of the NATO Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, and Istanbul Cooperation Initiatives, he planned and conducted two exercises. The second one, in the Black Sea, was the first participation in history of an Israeli Navy ship in a NATO exercise. He has also been chief of staff of the 21st Corvette Squadron; chief of the Combat System Department and tactical action officer on the frigate Numancia; chief of Operations Department and Electronic Warfare Division on the frigate Asturias; chief of Electronic Warfare Division on the frigate Extremadura; assistant operations officer and navigator officer on the Corvette Descubierta; and gunnery officer on the frigate Extremadura. As lieutenant commander he was assigned to USCOMSOLANT staff during the planning conferences and the execution phase of the exercises UNITAS along the coast of South America.
Ashore, Vice Admiral López Calderón was appointed as chief of staff to the Spanish Joint Operations Command; DCOS OPS to the Spanish Joint Operations Command; chairman of the Spanish Section of the Spain-United States of America Permanent Committee; head of the Strategic Planning Branch in the Navy Staff; ACOS Operations in the Navy Operational Staff; and military advisor to the minister of defense. He was elected member of the Navy Electronic Warfare Doctrine Committee and Navy representative to the Armed Forces Joint and Combined Doctrine Committee.
Vice Admiral López Calderón has completed numerous national and international courses, including the Naval Staff Officer Course and the Senior Course from the NATO Defence College. He specializes in electronic warfare and he participated in the Tactical Action Officer Course as well.
Vice Admiral López Calderón has been awarded a total of fourteen military decorations, which include national, foreign, and international ones.
- Dr. Michele Malvesti
- Vice President for Special Programs, Science Applications International Corporation
Michele L. Malvesti currently serves as a lecturer and senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where she teaches graduate seminars on national security decision making and on terrorism and counterterrorism.
Dr. Malvesti also is a vice president in the national security sector at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and she serves on the board of directors for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Previously, Dr. Malvesti served more than five years (2002–07) on the National Security Council staff, including as the senior director for combating terrorism strategy. In this role, she advised the president’s national security advisor and homeland security advisor on counterterrorism policy and strategy. Dr. Malvesti briefly returned to the White House in 2009 to co-chair the presidential study review that reformed the White House organization for homeland security and counterterrorism on behalf of the Obama administration.
She also has worked as a professional in the intelligence community, including at the Defense Intelligence Agency, where she specialized in Middle East terrorism. Prior to her work at DIA, she served as an intelligence analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Dr. Malvesti holds a bachelor of arts, highest distinction, in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her political science degree was conferred with highest honors. She received both a master of arts in law and diplomacy and a doctor of philosophy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Dr. Malvesti was raised in North Carolina and is now a resident of Virginia.
- Brian F. McCauley
- Deputy Assistant Director, FBI International Operations Division
Mr. Brian McCauley entered on duty as an FBI special agent in March 1997 and was assigned to the Washington field office, where he worked on the Violent Crimes Task Force, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the anthrax investigation.
In January 2004, Mr. McCauley was assigned to FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division, Military Liaison & Detainee Unit, serving as program manager for FBI operations in Afghanistan. In this capacity, Mr. McCauley also served as the deputy on-scene commander in Afghanistan in 2004. He led a contingent of FBI special agents who supported U.S. Special Forces components in furtherance of the Bureau’s national security mission.
In April 2006, FBI Director Mueller selected Mr. McCauley to serve as the first legal attaché in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for all FBI programs in country. As legal attaché, he received numerous awards for initiating a Joint
Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force whose focus was to investigate and target IED cells operating in Kabul.
As a direct result of his impact in Afghanistan, in July 2008, FBI Director Mueller selected Mr. McCauley to serve as the associate deputy director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) for Community HUMINT. In this position, Mr. McCauley served as the senior FBI representative to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and to the director of the National Clandestine Service. Mr. McCauley was responsible for the executive-level management and oversight of HUMINT policies and programs, as well as coordination and deconfliction of U.S. HUMINT operations worldwide. Mr. McCauley received the Donovan Award, which is the highest recognition given by the National Clandestine Service.
In October 2012, Mr. McCauley was named deputy assistant director of the International Operations Division (IOD). In this capacity, Mr. McCauley has responsibility for the operations of IOD’s seventy-nine overseas offices as well as IOD’s headquarters staff.
Before entering the FBI, Mr. McCauley served four years in the United States Marine Corps. He also served in the United States Secret Service as well as the United States Marshal’s Service. He is a graduate of Notre Dame College.
- Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
- Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon is a champion of a strong national defense, the men and women of America’s armed forces and their families, easing the nation’s national debt, and returning fiscal discipline to the federal government.
McKeon was selected by his peers to serve as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the 112th Congress, and again for the 113th Congress. He was first named ranking member of the Committee in June 2009. His priorities for the Committee include ensuring our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world have the equipment, resources, authorities, training, and time they need to successfully complete their missions and return home; building on the Armed Services Committee’s strong bipartisan tradition of providing our warfighters and their families with the resources and support they need; and investing in the capabilities and force structure needed to protect the United States from tomorrow’s threats, while mandating fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency from the Department of Defense.
As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, McKeon is fighting to strengthen our military and invest in a force postured to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, while working to provide the necessary resources for America’s sons and daughters in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also led efforts to keep terrorist detainees off of U.S. soil, boost funding for missile defense, and restore the tradition of passing defense authorization bills devoid of controversial social items.
Additionally, McKeon has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between industry and military leaders in order to ensure that our warfighters on the ground continue to receive the support they need and deserve.
- Admiral William McRaven, USN
- Commander, USSOCOM
Admiral McRaven is the ninth commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. USSOCOM ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and, as directed, conducts operations worldwide.
McRaven served from June 2008 to June 2011 as the eleventh commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. JSOC is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint special operations tactics.
McRaven served from June 2006 to March 2008 as commander, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). In addition to his duties as commander, SOCEUR, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre where he was charged with enhancing the capabilities and interoperability of all NATO Special Operations Forces.
McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commanding general for operations at JSOC; commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group One; commander of SEAL Team Three; task group commander in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility; task unit commander during operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield; squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group; and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team Four.
McRaven’s diverse staff and interagency experience includes assignments as the director for strategic planning in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council staff; assessment director at USSOCOM, on the staff of the chief of naval operations, and the chief of staff at Naval Special Warfare Group One.
McRaven’s professional education includes assignment to the Naval Postgraduate School, where he helped establish, and was the first graduate from, the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum.
- Rear Admiral Kerry M. Metz, USN
- Commander, Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command
Rear Admiral Metz was commissioned via the Aviation Officer Candidate School in October 1984. After a brief time in aviation, he was assigned to the surface fleet where he served in USS Enhance (MSO 437). Transferring to Naval Special Warfare in 1987, he completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training with Class 149 in April 1988.
Tours in Naval Special Warfare include assignments at SEAL Team One; the Naval Special Warfare Center; Naval Special Warfare Unit Eight; Naval Special Warfare Group One; and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Joint assignments include Special Operations Command, Pacific; Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF)-South (Task Force K-BAR); CKSPTF-AP; Task Force (TF) 373; TF 914; and Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435. He has commanded a Naval Special Warfare Task Unit; a Joint Task Force; Naval Special Warfare Group 11, and six Naval Special Warfare Reserve Units. His service overseas includes deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Promoted to rear admiral in October 2011, he was serving as the deputy commander and is currently the interim commander of Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command.
Metz holds a bachelor of science degree in business from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a master of business administration degree from the University of Denver. He has completed courses at the Air Command and Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Defense Language Institute.
- Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri
- Singapore Ambassador to the United States
Mr. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri took up his appointment as Singapore’s ambassador to the United States of America in July 2012. Prior to his current appointment, he served as ambassador to Indonesia from 2006 to 2012, high commissioner to Malaysia from 2002 to 2006, and high commissioner to Australia from 2000 to 2002.
A career diplomat, Mr. Mirpuri joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1984. In 1994, he was appointed director of MFA’s Policy Planning & Analysis Directorate I (Southeast Asia). In 1997, Mr. Mirpuri was seconded to Shell International Ltd in the United Kingdom as corporate advisor (Asia Pacific). He was subsequently assigned to the Singapore embassy in Jakarta in 1998 as minister-counselor and deputy chief of mission, having previously served in Jakarta as first secretary (political).
Mr. Mirpuri graduated with an honors degree from the National University of Singapore. He received his MA at the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies under a Raffles Scholarship. He attended the Programme for Executive Development at the Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Mirpuri was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore government in 2010.
- Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr.
- Deputy Commander, USSOCOM
Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr., is the deputy commander of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. USSOCOM ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and, as directed, conducts operations worldwide.
Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr., was born in Clovis, New Mexico, but grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon graduation from Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, in 1978, General Mulholland earned a bachelor of arts in history and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry, United States Army.
His first post was with the 193rd Infantry Brigade in the former Panama Canal Zone where he served as a rifle platoon leader, weapons platoon leader, and company executive officer in both 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 20th Infantry (Sykes Regulars), and A Company (Airborne), 3rd Battalion, 5th Infantry. Following completion of the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, he moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course. Upon graduation in September 1983, then-Captain Mulholland joined the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Project B-500. Since joining Special Forces, General Mulholland has commanded at the Operational Detachment Alpha, Company, Battalion/Squadron, and Group levels within Special Forces. Additionally, he served in other special operations assignments including Special Operations Command South (Panama) as well as the operations officer at 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne). Then- Colonel Mulholland commanded Joint Special Operations Task Force-North (Task Force Dagger) in the opening days of operation Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West (Task Force Dagger) in the initial campaign of operation Iraqi Freedom. He subsequently served as the chief, Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait, as commanding general, United States Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), as deputy commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, and as commanding general, Special Operations Command Central. General Mulholland most recently served as the commanding general, United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is currently assigned as the fifteenth deputy commander, United States Special Operations Command.
General Mulholland earned a master of military art and science in history while attending the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and a master of science in national security strategy from the National War College. Among his many awards, General Mulholland has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit Medal.
- Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering
- Vice Chair, Hills & Company International Consultants; former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Thomas R. Pickering is vice chair of Hills & Company. Ambassador Pickering served as under secretary of state for political affairs (1997-2000) and as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He also was the U.S. ambassador and representative to the United Nations in New York, where he led the U.S. effort to build a coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War. He has held additional positions in Tanzania, Geneva, and Washington, including as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs and as special assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger. After retiring from the State Department in 2000, Ambassador Pickering joined the Boeing Company as senior vice president, international relations, and member of the Executive Council. He serves on a number of not-for-profit boards. He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Melbourne and speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili fluently and also Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian.
- Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus, USN
- Commander, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command
Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus is the commander, Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, California.
He is a career Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL officer with multiple Joint Special Operations duty assignments. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1979 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and a regular Navy commission through NROTC.
Rear Admiral Pybus has served in SEAL, Underwater Demolition, Special Boat, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle tours within NSW, and has held operations positions at Joint Special Operations Command and United States Special Operations Command. Command tours include units in Panama, Germany, and Bahrain, as well as duty as commodore, NSWG-1, San Diego. As a flag officer, he has served as J-3, Center for Special Operations, USSOCOM, 2007-2009, commander, Special Operations Command Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, 2009-2011; and on June 30, 2011, he became the commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, in Coronado, California.
He has participated in special operations in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), and various other awards. He is also a 1998 distinguished graduate of the Naval War College with a master’s degree in strategic studies.
- Brigadier General Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., USA
- Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Command
Brigadier General Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., USA, is the deputy commanding general, United States Army Special Operations Command. Previous assignments include deputy commanding general (support), 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado; commander, Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command Iraq, United States Forces Iraq, Operation New Dawn, Iraq; commander, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; commander, 3d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and commander, Special Operations Task Force North, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; commander, 3d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and commander, Special Operations Task Force Center, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; executive officer, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and director, J3, Joint Special Operations Task Force North, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; commander, B Company, later S3 (Operations), 3d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Operation Joint Forge, Bosnia Herzegovina; detachment commander, B Company, 3d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and Operation Provide Comfort, Turkey; and executive officer, B Company, 24th Support Battalion (Forward), 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Saudi Arabia.
Brigadier General Rogers has received the Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Bronze Star Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters); Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Combat Infantryman Badge; Master Parachutist Badge; Air Assault Badge; Scuba Diver Badge; Ranger Tab; Special Forces Tab; and Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge. He received a BA from Auburn University, an MA from Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College, and an MS from Air University. In addition, he completed the Ordnance Officer Basic Course and the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Air War College.
- Rear Admiral Javier Romero
- Defense Attaché, Embassy of Spain
Rear Admiral Javier Romero was born in Ferrol, a town of naval tradition in the northwest of Spain, in 1957. He joined the Naval Academy on August 15, 1975, and became a lieutenant JG in 1980.
Since July 15, 2010, he has been the defense attaché to the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., and since June 2011 he has been the dean of the Washington corps of defense attachés and chairman of the Defense Attachés Association. As a lieutenant JG and lieutenant, he served on board the destroyers Méndez Nuñez and Lángara, the frigates Baleares and Cataluña and the training sailing ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano.
He has commanded four ships: patrol boat Marola, offshore patrol vessel Vigía, frigate Andalucía, and the the training sailing ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano.
Among his assignments ashore, he has served on the Navy Staff, addressing operations and plans and policies issues an with responsibility for NATO topics; in the cabinet of the under secretary of defense; and in the former SACLANT HQ (Norfolk, Virginia), working in the Logistics and Manpower Division. He served in the Plans Division of the Spanish Navy Staff, where he led the Business Process Management Implementation Team of the Spanish Navy, addressing many structural and organizational issues, and was head of the Capabilities Development Branch and head of the Organization Branch.
He has been awarded the Cross, Tribute and Badge of the Royal Military Order of Saint Hermenegildo, six Navy Honor Crosses and one NATO Article V Medal.
Rear Admiral Romero graduated from the Spanish Naval War College and the German Joint War College. He is a naval communications specialist.
- Dr. Sarah B. Sewall
- Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
Sarah Sewall is an international affairs expert known for innovative, high-impact work on emerging security challenges. After a decade of U.S. government service, she joined the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she teaches graduate courses on U.S. foreign policy and war in the twenty-first century. She serves on the secretary of defense’s Defense Policy Board and the Board of the Center for Naval Analyses. She was the 2012 Minerva Chair at the U.S. Naval War College. Dr. Sewall was a foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Barack Obama and played a leadership role in the Obama presidential transition. As director of Harvard’s Carr Center, she partnered with the U.S. military to develop doctrine for counterinsurgency operations and created new U.S. doctrine to prevent genocide. She has led field studies on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and the Philippines and advises the U.S. military on training and strategy. She served as the inaugural deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance during the Clinton administration. She also served for six years as foreign policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell. Her publications include the forthcoming Global Security Handbook chapter on civilian protection, the introduction to the Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, Parameters of Partnership: U.S. Civil-Military Relations in the 21st Century, and The MARO Military Planning Handbook. Dr. Sewall graduated from Harvard College and received her doctorate from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
- Michael A. Sheehan
- Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict
Michael A. Sheehan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn-in as the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict (ASD SO/LIC) in December 2011. He is the secretary of defense’s principal civilian advisor on programs, policies, and resources for special operations. In addition, the office oversees Defense Department policies and programs regarding counternarcotics, humanitarian assistance, security force assistance programs for building partner capacity, and stability operations. Mr. Sheehan has over thirty years in public service, much of it involved in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, peacekeeping, and law enforcement operations.
Mr. Sheehan is a 1977 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served in a variety of infantry and special forces assignments. In the infantry, he commanded a mechanized company in an armored brigade in Korea with multiple tours on the demilitarized zone (1983-85). As a special forces officer, Mr. Sheehan served in a variety of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency capacities. He commanded an Operational Detachment -Alpha in a hostage rescue unit in Panama (Company C, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)) and participated in numerous training and advisory deployments in Latin America including Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. In addition, Mr. Sheehan graduated from the Colombian Commando course, Lancero. He is Airborne, Ranger, Special Forces, Jungle Warfare, and Jumpmaster qualified, and is a recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge. In 1985 and 1986, Mr. Sheehan was the brigade counterinsurgency advisor for the Fourth Brigade in Chalatenango, El Salvador, one of the most combative regions in the country.
While on active duty, Mr. Sheehan served in the field on peacekeeping missions in Somalia (1993-94) and Haiti (1995). In both cases, he was special advisor to the head of the UN mission and engaged in the integration of UN military and civilian police programs. Mr. Sheehan served on the National Security Council staff for both President George H.W. Bush (1989-92) and President William Jefferson Clinton (1995-97).
After retiring from the Army in 1997, Mr. Sheehan served at the State Department in the Bureau of International Organizations. After the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, Mr. Sheehan was appointed by President Clinton as ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism (1998-2000) and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1999. During his tenure Mr. Sheehan establish bilateral counterterrorism working groups with India and Russia (both of which are still operating). From 2001 to 2003, Sheehan went back to peacekeeping duty as the assistant secretary general of mission support in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, where he was responsible for supporting sixteen missions around the world and over forty thousand military and police peacekeepers.
From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Sheehan served as the New York Police Department (NYPD) deputy commissioner for counterterrorism. In this position he was instrumental in reshaping the NYPD into what is widely regarded as one of the most effective counterterrorism organizations in the world.
Mr. Sheehan has master’s degrees from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (1988) and the U.S. Army Command and Staff College (1991). In both programs his dissertations concerned irregular warfare theory and practice. Mr. Sheehan spoke and lectured on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency policy and was a distinguished fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and the Center for Law and Security at NYU. In addition, he was the on-air counter terrorism analyst for NBC News from 2006 to 2011.
- Jim Thomas
- Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
Jim Thomas is vice president and director of studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He oversees CSBA’s research programs and directs the Strategic and Budget Studies staff.
Prior to joining CSBA, he was vice president of Applied Minds, Inc., a private research and development company specializing in rapid, interdisciplinary technology prototyping. Before that, Jim served for thirteen years in a variety of policy, planning, and resource analysis posts in the Department of Defense, culminating in his dual appointment as deputy assistant secretary of defense for resources and plans and acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. In these capacities, he was responsible for the development of the defense strategy, conventional force planning, resource assessment, and the oversight of war plans. He spearheaded the 2005-2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), and was the principal author of the QDR report to Congress.
Jim began his career in national security at Los Alamos National Laboratory, analyzing foreign technological lessons learned from the first Gulf War. After serving as research assistant to Ambassador Paul H. Nitze, Jim joined the Department of Defense as a presidential management intern in 1993 and undertook developmental management assignments across the Department of Defense over the next two years. From 1995 to 1998, he managed a NATO counterproliferation initiative and wrote three reports endorsed by allied foreign and defense ministers to integrate countering-WMD as a mission area into NATO post-Cold War force planning. From 1998 to 1999, he was seconded to the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, where he wrote Adelphi Paper 333, The Military Challenges of Transatlantic Coalitions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). From 1999 to 2001, Jim worked in the secretary of defense’s Strategy Office, playing a lead role developing the defense strategy and force planning construct for the 2001 QDR. From 2001 to 2003, he served as special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. He was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2003.
Jim received the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 1997 for his work at NATO, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the department’s highest civilian award, in 2006 for his strategy work.
Jim is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He holds a BA with high honors from the College of William and Mary, an MA from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
A former naval reserve officer, Jim attained the rank of lieutenant commander.
- Brigadier-General D.W. Thompson, OMM, MSC, CD
- Commander, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Brigadier-General Thompson entered le Collège militaire royal de St. Jean in 1979, graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada at Kingston in 1984. As a junior officer he served with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, in Winnipeg, Cyprus, and Germany and Joint Task Force 2 in Ottawa.
Upon promotion to major in 1995, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, as officer commanding G Company, leading them as part of the Queen’s Royal Hussars Battle Group on the initial NATO mission in Bosnia.
Thereafter, he was appointed the deputy commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, and G3 of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. In 2000, Brigadier-General Thompson assumed command of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, deploying with them in 2001 as the battle group commander in Bosnia.
On leaving regimental duty in 2002, he took up a post as a policy officer including a secondment to Foreign Affairs Canada. In 2006, Brigadier-General Thompson was appointed brigade commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Petawawa until assuming command of Task Force Kandahar from May 2008 to February 2009.
Since then, he has served in a number of staff positions at National Defence Headquarters before being appointed commander of Canadian Special Operations Command in April 201l.
Brigadier-General Thompson is a licensed professional engineer and his academic qualifications include a bachelor of mechanical engineering and a master of applied military science.