This Week in DC: Events

Don’t forget, our May Biodefense Policy Seminar,  featuring Dr. Daniel Gerstein, Deputy Under Secretary for Science & Technology in the Department of Homeland Security, is this Thursday evening! Dr. Gerstein’s talk, “National Security and Arms Control in the Age of Biotechnology”, will examine emerging threats at the nexus of arms control and advancements in biotechnology.  Come and ask questions at 7:20 PM in the Meese Conference Room, Mason Hall!

DC EventsTuesday, May 20

Threat and Response: Combating Advanced Attacks and Cyber-Espionage
Center for Strategic and International Studies
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Speakers from across the government and private sectors will discuss burgeoning threats in cybersecurity.

How Arab Public Opinion Is Reshaping the Middle East
Brookings Institution
3:00 – 4:00 PM

The Arab awakening that began in 2011 is transforming the Middle East in ways that continue to surprise seasoned observers. As new political leaders and movements struggle for power and work to shape the region’s future, one thing is clear: public opinion is more consequential now than it has arguably ever been. How Arabs view themselves and the world around them will have enormous consequences for the region and the larger international community in the years ahead. How are changes in Arab public opinion shaping the changes occurring across the region? Have the U.S. and its allies done enough to understand and support the voices of Arabs seeking greater representation and opportunity?

Wednesday, May 21st

Politics, Higher Education and Healthcare in the Austerity Era
Brookings Institution
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Since the onset of the Great Recession, public discussion has centered on whether spending or austerity is the best path to economic recovery. As evidenced by the sequestration, recurring debt ceiling fights and the ongoing euro crisis, clear policy prescriptions to kickstart anemic economies remain elusive. Often lost in the public discussion surrounding government budgets, though, is consideration of austerity’s implications for national politics and how policy is enacted and implemented. How has the debate surrounding spending versus budget-cutting shaped the political conversation in the United States? What has been austerity’s impact on the policy-making process?

Health Diplomacy as a Weapon in the Battle for Hearts and Minds
NextGen Foreign Policy Network
6:30PM – 8:00 PM

Global health is increasingly recognized as an important part of international relations, that can have a direct or indirect impact on national security. Health diplomacy enables countries to project a positive image in nations where they are not always welcome, but where their medical expertise is needed. At the same time, health diplomacy can also be an incredible human adventure, with floating hospitals treating thousands of patients on ships.

Thursday, May 23

National Security and Arms Control in the Age of Biotechnology
GMU Biodefense Policy Seminar Series
7:20PM – 8:30PM

The Biodefense Policy Seminars are the D.C. area’s premiere speaker series focused on biodefense and biosecurity issues. The monthly seminars – free and open to the public – feature leading figures within the academic, security, industry, and policy fields of biodefense. Past speakers have included Dr. Charles Bailey, Executive Director at the National Biodefense Center and Dr. Alexander Garza, former Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Homeland Security.

About the May Speaker: Dr. Daniel M. Gerstein has served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Science & Technology in the Department of Homeland Security since August 2011. He is also an Adjunct Professor at American University in Washington, DC at the School of International Service (SIS) where he teaches graduate level courses on biological warfare and the evolution of military thought. Dr. Gerstein has extensive experience in the security and defense sectors in a variety of positions while serving as a Senior Executive Service (SES) government civilian, in uniform, and in industry. Before joining DHS, he served as the Principal Director for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy). He has served on four different continents participating in homeland security and counterterrorism, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and combat in addition to serving for over a decade in the Pentagon in various high level staff assignments.

Iran: The Battle for the Presidency
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
12:30 – 1:30 PM

Iran’s Council of Guardians will announce the list of candidates for the next president of Iran on May 22-23. Our panel of experts will discuss the candidates, their platforms, and their likely impact on future domestic and foreign policy.


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