This Week in DC: Events

Want a way to beat the heat and avoid the crowds? Get thee to a think tank event. Here are the week’s best, again in one list because DC is operating at minimal capacity for most of this month.

Tuesday, August 13:
Between War & Peace: Do We Need New Tools For Messy Transitions?
9:30 – 11AM

The office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issued its final lessons learned report earlier this year. Among the recommendations was a call for establishing a new U.S. Office for Contingency Operations, for planning and implementing the diverse activities required in post-conflict deployments, not necessarily of the scale or purpose of the Iraq situation. Our panel will discuss the requirement for such a capability in the U.S. system, consider options to achieve greater planning and execution effectiveness, and also look at what tools and processes reside in the UN system.

Wednesday, August 14:
A Conversation with Amb. Raouf Adly Saad
Middle East Institute
12:00PM – 1:00PM

H.E. Ambassador Raouf Adly Saad served as the special envoy to Africa for Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour. Prior to that he served as ambassador to both the Russian Federation and the European Union. Amb. Saad has held a number of other prominent positions within the Egyptian government, including as senior assistant to the minister of foreign affairs, assistant foreign minister for International Economic Relations, and member of parliament and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the People’s Assembly. He has led several Egyptian delegations to international events, including the 7th Forum on Democracy, Development, and Free Trade in Doha, and the Meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the League of Arab States. He obtained his B.A. in economics and political science from Cairo University. Kate Seelye is senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, where she oversees MEI’s programs and communications. Prior to joining MEI, Seelye worked as a radio and television journalist covering the Arab world from 2000-2009 from her base in Beirut, Lebanon. She reported on the region for NPR, BBC’s The World, PBS’ Frontline/World and the renowned Channel Four British investigative news series, Unreported World. Prior to that she worked as a producer for the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.

Thursday, August 15:
Public Health Preparedness: Are We Ready for Disaster?
Alliance for Health Reform
12:15PM – 2:00PM

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax assaults, the federal government began to reevaluate the nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies. Since then, the nation has been hit by massive floods, hurricanes and other disasters, and last year Hurricane Sandy swept up the east coast, crippling several states and nearly exhausting emergency services. Despite the continued need for a strong emergency response infrastructure to combat natural disasters, reemerging diseases, pandemics and food-borne illnesses, state health department budgets have been shrinking. What is the nation’s state of preparedness for public health emergencies? What are the consequences of continued budget cuts to local and state health departments? Is the nation prepared for future disasters at both the federal and local level? What resources do we need to be adequately prepared? What can we learn from past emergencies, such as the recent Hurricane Sandy, to be more prepared in the future? A distinguished panel of experts will address these and related questions.

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