This Week in DC: Events

Monday, March 17

U.S. Global Health Diplomacy and the Role of Ambassadors
Date: March 17, 9:30 – 11:00am
Location: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street NW, Washington DC 20005

In recent years, the U.S. government has increasingly made global health issues a key element of its diplomatic efforts – most notably in the creation of a new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the State Department in 2013, which includes a goal of supporting U.S. Ambassadors and embassies to enhance the focus on global health as part of their diplomatic engagement. How does diplomacy intersect with global health, and how is the new focus on global health diplomacy reshaping the work of U.S. Ambassadors with partner countries? How does this new office relate to and coordinate with other parts of the U.S. government’s global health architecture and foreign policy?

To provide insight into these questions, the Kaiser Family Foundation is hosting a panel discussion of U.S. Ambassadors, featuring Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson, Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White, and Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Walter North at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday, March 17. The event will also feature remarks from Ambassador Leslie Rowe, acting special representative in the Secretary’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and former U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique and to Papua New Guinea, on the role of the new office. Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation’s vice president and director of global health and HIV policy, will provide opening remarks and moderate the panel discussion.

RSVP required.

Ground Truth Briefing: Crimea at a Crossroads?
Date: March 17, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Miscommunication, misinterpretation, and misinformation have abounded in the last weeks as Ukraine’s crisis has careened from violence in the capital and mass protests throughout the country, perilously close to the brink of war in Crimea. What are Russia’s intentions? What can Ukraine do to maintain its territorial integrity and prevent further bloodshed? Now more than ever, a clear picture of what is going on in Crimea, Ukraine and the region is vitally important. Join us by phone to discuss the situation with key experts.

RSVP here.

Beyond the Arab Spring: U.S. Engagement in a Changing Middle East Date: March 17, 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004, 5th Floor

The panelists will consider how a range of domestic and regional changes in the Middle East have generated new challenges for U.S. diplomacy. This event is co-sponsored with the United States Institute of Peace and is the 6th and final in a series of presentations on “Reshaping the Strategic Culture of the Middle East.”

RSVP here.

Bioethics TED-style talks
Date: March 17, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Gaston Hall

March 17th focuses on bioethics in the clinic, at the bedside, and beyond, exploring enduring issues in medical ethics like informed consent, physician obligation, and disability ethics, all the way to cutting-edge technologies like genetic and cognitive enhancement that challenge our conception of what it means to be ill, or to be well, or even to be human.

Each talk will be followed by audience Q&A. Ask a compelling question, and that thought might reach a global audience.

Biodefense Policy Seminar
Date: March 17, 7:20pm
Location: George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax VA 22030, Mason Hall D003

Our March Biodefense Policy Seminar features Dana Perkins, Senior Science Advisor, DHHS — member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts. Dr. Perkins earned a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2002 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Microbiology/Neurovirology. In 2012-2013, Dana Perkins served in a US Government-seconded position as a member of the Group of Experts supporting a subsidiary body of the United Nations Security Council, the 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) to monitor the implementation of this resolution worldwide. In her prior position with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she led the Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Branch in the Office of Policy and Planning, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). At HHS/ASPR, some of her responsibilities and duties included providing subject matter expertise, inter-agency coordination, and senior level policy advice on the scientific (biodefense and biosecurity) and public health aspects of national and international emergency preparedness and response; directing and coordinating national and international progress on issues related to biodefense and biosecurity; developing and reviewing policies on biosecurity, biological weapons nonproliferation, and health security; and performing expert analysis and preparing implementation plans to support the US Government biodefense and biosecurity policy.

Tuesday, March 18

 Should the United States Give Up on Arab Democracy?
Date: March 18, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Copley Hall, Formal Lounge

The unhappy results of what was once known optimistically as the “Arab Spring” have led many analysts to suggest that the United States should stop supporting democracy in the Arab world. It doesn’t work, the argument goes, and things end up worse rather than better. In this view, President Obama was right to dump the Bush “Freedom Agenda” because the end of the regimes in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia has resulted only in violence and instability. Moreover, our policies have offended many of our friends in the region.

But are these arguments correct? Can the United States be indifferent to the effort to build democracy in the Arab world? Are there ways for the United States to help those struggling for democracy, more effectively and at lower cost? The topic of the lecture is the current condition and future prospects of democracy in the Arab world, and the challenge this presents to American foreign policy.

Wednesday, March 19

Did the Military Intervention in Libya Succeed?
Date: March 19, 11:00am
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20001,  Hayek Auditorium

On March 19, 2011, the United States and nineteen allied states launched an air assault against the Libyan military. President Obama and other leaders argued that military action would protect Libyan civilians, aid the progress of democracy there and across the region, and buttress the credibility of the U.N. Security Council, which had passed a resolution demanding a cease fire. By October, local rebel militias had killed Libya’s long-time ruler, Muammar el-Qaddafi, and overthrown his government. Three years later, it is time to ask whether the intervention worked. Did it protect Libyans or, by prolonging the civil war and creating political chaos, heighten their suffering? Is Libya becoming a stable democracy, a failed state, or something else? Did the intervention help other revolutions in the region, heighten repression of them, or was it simply irrelevant? Should the United States help overthrow other Middle Eastern dictators?

Registration required.

The Future of the Alliance: Revitalizing NATO for a Changing World
Date: March 19, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Location: Brookings Institution

On March 19, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) will host NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a Statesman’s Forum address on the importance of the transatlantic alliance and how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is evolving to address new common security challenges. As the crisis in Ukraine shows that security in the Euro-Atlantic area cannot be taken for granted, the secretary-general will discuss NATO’s essential role in an unpredictable world. He will outline the agenda for the September NATO summit in Wales as a critical opportunity to ensure that the alliance has the military capabilities necessary to deal with the threats it now faces, to consider how NATO members can better share the collective burden of defense and to engage constructively with partners around the world.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen took office as North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 12th secretary-general in August 2009. Previously, he served in numerous positions in the Danish government and opposition throughout his political career, including as prime minister of Denmark from November 2001 to April 2009.

Brookings Senior Fellow and CUSE Director Fiona Hill will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. After the program, Secretary-General Rasmussen will take questions from the audience.

This event will be live webcastRegister here.

Russian Missile Modernization: Developments and Implications for U.S. Security
Date: March 19, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill

As the Ukrainian crisis intensified, Russia launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as part of a regularly scheduled test.  While Russia’s planned test was known in advance by the U.S., the test was a symbolic demonstration of Russian military prowess during a time of acute international tension.

Russian efforts to improve its ballistic missile arsenal long predate the Ukrainian crisis.  In 2012, Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, in her statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned that:

“Like the United States, Russia will have to limit the number of strategic warheads it deploys to comply with the 1,550 limit of the Treaty. This limit will constrain Russia as it modernizes its strategic nuclear delivery systems with the deployments of several substantially MIRVed new strategic missiles, including the MIRVed Yars ICBM, new Borey-class missile submarines carrying 16 MIRVed Bulava SLBMs, and, in the event it is deployed during the life of the Treaty, a planned new ‘heavy’ ICBM to replace the SS-18 that will almost certainly carry several MIRVs.”

On March 19, 2014, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a discussion to review Russian missile modernization efforts, the implications for U.S. security, and responses to this growing threat.

As the principal nuclear threat to the United States, Russia’s activities to improve the quality of its arsenal have significant implications for our own nuclear modernization and missile defense plans, while also raising concerns about treaty violations.

The event will feature presentations from:

  • Dr. Mark Schneider, Senior Analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy; and
  • The Honorable Paula DeSutter, formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

Bioethics TED-style talks
Date: March 19, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, Gaston Hall

March 19th focuses on bioethics at the beginning and end of life, diving deep into the issues that confront us all: the ethics of creating and destroying early human life, the issues around retaining dignity at the end of life, the morality of physician-assisted suicide, and more.

Each talk will be followed by audience Q&A. Ask a compelling question, and that thought might reach a global audience.

Thursday, March 20

Cybersecurity: The Much Admired Problem
Date: March 20, 9:00am
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, City View Room, 7th Floor, Washington DC

Cyberspace, the ubiquitous fusion of information and communication technologies, has transformed the way that Americans work and play and has also markedly changed the U.S. national security landscape. Threats in and to cyberspace are causing anxiety at all levels in this country, encouraged by news of identity theft, intellectual property piracy, the Mandiant report on China’s cyber activities against US institutions, and repeated warnings of an impending “cyber Pearl Harbor.” A key issue is the fact that the cybersecurity problem is not well understood; it is much admired but not resolved. This talk will review the historical technical and policy drivers that created this hydra-headed beast, and their implications for cybersecurity. It will also provide a high-level overview of current cyber threats and attack objectives. The metaphor of public health will be used to posit approaches for significant containment of cybersecurity risk through scientific understanding, public “cyber hygiene,” and their integration with national and international legal and policy frameworks.

RSVP here.

Global Health Insecurity? New Pneumonia Viruses in China and the Middle East
Date: March 20, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Location: Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, McDonough Hall 205,  Washington DC 20001

Dr. Daniel Lucey is an infectious disease and public health physician who teaches on global emerging infectious disease outbreaks and public health countermeasures in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). His Infectious Disease training and MPH were at Harvard 1985-1988, after medical residency at UCSF, and medical school and college at Dartmouth. After working at the NIH and Washington Hospital Center until 2002, he co-founded a graduate program on emerging infectious diseases and biohazardous threat agents at GUMC. He has traveled widely in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to exchange information regarding infectious diseases such as SARS, influenza, Nipah, HIV, anthrax, and MERS. He is an author on over 100 papers and book chapters.

The Future of Syria: A Conversation with Robert Ford
Date: March 20, 4:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The crisis in Syria shows no signs of abating. Prospects for an internal political agreement or an external intervention to defuse let alone end the civil war seem improbable at best. Meanwhile the humanitarian, political, and strategic costs for Syria and the region mount daily. Please join us for a conversation with Ambassador Robert Ford on the current situation in Syria and prospects for the future.

RSVP here.

Friday, March 21

Is the Indian Nuclear Tiger Changing Its Stripes? Data, Interpretation, and Fact
Date: March 21, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Washington DC

India’s nuclear posture and some of its operational practices are beginning to mimic those of the nuclear P-5. Prominent arms controllers contend that India’s national security managers are poised to repeat the worst mistakes of the superpowers nuclear competition from the Cold War years, with negative consequences for deterrence, crisis, and arms race stability in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Gaurav Kampani of the Norwegian Institute of Defense Studies and Toby Dalton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will discuss the existing data to determine if the case for nuclear alarmism is justified.

Register here.

Pan American Health Organization Commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day 2014
Date: March 21, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd Street NW Washington DC 20037

The commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day seeks to raise and/or reactivate awareness on the persistence of the burden of TB in the world, as well as of the efforts made for its prevention and control. Throughout the years, this commemoration has offered the opportunity to mobilize the political, economic and social commitment for prevention and control of TB in PAHO countries.

For the 2014 campaign, PAHO embraces the same concept proposed at a global level by the World Health Organisation and the Stop TB Partnership to adequately search for, diagnose and treat TB patients, using the slogan:

Tuberculosis is still undiagnosed in many places, especially in large cities
Diagnosis and Treatment for All

We hope you can join us for this exciting event which will include; opening remarks from PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne, video presentations on good practices in TB case detection in vulnerable populations in the Americas, patient testimony, two panel discussions with various international speakers and the opportunity for questions and answers.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception in the lobby.

If you are unable to join us there will be a live stream of the event accessible Register here.

Make it Count: Evaluating Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Programming
Date: March 21, 3:00  – 4:30pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington DC 20004

Evaluation is a critical part of any development programming. Rigorous evaluations identify the successes, failures, and gaps in a given project, accumulating lessons learned that hopefully lead to more effective programming. Breaking new ground through their small-scale, community-based, and multi-sectoral approach, population, health, and environment (PHE) programs require a rethinking of traditional evaluation methods. Join us in a discussion about the history of PHE program evaluations and the path forward with John Pielemeier, an independent consultant focused on design, evaluation, and management of international development programs and projects, Vik Mohan, medical director of Blue Ventures, and Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security, and resilience at the Wilson Center.

Register here.

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