Week in DC: Events

November 3, 2014

Kurdistan: From Pawn to Player
Date: November 3, 10:00am
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir was appointed as the first Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations in September 2006, tasked with administering KRG foreign policy and bolstering the Region’s relations with the international community for the government’s fifth cabinet. He was reappointed as the Head of the Department in each successive cabinet, including most recently the eighth cabinet in June 2014. Minister Bakir’s vision, dedication, and passion to serve the people and the government of Kurdistan have paved the way for a successful Department and rapidly expanding relations between the KRG and foreign governments.

The Minister previously served as the KRG’s liaison officer to the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 and to the Multi-National Forces’ Korean Contingent stationed in Erbil in 2004. He was a Senior Adviser to the KRG Prime Ministerfrom 2002 until 2004, when he was appointed Minister of State. Earlier in his career, Minister Bakir was the KRG Deputy Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation, from 1999 to 2002. Prior to that, he served as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Public Relations Officer from 1996 to 1999. Minister Bakir joined the KDP’s International Relations/Public Relations office in 1991. The Minister regularly represents Kurdistan at regional and international events and conferences, and actively promotes political and economic ties with diplomats and businesspeople around the world.

At the same time, Minister Bakir promotes and encourages cultural and educational exchange programs, scholarships, and capacity-building programs designed to benefit Kurdistan’s youth. He regularly provides insight and analysis about the Kurdistan Region and its policies to journalists, researchers, think tanks, and postgraduate students. Minister Bakir obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Mosul, his graduate degree in Development Studies at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and a senior manager’s executive program certificate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Register here.

From Hizbullah to the Islamic State
Date: November 3, 3:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

From humble beginnings in the 1980s, Hizbullah’s political clout and public perception have trended upward, thanks to a communications strategy that has adapted to changes in the local and regional environment. Join Carnegie  for a discussion of the recently released book, The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication by Lina Khatib, Dina Matar, and Atef Alshaer. Carnegie Middle East Center Director Khatib will join Carnegie’s Joseph Bahout to discuss  how Hizbullah’s strategic communication has influenced other Islamist movements in the region, including the Islamic State. Carnegie’s Frederic Wehrey will moderate.

Register here.

Combating the Spread of Ebola: The U.S. Aid Effort in Liberia
Date: November 3, 6:00pm
Location: Women’s Foreign Policy Group, 1307 L Street NW, Washington DC

Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent with The New York Times. She has just returned from a two-week assignment covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Prior to her assignment at the Pentagon, Cooper covered the White House, was The Times’s diplomatic correspondent, and served as an assistant editorial page editor.

Cooper has reported from 64 countries, from Pakistan to the Congo. Prior to joining The Times, she worked for 12 years at the Wall Street Journal, where she served as a foreign correspondent, reporter, and editor. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Cooper is the author of the New York Times best seller “The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood”. She has appeared on Meet the Press, Washington Week, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Chris Matthews Show, and This Week, as well as twice as a clue on Jeopardy. She has received numerous award including: a Raymond Clapper award, Sandy Hume award, National Association of Black Journalists award, and an Urbino Press Award.

Elisabeth Bumiller (moderator) is deputy Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, where she oversees White House and domestic policy reporting. She was a Times Pentagon correspondent from 2008 to early 2013, a period when she traveled frequently with the Secretary of Defense and embedded with the American military in Afghanistan. Bumiller previously served as White House correspondent, political reporter and City Hall bureau chief for The New York Times. She also worked for The Washington Post in Washington, New Delhi, Tokyo and New York. In 2006 and 2007, Bumiller was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. She has published three books, the most recent of which was Condoleezza Rice: An American Life. She serves on the WFPG Board of Directors.

Purchase tickets here.

November 4, 2014

Challenges and Opportunities in the Fight Against Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Lessons from the IOM Workshops
Date: November 4, 12:00pm
Location: Center for Global Development, 2055 L Street NW, Fifth Floor, Washington DC 20036

The increasing burden of drug-resistant tuberculosis introduces new challenges to traditional TB control and treatment programs, and calls upon the global health community to collaborate in new and different ways. From 2008 to 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened six public workshops on the science and policy surrounding drug-resistant tuberculosis. The issues discussed ranged from biology, epidemiology, and surveillance to diagnosis, treatment, and infection control as well as the drug supply chain and needs of vulnerable populations. Dr. Gail Cassell, chair of the planning committee convening the IOM workshops, will present the themes, challenges, and opportunities emerging from the IOM initiative and discuss potential global actions and next steps to combat DR TB.

Register here.

The Challenges of Chemical Weapons Proliferation and Use
Date: November 4, 12:30pm
Location: The Stimson Center, 1111 19th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

During the Stimson Center’s 25th anniversary year, we are convening events to celebrate accomplishments and to consider hard work that lies ahead.  One source of pride is Stimson’s involvement in the issues surrounding the negotiation and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.  The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is now 17 years old and the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.  The OPCW, the United States and other member states explored new territory with the Syrian demilitarization effort, and are still digesting lessons learned. The Syrian government continues to use chemical weapons, and there are other outliers from the CWC and its obligations. Even so, the CWC has helped to strengthen norms against the use of chemical weapons. Please join us for a panel discussion on chemical weapons proliferation, norm-building, and the challenges ahead.

RSVP here.

Ukraine: The Way Forward
Date: November 4, 7:00pm
Location: GMU School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Arlington Campus, Metropolitan Building, Room 5183

The Ambassador will discuss current situation in Ukraine. He will also analyze the prospects for political, social, and economic development in Ukraine and for strengthening of Ukraine-US strategic partnership.

RSVP here.

November 5, 2014

Cyber Risk Wednesday: NATO’s Cyber Defense Mission and Capabilities
Date: November 5, 9:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The moderated panel discussion will analyze the new enhanced NATO Policy on Cyber Defense endorsed at the recent NATO summit in Wales, the cyber challenges facing the alliance and member states, and confidence-building measures in cyberspace. The event will also accompany the release of two publications: NATO’s Cyber Capabilities: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow analyzing NATO’s past, present, and future cyber organizations and capabilities and Confidence-Building Measures in Cyberspace: A Multi stakeholder Approach for Stability and Security –  the culmination of a NATO-funded effort to explore new approaches to cyber confidence building measures.

Register here.

The United States, Russia and ISIS
Date: November 5, 2:00pm
Location: Center on Global Interests, 1050 Connecticut Ave NW, 10th Floor, Washington DC

One year after planned U.S. strikes in Syria were sidelined by an unexpected proposal from Russia, the United States faces a new challenge in the region in the spread of the Islamic State. But while Russia is concerned about ISIS, it has expressed no intention to join the U.S.-led coalition and condemned any strikes without international approval. Amid U.S. sanctions and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, can Washington and Moscow resuscitate their relationship by addressing the ISIS threat? More importantly—should they?

Please join Michael Kofman of the Kennan Institute and John C.K. Daly of the Jamestown Foundation for a discussion on U.S.-Russian differences in perception about ISIS, the consequences of the U.S. military campaign, and possible opportunities for U.S.-Russian counter terrorism cooperation on the issue. They will also explore the likelihood of a broader effort between the two countries to maintain stability in the Middle East following the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov will moderate the discussion. A Q&A with the audience will follow.

RSVP here.

Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America
Date: November 5, 4:30pm
Location: Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC

In recent years, significant attention has focused upon the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the threat they pose to the United States and the West. Far less well understood, however, has been the phenomenon of Iran’s regional advance in America’s own hemisphere-an intrusion that has both foreign policy and national security implications for the United States and its allies. In this collection, noted specialists and regional experts examine the various facets of Iran’s contemporary presence in Central and South America, and detail what the Islamic Republic’s growing geopolitical footprint south of the U.S. border signifies, both for Iran and for the United States.

Register here.

Pathway to Civilian Medical Countermeasure Requirement Setting and Utilization
Date: November 5, 2014, 7:30pm
Location: George Mason University, Research Hall 163, Fairfax, VA

Richard I. Jaffe, M.S., Ph.D., MT(ASCP), Director, Medical Countermeasures, Strategy, & Requirements , Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will discuss Civilian Medical Countermeasures as part of the George Mason Biodefense program’s Biodefense Policy Seminar series.

November 6, 2014

The Islamic State and Beyond: U.S. Military Strategy in the Middle East
Date: November 6, 11:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security for a Commanders Series event with General Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of US Central Command, to discuss the US-led coalition campaign against the Islamic State and the broader role the US military will play in the Middle East in the coming years.

As one of the first military leaders into Iraq in 2003, General Austin has over a decade of first-hand, on-the-ground experience in the challenging operating environment of the Middle East theater. Often called a “soldier’s soldier,” General Austin currently leads Central Command which oversees US operations and military relationships with countries stretching from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Central Asian nations to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, the UAE, and Egypt. Today, one of CENTCOM’s highest priorities is Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State and how the US-led coalition can “degrade and destroy” the terrorist group. GEN Austin will discuss how the anti-Islamic State effort is progressing in Iraq and Syria, as well as the future of US military engagement in the Middle East.

Register here or watch online.

Lessons from the Latest War: What the Future Holds for the Israeli-Islamist Conflict
Date: November 6, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Street NW, Copley Formal Lounge, Copley Hall, Washington DC

Dr. Rafael Frankel (Georgetown University) will present as part of the Program for Jewish Civilization’s fall lecture series.

RSVP requested. A light lunch will be served.

Afghanistan in Transition
Date: November 6, 12:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Nitze Building, Kenney Herter Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Daniel F. Feldman is the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP). He has served in the S/SRAP office since its creation in 2009, first as deputy and then as principal deputy to Ambassadors Richard Holbrooke, Marc Grossman, and James Dobbins. He has been deeply engaged in all aspects of U.S. policy formulation and implementation for both countries, including overseeing political transition issues, economic growth initiatives, regional integration efforts, international engagement with key partners, strategic communications, and Congressional outreach. For his service in the S/SRAP office, he was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Honor Award by Secretary Clinton.

Before reentering government, he was a law partner and co-chair of the international Corporate Social Responsibility group at Foley Hoag LLP, the only such legal practice in the U.S. His previous government experience includes serving as Director of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council in the Clinton Administration, and as Counsel and Communications Adviser to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

He was Senior Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Kerry presidential campaign in 2004, communications advisor and recount attorney for the Gore campaign in 2000, and a senior campaign advisor to Senator Mark Warner. He helped to found, and subsequently served on the board of, the National Security Network, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been appointed a White House Fellow and a Henry Luce Scholar, and was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and on the South African Supreme (Constitutional) Court. He is a graduate of Tufts University, Columbia Law School, and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

Register here.

Pakistan’s Role in Afghanistan’s Transition
Date: November 6, 3:30pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

As the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan approaches, Afghanistan’s neighbors will have a greater impact on shaping the country’s uncertain future. Samina Ahmed and Mark L. Schneider will discuss the transition with a particular focus on Pakistan’s role. They will look at civil-military divisions over Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy, assess the impact of cross-border militancy on Afghanistan’s stabilization, and discuss the implications of Pakistan’s involvement in a potential negotiation process between the Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai government and the Taliban. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare will moderate.

Register here. 

Elections Under Crisis: Evaluating Ukraine’s Parliamentary Vote
Date: November 6, 4:00pm
Location: Elliot School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Voesar Conference Room, Washington DC

Ukraine’s October 26 parliamentary elections were held under extraordinarily challenging conditions. The on-going fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions made it impossible for several of the precincts to vote. This presentation will address the capabilities of the Ukrainian state to hold elections. It will also assess the implications of the election outcomes for Ukraine’s future political and economic development.

RSVP here.

A Look at the Ebola Crisis (Searching for Solutions to the Ebola Epidemic)
Date: November 6, 4:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

A SAIS Africa Association discussion with Gilbert Burnham, co-director, Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response. Open to the public and media.

For information or to RSVP, email africa.sais@gmail.com 

November 7, 2014

Pursuing Freedom and Democracy: Lessons from the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Date: November 7, 10:30am
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War came to an end. At stake during this war, which encompassed almost every nation, was whether the world would be dominated by the forces of totalitarianism led by the Soviet Union or inspired by the principles of economic, political, and religious freedom championed by the United States.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, our panel will discuss some of the lasting lessons of the Cold War. Do the ideas undergirding a regime matter? Does leadership matter or is history essentially determined by forces beyond our control? Are strength and resolve the dominant factors in crafting a national strategy, or does a prudent foreign policy guided by our founding principles of liberty and justice offer the best path for America?

Register here.

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