Week in DC: Events 2.22-2.6.2016

Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Will The Syria War Ever End?– Project for the Study of the 21st Century
Time: 2-3:30pm
Location: Thomson Reuters1333 H St NW #410E, Washington, DC 20005 (map)
Five years after the start of the “Arab Spring”, Syria’s civil war is as brutal as ever — and dragging in ever more outside powers. As Russian-backed government forces close on Aleppo, has Bashar al-Assad finally regained the upper hand? What compromises might Syrians be willing to accept as the price of peace — and given the increasing involvement of foreign states, does that even matter? How will a new American president handle what increasingly looks like one of the defining regional wars of the era?

Human Security In The Face Of Violent Extremism– Georgetown University
Time: 4-5:30pm
Location: Georgetown University37 St NW and O St NW, Washington, DC (map)
The Office of the President, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative, and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs will cohost a lecture and discussion featuring H.E. Zainab Bangura, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Alissa Rubin, Paris Bureau Chief, New York Times.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Engineering Away Disease- New America Foundation
Time: 12:15-1:45pm
Location: New America740 15th Street NW Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005(map)
In a matter of weeks, the Zika virus has gone from being a virtually unknown phenomenon to a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” And for good reason: The virus – for which there is no treatment – is spreading quickly through the Americas, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Human development, climate change, and droughts will only make mosquitos more widespread, allowing them to carry diseases like dengue and malaria to new places. Around the world, researchers are trying to genetically engineer mosquitoes so that they can’t transmit dangerous viruses. But anyone who has seen Jurassic Park knows that a little change to the ecosystem can have serious effects. What might be the consequences of messing with the world’s deadliest animal? Are there other diseases that we may want to engineer away? If so, how should we proceed? On Tuesday, Feb. 23, join Future Tense for a lunchtime conversation on Zika as a case study in potential technical solutions to deadly diseases.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
25 Years Of Democracy Promotion In Central Asia And Caucasus–How Have We Done?- Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Time: 5-7pm
Location: Johns Hopkins SAIS – Rome Building1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. (map), Room: Rome Auditorium
The Freedom Support Act of 1992 (Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act) made the “promotion of democracy” a main strategic priority of the US in the former republics of the USSR.  What specific achievements can the US claim in this sphere in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and what have been its failures?  To what extent does the experience of the last quarter century call for revisions in America’s tactics in this area?  And to what extent, if any, does experience call into question the strategy itself? Rather than duel over the number of successes and failures, our speakers will focus on steps that might improve the effectiveness of actions to advance this strategic goal or, if necessary, more fundamental changes in the strategy itself.

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
SPGIA Master’s Open House – George Mason University
Time: 6:30pm
Location: GMU Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, Room 126.
Biodefense virtual Open House – 7pm, attend here
Come learn about GMU’s graduate programs! We invite you to attend an open house to learn more about the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. The session will provide an overview of our master’s degree programs, an introduction to our world-class faculty and research, and highlights of the many ways we position our students for success in the classroom and beyond. Our admissions and student services staff will be on hand to answer your questions. Immediately following, Dr. Koblentz, director of the biodefense program, will be leading a biodefense specific open house to take a deep-dive into the program. Feel free to attend in person or virtually!

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Uncharted Seas: Maritime Strategy For A New Era Of Naval ChallengesBrookings Institution
Time: 10-11am
Location: Brookings Institution1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036(map)
While the Department of the Navy is already indispensably involved in implementing transformative strategic frameworks, from the Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons to the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, it must also look over the horizon to emerging challenges and opportunities. Alongside the development of innovative new technologies critical to maintaining America’s overseas presence, the department and services must also contend with rising naval powers and growing regional tensions and rivalries.On February 26, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings will host the civilian and military leaders of the nation’s sea services for a discussion of these future maritime concepts, strategies, and technologies. Joining this conversation on all elements of sea power—amphibious, undersea, and surface—are The Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy; Admiral John M. Richardson, chief of Naval Operations; and General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at Brookings, will moderate the discussion.After the program, panelists will take audience questions.

Pakistan: Innovations In Human Development– Center for Strategic and International Studies
Time: 2-3:30pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036(map)
Please join us for an armchair conversation with Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning, Reforms, and Development in Pakistan, on the role of human resource development in Pakistan’s future. To harness the potential economic impact of improved opportunities, Pakistan is committed to promoting a number of initiatives, including developing a knowledge-based economy through accessible higher education and vocational training for its citizens. The Planning Ministry is at the forefront of some of these ideas, including the ‘knowledge corridor’ that seeks a stronger partnership in higher education between Pakistan and the United States. Minister Iqbal will discuss the challenges and opportunities in this area as well as broader vision of the future of Pakistan’s economic growth based on the country’s 10-year national plan, the Pakistan Vision 2025, developed by the Planning Ministry.
Please send your RSVP to PPD@CSIS.org with your name and affiliation.

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