CPP Spring 2015: Retreat

May 16 & 17 – PSA Congressional Partnership Program Spring 2015 participants will join an all-star group of foreign policy and national security experts for a weekend of thought provoking discussions and bipartisan team-building.

On May 16th, participants heard from Jodi Herman (Senate Foreign Relations Committee minority staff) and Robert Zarate (Office of Sen. Mark Kirk, R-IL) on the mechanics of bipartisan legislation on Iran sanctions policy.

In the evening, David Sanger, National Security Correspondent for the New York Times, delivered a keynote speech titled “Global Challenges for Today and Tomorrow.”

On May 17th, participants had the opportunity to hear from two speakers:

  • Ambassador James Jeffrey discussed the geostrategic realities behind Putin’s move against Ukraine. Ambassador Jeffrey has been the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2010-2012), Turkey (2008-2010), and Albania (2002-2004). He was also Deputy National Security Advisor from 2007 to 2008.
  • Adam Isacson discussed politics, security, and the U.S. role in a changing Latin America. Mr. Isacson is a Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Participants also took part in a National Security Council simulation. Dr. Susan Koch, former Director for Proliferation Strategy on the National Security Council (2001-2005), served as the National Security Advisor for the simulation.
Latin America Discussion
Adam Isacson discusses considerations for U.S. policy towards Latin America.
Sim National Security Council
Congressional staff participate in a National Security Council simulation.
Russia, Ukraine, and the US
Ambassador James Jeffrey discusses Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.


The CPP is for Congressional staff interested in generating dialogue and developing the skills and relationships required to advance bipartisanship on national security and foreign policy issues. Through policy seminars and networking activities, this unique program aims to equip the next generation of foreign policy and security experts to respect differences, build common ground and achieve US national interests. To learn more about the CPP, visit https://psaonline.org/congressional-programs/congressional-partnership-program/.