Off-the-Record Dinner Discussion

On June 27th, Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Congressional Partnership Program to discuss our nation’s future regarding foreign policy and national security. This was the last event in the Spring 2017 Congressional Partnership Program.


Off-the-Record with former National Security Advisor Kenneth Wainstein

On June 12th, Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Congressional Partnership Program with former Homeland Security Advisor Kenneth Wainstein to discuss today’s homeland security challenges including cyber threats and the spread of terrorism.

Kenneth Wainstein

Kenneth L. WainsteinKen Wainstein is Co-Chair of Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft’s Global Litigation Group, Chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Group and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.  With experience in significant positions in the U.S. government in the areas of criminal enforcement and national security, he brings a deep understanding of the substantive and procedural issues involved in white collar defense. His 20 years of public service have garnered him an intimate knowledge of Justice Department policy, extensive crisis management skills, credibility among prosecutors and regulators, and strong relationships with Congress, the District of Columbia bench and bar and U.S. Attorneys around the country.

In 2008, after 19 years at the Justice Department, Ken was named Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush. In this capacity, he coordinated the nation’s counterterrorism, homeland security, infrastructure protection, and disaster response and recovery efforts. He advised the President, convened and chaired meetings of the Cabinet Officers on the Homeland Security Council, and oversaw the inter-agency coordination process for homeland security and counterterrorism programs.

Prior to his White House service, Ken was twice nominated and confirmed for leadership positions in the Justice Department. In 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ken as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that position, Ken established and led the new National Security Division, which consolidated DOJ’s law enforcement and intelligence activities on counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, and also oversaw the Department’s role in regulatory mechanisms such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Ken led several national security initiatives, including the launch of the national, inter-agency Export Control Enforcement Initiative targeting illegal exports of sensitive technology and weapons components.

In 2004, he was appointed, and later confirmed as, the United States Attorney in Washington, DC, where he managed the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country and oversaw a number of high-profile white-collar and public corruption cases.  Prior to that, Ken served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as Chief of Staff to Director Robert Mueller. At the FBI, Ken was involved in myriad sensitive national security and criminal enforcement matters, as well as a variety of civil litigation, managerial, and Congressional oversight issues. In 2001, Ken was appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, where he provided oversight and support to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

From 1989 to 2001, Ken served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, where he handled numerous criminal trials and appellate arguments.

Ken’s work has been recognized with the Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service to the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance, and the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and he was recently named as a top national security lawyer by Washingtonian magazine and as a Washington, D.C., Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.

Ken has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center since 2009, teaching National Security Investigations and Litigation. He is a Panel Member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense; a member of the Director’s Advisory Board of the National Counterterrorism Center; a member of the Public Interest Declassification Board; a member of the CIA General Counsel’s External Advisory Board; chairman of the Legal Panel of the National Security Agency Advisory Board; a member of the Webster Commission on the FBI, Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the Fort Hood Shootings; co-chair of the Committee on National Security Law, Policy & Practice of the District of Columbia Bar Association; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the George Washington University; a member of the Security Advisory Board of Alclear, LLC (d.b.a. CLEAR); and a member of the Board of Directors of Burke & Herbert Bank in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ken earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, with high distinction and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a moot court board member and the Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review. Following law school, Ken served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

Off-the-Record with former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane

On May 23rd, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Congressional Partnership Program with former National Security Advisor Robert C. (Bud) McFarlane for a discussion on today’s foreign policy and national security challenges.

Robert C. McFarlane 

Robert-McFarlane-Bud-Foreign-PolicyRobert C. (Bud) McFarlane serves as the Chairman of McFarlane Associates. Mr. McFarlane was the National Security Advisor under President Reagan from 1983-1985. In 1971 he was named a White House Fellow and served in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the White House. Following that assignment he became Military Assistant to Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft. Near the end of this five-year assignment to the White House he was appointed by President Ford as his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps’ highest peacetime military decoration. In 1981 he was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Counselor to the Department of State. In 1982 President Reagan appointed Mr. McFarlane as his Deputy National Security Advisor. In 1983 he was appointed by the President as his Special Representative in the Middle East. Following that assignment he returned to the White House and was appointed to the Reagan Cabinet as National Security Advisor.

He is a co-founder (with Dr. Henry Kissinger) and Vice Chair of the America-China Society, serves on the Board of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the White House Fellows’ Foundation, and has been a member of the Boards of The Travelers, Dillon Read (France Fund), and Church & Dwight.

Carnegie Corporation of New York Awards Bipartisan Congressional Education Grant to PSA

Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is pleased to announce a new grant award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to continue its bipartisan congressional education and training program. The two-year grant will support PSA’s Congressional Partnership Program (CPP), providing expert seminars on current national security and foreign affairs issues, formal negotiation training, and bipartisan policy workshops.

“We are pleased to continue PSA’s important efforts on Capitol Hill thanks to the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s generous support. As the United States faces unprecedented challenges from around the globe, we must restore a commitment to bipartisan cooperation beyond ‘the water’s edge’ to protect our nation and the core principles which unite us,” said Nathan Sermonis, PSA Executive Director.

Since 2009, the CPP has convened hundreds of congressional staff members, equipping foreign policy and security advisers to assess global challenges, build common ground across political parties, and achieve U.S. national interests. Carnegie Corporation of New York has provided support since the program’s inception.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is America’s oldest grant making foundation, established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

CPP Spring 2017: Orientation

The Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) welcomes 30 Congressional staff members into PSA’s Spring 2017 Congressional Partnership Program (CPP) schedule.  Currently in its 16th session, the program brings together Republican and Democratic staff to develop the skills and relationships required to advance bipartisanship on national security and foreign policy issues.

Through policy seminars and networking activities with top leaders in these fields, 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.

The Spring 2017 schedule will include opportunities for participants to meet with members of PSA’s Advisory Board, current and former public officials, and other key policy experts. Previous sessions have met with policy leaders such as former National Security Advisors Anthony Lake and Robert McFarlane and former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend.

Off-the-Record Dinner Discussion: Saudi Arabia’s Counterterrorism Efforts

On August 22, His Highness Prince Abdullah Al-Saud, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States and Mr. Nawaf Althari, Counter-Terrorism Adviser for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Permanent Mission to the United Nations joined participants in the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record discussion on Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism efforts. Also in attendance was Prince Musab Al Saud, Director of the Office of Political and Congressional Affairs at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud

Amb. AlSaudAmbassador Abdullah Al Saudis the nephew of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. He received his education in Saudi Arabia and studied engineering in the United Kingdom. He started his professional life as an engineer with the newly established Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, where he held technical and managerial positions and supervised key studies for the two industrial cities and for the industrial security and safety sector. In the 1980s, he assumed the duties of Acting Secretary General of the Royal Commission, a post he held until 1987, when he was appointed Secretary General. In January of 1991, he was promoted to the position of Chairman, a role in which he also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Commission and Chairman of its Board of Directors.

He presented his credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Jan. 28, 2016.



Mr. Nawaf Althari

AlthariMr. Althari is the Saudi Arabian Counter Terrorism expert at the United Nations. Nawaf served as the Head of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) during the Kingdom’s chairmanship of the organization in 2014/2015. As chair of the organization, he was responsible for negotiating several resolutions that served the 56 state membership and elevated the status of the organization by facilitating the resolution of cooperation between the UN and the OIC.

He is currently the coordinator of the OIC for all Counter Terrorism matters at the UN and has represented the OIC in the review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, The discussion of the Secretary General’s plan on Preventing Violent Extremism in Geneva, and many other relevant legal and CT resolutions.

He currently serves as the Counter Terrorism and Counter Piracy Focal Point, heading the expert advisory board of the UNCCT (United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre) where he oversees the projects of the centre that cover multiple dimensions of the CT field, including capacity building, countering violent extremism, preventing online radicalization and dealing with foreign terrorist fighters directly. He has engaged major players in the private sector such as Google and Facebook to help foster dialogue and provide a unique perspective to the field of online radicalization.

Off-the-Record with Dr. Nadia Diuk

On August 8th, Dr. Nadia Diuk, Vice President at the National Endowment for Democracy, joined participants in the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner discussion on Russian foreign policy. Dr. Diuk discussed Russia’s soft and hard power approaches to global events, including propaganda and military intervention around the world.

Nadia Diuk

Nadia DiukDr. Diuk serves as Vice President, Programs for Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a private nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Congress to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. For over twenty years prior to her appointment as Vice President, she supervised NED programs in Europe and Eurasia, working on programs in support of independent publishing, human rights, alternative culture and strategies for democratic change in East Central Europe before 1989, up to the challenges of the present day.

Dr. Diuk is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She gained a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in History at the University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Her Master of Philosophy in Russian and East European Studies and Doctorate (D. Phil.) in Modern History were gained at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

CPP Summer 2016: Summer Retreat

On July 30th and 31st, participants in the Summer 2016 class of the Congressional Partnership Program joined foreign policy and national security experts for a weekend of thought provoking discussions about issues in the world today and bipartisan team-building.

On July 30th, participants heard from Ed Levine (former Senate Foreign Relations Committee minority staff) and Tom Moore (former Senate Foreign Relations Committee majority staff) on the mechanics of bipartisan consensus on the ratification of the New START Treaty.

General John Allen (ret.), former Special Presidential Envoy for the Coalition to Counter ISIL and former Commander of U.S. and NATO Forces in Afghanistan, gave the keynote speech on “Global Challenges for Today and Tomorrow.”

On July 31st, Dr. Patrick Cronin discussed the future of U.S.-China challenges, and Geoff Thale discussed challenges facing Latin America.

Dr. Cronin is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University, where he simultaneously oversaw the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs.

Mr. Thale is the Program Director at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas. He follows hemispheric trends as well as U.S. policy toward the region, and works with senior staff across WOLA’s multiple program areas. Thale oversees WOLA’s work on Central America, which follows issues of human rights, citizen security, and economic opportunity in the region, with a particular emphasis on El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Participants also took part in a National Security Council simulation.

CPP Summer 2016: Negotiation and Strategic Communication Training

On July 12th and 13th, Participants in the Summer 2016 Congressional Partnership Program attended a session on negotiation led by Randy Kutz, a partner with Negotiation Expertise, LLC. The session focused on negotiation and active communication skills. Participants practiced collaborative negotiation tactics in a simulation after the lecture.

Randy Kutz

Randy Kutz is a Partner with the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, National Instructor and co-author of the highly successful Certified Short Sale Negotiation (CSSN) course. As a Real Estate educator, Randy is actively training professionals in the fundamentals of negotiation and seeking to make a real and lasting difference in the industry.

With over 30 years of business, marketing, training and leadership experience from a cross-section of industries, Randy has a passion for helping others to succeed in their professional and personal life. His classroom style will cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and conviction that is contagious. Students who take classes from Randy will walk away with real world knowledge they can apply immediately in their current transactions, and a renewed energy for working in the people side of the Real Estate industry.

Randy holds his BA in Sociology & Culture and his MBA in e-Business. He is a graduate of the highly acclaimed Harvard Executive Leadership Program on Negotiation and has completed negotiation training at the US Institute of Peace while working as a Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill.

Off-the-Record with former NCTC Director Matt Olsen

On June 6th, Matt Olsen, former Director of the National Counter Terrorism Center, joined participants in the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner discussion on counter-terrorism strategies.


Matt Olsen

Image result for matt olsenMatt Olsen has served as a leading government official on a range of national security, intelligence, and law enforcement issues.

Mr. Olsen served for three years as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Created by Congress in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, NCTC is responsible for the integration and analysis of terrorism information and strategic operational planning.

Prior to joining NCTC, Mr. Olsen was the General Counsel of the National Security Agency, serving as the agency’s chief legal officer.

Mr. Olsen worked at the Department of Justice in a number of leadership positions. He served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General, responsible for national security and criminal cases. He also was Special Counselor to the Attorney General and Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force, where he led the review of individuals detained at Guantanamo. Mr. Olsen served as acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security and helped establish the National Security Division.

For twelve years, Mr. Olsen was a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., prosecuting violent gang members, terrorists, and white-collar criminals. Mr. Olsen served as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He began his public service career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Mr. Olsen currently is an executive at a cyber security technology firm, a lecturer at Harvard Law School, and ABC News analyst. He graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.



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