Off-the-Record Discussion with Sec. Chuck Hagel

On May 4th, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program with Secretary Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense and Senator from Nebraska to discuss today’s foreign policy and national security challenges.


This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.

Secretary Chuck Hagel 

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015. During his tenure, he directed significant steps to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. In addition, he led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault, and accounting for missing personnel.  Further, Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability, and continuity of mental health services and support.  Secretary Hagel launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health system. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska. Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. He Chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel also served as the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Previously, Secretary Hagel was a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, and Co-Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council. He served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Board of Directors and Systemic Risk Council; as a Senior Advisor to Gallup; and on the Advisory Boards of Corsair Capital, Deutsche Bank America, M.I.C. Industries, Bread for the World, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Center for the Study of the Presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, George C. Marshall Foundation, Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Global Strategy Forum, Global Zero, Hamilton Project, Initiative for Global Development, Lung Cancer Alliance, International Center for the Study Of Radicalization and Political Violence, National Bureau of Asian Research’s Next Generation Leadership Board, Ploughshares Fund, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, U.S. Institute of Peace Middle East Senior Working Group, U.S. Middle East Project, America Abroad Media, American Security Project, and The Washington Center.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Company, an investment banking firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1980’s, Hagel co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation.  He was President and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council (PSC), and Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit).  Hagel also served as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Commissioner General of the 1982 World’s Fair.

He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter and was the subject of a 2006 book by Charlyne Berens entitled, Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have a daughter (Allyn) and son (Ziller).

Off-the-Record Discussion with Paul Kurtz

On February 9th, Paul Kurtz, former Homeland Security Council and National Security Council Director, met with alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner where he discussed cyber security challenges facing Congress.


This is a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.



Paul Kurtz

Image result for paul kurtz homeland securityPaul Kurtz is a recognized cyber security expert and has held senior positions in both industry and government. He was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure Protection on the White House’s Homeland Security Council (HSC). He joined HSC from the National Security Council (NSC), where he was both Senior Director for National Security in the Office of Cyberspace Security and a member of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

He served on the NSC as Director for Counterterrorism from 1999-2001 and helped managed the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Before the NSC he had a long career in the State Department, specializing in non-proliferation policy in strategic arms control. Kurtz earned his bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross College and his master’s in international public policy from the Johns Hopkins  University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Off-the-Record Discussion with Sec. Madeleine Albright

On December 13th,  Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, met with alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner, where she discussed today’s foreign policy and national security issues.


This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.


Secretary Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. Dr. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States.

In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. From 1989 to 1992, she served as President of the Center for National Policy. Previously, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Albright serves on the Boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute and the Center for a New American Security. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.

Dr. Albright is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); and Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009).

Dr. Albright received a B.A. with Honors from Wellesley College, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government, as well as a Certificate from its Russian Institute.

Off-the-Record Discussion with Ambassador Natalia Gherman

On September 14th, congressional staff met with former Acting Prime Minister of Moldova, Ambassador Natalia Gherman for an off-the-record round table discussion.  Amb. Gherman is an official candidate for United Nations Secretary-General in the 2016 election. She discussed her United Nations campaign platform and her perspective on reforming the United Nations among other important issues.

Ambassador Natalia Gherman

Natalia GhermanAmbassador Gherman has served for the past three years as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova. In June-July 2015 she was Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova. Ambassador Gherman is a career diplomat. Her leadership qualities and excellent negotiation skills are highly appreciated in her own country and internationally.

Ambassador Gherman began her long career in service to her country in 1991 as the Second and then the First Secretary for the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. From 1994-2002, Ambassador Gherman served in various government positions including Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies and Deputy Head of the Mission of Moldova to NATO.

From 2006-2009, Ambassador Gherman established the diplomatic presence of her country in the Nordic region, serving as first resident Moldovan Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, Kingdom of Norway, and the Republic of Finland. She then Served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2009-2013.

In 2013, Ambassador Gherman was honored with dual role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. In June-July 2015, Ambassador Gherman was the Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova.

Off-the-Record Discussion with Gen. David Petraeus

On August 25, General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Director of the CIA and former Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, met with alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner, where he discussed today’s foreign policy and national security issues.


This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.


General David Petraeus

General David Petraeus

General Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) is one of the most prominent U.S. military figures of the post-9/11 era. During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus was widely recognized for his leadership of the Surge in Iraq, which retrieved a desperate situation and reduced violence in Iraq by well over 85%; for his oversight of the organization that produced the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual and overhauled all aspects of preparing U.S. Army leaders and units for deployment to combat; and for his command of coalition forces in Afghanistan as they reversed the momentum of the Taliban and enabled the commencement of the transition of tasks to Afghan forces and institutions.

A graduate with distinction from the United States Military Academy, General Petraeus is the only person in U.S. Army history to be the top graduate in both the U.S. Army’s challenging Ranger School and the year-long U.S. Army Command and General Staff College course. He also earned a Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program of international relations and economics from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and later completed a fellowship at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
General Petraeus’ military career was distinguished by significant achievements during assignments in Cold War Europe, Central America, the United States, Haiti, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Middle East and central Asia. His career culminated with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat, a record believed unmatched in the post-World War II era.

After General Petraeus’ retirement from the military, and following confirmation by the Senate with a vote of 94-0, he served as Director of the CIA, during which time the Agency played the central role in a number of important achievements in the global war on terror, established an overarching strategic campaign plan for the Agency, and pursued initiatives to invest additional resources in the Agency’s most important element, its human capital.

General Petraeus is now a Partner with the global investment firm KKR and the Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a position he has held for over three years.

General Michael V. Hayden: On CIA, NSA, and Security in the Digital Age

On July 12, General Michael V. Hayden (USAF, Ret.), former Director of the NSA and the CIA, met with alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program for an off-the-record dinner, where he discussed data security, cyber security, and privacy in relation to today’s foreign policy and national security issues.

Cyber attacks have become commonplace in the United States. The attack on Sony in 2014 marked a shift in cyber threats from pure espionage to industry destruction; the OPM breach in 2015  highlighted the flaws in the government’s security systems; and the FBI-Apple controversy brought the privacy-security debate back into the spotlight. As the former Director of both the CIA and NSA, General Hayden is uniquely qualified to speak about the ongoing and expanding cyber threats the U.S. faces today. General Hayden discussed the importance of cybersecurity within foreign policy as well as provide recommendations for how to best approach the increased prevalence of cyber threats.


This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.


General Michael Hayden

General Michael Hayden

General Hayden (USAF, Ret.) was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006-2009, where he was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America’s adversaries; producing timely analysis for decision makers; and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the US.

Before becoming Director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Earlier, he served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Central Security Service.

General Hayden graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1967 and a master’s degree in modern American history in 1969.  He also did postgraduate work at the Defense Intelligence School conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency.  He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University.





Amb. Robert Gallucci Discusses Managing North Korea

Ambassador Robert Gallucci attended an off-the-record dinner with alumi from the Congressional Partnership Program, where he discussed recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear weapon program and their global implications.

Ambassador Robert Gallucci (ret.)

Ambassador Gallucci served as Dean of the School of Foreign Service for 13 years until he left in July 2009, to become president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He was appointed dean in 1996, after 21 years of distinguished service in a variety of government positions, focusing on international security. As Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy for the U.S. Department of State, he dealt with the threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. He was chief U.S. negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs and as Deputy Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission overseeing the disarmament of Iraq following the first Gulf War. Ambassador Gallucci earned his Bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees at Brandeis University.

CPP Alumni Dinner with Amb. Frank Wisner

On September 28, PSA hosted a off-the-record dinner with Ambassador Frank Wisner, former Undersecretary of State, former Undersecretary of Defense, and former U.S. Ambassador to India, Philippines, Egypt and Zambia. This was a closed event for CPP alumni.


Ambassador Frank Wisner

Ambassador Frank Wisner currently serves as International Affairs Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs in New York. He previously served as Undersecretary of State for International Security Affairs (1992-93), Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (1993-94), and as Ambassador to India (1994-97), the Philippines (1991-92), Egypt (1986-91), and Zambia (1979-82). Ambassador Wisner was senior Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs from 1982 to 1986, a time of intense diplomatic engagement in Southern Africa. He worked as a senior diplomat in Tunisia and Bangladesh before returning to Washington as Director of Plans and Management in the Bureau of Public Affairs. He joined the President’s Interagency Task Force on Indochina, the entity responsible for evacuating and settling nearly one million refugees and served as its Deputy Director.

CPP Alumni Dinner with Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad (ret.)

April 8th: PSA hosted a small off-the-record round table dinner with Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad (ret.), former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations, and CEO of Khalilzad Associates. This was a closed event for CPP alumni.

In a March 23rd article for the National Interest, Amb. Khalilzad reflected on recent steps by the Afghan and U.S. governments to avoid the pitfalls of the American troop withdrawal from Iraq. Amb. Khalilzad recognized both governments for being committed to success in Afghanistan and offered additional suggestions for how to ensure that the withdrawal of U.S. troops does not leave Afghanistan vulnerable to the same violence that has now engulfed Iraq.


From 2007 to 2009, Amb. Khalilzad served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Prior to that, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2005-2007) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (2003 to 2005). He also served as U.S. Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan (2001 to 2003). Amb. Khalilzad sits on the boards of the National Endowment for Democracy, America Abroad Media, the RAND Corporation’s Middle East Studies Center, the American University of Iraq in Sulaymaniyah, and the American University of Afghanistan. He is also a Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Amb. Khalilzad earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the American University of Beirut, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

CPP Dinner with Olli Heinonen, former IAEA Deputy Director General

With continuing concerns over nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, the U.S. and international partners remain uncertain how to address threats – perceived and real – from these unpredictable nations. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves a critical role in this space, providing intelligence on these programs and expert assessments of technical capabilities.

On September 9th, PSA held a special off-the-record CPP dinner with Dr. Olli Heinonen, former Deputy Director General of the IAEA and current Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, to discuss these country’s nuclear programs, IAEA oversight, current technical assessments, and options for the international community. As the former head of the IAEA Department of Safeguards, Heinonen led teams of international investigators to examine nuclear programs of concern around the world and inspected nuclear facilities in South Africa, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, seeking to ensure that nuclear materials were not diverted for military purposes. He led the Agency’s efforts to identify and dismantle nuclear proliferation networks, including the one led by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, and he oversaw its efforts to monitor and contain Iran’s nuclear program.

To learn more about PSA’s Congressional Partnership Program, visit

Dr. Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research and teachings include: nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, verification of treaty compliance, enhancement of the verification work of international organizations, and transfer and control of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Before joining the Belfer Center in September 2010, Olli Heinonen served 27 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Heinonen was the Deputy Director General of the IAEA, and head of its Department of Safeguards. Prior to that, he was Director at the Agency’s various Operational Divisions, and, as inspector, including at the IAEA’s overseas office in Tokyo, Japan.

Heinonen led teams of international investigators to examine nuclear programmes of concern around the world and inspected nuclear facilities in South Africa, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, seeking to ensure that nuclear materials were not diverted for military purposes. He also spearheaded efforts to implement an analytical culture to guide and complement traditional verification activities. He led the Agency’s efforts to identify and dismantle nuclear proliferation networks, including the one led by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, and he oversaw its efforts to monitor and contain Iran’s nuclear programme.

Prior to joining IAEA, he was a Senior Research Officer at the Technical Research Centre of Finland Reactor Laboratory in charge of research and development related to nuclear waste solidification and disposal. He is co-author of several patents on radioactive waste solidification.

Heinonen is the author of several articles, chapters of books, books, and publications ranging from the IAEA and nuclear non-proliferation issues, to regional nuclear developments. His writings and interviews have been published in various newspapers and magazines including: Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, the Helsingin Sanomat, the New York Times, the Mehr news, Die Stern, the Haaretz, the New Statesman, the Washington Post, the BBC, and the Time. His policy briefings have been published by the Belfer Center, the Atlantic Council, the Nautilus Institute, the Institute for Science and International Security, the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Carnegie Endowment.

Olli Heinonen studied radiochemistry and completed his PhD dissertation in nuclear material analysis at the University of Helsinki.


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