On July 16th, Vice President of the Middle East and Africa Center at the United States Institute of Peace Mike Yaffe and Senior Analyst and Africa Team Lead for the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute Emily Estelle discussed evolving efforts in Libya and Tunisia to counter terrorist operations across the region.
On July 25th, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program with Jeh Johnson to discuss today’s pressing foreign policy and national security challenges. In addition to leading the Department of Homeland Security from December 2013 to January 2017, Johnson served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense and General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force.
This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.
This event was made possible by the generous support of Intel and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Jeh Johnson, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, is a partner in the Paul, Weiss Litigation Department and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Secretary Johnson advises clients, including management teams and boards of directors, on crisis management, government and internal investigations, high-stakes litigation and regulatory matters, and legal aspects of cybersecurity and other security matters. He is also an experienced trial lawyer, and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Secretary Johnson is on the board of directors of Lockheed Martin. He is resident in both the New York and Washington offices of Paul, Weiss. Since leaving government in January 2017, Secretary Johnson has been called upon to testify before Congress in cybersecurity matters three times, and is a regular commentator on national and homeland security on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and numerous other outlets.
On June 4, Partnership for a Secure America hosted an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Spring 2018 Congressional Partnership Program with Joan O’Hara, Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President. Ms. O’Hara discussed the National Security Strategy, the upcoming summit between the U.S. and North Korea and the role of trade in foreign policy.
Joan O’Hara joined the OVP NSA as Deputy National Security Advisor in February 2017, and served as Acting National Security Advisor from September 2017 through April 2018.
Prior to joining the Administration, Joan served as General Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Majority Staff. As General Counsel, Joan provided legal advice to the Committee Chairman on national security matters, and played a central role in developing the Committee’s policy positions and legislative agenda. Working closely with House Leadership, Members of Congress, interagency principals, and private sector stakeholders, she shepherded bills through the legislative process from drafting to passage into law.
Before entering law, Joan enjoyed more than a decade of experience as an elite athlete and award-winning NCAA Division I Head Coach in the sport of Rowing. As a Resident Athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in California, Joan trained with the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team and was United States National Champion in the Single Sculls and Quadruple Sculls.
Joan holds a B.A. from Loyola University, an M.A. from San Diego State University, and a J.D. cum laude from New York Law School. She hails from Long Island, New York.
On May 21, Partnership for a Secure America hosted an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Spring 2018 Congressional Partnership Program with Matt Olsen, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Mr. Olsen discussed the threat of terrorism, the rise of China, and the continuing challenges the cyber domain poses to U.S. national security.
Matt 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.
On May 12th and 13th, participants in the Spring 2018 class of the Congressional Partnership Program joined foreign policy and national security experts for a weekend of thought provoking discussions and bipartisan team-building. This retreat was a great opportunity for participants to assess global challenges, explore differences, and build common ground.
Participants heard from Ambassador Robert Gallucci who discussed his experience negotiating with the North Korean regime. Amb. Gallucci was the chief U.S. negotiator during the North Korean crisis in 1994, and he described his experience preparing for and negotiating with the North Koreans.
Ambassador Robert Gallucci – Former Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy for the U.S. Department of State
The keynote address was provided by Ambassador Ryan Crocker who discussed global foreign policy challenges. Amb. Crocker explored challenges in the Middle East, opportunities to learn from history, and possibilities for congressional engagement.
Ambassador Ryan Crocker – Former U.S. Ambassador: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
Ms. Bonnie Glaser discussed the future of US-China Relations. Her remarks covered Chinese military expansion, Chinese investment in Latin America and Africa, and opportunities for the U.S. and China to work together on efforts such as counterterrorism and combating climate change.
Ms. Melinda Haring and Mr. Tom Carothers examined U.S. efforts to promote democracy abroad. The outlined success stories, opportunities for improvement, and potential models to explore when considering future efforts.
Ms. Bonnie Glaser – Senior Advisor for Asia, CSIS
Ms. Melinda Haring – Editor of the UkraineAlert Blog at the Atlantic Council and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute
Mr. Thomas Carothers – Senior Vice Preidesnt for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
National Security Council Simulation
Participants engaged in a National Security Council Simulation led by Mr. Robert Sheldon to advance strategic negotiation and communication skills.
Mr. Robert Sheldon – Director of Government Technology Strategy at CrowdStrike
On February 22nd, the United States Institute of Peace’s Director of Africa Programs Susan Stigant and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Amanda Dory discussed the recent terror threats in Sub-Saharan Africa as a part of the USIP-PSA congressional briefing series
On September 11th, Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Congressional Partnership Program with former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. Mr. Chertoff discussed today’s homeland security challenges including the rising threat of cyber warfare and the spread of terrorism post-9/11.
Started in 2009, PSA’s highly selective Congressional staff foreign policy and national security program – the first of its kind – runs two times each year. This opportunity provides professional development and networking to Democratic and Republican staff members on Capitol Hill to advance bipartisanship on national security and foreign policy. Through off-the-record events, policy seminars, and skills training, this unique program aims to equip Congressional foreign policy and security advisers to assess global challenges, build common ground, and achieve U.S. national interests.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff
As a federal prosecutor Mr. Chertoff investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Mr. Chertoff was one of the chief architects of the USA Patriot Act. In addition, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security . He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines – because the important news is what didn’t happen.
At Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues. In addition to his role at Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff is also senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group.
Mr. Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1975) and Harvard Law School (1978). From 1979-1980 he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr.
On August 29th, United States Institute of Peace Director for Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, Scott Worden, and Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, Luke Coffey, discussed the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the future of America’s Afghanistan policy