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. The discussion took place as part of the USIP-PSA congressional briefing series. This was a closed, off-the-record event for congressional staff.
In Monday’s briefing, the expert panel discussed both the stark differences and shared problems in Tunisia and Libya. The discussion focused on issues of establishing good governance on the national and local level, boosting economic growth, and countering terrorism and crime–especially along the border. The panelists also discussed the role of external actors such as Russia, Egypt, and the Gulf. The tone of the discussion was one of fragile optimism as the panel acknowledged that, despite severe problems, there are opportunities for improvement. The panel encouraged Congress and the executive branch to adopt a clear strategy in conjunction with European allies to address these crises in North Africa.
Michael Yaffe joined the United States Institute of Peace after serving as the senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at the U.S. Department of State. Between 2001 and 2012, he was an academic dean and distinguished professor of strategic studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Dr. Yaffe was a career foreign affairs officer at the State Department concentrating on the Middle East peace negotiations, regional security, and nonproliferation, and served on U.S. delegations to the “Madrid” Middle East Arms Control and Regional Security talks, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, International Atomic Energy Agency and NATO.
During his twenty-five year career with the U.S. Government he was the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well Department of Defense commendations. He was an Olin post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University and peace scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (1988-1989). Mike earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Emily Estelle is a senior analyst for the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute and the Africa Team Lead. She studies the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa, including al Qaeda, ISIS, and associated groups. She specializes in the Libya conflict. Emily also coordinates CTP’s training and tradecraft and manages the integration of technology into the research process. Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Anthropology modified with Arabic
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 4th, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program with General Philip Breedlove to discuss today’s pressing foreign policy challenges and U.S. relations with Europe. Gen. Breedlove served as the Commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 2013-2016.
This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.
General Philip Breedlove (U.S. Air Force, Ret.)
Phil Breedlove is a proven strategic planner, motivational leader and talented communicator. He is a highly decorated retired general of the United States Air Force where he reached the highest levels of military leadership as one of six geographic Combatant Commanders and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.
As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Commander of U.S. European Command, he answered directly to NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, and to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense. He led the most comprehensive and strategic structural and policy security changes in the alliance’s 70 year history. He led the forces of 28 nations and multiple partners in ensuring the security of an alliance that accounts for more than half the world’s GDP.
As Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, Breedlove was responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces while ensuring theater air defense forces were ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense.
As Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group during a period of intense challenge, including devising measures to meet the requirements of the the Budget Control Act’s required $480 billion reduction of the Department of Defense budget.
He earned his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Aerospace Technology from Arizona State University. Additionally, he completed a Masters of International Security Affairs from the National War College, a Fellowship in International Security Affairs, Seminar XXI from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed Leadership at the Peak at the Center for Creative Leadership Colorado Springs.
Breedlove currently serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, as a Distinguished Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, as a Senior Advisor to Culpeper National Security Solutions, and on the Board of Directors of both the Atlantic Council and the Center for a New American Strategy.
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 April 19th, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman and former National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan discussed the deteriorating US-Turkey relationship as part of the USIP-PSA congressional briefing series Dr. Graeme Bannerman moderated the discussion. This was a closed, off-the-record event for congressional staff.
Ambassador Eric Edelman
Ambassador Eric S. Edelman retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009. He is currently a Roger Hertog Practitioner in Residence at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Edelman has served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House where he led organizations providing analysis, strategy, policy development, security services, trade advocacy, public outreach, citizen services and congressional relations. As the undersecretary of defense for policy (August, 2005-January 2009) he oversaw strategy development as DoD’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.
He served as U.S. ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was principal deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs. In other assignment he has been chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, special assistant to Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Robert Kimmitt and special assistant to Secretary of State George Shultz. His other assignments include the State Department Operations Center, Prague, Moscow, and Tel Aviv, where he was a member of the U.S. Middle East delegation to the West Bank/Gaza autonomy talks.
He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government.
He received a bachelor’s degree in history and government from Cornell University and a doctorate in U.S. diplomatic history from Yale University.
Jake Sullivan is a Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
He was the Senior Policy Adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Previously, he served as deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and a member of the debate preparation team for Barack Obama’s general election campaign.
Sullivan also previously served as a senior policy adviser and chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar from his home state of Minnesota, worked as an associate for Faegre & Benson LLP, and taught at the University of St. Thomas Law School. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Sullivan holds undergraduate and law degrees from Yale and a master’s degree from Oxford.
Dr. Graeme Bannerman
Dr. Graeme Bannerman is a Scholar at the Middle East Institute. As such, he frequently provides commentary on Middle Eastern issues for numerous American and international media outlets including the BBC, Canadian National television, NBC, CBS, PBS News Hour, Fox News, al-Hurra, al-Jazeera, and others. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Hands along the Nile and serves on the Board of Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
Prior to joining the Middle East Institute, he founded and served as President of Bannerman & Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. Bannerman & Associates, Inc. worked with a variety of international clients primarily in the Middle East.
He served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1979 until 1987. His last position was Committee Staff Director. From 1979 through 1984, he was the Committee’s professional staff member responsible for the Middle East and South Asia.
Before working for the Senate, he was employed by the Department of State, as a Middle Eastern Affairs Analyst and on the Policy Planning Staff. He worked on Arab-Israeli affairs during the time of Camp David and the negotiation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
Dr. Bannerman taught at several institutions including Georgetown University, George Washington University, and The American University in Beirut. He holds a doctorate in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in South Asian studies from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in Modern Middle Eastern history from The American University in Beirut, and a BA degree from Northwestern University.
On February 21st, the Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program with Admiral Michael Mullen to discuss today’s pressing foreign policy and national security challenges. Adm. Mullen served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and previously the Navy’s 28th Chief of Naval Operations and
This was a closed event for alumni of the Congressional Partnership Program.
Admiral Michael Mullen
Considered one of the most influential Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in history, Admiral Mike Mullen takes a fresh approach to the most important geopolitical issues of the 21st century, including America’s position in the world and how economic health directly impacts our National Security. Admiral Mullen believes our national debt is our greatest security threat.
Mullen, who spent four years as Chairman—the top military advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama–is a broad-minded, intellectually curious leader widely recognized as an “honest broker” by policymakers, Members of Congress and senior military officers. He brought bold and original thinking to the work of strengthening the U.S. military and advocating for those who serve.
Admiral Mullen oversaw the end of the combat mission in Iraq and the development of a new military strategy for Afghanistan, while promoting international partnerships, new technologies and new counter-terrorism tactics culminating in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
A 1968 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Mullen sought challenging positions including command at every level to develop his leadership skills during his naval career. He rose to be Chief of Naval Operations prior to assuming duties as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In an unprecedented in-depth feature article, Fast Company called Mullen “not just a new model for military officers-and a new kind of business titan-but also a case study in 21st –century leadership.”
Since retiring from the Navy, Mullen has joined the boards of General Motors, Sprint, and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. He teaches at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is also known for his efforts on behalf of service members, veterans, and their families. He is renowned for his role in dismantling “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allowing gay service members to serve openly.