Sophal Ear: Escaping the Khmer Rouge: the rest of the story.

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Sophal Ear, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles where he teaches international political economy, international development, international security, and Asian security. Previously, he taught contemporary theories of political economy, Asian political economy, and how to rebuild countries after wars at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and international development policy at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. 

He is the author of Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013, and co-author of The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resources Quest is Reshaping the World (Routledge, 2013, He wrote and narrated the award-winning documentary film "The End/Beginning: Cambodia" based on his 2009 TED Talk and has appeared in several other documentaries. In 2015 he was named a 40 Under 40 Inspiring Professor by NerdWallet and in 2016 won the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Achievement Award for Extraordinary Leadership in Public Service by the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program. A graduate of Princeton and Berkeley, he moved to the United States from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.

Trita Parsi: Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy

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Trita Parsi is an award winning author, speaker and founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. In 2013 he gave a very popular “TED” Talk.

His highly regarded books include Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press) for which he conducted more than 130 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American decision-makers and was the silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations. He was the 2010 recipient of the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. His second book A Single Roll of the Dice - Obama's Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press) was selected by Foreign Affairs journal as the Best Book of 2012 on the Middle East.

His latest book - Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy (Yale University Press, 2017), about which he will be speaking - reveals the behind the scenes story to the historic nuclear deal with Iran.

Parsi was born in Iran but moved with his family at the age of four to Sweden in order to escape political repression in Iran. His father was an outspoken academic who was jailed by both Shah and later, the Ayatollah Khomeini. He moved to the United States as an adult and studied foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies where he received his Ph.D.

He has served as an adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, George Washington University and Georgetown University, as well as an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute and as a Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

Dr. Parsi is fluent in Persian/Farsi, English, and Swedish. His many articles on Middle East affairs have been published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Jane's Intelligence Review, the Nation, The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS’s Newshour, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera. 

David Firestein: China’s 19th People’s Congress: What are the Implications?


David Firestein is the founding Executive Director of the China Public Policy Center and Clinical Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas’s Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs.

As CPPC chief, Firestein leads UT's institutional engagement with China and oversees innovative interdisciplinary research on China-related domestic and foreign policy topics. Prior to joining UT, Firestein served as senior vice president and Perot Fellow at the East West Institute; there, he led the Institute’s work in the areas of U.S.-China relations, East Asian security and U.S.-Russia relations.

Professor Firestein has a decorated career U.S. diplomat from 1992–2010, Firestein specialized primarily in China and U.S.-China relations. He is the author or co-author of three books on China, including two published Chinese-language best-sellers. Firestein speaks Chinese at the near-native level.

 Throughout his career, Firestein has played an active role advancing U.S.-China and U.S.-Asia trade. He has also produced path-breaking thought leadership, scholarship and Capitol Hill testimony on a range of topics, including U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, U.S.-China infrastructure investment cooperation, and the role of national exceptionalism as a driver of major international conflict today  Firestein was also a principal architect of the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue.

Zachary Karabell: The Rise of World Populism


As a commentator, Karabell is a Contributing Editor for Politico. Previously he wrote “The Edgy Optimist” column for Slate, Reuters, and The Atlantic. He is a LinkedIn Influencer, a CNBC Contributor, a regular commentator on MSNBC, and was a Contributing Editor for The Daily Beast. He also contributes to such publications as The Washington Post, Wired, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs.

Zachary Karabell is Head of Global Strategies at Envestnet, and is also President of River Twice Research. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Chief Economist, and Head of Marketing at Fred Alger Management, a New York-based investment firm. 

Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D., Karabell has taught at several leading universities, including Harvard and Dartmouth, and has written widely on economics, investing, history and international relations. His most recent book, The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World, was published by Simon & Schuster in February 2014. His next book will be a two-century history of money, power and the making of America using the storied firm Brown Brothers Harriman as the narrative arc, to be published by Penguin Press in 2018. He is the author of eleven previous books, including Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World’s Prosperity Depends On It (Simon & Schuster, 2009); and Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in the 21st Century and in 2003, the World Economic Forum designated him a "Global Leader for Tomorrow."

T. R. Reid


Reid, author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers “The Healing of America”, “The United States of Europe” and now, “A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System”  has been received with unparalleled enthusiasm at his several previous appearances before the CFWAC. He will give us thoughts on what works and what doesn’t as he compares and contrast the taxation systems of the world’s developed countries. His presentation is certain to be both controversial and entertaining.

“Reid takes us on a world tour of tax systems and the efforts to reform them. He approaches this most disliked specialty of the dismal science of economics with a wry voice and a light touch… a rich and sturdy fabric of facts presented in plain English.” The New York Times review of “A Fine Mess”.

“Mr. Reid’s underlying message of hope does not preclude an intensely satisfying quotient of moral outrage at the worst casualties of our system as it stands.” New York Times Review of Books about “The Healing of America”

TR Reid’s “The United States of Europe” nudges “… America Awake as a United Europe Takes the Stage”, New York Times


Ved Nanda: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq


 Professor Ved Nanda is significantly involved in the global international law community. He is Past President of the World Jurist Association and now its Honorary President. He is a former Vice President and counselor of the American Society of International Law, and a member of the advisory council of the United States Institute of Human Rights. He was formerly the United States Delegate and Vice-Chair of the Executive Council to the World Federation of the United Nations Associations in Geneva, and served on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association-USA. 

Professor Nanda has been honored with numerous international and national law awards, including the “Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Community Peace Building” from Soka Gakkai International and Morehouse College, the World Jurist Association “World Legal Scholar” award, and the United Nations Association Human Rights Award. He has received honorary doctorates from Soka University in Tokyo, Japan and from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, India.

Professor Nanda is widely published. He has authored or co-authored 25 books in the various fields of international law, over 225 chapters and major law review articles. Professor Nanda has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at a number of universities in the United States and abroad. He is a regular opinion columnist for the Denver Post.

Dr. Robert Daly: US-China Relations after the American Election

Considered by many as one of the most articulate and concise interpreters of modern China to the western world, Robert Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August, 2013.  He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland.  Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.  

Robert Daly began work in US-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s.  After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs.  During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations.  Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  He has lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Chinese president Jiang Zemin and vice president Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.

Kirsti Kauppi: Finland: How a Small Country Punches Above its Weight in International Politics

Finland’s geopolitical location is one of the most interesting in the world. It is a Nordic country, a member of the European Union, and a close NATO partner with an 800 mile border with Russia. Now, as a centenarian, it is also one of the most successful countries in the world. 

Ms. Kirsti Kauppi became Ambassador of Finland to the United States in September 2015. Before that (2012-2015) she was Political Director (Director General for Political Affairs) at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki. In 2009-2012 Ambassador Kauppi served as Director General for Africa and the Middle East.

In 2005 she was appointed Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN-related international organizations located in Vienna. During her term in Vienna, Ambassador Kauppi also served for three years as the Finnish Governor in the IAEA Board of Governors, including vice-chair of the Board.

Ambassador Kauppi has also served in the Finnish Embassy in Berlin (2003-2005) as Deputy Chief of Mission (Minister). Her other foreign posts include Washington (1997-2000), the Finnish Permanent Mission to the EU in Brussels (1993- 1997) and Bangkok (1989-92),

In 2001-2003 she was head of EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy coordination in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki. This was after serving two years (2000-2001) as advisor to the State Secretary. Ambassador Kauppi was born in 1957 in Oulu, Northern Finland. She studied in the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration and received her Master's degree in Economics in 1981. In 1983 she joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland where she has made her professional career since then. Ambassador Kauppi is, in addition to her native Finnish, fluent in English, Swedish, German and French. 

Special Program: no dinner scheduled.

Robert Dannenberg: Is There “Perfect” Cybersecurity to Protect Countries and Corporations from Cyber- hacking?

Dannenberg is the former Head of Global Security for Goldman Sachs and Chief of Operations for Counter Terrorism at the CIA. He is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic. He also held the position of Director for International Security Affairs for BP. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado and has done post-graduate studies at Georgetown University.

During his 24 year tenure at the CIA he served in several leadership positions, including Chief of Operations for the Counter Terrorism Center, Chief of the Central Eurasia Division and Chief of the CIA’s Information Operations Center.

Robert is a recipient of Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, The Donovan Award for Operation Excellence, and the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counter Terrorism and the Director’s Award.  He is a member of the Board of Advisors to the Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center and the Board of Business Executives for National Security.

Ambassador Gary Grappo: Challenges to US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Gary A. Grappo was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on March 6, 2006. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.

Following his posting as US ambassador to Oman, He served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad and then Envoy and Head of Mission of the UN Middle East Quartet under former British PM Tony Blair in Jerusalem. 

From November of 2003 to November of 2005, Mr. Grappo was Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor of the United States Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which includes the Embassy and Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran. Prior to his assignment to Riyadh, he served as Director of the Office of Regional and Economic Affairs in the Bureau of Near East Affairs of the Department of State in Washington, DC. During that assignment, he played a leading role in the establishment and implementation of the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Mr. Grappo has received several Department awards, including three Superior Honor Awards--for his work on food relief and economic recovery during and after the fall of the Soviet Union, for his leadership role in the 1995 Amman Middle East North Africa Economic Summit, and for his work in the U.S. Government’s campaign against terrorism financing in the Middle East--as well as several group and individual Meritorious Honor Awards.

Mr. Grappo holds a BS in Mathematics from the U. S. Air Force Academy, MS in Geodesy and Survey Engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Josef Korbel School for International Studies at the University of Denver and the former Senior Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global & Area Studies at the University of Wyoming.

Laura Secor : Children of Paradise, The Struggle for the Soul of Iran

In 1979, seemingly overnight—moving at a clip some thirty years faster than the rest of the world—Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since then, the country has been largely a black box to the West, a sinister presence looming over the horizon. But inside Iran, a breathtaking drama has unfolded since then, as religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists have imagined and reimagined what Iran should be. They have drawn as deeply on the traditions of the West as of the East and have acted upon their beliefs with urgency and passion, frequently staking their lives for them. 
With more than a decade of experience reporting on, researching, and writing about Iran, Laura Secor has observed this unprecedented history as a story of individuals caught up in the slipstream of their time, seizing and wielding ideas powerful enough to shift its course as they wrestle with their country’s apparatus of violent repression as well as its rich and often tragic history. Her latest book, considered essential reading at this moment when the fates of our countries have never been more entwined, Children of Paradise will stand as a classic of political reporting; an indelible portrait of a nation and its people striving for change.

Tom Farer: The US Grand Strategy: from Bush to Obama to Trump

 Tom Farer has a long and successful career as a leader, scholar, and keen observer of the international scene. In his presentation he will step back a bit to put today’s turmoil in the U.S. and the Middle East into a broader context by examining the evolution of recent American foreign policy.  He will conclude with a look into the future to speculate how this process may continue into the Trump era.

Farer is University Professor at the University of Denver, a position he assumed after serving for fourteen years (1996-2010) as Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  He previously served as President of the University of New Mexico, President of the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Relations.  He has taught law or international relations and foreign policy at Columbia, MIT, Rutgers, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Tulane, Princeton, American University and Cambridge University and has been Honorary Professor at Peking University.  He has been a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment and The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.  He has worked in the Department of State as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs and the Department of Defense as special assistant to the General Counsel.  At the United Nations he served as legal advisor to the UN operation in Somalia where decades earlier he had served as law and karate instructor to the National Police force.  He is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of International Law and the Human Rights Quarterly and was co-editor of the journal Global Governance.  He has published twelve books and monographs.  His many articles have appeared in such journals as the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Quarterly, and the American Journal of International Law.


Dr. Patrick Cronin

Dr. Cronin, who will have just returned from China and elsewhere in Asia prior to the program, 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.

Dr. Cronin has a rich and diverse background in both Asian-Pacific security and U.S. defense, foreign and development policy.  Prior to leading INSS, Dr. Cronin served as the Director of Studies at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).  At the IISS, he also served as Editor of the Adelphi Papers and as the Executive Director of the Armed Conflict Database.  Before joining IISS, Dr. Cronin was Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In 2001, Dr. Cronin was confirmed by the United States Senate to the third-ranking position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

A graduate of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, Dr. Cronin he received both his M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in International Relations. Prior to his Oxford studies he was graduated with high honors from the University of Florida.

Dr. Nabil Echchaibi: Satire and Resistance Against ISIS in the Middle East

Dr. Echchaibi, an Edward Murrow Award winner for teaching excellence, specializes on identity politics among young Muslims, with a substantial focus on Muslim youth in the diaspora in non-Muslim majority countries. 

He is a frequent contributor to The Guardian, USA Today, Salon, and the Huffington Post in addition to numerous academic and scholarly journals.   He is awaiting the publication of his most recent book, Unmosquing Islam: Muslim Media and Alternative Modernity.

Drawing from multidisciplinary theoretical literature in sociology, history anthropology, media studies and religious studies he analyzes Muslim response to global popular culture, especially in the media.

Dr. Gregory Young: Turkey: Still a Democratic NATO Ally or Did the Attempted Coup Change Everything? 

On July 15-16, 2016, elements within the Turkish military and police operating outside of the chain of command mobilized air and ground forces in a failed attempt to seize political power from Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan. Erdoğan’s authoritarian and Islamist tendencies have alienated him from the tradiational Turkish secular elite.  Many believe that he is moving away from the Turkish republic as established by Mustafa Kemal Attatürk. What caused this fourth coup attempt by the Turkish military? Is U.S.-exiled cleric Fetullah Gülen responsable as Erdoğan contends? The subsequent crackdown and interment of some 13,000 accused coup-plotters has driven a great wedge between 

Turkey and its NATO allies. What will be the impact of this coup and its aftermath on U.S./Turkish relations and Turkish participation in the fight against ISIL/DAESH

Dr. Young, who was in Turkey this summer, earned his Master’s degree with distinction in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, receiving national recognition for thesis research which uncovered the mutiny on the Soviet destroyer Storozhevoy. This research was the basis for Tom Clancy's best-selling novel The Hunt for Red October. From 1990-93, he taught at the US Naval Academy and was the Associate Chairman of the Political Science department. And from 1993-98, at the US Air Force Academy, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Senior Naval Officer. 

In 1998, CDR Young retired from active naval service. He returned to the University of Colorado and was awarded a PhD in political science in 2005. His dissertation research involved how strategic culture influenced threat perception during the Cold War. From 2006-08, He was an Assistant professor of political science at the University of Northern Colorado, and from 2009 to present professor of political science and international affairs, University of Colorado, Boulder. 

Dr. Young is the author of The Last Sentry: The True Story That Inspired the Hunt for Red October published by US Naval Institute Press, in 2005. The book was among the “Ten Most Notable Books of 2005” by the Naval Institute. For the last ten year’s Greg’s research focus has been Middle Eastern culture with a particular focus on Turkey where he has spent the last five summers doing research and teaching.

Judith Miller: The Story, A Reporter’s Journey

Judith Miller is an author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with The New York Times.

She is now an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of its magazine, "City Journal." Since 2008, she has been a commentator for Fox News, speaking on terrorism and other national security issues, the Middle East, American foreign policy, and the need to strike a delicate balance between protecting both national security and civil liberties in a post-9/11 world.

Prior to leaving The New York Times in November, 2005, she spent 85 days in jail to defend a reporter's right to protect confidential sources. That year she received the Society of Professional Journalists' "First Amendment Award" for her protection of sources. 

In 2002, Judith Miller was part of a small team that won a Pulitzer Prize for "explanatory journalism" for her January, 2001 series on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. She was also part of the Times team that won the prestigious DuPont award that year for a series of programs on terrorism for PBS's "Frontline." She has discussed a wide range of national security topics on such programs as "Sixty Minutes," Oprah Winfrey, CNN, ABC's "Night Line" and "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" show, David Letterman, and "The Charlie Rose Show."

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and has served on a prestigious National Academy of Sciences panel examining how best to expand of the work of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which since 1991 has sought to stop the spread of WMD material and expertise from the Former Soviet Union. She lectures frequently on the Middle East, Islam, terrorism, biological and chemical weapons and other national security topics.

Ambassadro Christopher Hill

Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, a position he has held since September 2010. In addition to overseeing the Josef Korbel School, Ambassador Hill is author of the book Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir , a monthly columnist for Project Syndicate, and a highly sought public speaker and voice in the media on international affairs.

Ambassador Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, whose last post was as Ambassador to Iraq (April 2009-August 2010). Prior to Iraq, Hill served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009 during which he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Earlier, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2004-2005), Ambassador to Poland (2000-2004), Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-1999) and Special Envoy to Kosovo (1998-1999). He also served as a Special Assistant to the President and a Senior Director on the staff of the National Security Council (1999-2000).

Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana, and on the Department of State's Policy Planning staff and in the Department's Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the Department of State's Senior Country Officer for Poland. Ambassador Hill received the State Department's Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement, and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Cameroon, West Africa, where he supervised credit unions.

Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, with a B.A. in Economics. He received a master's degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian.

Jeremy Haft

 For almost two decades, Jeremy Haft has been building companies on the front lines in China. He has overseen hundreds of sourcing and import/export programs between  American and Chinese enterprises in a wide variety of industries and agriculture, spanning shipbuilding and refineries to auto parts and medical supplies to maple syrup and cowhides. Haft’s current start-up is a public-private partnership, funded by a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation, to build export markets in China for New York agriculture.  

An adjunct professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business, he is the author of All the Tea in China, a primer on how to do business in China, and Unmade in China, which examines America’s enduring competitive advantages over China in the coming century.  He has conducted many briefings about China trade and U.S. competitiveness to members of Congress, ambassadors, senior military officers, and the business community.  His analysis has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, NPR, BBC, and cable news, among other media outlets.