Juliana Geran Pilon, PhD - Director, WAPONS

Dr. Pilon is Senior Fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. She also teaches at American University and is a lecturer for the Common Sense Society. Her books include: The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom (2019); The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World (2016); Soulmates: Resurrecting Eve (2012); the anthology Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace (2009); Why America is Such a Hard Sell: Beyond Pride and Prejudice (2007), the anthology Every Vote Counts: The Role of Elections in Building Democracy, which she co-edited with Richard Soudriette (2007); The Bloody Flag: Post-Communist Nationalism in Eastern Europe -- Spotlight on Romania (1991); and Notes From the Other Side of Night (1979, 1994, 2014). She has published over two hundred articles and reviews on international affairs, human rights, literature, and philosophy, and has made frequent appearances on radio and television. During the 1990s, she was first the Director and later the Vice President for Programs at IFES, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, where she designed, conducted, and managed projects related to a wide variety of democratization projects. Born in Romania, she emigrated with her family and arrived in the U.S. as a teenager. After receiving her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, she held post-doctoral fellowships in international relations at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and at the Institute of Humane Studies. She has also taught at Emory University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, American University, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Institute of World Politics, where she was Director of the Center for Culture and Security.



lan I. Berman - Senior Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council 

Ilan Berman is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency as well as the U.S. Departments of State and Defense and has also provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. He has been called one of America's "leading experts on the Middle East and Iran" by CNN. A member of the Associated Faculty at Missouri State University's Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, he is a frequent writer and commentator, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post and USA Today, among many other publications.
Mr. Berman is the editor of five books: Dismantling Tyranny: Transitioning Beyond Totalitarian Regimes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), co-edited with J. Michael Waller; Taking on Tehran: Strategies for Confronting the Islamic Republic (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Iran's Strategic Penetration of Latin America (Lexington Books, 2015), co-edited with Joseph Humire; The Logic of Irregular War: Asymmetry and America’s Adversaries (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), and, most recently, Digital Dictators: Media, Authoritarianism, and America’s New Challenge (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). He is also the author of five others: Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), Winning the Long War:Retaking the Offensive Against Radical Islam (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), Implosion:The End of Russia and What It Means for America (Regnery Publishing, 2013); Iran's Deadly Ambition: The Islamic Republic's Quest for Global Power (Encounter Books, 2015), and The Fight for Iran: Opposition Politics, Protest, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Nation (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

Stephen Bryen, PhD - Senior Fellow, at the Center for Security Policy

Dr. Stephen Bryen, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, has 50 years of experience in government and industry, having served as a senior staff director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Trade Security Policy, as the founder and first Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration, as the President of Finmeccanica North America, and as a Commissioner of the U.S. China Security Review Commission.  Prior to his government career, Dr. Bryen was Assistant Professor of Government at Lehigh University. Dr. Bryen is the author of five books, numerous articles, and chapters in compendiums on technology and strategy.  His books include: The Application of Cybernetic Analysis to the Study of International Politics; Essays on Technology, Security and Strategy and Technology Security and National Power: Winners and Losers. Dr. Bryen serves on the editorial advisory board of Common Defense Quarterly, and on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the U.S.-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation, which promotes bi-national research in basic science. For his work at the Defense Department, Dr. Bryen was twice awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Josh Carter - Military Legislative Assistant to Senator John Hoeven

Josh Carter is the Military Legislative Assistant to Senator John Hoeven. Previously he was the Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Josh first came to Washington from his native Kansas to serve on Senator Sam Brownback’s staff from 2003 to 2004, then returned from 2006 to 2011, first as National Security Advisor/Legislative Assistant and later as Legislative Director. In the interim two years, from 2005-2006, he was a Foreign Affairs Specialist in Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he developed and coordinated briefings on Iraq policy for the Secretary of Defense and senior DoD leaders. The previous year, from 2004 – 2005, as Legislative Affairs Coordinator Iraq Project and Contracting Office, he briefed Congressional offices on Iraq reconstruction strategy and contracting process. He holds an MA in International Affairs from American University.

Seth Cropsey - Senior Fellow and director of the Center for American Seapower at Hudson Institute

Dr. Cropsey is a senior fellow and director of the Center for American Seapower at Hudson Institute. He specializes in defense strategy, U.S. foreign and security policy in the Middle East and East Asia, and the future of U.S. naval power. Cropsey began his career in government at the U.S. Department of Defense as assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and subsequently served as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, where he was responsible for the Navy’s position on efforts to reorganize DoD, development of the maritime strategy, the Navy’s academic institutions, naval special operations, and burden-sharing with NATO allies. In the Bush administration, Cropsey moved to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to become acting assistant secretary, and then principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict. Cropsey served as a naval officer from 1985 to 2004. From 1982 to 1984, Cropsey directed the editorial policy of the Voice of America (VOA) on the solidarity movement in Poland, Soviet treatment of dissidents, and other issues. Returning to public diplomacy in 2002 as director of the U.S. government’s International Broadcasting Bureau, Cropsey supervised the agency as successful efforts were undertaken to increase radio and television broadcasting to the Muslim world. Cropsey was previously a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and director of the Heritage Foundation’s Asia Studies Center. Cropsey’s articles on national security and foreign policy have been published in Commentary, Foreign Affairs, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, and other national journals.

John J. Dziak, PhD - senior intelligence officer, President of Dziak Group, Inc.

Dr. Dziak has served almost five decades as a senior intelligence officer and Senior Executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in private consulting, with long experience in counter proliferation, counterintelligence, counter deception, strategic intelligence, and intelligence education. Dr. Dziak has served as DIA representative to DCI-led major espionage damage assessments, with special emphasis on U.S. critical technologies, and was U.S. representative to senior-level allied intelligence groups concerned with espionage penetrations and hostile special operations. Dr. Dziak received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University, is a graduate of the National War College, and is the recipient of numerous defense and intelligence awards and citations from DoD, DIA, CIA and the Director of National Intelligence, including the Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service. He lectures at the National Intelligence University, has taught at the National War College, Georgetown and George Washington Universities, the Institute of World Politics, and lectures on intelligence, counterintelligence, and foreign affairs throughout the US and abroad. He is the author of the award-winning, Chekisty: A History of the KGB (1988), numerous other books, articles, and monographs, including The Military Relationship Between China and Russia, 1995 – 2002 (2002) for AFPC and is finishing a book on foreign counterintelligence systems. Dr. Dziak is co-founder and President of Dziak Group, Inc.

Brigadier General Michael Eastman

From May 2020 through February 2021, BG Eastman served as Commanding General of Train, Advise, and Assist Command (South) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division, Director of Joint Force Development and Design on the Joint Staff, and Director of the National Military Command Center. Prior positions included serving as the Director of the Army Futures Command Development Team, Chief of Staff of the Army Senior Fellow, and Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army.  BG Eastman commanded the 75th Field Artillery Brigade from 2013-2015 and was deployed to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. His distinguished career includes: serving simultaneously as Deputy Brigade Commander for Civil Capacity, coordinating all military participation in economic, political, and civil reconstruction operations across 4 southern Iraqi provinces; as Commander of an 1800-Soldier Field Artillery Brigade deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield, being responsible for all aspects of training, operations, logistics, and leader development while providing command and control over multiple elements deployed across the Middle East; and in Afghanistan, serving as Special Assistant to the Commanding General of the Office of Military Cooperation. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from West Point, a Masters of Military Art and Science from the Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Science and PhD (ABD) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Political Science and Security Studies. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star.

Chris Farrell - Director of Investigations & Research, Judicial Watch

Christopher J. Farrell joined Judicial Watch in 1999 as the organization’s Director of Investigations & Research and has been a member of the Board of Directors since September 2003. He is a graduate of the Military Intelligence Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, the U.S. Army Advanced Counterintelligence Training Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Military Operations Training Course, and the Haus Rissen Institut für Politik und Wirtschaft in Hamburg, Germany. A Military Intelligence Officer specializing in Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence, his command and staff assignments included three tours of duty in the Federal Republic of Germany, and one tour at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. He then served as a Senior Staff Associate of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Mailman School of Public Health (2005 – 2008). A Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (2013 – 2018), he is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers; the Society of Professional Journalists; Investigative Reporters and Editors; the National Military Intelligence Association; and a constituent member of the State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.

Kevin Gates -  Vice President for Advanced Concepts, Strategic Analysis, Inc

Kevin Gates has been the Vice President for Advanced Concepts at Strategic Analysis, Inc, a professional technology services and consulting company, since 2017. In that role, he is responsible for managing a corporate division with contracts across the Navy, Defense Health Agency and Office the Secretary of Defense. Prior to that, he worked as a Professional Staff Member for the House Armed Services Committee since March 2007, responsible for the Information Technology (IT) and cyber operations portfolio, as well as the Science and Technology (S&T) portfolio. Previously, he worked for 8 years at Strategic Analysis, Inc of Arlington, Virginia for a variety of clients within the defense community (including DARPA, ONR and the Defense Science Board), as well as the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency within DHS (S&T) and the intelligence community. He has a BA in history and international studies from University of North Carolina and an MA from Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. He has co-authored a chapter on critical infrastructure protection in Homeland Security: Protecting America’s Targets (2006) and is president of the Information Professionals Association.

Eric Hannis, LLD - Director of Government Relations, Raytheon Technologies

Eric Hannis is Director of Government Relations at Raytheon Technologies.  Formerly the principal defense advisor and Military Legislative Assistant to Rep. Randy Forbes, Hannis was also the Senior Military Legislative Assistant to Rep. Dave Weldon. As Vice President and head of the defense practice at The Russ Reid Company, a government relations firm, as well as Executive Director at Etherton and Associates, a defense consulting firm, Hannis represented both small and large defense companies on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, as well as in other government agencies.  He also currently serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve and is certified as an International Affairs specialist by the Department of Defense.  Having served over nineteen years in the military, including over nine years on active duty, which included assignments in international political-military affairs, operations planning, fighter aircraft maintenance and munitions operations, logistics, and Congressional affairs, his last active assignment was as the Country Director for Afghanistan and Central Asia for the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs (SAF/IA). Hannis’ military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, as well as the German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge, gold level. A graduate of Air Command and Staff College and a student in Air War College, Hannis earned a B.A. from Hamilton College and J.D. from Catholic University, specializing in international law. 

Zebu Jilani - Founder, Chair and President, Swat Relief Initiative

Zebu Jilani, a Pakistani American social entrepreneur and nutritionist, is the founder, Chair and President of the foundation the Swat Relief Initiative (SRI) strives to improve the lives of women and children in Pakistan through healthcare, education, economic empowerment and a sustainable environment. The granddaughter of Miangul Jahan Zeb (the last royal ruler of Swat), who ruled from 1949 to 1969 and was internationally renowned as a pioneer in rural development in Pakistan, Mrs. Jilani continues his legacy, having created a comprehensive health and nutrition seminar to help women and children in rural Swat take concrete steps to improve their health and prevent disease.

Anna Smith Lacey - Executive Director, Hungary Foundation

Anna Smith Lacey is the Executive Director of the Hungary Foundation since 2016. Before that, she served in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry as U.S. Desk officer and subsequently as political attaché at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington. She then worked as an external relations advisor at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. She is currently also Vice President of Common Sense Society of Budapest. She authored, translated and edited numerous English and Hungarian language publications on U.S. and Hungarian democracy issues and constitutionalism, she was a frequent contributor to the Hungarian Weekly Magazine, Heti Válasz covering American politics. As a Kellner Scholar, Anna spent one year at Bard College, NY. An alumna of The Fund for American Studies’ Prague and D.C. summer institutes, as well as the Hungarian American Coalition’s Internship Program, she was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, earned her Master’s degree in International Relations at Corvinus University focusing on American foreign policy and pursued graduate studies at ELTE School of English and American Studies. 

Paul Lieber, PhD - Chief Scientist, COLSA Corporation

Dr. Paul Lieber is an award-winning scholar and practitioner in global strategic communication and mass communication influence, with over five dozen scholarly publications and presentations on these topics. COLSA Corporation and the Information Professionals Association’s Chief Scientist, he served as the Command Writer for two USSOCOM Commanders, likewise Strategic Communication Advisor to the Commander of Special Operations Command-Australia. Within academic environs, Dr. Lieber was a full-time member of the Graduate faculty at Joint Special Operations University, Emerson College, University of South Carolina, and the University of Canberra, respectively. Within these roles, he taught across the entire strategic communication and influence curriculum, with a research emphasis on social media-based persuasion and methodological design. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Public Affairs, a Masters of Mass Communication from Louisiana State University, and B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.

COL David Maxwell - Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

COL Maxwell, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, is a 30-year veteran of the US Army, after 20 years in Asia, primarily in Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, leading organizations from the A-Team to the Joint Special Operations Task Force level. A 1980 graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a BA in Political Science, COL Maxwell has Masters Degrees in Military Arts and Science, as well as National Security Studies, from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and the National War College. A fellow at the Institute of Corean-American Studies (ICAS), he serves on the Board of Directors of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Council of Korean Studies, the Special Operations Research Association, and the Small Wars Journal. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Korean Defense Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Meritorious Unit Citation, the Philippine Legion of Honor, the Philippine Humanitarian Service Medal, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Korean, Philippines, and Australian Parachute Badges and the Special Forces and Ranger Tabs.

Thomas Merrill, PhD - Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Associate Director of the Political Theory Institute, American University

Dr. Thomas W. Merrill is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Associate Director of the Political Theory Institute, all in the School of Public Affairs at American University  He is the author of Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2015), which won the Delba Winthrop Prize for Best Recent Work in Political Philosophy, and articles in the Review of Politics, Polity, and Perspectives on Political Science. He is also a co-editor of Apples of Gold in Pictures in Silver: Honoring the Work of Leon R. Kass(Lexington, 2010) and Human Dignity and Bioethics (Notre Dame, 2009). He was a research analyst with the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2007 to 2009.

Rosa Park - Director of Programs and Editor at the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 

Rosa Park is Director of Programs and Editor at the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), where she has worked since 2011. She has conducted interviews with Korea experts and North Korean escapees, helped produce HRNK’s publications, and directs conference and public outreach programs in Seoul, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, and Geneva. A leading member of the team that gained United Nations consultative status for HRNK in April 2018, the first civil society organization in the U.S. focused solely on North Korean human rights to achieve this status, Ms. Park has been featured in CNN, BBC, VOA, USA Today, NBC, Democracy Digest, Epoch Times, and KEI's Korean Kontext. 

Roger Pilon, JD PhD - B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, Vice President (Emeritus) for Legal Affairs

Dr. Roger Pilon holds the Cato Institute's B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, which he has held since it was established in 1998.  He joined Cato as a senior fellow in October 1988 and, until 2019, served as director of Cato's Robert A. Levi's Center for Constitutional Studies, which he founded in 1989. Pilon has also served as vice president for legal affairs, which he was named in 1999, and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review and the inaugural holder of Cato’s B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies. Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration, including at State and Justice, and was a national fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. In 1989 the Bicentennial Commission presented him with its Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in writing on the U.S. Constitution. In 2001 Columbia University’s School of General Studies awarded him its Alumni Medal of Distinction. Pilon lectures and debates at universities and law schools across the country and testifies often before Congress. His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, National Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Stanford Law and Policy Review, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, CBS’s 60 Minutes II, Fox News Channel, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, C-SPAN, and other media.  Dr, Pilon holds a BA from Columbia University, an MA and a PhD from the University of Chicago, and a JD from the George Washington University School of Law.

Eric Rozenman

From 2002 to 2016 Mr. Rozenman served as Washington director for CAMERA, the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Rozenman worked as deputy and acting communications director for B’nai B’rith International from 1997 to 2002, edited the Washington Jewish Week from 1992 to 1997, prior to which he was publications editor for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, editor of Near East Report ; press secretary for U.S. Rep. Robert N. Shamansky and reporter for the Ohio Scripps-Howard Newspapers state bureau, among other posts. His work-related and freelance commentaries and analyses have appeared in daily newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times and Jerusalem Post, and in periodicals including Policy Review, Journal for the Study of Antisemitism and Journal of International Security Affairs. 

Julie S. Ryan, PhD - CEO, Wyndrose Technical Group

Prior to her current position as CEO of the Wyndrose Technical Group, Dr. Ryan was Professor of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from the U.S. National Defense University.  Prior to that, she was tenured faculty at the George Washington University and a visiting scholar at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).  Dr. Ryan came to academia from a career in industry that began when she completed military service.  Upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Dr. Ryan served as a Signals Intelligence Officer in the Air Force, and then as a Military Intelligence Officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency. She has also consulted with companies including Sterling Software, Booz Allen & Hamilton, Welkin Associates, and TRW/ESL supporting a variety of projects and clients.  She is the author of several books, including Defending Your Digital Assets Against Hackers, Crackers, Spies, and Thieves (McGraw Hill 2000), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).  At Wyndrose, she focuses on futures forecasting and strategic planning with an eye on technology surprise and disruption.

Gregory Scarlatoiu, PhD - Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

Greg Scarlatoiu is the Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) in Washington, D.C., having coordinated 28 HRNK publications exposing North Korean realities. He is a visiting professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, instructor and coordinator of the Korean Peninsula and Japan class at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI), vice president of the executive board of the International Council on Korean Studies (ICKS), and a member of the advisory board for The Korea and World Politics Institute. Prior to HRNK, Scarlatoiu was affiliated with the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) in Washington, D.C. He has over six years of experience in international development, on projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. For fifteen years, Scarlatoiu has broadcast to North Korea for Radio Free Asia, and is a frequent commentator for CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and other media organizations. He has published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and also academic papers in volumes produced by organizations including The Hanns Seidel Foundation, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies, and the International Journal of Korean Studies. He has testified in Congressional hearings on North Korean human rights. Scarlatoiu holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University, and holds both a BA and MA from Seoul National University, in International Relations. 

Marion Smith - President and Founder Common Sense Society

Marion Smith is the President and Founder of the Common Sense Society, an international foundation that promotes civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership among young professionals in the United States and Europe. From 2014 till 2021, he was the Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. A Phi Beta Kappa Wofford College graduate with a BA in Government & History, he has studied in England, France, The Netherlands, and Hungary, where he received a masters’ degree in International Relations from Central European University. He is also chairman of the National Civic Art Society and was previously a visiting fellow at the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation. His articles have appeared in various publications, including USA Today,, The Hill, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and National Review.

Dorothy Taft - Executive Director, The Market Project

Dorothy Taft, currently Executive Director of The Market Project, has more than three decades of experience in US and international policy to advance human rights protection, democratic governance and civil society program development, as well as issues related to trauma healing. Before that, she was Director of USAID’s Office of Democracy and Governance; Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff for the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; Professional Staff for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere; and Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant for a Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 

Piotr Trabinsky - Alternate Executive Director for the Swiss-Polish Constituency, International Monetary Fund 

As Alternate Executive Director for the Swiss-Polish Constituency at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), responsible for co-representing Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, Mr. Trabinsky reviews the IMF's policies and member states' economic developments. He holds an M.A. in Law from Warsaw University, and an Executive M.A. in National Security from The Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the IMS, he worked in the telecommunication and banking industry, achieving a managerial position in the global financial institution Banco Santander. 

J. Michael Waller, PhD - Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy

Michael Waller is Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in international security affairs from Boston University, and received his military training as an insurgent with the Nicaraguan contras. He was a co-founder of the Blue Team on China in the 1990s. For 13 years he was the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. A former instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School, he is an instructor/lecturer at the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg. The author or editor of books relating to intelligence, political warfare, public diplomacy, terrorism, and subversion, he publishes in Daily Beast, Daily Caller, The Federalist, Forbes, Insight, Investor’s Business Daily, Kyiv Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Real Clear Politics, USA Today, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, and Wall Street Journal.

Rand Waltzman, PhD 

Before his last position as Senior Information Scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA,  he was the acting chief technology officer of Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. Prior to that, he completed a five-year tour as a Program Manager in the Information Innovation Office of DARPA, where he created and managed the Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program and the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS) insider threat detection program. Rand joined DARPA from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM-ATL), where he served as Chief Scientist for the Applied Sciences Laboratory that specializes in advanced software techniques and the computational physics of materials. Prior to LM-ATL, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he taught and performed research in applications of machine intelligence technology to a variety of problem areas including digital entertainment, automated reasoning and decision support and cyber threat detection. Before his professorship, he served as a DARPA Program Manager focusing on machine intelligence and image understanding. Rand has also held research positions at the University of Maryland, Teknowledge Corporation, and the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington.

Jian Li Yang, PhD - President and Founder, Citizen Power Initiatives for China

Dr. Yang was born in Shandong Province, China and graduated from college at the age of 19. A rising star in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 1980’s, he quickly became disenchanted with the corruption and duplicity he experienced in the communist system. He left China to pursue a career in Mathematics at University of California in 1986 when he was 23 years old. In 1989, his fellow Chinese students at Berkeley elected him to go back to Beijing in support of their counterparts in China who were demonstrating for democracy in Tiananmen Square. He returned to Beijing, joined the movement and witnessed the massacre of thousands by the guns and tanks of the CCP army including tanks running over protesters. This event changed his future. He narrowly escaped capture and returned to the United States to study democracy and continue his activism. In 2002, after completing his Doctorate in Political Economy at Harvard (earlier he had gotten a PhD in Mathematics from UC Berkeley), Dr. Yang returned to China to help the labor movement with non-violent struggle strategies. He was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, kept in solitary confinement for a good part of the imprisonment. Following an international outcry for his release, including a UN Resolution and a unanimous vote of both houses of the United States Congress, Dr. Yang was freed in April of 2007. Immediately following his return to the U.S., he formed Citizen Power Initiatives for China, a pro-democracy movement committed to a peaceful transition to democracy in China. In March 2010, Dr. Yang co-chaired the Committee on Internet Freedom at the Geneva Human Rights and Democracy Summit. In December 2010 in Oslo at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony, he represented that year’s laureate, the imprisoned Chinese democracy leader Liu Xiaobo, who would die in the CCP regime’s custody on July 13, 2017. Dr. Yang is a frequent contributor to and interviewee by the international media, a panelist at hearings held by the US Congress, the European Parliament, the UK Parliament and the Taiwan Legislative Yuan. He has also been a speaker at various international forums on topics ranging from human rights in China, China’s democratization, China’s politics, ethnic relations in the PRC, cross-strait relations, and on US – China policies.