Upcoming Policy Briefing

Runup to the 2021 NATO Summit

Panel 1 - Specific Challenges for the Alliance

Security Challenges in the Black Sea region; NATO’s open door policy and interoperability challenges; and challenges in securing the Suwalki Corridor.

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges (retired)

Lieutenant General (Retired) Ben Hodges holds the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis. He joined CEPA in February 2018.

After his first assignment as an Infantry Lieutenant in Garlstedt, Germany, he commanded Infantry units at the Company, Battalion, and Brigade levels in the 101st Airborne Division, including Command of the First Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne” of the 101st Airborne Division in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (2003-2004). His other operational assignments include Chief of Operations for Multi-National Corps-Iraq in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (2005-2006) and Director of Operations, Regional Command South in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2009-2010).

His last military assignment was as Commanding General, United States Army Europe (Wiesbaden, Germany) from 2014 to 2017. He retired from the U.S. Army in January 2018.

Mr. Greg Melcher

Mr. Melcher is the Chief Operations Officer for the New Generation Warfare Centre. He is also affiliated with the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation and Alion Science and Technology. He was a Senior Fellow at The Potomac Foundation and recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Master’s in Global Policy.

In a prior position, he was a Vice President leading National Security Analysis at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where he substantially grew their portfolio in modeling, simulation and analysis for US Department of Defense and Home Land Security clients. He also established and led their efforts to counter China’s anti-access area-denial and the Russian Strategic Initiative.

Dr. Suzanne Loftus

Dr. Suzanne Loftus obtained her doctorate in International Studies from the University of Miami where she also taught a number of classes in International Relations and Foreign Policy. 

She specializes in Russian foreign and domestic politics and transatlantic security. Prior to turning to academia, Suzanne worked at the United Nations and in the private sector in Geneva, Switzerland where she also obtained her Master’s degree in Business Management. Suzanne is currently a Professor of National Security at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and the Deputy Chair of the Strategic Initiatives Department. Along with her native English, she speaks French, Spanish, and Russian.

Panel 1 Moderator

Karin Shuey

Karin Shuey has been the Estonian American National Council’s Washington, DC Director since 2016, where she has been advancing EANC’s mission to raise awareness on Capitol Hill and in DC’s policy circles regarding transatlantic security issues important to Estonia, the Baltic nations, and the broader region.  She is retired from a 22-year active duty career in the U.S. Navy, where she had significant experience with NATO, the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Estonian Ministry of Defence and Defence Forces while serving as the U.S. Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn.  Karin holds a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle, an M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and an M.A. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. 

Panel 2 - Policy Priorities for the Alliance

A look at bigger picture NATO policies for the Central and East European region.

Mr. Ian Brzezinski​

Ian Brzezinski is a resident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and is a member of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group. He served in senior policy positions in the US Department of Defense and the US Congress. He currently leads the Brzezinski Group, which provides strategic insight and advice to government and commercial clients.

Brzezinski served as a volunteer in Ukraine (1993-1994) advising the Ukrainian National Security Council, Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, and Parliament. He served as a member of the policy planning staff in the Defense Department (1991–93), a consultant to the Center for Naval Analysis (1991–1992) and a support analyst/information assistant at the National Security Council (1986–1987). He also worked for five years as a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., providing policy and technical support to US combatant commands and foreign clients.

For his public service, Brzezinski has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service; the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gedimas; the Latvian Ministry of Defense Award; the Romanian Medal for National Service, Order of Commander; and the Order of Merit, Republic of Poland, Officer Class.

Amb. Richard Morningstar

Richard L. Morningstar is the founding chairman of the Global Energy Center and a board director at the Atlantic Council. He served as the US ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan from July 2012 to August 2014.

Prior to his appointment, since April 2009, he was the Secretary of State’s special envoy for eurasian energy. Prior to that, Morningstar lectured at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Stanford Law School.

From June 1999 to September 2001, he served as United States ambassador to the European Union. Prior to this, Morningstar served as special adviser to the President and Secretary of State for Caspian Basin energy diplomacy, where he was responsible for assuring maximum coordination within the executive branch and with other governments and international organizations to promote United States policies on Caspian Basin energy development and transportation. From April 1995 to July 1998, he served as ambassador and special adviser to the President and Secretary of State on assistance for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, where he oversaw all US bilateral assistance and trade investment activities in the NIS. From 1993 to 1995, he served as senior vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Amb. Kurt Volker

Ambassador Kurt Volker is a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy with some 30 years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities. He served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from 2017 to 2019, and as U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2008-2009. Ambassador Volker is currently Managing Director, International, and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board at BGR Group, which provides government relations, public relations, and business advisory services to a wide array of clients. He is also President and Founder of Alliance Strategic Advisors, LLC, and has previously served as a Director of CG Funds Trust and the Wall Street Fund.

From 2012-2019, Ambassador Volker was the founding Executive Director of The McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University based in Washington, D.C. He remains a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council; a Trustee of the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France; a Trustee of the Hungary Initiatives Foundation; a member of the GLOBSEC International Advisory Board; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the U.S. Institute for Peace. He has taught Transatlantic Relations at The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and is a member of that School’s Board of Advisors.

Panel 2 Moderator

Michael Sawkiw

Mr. Sawkiw is a former President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of the Ukrainian American community.  Since 1996, he has served as Director of the UCCA’s Washington, DC bureau – the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), and remains in this post presently.  He has represented the UCCA on the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) for over 25 years.

Michael is also Chairman of the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness and was instrumental in the establishment of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial in Washington, DC (unveiled in November 2015).  He received a prestigious award from His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church for his efforts in memorializing the victims of the Ukrainian Holodomor. In August 2017, the President of Ukraine awarded the Yaroslav the Wise state medal for his advocacy work in Washington and the establishment of the Holodomor Memorial.  

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