AMBASSADOR JAMES FRANKLIN JEFFREY
Former Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
Ambassador James F. Jeffrey retired from the Foreign Service with the rank of Career Ambassador in June, 2012. He was recalled to active duty at the Department of State by Secretary Pompeo in August, 2018 to serve as the Secretary’s Special Representative for Syria. In January, 2019, Jeffrey was selected by the Secretary to simultaneously serve as the Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Jeffrey was also named Chief of Mission for Syria in 2020. He retired again from the Foreign Service in November, 2020.
During the period 2012-2018 Jeffrey was the Philip Solondz Distinguished Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Visiting Instructor at George Washington University, an energy consultant for APCO, member of the SoSi Advisory Council, and member of the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Policy Board 2012-1017 and CIA External Advisory Board 2017-2018.
Before his first retirement in 2012, Ambassador Jeffrey held a series of senior posts in Washington, D.C., and abroad. His last assignment in the Service was Ambassador to Iraq, 2010-2012, where he led a mission by 2012 of 16,000 personnel and an annual budget of $6 billion.
Prior to his service as Ambassador to Iraq, he served as Ambassador to Turkey 2008-2010. Previously, he served as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor in the George W, Bush Administration. From 2006-2007 he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, where his responsibilities included supervising the Bureau’s programs of several hundred million dollars in democracy promotion, peacekeeping, government capacity building, Track II reconciliation, and other assistance funding. Earlier appointments included service as Senior Advisor on Iraq to the Secretary of State; Chargé d'affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad, where he was responsible in 2004 for oversight of the U.S. Government’s $22 billion program for rebuilding Iraq; Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara and Kuwait; Ambassador to Albania, and Deputy Coordinator for Bosnia.
Jeffrey is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, American Council on Germany, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
A former infantry officer in the U.S. Army, Ambassador Jeffrey served in Germany and Vietnam from 1969 to 1976. His wife Gudrun and he have two children, Julia, and Jahn.
Followed by a panel of experts to discuss the Great Power Competition – China, Russia, and the Middle East.
Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman
President, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman is president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2016-19 and U.S. ambassador to Kuwait from 2014-16. From 2013-14, he served as a senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, working on Iraq issues and the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Silliman was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq from 2012-13, minister counselor for political affairs in Baghdad from 2011-12, and deputy chief of mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008-11. He joined the Department of State in 1984.
Silliman served as director and deputy director of the Department of State’s Office of Southern European Affairs, as political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, and as the regional officer for the Middle East in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He worked as a political officer in Islamabad, Pakistan, in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, as the desk officer for Lebanon, and as a staff assistant to the assistant secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Silliman began his career as a visa officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a political officer in Tunis, Tunisia.
In 2018, Silliman received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Donald J. Trump. He has received numerous awards from the Department of State, including the Secretary’s Award for Public Outreach in 2007 and senior performance awards. Silliman received the Sinclaire Language Award in 1993 and the W. Averell Harriman Award for outstanding junior officer in 1988 from the American Foreign Service Association. He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2019 after 35 years.
Silliman received a Bachelor of Arts in political science, summa cum laude, from Baylor University in Texas, where he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Master of Arts in international relations from the George Washington University. Silliman speaks Arabic and French. He is married and has two adult children.
In addition to his position as president of AGSIW, Silliman also serves on the board of advisors of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, which helps American businesses expand their international business and trade ties, especially in the Middle East and Gulf region. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs
The Honorable Randall G. Schriver is Chairman of the Board at The Project 2049 Institute. Most recently, Mr. Schriver served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs from 8 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. Prior to his confirmation as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Schriver was a founding partner of Armitage International LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in international business development and strategies. He was also a founder of the Project 2049 Institute, and served as President and CEO.
Previously, Mr. Schriver served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State. From 1994 to 1998, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including as the senior official responsible for the day-to-day management of U.S. bilateral relations with the People's Liberation Army and the bilateral security and military relationships with Taiwan. Prior to his civilian service, he served as an active duty Navy Intelligence Officer from 1989 to 1991, including a deployment in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. After active duty, he served in the Navy Reserves for nine years, including as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an attaché at U.S. Embassy Beijing and U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar. Mr. Schriver has won numerous military and civilian awards from the U.S. government and was presented while at the State Department with the Order of the Propitious Clouds by the President of Taiwan for service promoting U.S.-Taiwan relations. Mr. Schriver received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Williams College and a Master of Arts degree from Harvard University.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs
Todd Harrison is the director of Defense Budget Analysis and director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS. As a senior fellow in the International Security Program, he leads the Center’s efforts to provide in-depth, nonpartisan research and analysis of defense funding, space security, and air power issues. He has authored publications on trends in the defense budget, military space systems, threats to space systems, civil space exploration, defense acquisitions, military compensation and readiness, and military force structure, among other topics. He teaches classes on military space systems and the defense budget at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Mr. Harrison joined CSIS from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he was a senior fellow for defense budget studies. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he consulted for the U.S. Air Force on satellite communications systems and supported a variety of other clients evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. Prior to Booz Allen, he worked for AeroAstro Inc. developing advanced space technologies and as a management consultant at Diamond Cluster International. Mr. Harrison served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics.
Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia
Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. She served previously as Senior Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command, and as Special Advisor for the Secretary of Defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, she was a Senior Fellow at the American Security Project.
In 2008-2009, she served as Executive Director of the congressionally-mandated bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which published its report World at Risk (Random House) on-time and under-budget in November 2008.
From April 2001 to April 2008, she served as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, conducting policy and budget oversight (for over $20 billion) of the Department of Defense policy office and military commands including the U.S. Pacific Command, Special Operations Command, Southern Command, Northern Command, and U.S. Forces Korea. Her issue areas included foreign and defense policy worldwide regarding special operations, combating terrorism, foreign military assistance, peace and stability operations, counternarcotics efforts, homeland defense, and export controls, and regionally regarding the Asia Pacific and Western Hemisphere.
Prior to assuming that position, for four years she was a professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University. She served in Bosnia as a Human Rights Officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1996, and as an Election Supervisor in 1997. In 2009, she was an election observer in Afghanistan.
Her publications include journal articles and opinion pieces in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, Defense News, and The Boston Globe, and on sites including The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy.com and Politico.com, as well as commentary on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Air America’s Montel Williams Show, and Voice of America. She is also the author of “Fractured States and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, Ethiopia, and Bosnia in the 1990s” (Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, 2003 and 2008). Dr. Farkas obtained her MA and Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She speaks fluent Hungarian and German, as well as rudimentary French, Spanish, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, and Hindi. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a recipient of the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
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