2017-2018 Speaker Series
"De-Radicalization in a US Context"
with Mr. Christian Picciolini, Mr. Yoal Kidane Ghebremeskel, and Dr. Annie Miller
While most Americans associate terrorism with the mass casualty attack of 9/11, the fact is that the most likely source of terrorist attacks within the United States is home-grown radicals inspired by either domestic, international, or global ideologies/causes and radicalized by their own personal experiences. These lone-wolf or inspirational terrorists arise when their own circumstances merge with a violent ideology to create violence. One half of combatting this phenomenon is reducing the influence and access of groups propagating violence ideologies, but the other, less discussed and developed half, is actively seeking to prevent individual radicalization within our own communities. Denver is no exception and this panel will link the broad challenge of preventing domestic-based terrorism to efforts in our own community.
Christian Picciolini is an Emmy Award-winning television producer, prolific public speaker, published author, and reformed extremist. His work and life purpose are born of an ongoing and profound need to atone for a grisly past, and to make something of his time on this planet by contributing to the greater good. After leaving the violent far-right hate movement he was part of during his youth, he began the painstaking process of rebuilding his life.
Christian earned a degree in International Relations from DePaul University, began his own global entertainment media firm, and was appointed a member of the Chicago Grammy Rock Music Committee and board member for the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. In 2016, Christian won an Emmy Award for directing and producing ExitUSA's "There is life after hate" PSA, and has been nominated for four regional Emmy Awards.
He is an appointed United Nations-affiliated ambassador for iChangeNations and was honored with a National Statesman award. He is an associate for the USC Price 'Homegrown Violent Extremism' program and has worked as an adjunct professor at the college level. He also contributed to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's and Jared Cohen's New York Times bestseller, The New Digital Age. Most notably, in 2009 he co-founded Life After Hate, a nonprofit helping people disengage from hate and violent extremism. Christian has written numerous books, which can be found on the DCFR Bookshelf, conducted interviews, and written extensively on countering hate movements and racism in the United States.
Yoal Kidane Ghebremeskel is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Street Fraternity; a place of brotherhood and personal growth for urban young men here in Denver. Yoal holds a B.A. from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is a 2003 Daniels Scholar from South High School, and an English Second Language student. He is a graduate of Leadership Denver Class of 2015.
He has actively been engaged with the refugee community in Colorado through volunteerism, work (e.g. African Community Center, Piton Foundation, etc.), and coaching soccer to former refugee and immigrant youth and young adults.
Dr. Annie Miller is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Denver in the International Disaster Psychology Department and serves as Co-Director of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative. Her research and community-based efforts focus on supporting communities to reduce hate, discrimination, bias, and identity-based violence by developing protective factors locally and globally. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of networks and collaborations seeking to combat human trafficking, non-profit management, and capacity development at the community and network levels to end wicked problems.
Dr. Miller formerly served as the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Miami University Hamilton. While leading the Center, she coauthored the Ohio Civic Health Index which identifies civic and community behaviors and policy changes that might effectively lead to enhanced civic participation. While in Hamilton, Ohio, she founded HUB (Hamilton's Undround Buzz); a young adult movement aimed at restoring green space to the urban core of the community and fostering public, multi-generational leadership. She is currently a Project Advisor at the United Politics Initiative.
Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Public Affairs - Administration, Policy, Management, and Institutions where she studied felon disenfranchisement, the role of women in government, and economic development. In addition, she received an M.S. in Higher Education Administration and an M.A. in Political Science.
"Turkey: A New Ottoman Empire?"
with Dr. Joseph Szyliowicz
For decades, Turkey was a bright spot in the Middle East. A NATO member with a largely secular and open society, Turkey primarily made the news negatively for the dominance of the military in its domestic politics or its on-going struggle with its Kurdish minority or positively for its efforts to formally join the European community and stalwart support of the West during the Cold War. The 21st Century has seen the marginalization of the military in domestic politics but this has accrued in conjunction with the rise of a civilian regime with an aggressive, regionally focused foreign policy and authoritarian pretensios domestically. The result has been disruption of Turkey's traditional relationships and internal politics even as the importance of Turkey as a regional power has increased.
Dr. Joseph Szyliowicz's expertise of Turkey includes numerous research projects funded by Columbia University, the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Commission and the Rand Graduate Institute. He was a founding member of the Turkish Studies Association and served as its President, and established the American Research Institute in Turkey, serving as its first Director. Dr. Szyliowicz has lectured at various Turkish security organizations and has also been a Senior Fellow at various academic institutions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia including St. Antony's College, Oxford, the Harry Truman Institute and the Institute for Advanced Studies (Hebrew University and Bilkent University (Ankara).
Recently retired from teaching at Josef Korbel School after decades of service, Dr. Szyliowicz continues an impressive research and consulting agenda centering on the Middle East with emphasis on the state of Turkey as well as the politics, economics, and complexities of major technology and infrastructure projects both in general and in that area of the
world. The author of more books, articles, reports, and monographs than can possibly be listed here, he is also the founder of the University of Denver's Intermodal Transportation Center, and a former Director of the Rocky Mountain Middle East Seminar. He has worked with NATO, APEC, and the China Council for International Cooperation & Environmental Development amongst others, and has served as a fellow and lecturer worldwide. He has contributed op-ed pieces and has appeared on National Public Radio, the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, and Voice of America.
He is a former President of the Denver Council on Foreign Relations.
"The Realities of Cuba Today"
with Dr. Juan Lindau
For those of a certain generation, Cuba is a Cold War benchmark and Cold War legacies still haunt both Cuba and Cuba-U.S. relations. But Cuba and its relations with the rest of the world have undergone enormous changes with the passing of Fidel Castro, the ending of its relationship with Russia and its new relationships with countries as diverse as Venezuela and the United States. In addition, Cuba is in the midst of a challenging domestic transition economically, socially, and of course politically as it tries to grow and evolve in the 21st Century. Dr. Lindau will help us understand how all these changes are playing out in a country well known but little understood in the United States.
Dr. Juan Lindau has taught at Colorado College since 1989. He received a B.A. in Anthropology from New College in 1977, and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Standford University in 1980. He received, as well, an M.A. (1985) and a Ph.D. (1987), both in Political Science, from Harvard University. He primarily teaches courses on Comparative Politics and Latin American Politics, and actively participates, outside the department, in the History/Political Science major and the International Political Economy major. Several of Professor Lindau's courses are offered in both English and Spanish and students can elect to take the course in either language. Dr. Lindau has taught off-campus courses, both during the summer and the regular academic year, in Mexico and Costa Rica.
He has a long-standing scholarly interest in the drug war, the object of several of his journal articles. His other primary
scholarly interest is immigration to the United States from Latin America. He has received the Colorado College Teach of the Year award, and the A.E. and Ethel Irene Carlton Professorship.
"The Future of the EU After Brexit: Implications for Transatlantic Relations from a German Perspective"
with Dr. Jana Puglierin
This presentation will cover the future of the European integration process after the German elections with a focus on the role of Germany, Franco-German relations, the implications of Brexit on the cohesion of the EU-27, the common security and defense policy, and the impact of this process on transatlantic relations from the German point of view.
Dr. Jana Puglierin is Head of the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The Oppenheim Center seeks to provide new ideas for the continued development of European foreign, security, and defense policy and to give recommendations for Germany's policies on Europe.
Dr. Puglierin has served as an Advisor to the German Bundestag on disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation, as well as other matters relating to German and European foreign and security policy. She has lectured in the field of North American Studies at the University of Bonn and the University of Chemnitz.
In the wake of the Cold War and the expansion of NATO and the EU, many viewed Europe as both a political exemplar and a security backwater -- they were wrong. Whether it be the rise of an assertive Russia or more local nationalist movements, the challenges of refugees and minority assimilation, Brexit and the political-economic crises of the EU/Euro, or Europe/s struggle to define its role and its collective identity in a multipolar world, Europe is increasingly resistant to any pivots in our attention away from it. This talk will provide us context and some insight into the state of European politics today.
Ambassador Daneil Baer was U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from 2013 to 2017. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Huamn Rights, and Labor from 2009 to 2013. Baer was an Assistant Professor at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, a Faculty Fellow at Harvard's Safra Center for Ethics, and a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group.
"Our Current National Security Dilemmas - The Competing Futures"
with Mr. Harvey Rishikof
It is unlikely that there is anyone who is not familiar with the term cyber security and aware that there are threats at the personal, corporate, and national level arising from our increasing dependence on cyber space. But few of us have a clear understanding of the realities and trade-offs associated with these threats and their mitigation. One of the best qualified people in the US national security establishment to frame these issues, Mr. Harvey Rishikof will put cyber threats in context and lay out the future implications for our security.
Harvey Rishikof is Director Military Commissions and Convening Authority at DoD, and the co-chair of the ABA National Task Force on Cybersecurity and the Law. Most recently, he was senior counsel at Crowell & Moring, dean of faculty at the National War College, and held a joint appointment at Drexel University in the law school and the iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology. His previous government position was senior policy advisor to the director of national counter-intelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"Germany and the EU's China Policy - Analysis, Assessment, and Areas for Competition and Cooperation with the United States"
with Dr. May-Britt Stumbaum
Dr. Stumbaum will provide an overview of the current state of play of Germany's and the EU's policy vis-a-vis China as a global actor and a rising military power, and analysis and assessments of China's foreign and security policy from a European/German perspective. She will discuss with the audience possible areas for cooperation and competition when dealing with China - on China and on cooperation and competition with China on regional and global challenges.
Dr. May-Britt Stumbaum is Director of the NFG Research Group “Asian Perceptions of the EU” at the Free University of Berlin, and Team Leader of the EU’s Asia Pacific and Research Network (#APRAN) by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Chatham House and Clingendael.
#APRAN provides tailor-made briefings by Asian experts for EU policy-makers. Dr. Stumbaum previously served as Executive Director of the China and Global Security Program at SIPRI, Fritz Thyssen Fellow at WCFIA Harvard, and in senior positions at the German Council on Foreign Relations and at Berlin Partner.