2018-2019 Speaker Series

​​​​​​​"U.S.-Canada Relations"
with Honorable Stéphane Lassard
Consul General of Canada, Honorable Stéphane Lassard, will address issues relevant to today's problems and tension in U.S.-Canada relations. Stéphane Lassard joined Global Affairs Canada at the Consulate General of Canada in August 2016. As Canada's Consul General in Denver, Stéphane oversees a team of 17 people who work within Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strengthen trade and economic ties; enhance political, academic and cultural links; and assist Canadians visiting or living in the five-state U.S. Mountain West region.

Stéphane began his career practicing commercial law in Montréal before joining the Canadian Federal Government in 1992, where he has held numerous senior and executive positions. Prior to arriving in Denver, Stéphane spent the last ten years with Health Canada (2006 to 2016), where he served in different executive positions across the Offices of the Chief Scientist, the Strategic Policy Branch, the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, and the Pest
Management Regulatory Agency. He has also worked with the Canadian Space Agency (1993 to 2004), where, as the Head of International Affairs, he oversaw relationships with foreign national and multinational space agencies; and with Global Affairs Canada's Global Partnership Program (2004 to 2006), where he focused on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. He holds a BCL from the University of Montréal, his LLM in Air & Space Law from McGill University, his LLB from the University of Ottawa, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.​​​​​​​
"From 'India's Daughter' to THINK EQUAL - Transforming Education to End Discrimination and Violence Around the World"
with Leslee Udwin

A DCFR Associates Event
Leslee Udwin, Founder and President\CEO of THINK EQUAL. Leslee was named the Number 2 Most Impactful Woman of 2015 (behind Hillary Clinton), and has been awarded the prestigious Swedish Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize. THINK EQUAL seeks to achieve equal opportunity and empowerment, irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability by starting the process of imparting social and emotional learning to children at an early age.​​​​​​​
"Water: Legal and Political Challenges"
with Dr. Stephen McCaffrey

Co-Sponsored with the Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law

Distinguished Professor of Law Stephen McCaffrey is one of the world's foremost authorities on international water law. He was named 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. Professor McCaffrey served two terms as a member of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC), from 1981-1991, and chaired that prestigious body's 1987-1988 session, only the third American to do so. From 1985-1991 he served as special rapporteur for the ILC's work on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses.
"European Economic & Political Security in the Age of Trump"
with Dr. Rachel Epstein

Co-Sponsored with the Denver Chapter of the American Council on Germany​​​​​​​

Dr. Rachel Epstein is Professor of International Political Economy and European Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. where she currently serves as Associate Dean for Faculty, co-Director of the Ph.D program and served as the co-Director of the School's Europe Center. She has served as a Transatlantic Research Fellow, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute and Expert Advisor on the Review of the Framework for Relations between the European Union and the United States.
"Why Development Matters"
with Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith has over 20 years of experience in international development and is a subject matter expert in democracy, human rights, and governance. Ms. Smith has held positions with the U.S. Agency for International Development, including deputy assistant to the administrator for policy, planning and learning; senior policy analyst; deputy coordinator for Middle East transition response; and senior field adviser for democracy and governance. In addition, she served on the National Security Staff at the White House as a director for Afghanistant and Pakistan affairs and at the Asia Foundation as senior director for governance and law.
"Europe, Germany & the U.S. - What to Watch for in 2019"
with Ricklef Beutin
Ricklef Beutin is a visiting fellow in the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, he served as chief of staff to German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Between 2011 and 2015, he served as chief of staff to several state secretaries of the German Federal Foreign Office. From 2015 to 2016, he headed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) division and served as deputy head of the Task Force for the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016. Previous positions in the German Foreign Service include head of the division for Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs and deputy spokeman of the German Permanent Representation to the European Union. From 2005 to 2007, he worked as a foreign policy analyst in the European Commission's policy planning division of the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA). He holds an M.A. in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a degree in law from the University of Bonn, Germany.
"Gender Politics in Modern Iran"
with Dr. Pardis Mahdavi

Pardi Mahdavi is currently the acting dean of the Josef Korbel School for International Studies at the University of Denver. Mahdavi received her Ph.D in Sociomedical Science and Anthropology, MPhil. in Anthropology and Master's in International Affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor's in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College. Her research interests include gendered labor, human trafficking, migration, sexuality, human rights, youth culture, transnational feminism, and public health in the context of changing global and political structures. She is the author of "Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution" (Standford University Press, 2008); "Gridlock: Labor, Migration and 'Human Trafficking' in Dubai" (Stanford University Press, 2011); "From Trafficking to Terror: Constructing a Global Social Problem" (Routledge, 2013); and "Crossing the Gulf: Love and Family in Migrant's Lives" (Stanford University Press, 2016). Links to her work can be found on the DCFR Bookshelf.
"Everest and Beyond: Iranian Women Facing Their Future"
with Sarah Safari
A DCFR Associates Event

TED Talks presenter Sara Safari will speak about her work with women's empowerment and recent trip to her homeland, Iran. Sarah has dedicated her life to empowering women and girls to break the glass ceiling and live as fully as they deserve. From being a self-described "typical California woman who had never slept in a tent and hated cold weather" to a serious mountain climber and adventurer, she will inspire you with her story and the stories of those she has inspired and empowered. She is the co-author of "Above the Mountain's Shadow: A Journey of Hope and Adventure Inspired by the Forgotten".
"A New Nuclear Revolution"
with Dr. Julia Macdonald
Dr. Julia Macdonald is an Assistant Professor in International Relations at the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies where her research focuses on state threat assessments, use of force decisions, and U.S. military strategy and effectiveness. Her most recent book project lies at the intersection of coercive diplomacy and foreign policy decision making and investigates the importance of leadership beliefs in assessments of threat credibility during international crises. Examples of her work can be found in recent editions of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Strategic Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, and Armed Forces and Society, as well as in a number of policy outlets.

She has previously held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House, Harvard University's Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and with the Security Studies Program at MIT.  
She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the George Washinton University, an M.A. (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. (Hons) in History, Philosophy, and International Relations from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Discussion & Breakfast
with Constanze Stelzenmüller

Co-Sponsored with the Denver Chapter of the American Council on Germany
Constanze Stelzenmüller, an expert on German, European, and transatlantic foreign and security policy and strategy, is the inaugural Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. Prior to working at Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she directed the influential Transatlantic Trends survey program. Her areas of expertise include: transatlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the European Union’s foreign, security, and defense policy; international law; and human rights. Stelzenmüller is the former director of GMF’s Berlin office. From 1994 to 2005, she was an editor for the political section of the German weekly DIE ZEIT, where she had also served as defense and international security editor and covered human rights issues and humanitarian crises. From 1988 to 1989, she was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School. She has also been a GMF campus fellow at Grinnell College in Iowa, a Woodrow Wilson Center public policy scholar in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Remarque Forum—a conference series of the Remarque Institute at New York University. Stelzenmüller’s essays and articles, in both German and English, have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Foreign Affairs, Internationale Politik,   
the Financial Times, the International New York Times and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Her dissertation, "Direkte Demokratie in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika," was published in 1994 by Nomos. She is also a frequent commentator on American and European radio and television, including Presseclub (ARD), National Public Radio, and the BBC. Stelzenmüller is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Swedish Society for War Sciences. She has worked in Germany and the United States, and speaks English, French, German, and Spanish. Stelzenmüller holds a doctorate in law from the University of Bonn (1992), a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1988), and a law degree from the University of Bonn (1985).
Discussion & Breakfast
with General George Casey (ret.)

General George W. Casey, Jr. is one of the most accomplished soldiers in U.S. history and an authority on strategic and transformational leadership. As the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from April 2007 to 2011, General Casey led what is arguably the world's largest and most complex organization, 1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget, during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He is widely credited with restoring balance to the war-weary U.S. Army and leading the transformation necessary to ensure the Army remained relevant in current conflicts. Prior to this post, General Casey commanded the MultiNational Force-Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. He currently lectures on leadership at the Johnson School of Management, Cornell University, at other business schools, and to the leaders of national and multinational corporations. He also lectures on International Relations at the Korbel School, University of Denver. He has published a book, Strategic Reflections, Operation Iraqi Freedom, July 2004-2007 (October 2012), about his experiences in Iraq, and several articles on leadership, including “Leading in a VUCA World”, Fortune Magazine (March 20, 2014).

"Empowering Muslim Women for Peace"
with Daisy Khan

Daisy Khan is an award-winning speaker, author, activist, commentator, and the founder of Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), the largest global network of Muslim women committed to peacebuilding, gender equality, and human dignity.

She has been involved in grassroots efforts combating anti-Muslim bias for over twenty years and is renowned as a thought leader on Muslim women’s rights, Islam in America. As a bridge builder she has been hailed for producing interfaith programs like Same Difference, the Cordoba Bread Fest and the “Today, I am a Muslim Too” rally.

She believes that women’s leadership is essential to solving societal issues. “we need to remove structural barriers to Muslim women’s leadership, to enable them to use their resolve, passion and humility to bring societies into greatness.” She founded the first global Muslim women’s Shura (advisory) Council to amplify Muslim women’s scholarship. The Council uses an egalitarian interpretation of scripture to publish position papers against issues such as child marriage, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and many others.

She published WISE UP in collaboration with 72 authors to create a counter-momentum to the rise in hateful rhetoric and violent extremism. Her memoir, Born with Wings: The Spiritual Journey of a Modern Muslim Woman, published in 2018 by Random House, depicts her spiritual journey as a modern Muslim woman and her circuitous path to leadership. Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review.


Discussion & Lunch
with Dr. Patrick Quirk
Dr. Patrick Quirk covers fragile states, conflict and stabilization, and foreign assistance on the U.S. Department of State's Policy Planning Staff. He previously served as Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) as well as Senior Policy Advisor and Team Lead for Political Transitions. Concurrent to serving in CSO, he is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, teaching courses on stabilization and political violence.

Before joining the U.S. Department of State, Dr. Quirk was a Research Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where he drafted recommendations for State/USAID 2014-2018 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and examined the role that rising powers play as foreign aid providers. Prior to joining
GMF, he was senior manager at Creative Associates International, where he led risk assessments for the U.S. government, managed democracy assistance and conflict prevention programs in East Africa and the Middle East, as well as was responsible for business development.

Dr. Quirk's analysis has appeared in Foreign Policy and the The Hill, among other publications. His book, Great Powers, Weak States, and Insurgency: Explaining Internal Threat Alliances, was published in 2017. He also co-authored USAID's Best Practices in Electoral Society, a Guide for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Programming and is the lead author of CSO's Electoral Violence Assessment Framework assessment methodology. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in History and Political Science from Bates College.
Leadership in Global Engagement Award presented to Ms. Kim Day