Willem de Vogel
Willem de Vogel was born in The Netherlands and was schooled there and in Wales. He graduated with a Licence es Sciences Politiques from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and an MBA from The University of Chicago. After a short period with a major bank, Willem was asked to start the Private Equity activity of Three Cities Research, Inc. Willem led that activity until 2004, when he became the Senior Partner. He fully retired in 2013. Willem has served on many corporate boards in the U.S. and in Europe. He also has served and continues to serve on a number of not-for-profit boards. He is an avid outdoorsman and lives in Florida.
Philip M. Breedlove, General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Gen. Philip M. Breedlove (Ret.) is a proven strategic planner, motivational leader and talented communicator. He is a highly decorated retired general of the U.S. Air Force where he reached the highest levels of military leadership as one of six geographic combatant commanders and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. During 39 years of service, General Breedlove served in a variety of demanding command and staff positions, leading large-scale, diverse, global operations across two theaters of combat and earning a reputation as an inspirational leader focused on his people, their families and mission accomplishment. Leading a diverse political- military alliance, he was able to build consensus and form teams to accomplish complex tasks spanning multiple continents.
As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Commander of U.S. European Command, he answered directly to NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, and to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense. He led the most comprehensive and strategic structural and policy security changes in the alliance’s 70-year history. His diplomatic skills reassured allies, deterred potential aggressors and maintained alliance unity during the most dynamic and challenging period since its inception. He led the forces of 28 nations and multiple partners in ensuring the security of an alliance that accounts for more than half the world’s gross domestic product.
As Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, General Breedlove was responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces while ensuring theater air defense forces were ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. This diverse portfolio included both theater and operational air and ballistic missile defense, areas where his operational designs remain in place today.
As Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group during a period of intense challenge, including devising measures to meet the requirements of the Budget Control Act’s required $480 billion reduction of the Department of Defense budget. Accordingly, he led the organization, training and equipping of more than 690,000 people serving in the U.S. Air Force and provided oversight of its $120 billion annual budget.
Linda H. Bond
Matthew Bryza just completed a 23-year career as a U.S. diplomat, over half of which was spent at the center of policy-making and international negotiations on major energy infrastructure projects and regional conflicts in Eurasia. His most recent assignment was as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan from February 2011 to January 2012. Between 2005 and 2009, Bryza served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, with responsibility for Eurasian Energy, the South Caucasus, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Bryza simultaneously served as the U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE’s Minsk Group mediating the Karabakh conflict, and as U.S. mediator of the Cyprus, South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts. From 2001 to 2005, Bryza served in the White House as Director for European and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff. His responsibilities included Eurasian energy, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and political Islam in Eurasia. Previous assignments include Deputy to the Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Energy, Advisor on Economic Reform in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and Russia Desk Officer at the State Department, as well as Political Officer at the U.S. Missions to Russia (1995-97) and Poland (1989-91). Currently Ambassador Bryza resides in Istanbul, Turkey, where he also works as a consultant on business and democratic development and is a board member of several private companies.
James G. Gidwitz
Patrick W. Gross
Pat Gross is chairman of The Lovell Group, a business and technology advisory and investment firm he formed after stepping down as chairman of the executive committee of American Management Systems, Inc. (AMS) in 2002. AMS is a billion dollar revenue consulting and IT services firm which he founded with four colleagues in 1970. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to the firm assisting with major client engagements and relationships.
Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for nearly five decades. He is a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where he directs the Center for Jewish Civilization and teaches in the Security Studies Masters of Arts degree program. Hoffman is also the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. He is the author of the award-winning book, Anonymous Soldiers (2015). Hoffman’s most recent books include Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017), cited as one of the 25 most notable books published by Columbia University Press on the occasion of its 125th anniversary; and, The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014). A co-authored book, provisionally titled, Blood, Patriots, and Tyranny: A History of American Far-Right Terrorism will be published in early 2024. He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University.
Michael E. Kavoukjian
Michael E. Kavoukjian is a partner of the international law firm White & Case, where he served as head of the Global Private Clients Group for twelve years. The firm played a central role in the privatization of Eastern Europe after the Cold War. Mr. Kavoukjian represents leading families and financial institutions worldwide in cross-border fiduciary litigation. He previously served as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, and a director of the Jamestown Foundation. He holds an A.B. in English and Political Science, with distinction, from Stanford University and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Louise V. Oliver
Ambassador Louise V. Oliver previously served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from February 2004 to January 2009. She is now a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and a director of the Council of American Ambassadors.
As the first U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO in twenty years, Ambassador Oliver was responsible for rebuilding the U.S. Mission as well as for the entire U.S. reengagement with UNESCO and its 192 member states. In order to advance U.S. programmatic and policy initiatives at UNESCO, she worked with numerous departments and agencies of the U.S. government including the Departments of State, Education, Energy, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Interior. She also worked closely with the National Security Council, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress, as well as with numerous nonprofit organizations.
John P. Oswald
John P. Oswald is the President and CEO of the Capital Trust Group, an international merchant/investment bank with offices in London, New York, Washington, D.C., Dubai and Beirut. He is responsible for the U.S. operations of the Group and its worldwide investment banking operations. His responsibilities have included managing a number of private equity funds, both in the U.S. and European markets, which have focused on mezzanine and equity investments in middle market, private and public companies. Mr. Oswald has also managed an extensive portfolio of real estate, comprised of office/retail space primarily in suburban areas, in the U.S, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to joining Capital Trust in 1993, John was a partner in the international law firm of Lord Day & Lord. He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. and is a certified public accountant.
Mr. Oswald is also the Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of Agrisecura Partners, a company formed to invest in ethical solutions for food security, and is the Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of Secura Capital, an advisory firm that advises clients in strategic capital rising. He is a limited partner in Venture Philanthropy Partners, a philanthropic investment organization that helps leaders build strong, high-performing nonprofit institutions. It concentrates money, expertise, and personal contacts to improve the lives and boost the opportunities of children and youth of low-income families in the National Capital Region. He is a member of the International Board of Directors of Best Buddies and a Director of the INOVA Hospital Foundation and its strategic planning committee.
Scott Robins is a serial entrepreneur who currently is the CEO of Virtual Procurement Services (VPS), which he founded in 2009. Virtual Procurement Services combines predictive analytic data and proprietary processes to help enterprises and governments in the US, Asia, and the Caribbean to recover money already spent on technology assets as well as reduce the cost of their acquisition. VPS is considered a pioneer in the augmented analytic space and was one of the first profitable companies in the United States to leverage predictive analytic data and processes.
Prior to founding VPS, Mr. Robins started and ran successful companies in the fields of hospitality, advertising, and technology. Currently residing in Westport, Connecticut, Mr. Robins and his wife enjoy volunteering their time and serving on the boards of many non-profit organizations.
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Robert Spalding
US Air Force Brigadier General (ret) Robert Spalding is the former White House National Security Council senior director for strategic planning and served in senior positions of strategy and diplomacy within the Defense and State Departments for more than 26 years. General Spalding is the founder and CEO of SEMPRE. The SEMPRE micro datacenter ensures access to data—anytime, anywhere, in even catastrophic conditions—by offering high-performance edge computing and diverse, secure communications, including 5G, all in a tamper-resistant, EMP-hardened enclosure.
David R. Stilwell
David R. Stilwell served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) between 2019 and 2021. A seasoned leader in the foreign policy world, he was also the Asia Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during his time in the Air Force. Stilwell was a member of the Air Force for 35 years and served multiple tours in Korea and Japan as a linguist, a fighter pilot, and a commander. He enlisted in 1980 and retired in 2015 with the rank of Brigadier General. During this period, he served as the Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 2011 to 2013 and directed the China Strategic Focus Group at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii from 2017 to 2019. As the Assistant Secretary for EAP, Stilwell was a strong advocate for dealing with the People’s Republic of China from a position of strength. In his role as the top U.S. diplomat for Asia, he also actively fostered relationships with traditional allies as well as members of ASEAN—establishing Peace Corps in Vietnam, updating South China Sea policy to support Manila’s successful defense of its and other ASEAN claimant’s EEZs, and establishing a Mekong downstream water rights conference.
Dr. Michael Vickers is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top national security professionals, with unprecedented senior tenure across Republican and Democratic administrations. He was a key operational strategist for the two great wars of our time: the operation in the 1980s to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan that helped bring an end to the Cold War – the largest and most successful covert action program in the history of the CIA – and the ongoing war with al-Qa’ida. He played a major policy and planning role in the operation that killed Usama bin Ladin.
From January 2011 to May 2015, Vickers served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, an $80 billion, 180,000-person, global operation that includes the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Security Service, and the intelligence components of the Military Services and Combatant Commands. As the USD(I), he conceived and led a comprehensive transformation of defense intelligence capabilities.
From 2007 to 2011, he served as the first and only Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities. As the ASD SO/LIC&IC, Vickers served as the “Service” Secretary for all Special Operations Forces – a 70,000-person, $10 billion enterprise with personnel deployed in 90 countries – and had policy oversight of all of DoD’s core operational capabilities – strategic forces (nuclear forces, missile defense, space, cyber), conventional forces (air, ground and maritime), and Special Operations Forces. He conceived and led the largest expansion of Special Operations Forces in our nation’s history.
Earlier, during the nearly decade and a half that spanned the operational phase of his career, he served as a Special Forces Non-Commissioned Officer, Special Forces Officer and CIA Operations Officer, and had operational and combat experience in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. As the principal strategist for the multi-billion dollar effort that defeated the Red Army in Afghanistan, Vickers oversaw the policy, operations, training, and logistics of a covert enterprise that spanned several continents.
Dr. Vickers has received the nation’s highest awards in the fields of intelligence and defense, including the Presidential National Security Medal. He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from the Wharton School, and a B.A. from the University of Alabama.
He is currently working on a memoir of his career, to be published by Knopf in 2018. He is an executive vice president with In-Q-Tel, the Intelligence Community’s strategic investment arm, a senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group, and a principal with the Telemus Group. He also serves on several corporate, government and non-profit boards.
Arthur Waldron has been the Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, since 1997. He works mostly on the history of Asia, China in particular; the problem of nationalism, and the study of war and violence in history. Educated at Harvard (A.B. ’71 summa cum laude Valedictorian, PhD ’81) and in Asia where he lived for four years before returning to Harvard. He previously taught at Princeton University, the U.S. Naval War College (Newport, RI) and Brown University. His publications include The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth (1989) also in Chinese and Italian; The Modernization of Inner Asia (1991); How the Peace Was Lost: The 1935 Memorandum “Developments Affecting American Policy in the Far East” Prepared for the State Department by John Van Antwerp MacMurray (1992) also in Japanese; From War to Nationalism: China’s Turning Point, 1924-1925 (1995) also in Chinese, and (with Daniel Moran) The People in Arms: Military Myth and National Mobilization since the French Revolution (2003). His latest book, The Chinese should appear in 2015. In addition he has fourteen articles in peer reviewed journals, ten chapters in books, and two edited volumes in Chinese, as well numerous scholarly and popular reviews and journalistic essays. In government, he served as one of twelve members of the highly-classified Tilelli Commission (2000-2001), which evaluated the China operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was also an original member of the Congressionally-mandated U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission (2001-2003). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.. A regular traveler, he has visited some fifty countries, in Asia and beyond. He has lectured all over the worlds, including Europe, Russia (in Russian), Japan, and Australia. Born in Boston in 1948, Professor Waldron married the former Xiaowei Yü (Born Beijing) in 1988. With their two sons they live in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.