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Global Leadership and Maritime Strategy
CAPT Raghu Nair, joined the Indian Navy in 1993. During his career in the Navy, he has served on various classes of ships including Guided Missile Destroyers, Frigates, Missile Corvettes and Amphibious ships, and has also commanded three ships. On shore, he has headed the Indian Navy’s Recruit Training, served as an instructor at the Navigation, Direction and Operations School, and has been a Staff Officer in the operations departments at the Naval Headquarters as well as the Eastern Command HQ.
CAPT Rohan Joseph joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1994 and has held a number of staff and sea command appointments during his 24-year naval career. He has performed duties at the Joint Operations Headquarters, Naval Headquarters and at the Ministry of Defence. His former appointments include Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and Deputy Director Naval Research Wing. Prior to arriving at the U.S. Naval War College, CAPT Joseph served as Secretary to the Chief of Defence Staff.
CAPT Jeff Hutchinson is a Surface Warfare Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. He served Executive Officer tours onboard the HMCS Calgary and HMCS Algonquin. He was appointed Commanding Officer of HMCS Winnipeg in January 2016 and deployed in company with HMCS Ottawa to the Indo-Asia Pacific region in 2017 where the ship conducted exercises and operations with the USN, JMSDF, RAN, the Armada de Chile and ROKN, and PASSEXs with the navies of India and Sri Lanka.
CDR Espen Rasmussen joined the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1988. He served as Executive Officer of the HNoMS Stegg and Commanding Officer of the HNoMS Jo and HNoMS Ørn. In 2005 he was appointed as the first commanding officer of HNoMS Storm. In December 2014 Rasmussen was promoted to CDR (sg) and served as senior staff officer at the Corvette Service in the Norwegian Fleet and in May 2015 he was assigned as military assistant to the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy.
CDR Ioannis Agrodimos graduated from the Hellenic Naval Academy at Piraeus and has served onboard various warships, mainly type “S” Frigates. He has commanded Fast Attack Missile Craft, VOTSIS (2010 – 2011). His career has included international deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (Arabian Gulf), UNIFIL MAROPS (Eastern Med), NATO SNMG2/Operation ALLIED PROVIDER (Med-Indian Ocean) and EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA (Counter-Piracy Ops in the Indian Ocean).
Jacob N. Shapiro is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and directs the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, a multi-university consortium that compiles and analyzes micro-level conflict data and other information on politically motivated violence in countries around the world. He studies conflict, economic and political development, and security policy.
Lt. Col. Heather Cotoia enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1986 and was selected for the meritorious commissioning program. In Dec. 2013, she deployed as the assistant chief of staff, C-1 for Regional Command (Southwest) at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Upon completion of an Embassy Security Group tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, she assumed duties as the assistant chief of staff, G-1, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. Lt. Col. Cotoia is currently a student at the U.S. Naval War College.
Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Leffler is a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO). He previously served as Senior Military Advisor to the Ambassador, U.S. Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was also Director of Plans and Policy for the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. A graduate of the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College, he has served at Headquarters, Department of the Army in Washington, D.C. and at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command headquarters.
Alan Bersin currently serves as Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. He formerly served as the acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the Obama administration and as the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs, informally known as the "Border Czar."
Seth Cropsey is the Director of the Center for American Seapower at the Hudson Institute. A naval officer from 1985-2004, Cropsey worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan and Bush administrations and served as assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Cropsey specializes in maritime strategy, terrorism, national security and foreign policy. His articles have been published in journals such as Foreign Affairs and the Wall Street Journal.
Abigail Grace is a Research Associate in the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Her work focuses on U.S. strategic competition with China, China’s foreign policy, U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, and Chinese approaches to multilateralism. From 2016-2018, Ms. Grace worked as a staffer for the National Security Council, advising policy regarding U.S.-China relations, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, and international pressure on North Korea.
Michael B. Greenwald is the Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of the Atlantic Council. Greenwald previously worked in senior roles within the United States Treasury in positions working with Africa, Europe, and serving as a financial diplomat in the Middle East spanning the tenures of U.S. Treasury Secretaries Geithner, Lew and Mnuchin. He has also served in a variety of roles in the U.S. Intelligence Community and in the Office of General Council at the U.S Treasury.
Ian Johnson is the Associate Director of the renowned Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and a lecturer in the History Department at Yale University. His research focuses on modern military history, particularly surrounding the First and Second World Wars. He recently edited a memoir of the Russian Civil War for publication, The White Nights: Pages from a Russian Doctor’s Notebook (2018).
Phillip Lohaus is a research fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he blends practical experience gained from serving in the intelligence community with a broad interest in emerging foreign military capabilities. His current research focuses on the unconventional and emerging national security challenges posed by Russia, Iran, China, and the Islamic State.
Richard Weitz is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. His current research includes regional security developments relating to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. foreign and defense policies. Before joining Hudson in 2005, Dr. Weitz worked for shorter terms at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Defense Science Board, Harvard University and the Department of Defense.
John Maurer is the Henry A. Kissinger Postdoctoral Fellow at International Security Studies and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. His dissertation and book project focus on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in the Nixon Administration. John has a BS in International Politics from Georgetown University, as well as a Ph.D. in the history of US Foreign Relations. He has also worked as a research assistant and analyst for the Long-Term Strategy Group.
Paul Bracken is a professor of management and political science at Yale University. Bracken is a respected thought leader in global competition and the strategic application of technology in business and defense. His research and teaching focus on solutions for senior management as it deals with a changing strategic environment and conditions of intense uncertainty. He has designed and run games for the US Government on strategic nuclear war, with personal play by the SecDef and JCS.
Warfare Community Panel
LCDR Brendan Tower is a submarine warfare officer who commenced study for a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy at the Naval War college in August 2018. He has served as the Communications Officer onboard the USS HAWAII (SSN 776), the Weapons Officer and Navigator onboard the USS LOUISVILLE (SSN 724), and the Weapons Officer onboard the USS CHEYENNE (SSN 773). LCDR Tower was the Squadron One Junior Officer of the Year and is selected for a subsequent tour as Executive Officer.
CDR Cooke is a Navy Carrier Pilot qualified in both the E-2 and C-2 platforms. Previous tours include serving with NCIS as a Counter Terror/Intelligence Officer followed by Counter Terror Strike Cell OIC with 2nd, 5th, 6th Fleets. He served his Department Head tour flying Counter-Narcotics operations in Central and South America. Following that, he served at the Pentagon for 3 years before taking command of Naval Operational Support Center in Salt Lake City. He is now at the Naval War College.
LtCol Doan has served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, Battalion Operations Officer, Company Commander, Maneuver Advisor, Infantry Career Captain’s Course Instructor, Battalion Executive Officer and Operations Officer. LtCol Doan assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, “DarkHorse” in 2016. In 2018, he was assigned to 1st Marine Division, Plans and Operations. He is currently attending the Naval War College for a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies.
CAPT Jeremy Komasz graduated with BUD/S Class 214 in December 1997. His active duty assignments include SEAL Platoon Assistant Officer in Charge, SEAL Team FIVE; Assistant Operations Officer, Naval Special Warfare Unit FOUR; SEAL Platoon Officer in Charge and Operations Officer, SEAL Team TWO.. His personal awards include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards) and Navy Achievement Medal (three awards).
CAPT Jamie McGrath is a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer and is currently a Military Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College in Newport, RI. He commanded Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Seven, where his sailors provided force protection throughout the Pacific, Asia and the Middle East. Ashore, he taught at Naval Nuclear Power School and served in staff positions at the fleet, combatant command, and Joint Staff level.
This list will be updated regularly as more speakers are confirmed.
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