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Past Speakers

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Who's Sharing Ideas
Keynote Speakers
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ADM (ret.) Michael G. Mullen

17th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff 

Admiral Mike Mullen is President of MGM Consulting which provides counsel to global clients on issues related to geo-political developments, national security interests and strategic leadership.

 

He served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations from 2005-2007 and as the 17th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff for Presidents Bush and Obama from 2007 to 2011. He led the military during a critical time of change and transition.

 

Admiral Mullen advanced the rapid fielding of innovative technologies, championed emerging and enduring global partnerships, and promoted new methods for countering terrorism. He spearheaded the elimination of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, ushering for the first time in US military history the open service of gay and lesbian men and women.

 

Admiral Mullen is a Distinguished Graduate of the US Naval Academy and a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, a Distinguished Alumni of Harvard Business School, a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves as a Trustee at Caltech. Since his retirement from the United States Navy in November 2011 after 43 years of honorable service, Admiral Mullen joined the corporate boards of General Motors from 2013-2018 and Sprint from 2013-2019. He continues to serve on numerous boards to include Bloomberg Philanthropies, CALTECH, Naval Academy Foundation, Naval Postgraduate School Foundation, Harvard Business School and a wide array of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the growth, development, recovery, and transition of military veterans and their families.

 

Additionally, he taught National Security Decision Making and Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University from 2012-2018 and continues to teach advanced ethics and leadership at the US Naval Academy.

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Congressman Joe Courtney

US House of Representatives, Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

Congressman Joe Courtney, elected in 2006, represents Connecticut's Second Congressional District. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, he has played a key role in naval oversight, making history as the first Connecticut member to lead a navy oversight panel since 1873. Alongside Rep. Rob Wittman, he co-chairs the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus. Courtney's commitment to national defense includes advocating for increased submarine production and securing funding for SUBASE New London, which earned him recognition from the former Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, in the form of "The Distinguished Public Service Award".

His advocacy extends to veterans and military personnel, with accomplishments such as expanding the Montgomery GI Bill and TRICARE benefits. As a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, he has worked tirelessly to strengthen national defense, particularly through increased submarine production. Courtney has successfully secured funding for SUBASE New London, exceeding $100 million outside the President's budget, ensuring the base's enduring mission.

In addition to his defense efforts, Courtney serves on the House Education and Labor Committee, focusing on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions subcommittee, as well as the Higher Education and Workforce Training subcommittee. He supports farmers through the House Agriculture Committee and co-chairs the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus. Environmental conservation is also a priority, with Courtney successfully designating the Eightmile River as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Before his congressional service, Courtney represented Vernon in the Connecticut General Assembly. He has received various awards for his bipartisan efforts and contributions to healthcare, agriculture, and military advocacy. A graduate of Tufts University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, Courtney resides in Vernon with his wife and two children.

Panelists

Panel 1: The Arctic and Climate Change: Evolving Maritime Strategy

RDML Chad M. Cary

NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

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Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Chad M. Cary serves as the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation's (OMAO) deputy director for operations and deputy director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps). He has proudly served NOAA and the nation for more than 20 years, including nine years of sea time and 11 years of shore time. He has underway command experience aboard NOAA ships Reuben Lasker, Henry B. Bigelow, Nancy Foster and John N. Cobb. He has also served as the director of the NOAA Corps' Commissioned Personnel Center and in various assignments with NOAA Fisheries, National Weather Service, and NOAA headquarters.

Michael Oristaglio

Senior Research Scientist/Scholar, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale

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Michael Oristaglio is co-founder and director of the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Yale College and a founding faculty member of the program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy in Yale School of the Environment. He is a senior research scientist and lecturer in energy geoscience in the Yale Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and former executive director of Yale Climate & Energy Institute. Outside Yale, he serves on the Sustainable Energy Commission for Newtown, Connecticut, and as project manager for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists on collaborative research intended to advance applied Earth science for industry and public benefit. Before joining Yale in 2009, he spent 25+ years in the geophysical services industry with Schlumberger.

Panel 2: U.S. Maritime Strategy in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea

Bill Hamblet

Jon-Paul Maddaloni

Military Professor, National Security Affairs, Col., U.S. Army

Editor-in-Chief, Proceedings

Bill Hamblet is the Editor-in-Chief of Proceedings magazine and the executive vice president for periodicals, membership, and marketing at the U.S. Naval Institute. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2016 as a captain after 29 years as a naval intelligence officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Naval War College, Joint Forces Staff College, and the National Defense University. During his career, he served in various capacities including as the intelligence officer for an FA-18 squadron, a Navy SEAL Team, a Carrier Air Wing, and a Carrier Strike Group. He was in the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 and helped organize the Joint Staff’s immediate reaction to the terrorist attack. He served as the U.S. naval attaché to Russia and led the China Division at the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Operations Center. His final tour was at the National Counterterrorism Center where he focused on whole-of-government counterterrorism planning for the Middle East, particularly on U.S. and coalition efforts to counter ISIS, foreign fighters, and online extremism.

Col. Maddaloni was assigned to the Naval War College in 2020 in the National Security Affairs Department. He arrived Joint qualified from USINDOPACOM where he served as the Chief of Plans for Logistics in the J4. Col. Maddaloni’s military background in the Field Artillery includes a variety of command and staff positions. He has served in several operational deployments including Kuwait, Bosnia, Thailand, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United Arab Emirates. He is a graduate of all military schools commensurate with his rank, holds a Bachelor of Systems Engineering and Law from West Point, Masters in Military Arts and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), Masters of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from the Joint Advanced Warfighting School (JAWS), and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Susan Thornton

Visiting Lecturer in Law and Senior Fellow, Paul Tsai China Center

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Susan A. Thornton is a retired senior U.S. diplomat with almost three decades of experience with the U.S. State Department in Eurasia and East Asia. She is currently a Senior Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center. She is also the director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Panel 3: Today's National Defense Strategy: A Critical Analysis

Bill Hamblet

Editor-in-Chief, Proceedings

Bill Hamblet is the Editor-in-Chief of Proceedings magazine and the executive vice president for periodicals, membership, and marketing at the U.S. Naval Institute. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2016 as a captain after 29 years as a naval intelligence officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Naval War College, Joint Forces Staff College, and the National Defense University. During his career, he served in various capacities including as the intelligence officer for an FA-18 squadron, a Navy SEAL Team, a Carrier Air Wing, and a Carrier Strike Group. He was in the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 and helped organize the Joint Staff’s immediate reaction to the terrorist attack. He served as the U.S. naval attaché to Russia and led the China Division at the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Operations Center. His final tour was at the National Counterterrorism Center where he focused on whole-of-government counterterrorism planning for the Middle East, particularly on U.S. and coalition efforts to counter ISIS, foreign fighters, and online extremism.

Paul Kennedy, CBE

J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History and Global Affairs, Yale University

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Paul Kennedy, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History and Global Affairs, is the founding director of International Security Studies at Yale, and Distinguished Fellow of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. He is internationally known for his writings and commentaries on global political, economic, and strategic issues. He is a former Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University, and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn. He holds many honorary degrees, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 2000 for services to history and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in June 2003. He is the author or editor of 19 books, including "The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism," "The War Plans of the Great Powers," "The Realities Behind Diplomacy," and "Preparing for the Twenty-First Century." His best-known work is "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" (Random House), which provoked an intense debate on its publication in 1988 and has been translated into over 20 languages. 

Gregory Makuch

Associate Professor, Joint Military Operations Department

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Professor Gregory Makuch is the Defense Intelligence Agency's faculty representative to the U.S. Naval War College and chair for Defense Intelligence Studies. He teaches in the Joint Military Operations Department as well as classified electives on intelligence. Over a 25-year career as a counterintelligence officer, he has supported four combatant command J2 staffs including U.S. Central Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and, most recently, U.S. European Command where he served as a senior Intelligence Officer with the Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Division. He is a native of Fall River, MA. 

Panel 4: The Post-GWOT Intelligence Climate and its Implications

Edward Wittenstein

Executive Director, International Security Studies, and Lecturer

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Edward (“Ted”) Wittenstein is a Lecturer in Global Affairs and the Executive Director of International Security Studies, a research and teaching hub of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs. In that capacity, he helps oversee a number of programs dedicated to international history and global security, including the Schmidt Program on Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technologies, and National Power; the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy; and the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. A former diplomat and intelligence professional, Ted teaches undergraduate, graduate, and law courses on intelligence, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and national security decision-making. He also serves as Co-Director of the Yale Cyber Leadership Forum, a Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and a visiting faculty fellow at Yale Law School’s Center for Global Legal Challenges.

Matt Verich

Space Operations, Principal, CAPT, U.S. Navy (Ret)

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Matt Verich is a Space Operations Subject Matter Expert at MITRE with over 27 years of experience in Joint and Navy operational and staff assignments worldwide. He has held senior positions at the Office of Naval Intelligence and has led intelligence operations on several naval vessels in support of combat, presence, and disaster relief missions. He has served in various overseas locations, including as a Naval Attaché in Baku. Verich is a lifelong learner with a Master of Science from the Air Command and Staff College, a graduate certificate in Space Systems and Operations, and a graduate of the Naval War College distance learning program. He and his family currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dale Rielage

Department of Defense, CAPT, U.S. Navy (Ret)

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Captain Dale C. Rielage, USN (Ret.), is a former surface warfare and naval intelligence officer with extensive experience in Asian and maritime security issues. He is the author of the Navy Staff Officer’s Guide, the standard professional work for naval officers supporting command decision making. His award-winning Proceedings article “How We Lost the Great Pacific War” was selected as the concluding essay in “Developing the Naval Mind,” the US Naval Institute guide for professional reading in wardroom development. He currently serves as Director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Red Team. 

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