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Keynote Speaker


Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, and Chair of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.


She was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 2012, Dr. Albright received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama.


In 1997, Dr. Albright was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced America’s alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights, and promoted American trade, business, labor, and environmental standards abroad. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet.


Prior to her service in the Clinton Administration, she served as President of the Center for National Policy; was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council and White House staff; and served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie.


Dr. Albright is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs both the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project and serves as president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She serves on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy. Dr. Albright also serves on the Boards of the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress. In 2009, Dr. Albright was asked by NATO Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen to Chair a Group of Experts focused on developing NATO’s New Strategic Concept.


Dr. Albright is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: her autobiography, Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003); The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (2006); Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership (2008); Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009); and Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (2012). 

Opening Panel



Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster
Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster is the Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command. Prior to his arrival at Fort Eustis he most recently served as Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning from June 2012 to July 2014. Previously he served as Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
LTG McMaster's previous command assignments include Eagle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany and in Southwest Asia during the 1991 Persian Gulf War; 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in Schweinfurt Germany from 1999 to 2002; and 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado and in Iraq from June 2004 to June 2006. Staff assignments include Director of Concept Development and Learning at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from August 2008 to May 2010; Special Assistant to the Commander, Multinational Force-Iraq from February 2007 to May 2008; Director, Commander's Advisory Group at US Central Command from May 2003 to 2004; and squadron executive officer and regimental operations officer in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from July 1997 to July 1999. He also served as an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996.
LTG McMaster's military education and training includes the Airborne and Ranger Schools, Armor Officer Basic and Career Courses, the Cavalry Leaders Course, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a U.S. Army War College fellowship at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. McMaster has also served as a senior consulting fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.

Wade Channell.jpg

Dr. Wade Channell
Wade Channell, J.D., a Senior Legal Reform Advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development where he covers business environment and regulatory reform issues as part of the economic growth agenda. During his 23 years in international development, he has focused extensively on the enabling environment for business and growth, recently turning his attention primarily to issues of women’s economic empowerment. He currently manages work designed to address the needs of adolescent girls through market based solutions, and a three-country study on effectiveness of different approaches to supporting women’s small and medium enterprises. He is a lawyer by training, but deals extensively with economic constraints, especially those resulting from inappropriate laws and regulations. He regularly collaborates with the World Bank’s Women, Business, and the Law project, which documents legal barriers to women’s equal participation in the economy. Wade has worked on five continents, in more than 50 countries, and has lived in Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Croatia (where he was president of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)), and Belgium. He lectures in the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.


Dr. Jerry Melillo
Dr. Jerry Melillo is a Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus at The Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and a Professor of Biology at Brown University. Dr. Melillo specializes in understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems from local to global scales, using a combination of field studies and simulation modeling. In 1996 and 1997, he served as the Associate Director for Environment in the US President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Melillo has completed terms as the President of the Ecological Society of America and of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), an international environmental assessment body headquartered in Paris.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is also an honorary Professor in the Institute of Geophysical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Melillo has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, two ecology textbooks and three edited volumes on biogeochemistry. Between 1998 and 2014 he co-led three assessments for the US Global Change Research Program on the impacts of climate change on the United States; 2000, 2009 and 2014.


Dr. Azza Karam
Azza Karam, Ph.D. serves as a Senior Advisor on Culture and Social Development, at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In this capacity, Dr Karam supports Fund-wide culture outreach; is a Lead Facilitator for the United Nations Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, development and humanitarian issues. She represents UNFPA as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging Faith-Based Organizations for Development; and coordinates engagement with members of a Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development with over 500 faith-based organizations.  Prior to UNFPA, Dr. Karam served in various capacities in the academic, NGO and international inter-governmental sectors.
She served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) where she coordinated the Arab Human Development Reports and managed regional programmes on Higher Education, Math and Science Learning, and ICT for Development.
With the support of the Ford Foundation, she founded the first Global Women of Faith Network during her tenure at Religions for Peace, while also advising on interfaith development work in Muslim-majority countries. During this time, she served also as President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.
She was a Senior Programme Officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Sweden, where she instituted projects on democracy and human rights in the Arab Region, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
She was an international consultant to several developmental programmes with UNDP and the OECD as well as a number of NGO initiatives between the European Union and the Arab and Central Asian regions.
She taught at a number of universities, and has published widely on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, gender, and religion and development.
Her books include Religion and Development Post 2015 (2014: UNFPA); Religion, Development and the United Nations (NY: SSRC, 2012), Transnational Political Islam (Pluto, 2004), Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers (IIDEA: 2004); A Woman’s Place: Religious Women as Public Actors (WCRP: 2002); and Women, Islamisms and the State: Contemporary Feminisms in Egypt (Macmillan/Palgrave,1998).


Dr. Pamela Paxton
Dr. Pamela Paxton is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Paxton has intersecting research interests in pro-social behavior, politics, gender, and methodology. She is the author of articles and books on social capital, women in politics, and quantitative methodology. Her research has appeared in a variety of journals, including the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, and Structural Equation Modeling. She is the author of Women, Politics and Power: A Global Perspective (third edition forthcoming January 2016), co-authored with Melanie Hughes and of Nonrecurisve Models: Endogeneity, Reciprocal Relationships, and Feedback Loops (2011), coauthored with John Hipp and Sandra Marquart-Pyatt.