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Keynote Speaker

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Dr. Richard N. Haas

Dr. Richard Haass is in his fourteenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.
In 2013, he served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award.
From January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. In recognition of his service, he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.
Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Haass also was vice president and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, the Sol M. Linowitz visiting professor of international studies at Hamilton College, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. A Rhodes scholar, Dr. Haass holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctorate degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees.
Dr. Haass is the author or editor of twelve books on American foreign policy and one book on management. His next book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, will be published in January 2017 by Penguin Press.
Dr. Richard Haass was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lives in New York City.

Opening Panel

 

  
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Dr. Eva R. Bellin
 
Dr. Eva Bellin currently serves as the Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics in the Department

of Politics and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. She is a comparativist whose interests center on issues of democratization and authoritarian persistence, political and economic reform, civil society, religion and politics, and the politics of cultural change. She is the author of Stalled Democracy: Capital, Labor, and the Paradox of State Sponsored Development and co-editor of Building Rule of Law in the Arab World.
 
She has published in a variety of venues including World Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, World Development, Foreign Affairs, Middle East Policy, as well as numerous edited books. In 2006-2008 she was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, supporting her research on high courts in the Middle East and Islamic World. She was also named a Fellow at the Princeton Institute for Regional and International Studies, Democracy and Development Program in 2006-2007. Bellin has served on the editorial board of the journal Comparative Politics since 2005. She has conducted field work in Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, and Pakistan and earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at Princeton University.

 

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Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker
 
Ryan Crocker recently retired from his position as Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he held the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair. He also has an appointment as the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. From 2012- 2013, he served as the first Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.
He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2009 after a career of over 37 years but was recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-1997), and Lebanon (1990-1993). He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003. From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he also has had assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Egypt, as well as Washington. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.
Born in Spokane, Washington, he grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada and Turkey, as well as the U.S. He received a B.A. in English in 1971 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2001 from Whitman College (Washington). He also holds an honorary Doctor of National Security Affairs from the National Defense University (2010), honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Gonzaga University (2009) and Seton Hall University (2012), as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the American University of Afghanistan (2013). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Association of American Ambassadors.
Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2009. His other awards include the Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award (2008 and 2012), the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service (1997 and 2008) and for Distinguished Public Service (2012), the Award for Valor and the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award for creative dissent. He received the National Clandestine Service's Donovan Award in 2009 and the Director of Central Intelligence's Director's Award in 2012. In 2011, he was awarded the Marshall Medal by the Association of the United States Army. In January 2002, he was sent to Afghanistan to reopen the American Embassy in Kabul. He subsequently received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for "exceptional courage and leadership" in Afghanistan. In September 2004, President Bush conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the Foreign Service. In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the establishment of the Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Expeditionary Diplomacy. In July 2012, he was named an Honorary Marine, the 75th civilian so honored in the 237 year history of the Corps.
    



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Ms. Margaret Huang
 
 
Margaret Huang, an advocate for human rights and racial justice for more than two decades, is the Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.
As the chief executive officer, Ms. Huang is responsible for advancing the vision and mission of the organization, managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and activities, serving as the lead spokesperson for the organization, and ensuring the organization’s financial health. She has worked with Members of Congress on critical pieces of legislation, and she has advocated before the United Nations human rights mechanisms as well as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has published articles and opinion pieces on human rights, and she authored a chapter, “Going Global – Appeals to International and Regional Human Rights Bodies,” in Human Rights At Home, published by Praeger Publishers in December 2007. Ms. Huang’s opinion pieces have been published in Time, The Washington Post, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Rolling Stone, the Miami Herald, and numerous other leading outlets, and she has been interviewed on National Public Radio, CNN, NBC News, Al Jazeera, and other global and domestic media. She regularly speaks on human rights issues to national and international associations, universities, and conferences.
Ms. Huang previously served as Chief of Staff and as Deputy Executive Director for Campaigns and Programs at Amnesty International USA. Earlier in her career, she served as Executive Director of the Rights Working Group, a coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups formed in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Previously, she served as Director of the U.S. Program at Global Rights, Program Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, and Program Manager at The Asia Foundation. Earlier in her career, she served as Committee Staff for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Huang received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University.