2018-2019 SPEAKERS


Date:            Monday February 18, 2019 

Speaker:     Heather Hurlburt, Director, New Models of Policy Change

Topic:          Women, Men and National Security - in the Age of #MeToo

Heather Hurlburt , is the director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America's Political Reform program. Hurlburt leads research into how policy advocacy can adapt to be effective in our current environment of intense political polarization and guides advocates and funders seeking to navigate politics effectively on behalf of policy solutions on issues such as national security and climate change.

Hurlburt is a contributor to New York Magazine; has published articles in Politico, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Fortune, Vox, and Time, among other publications. She co-hosts the Drezburt podcast and frequently appears in print and broadcast media.

Previously, she ran the National Security Network, a premier source for internationalist foreign policy messaging and advocacy, held senior positions in the White House and State Department under President Bill Clinton, and worked on Capitol Hill and for the International Crisis Group. She holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.


Date:            Thursday January 17, 2019 

Speaker:     Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign

Topic:          The United States and the United Nations

Peter Yeo , is President of the Better World Campaign, and leads the Campaign’s strategic engagement with Congress and the Administration to promote a strong U.S.-UN relationship. Under Yeo’s leadership, the Better World Campaign has helped ensure multibillion dollar payments from the U.S. government to the UN. Yeo also serves as the Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation.

Yeo joined the Better World Campaign in 2009 with over twenty years of legislative, analytical, and management experience, including senior roles on Capitol Hill and in the State Department. Prior to arriving at UNF, Yeo served for ten years as the Deputy Staff Director at the House Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). He has worked on a broad range of foreign policy and foreign aid issues. On behalf of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats, he led the successful negotiations for the landmark HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003, commonly known as PEPFAR, as well as the successful $50 billion reauthorization of the law in 2008.

He also shepherded into law several measures dealing with China, Tibet, Burma, and East Timor. Prior to his work with the Committee, he served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. State Department during the second Clinton Administration, where he led the negotiations around repayment of the U.S. arrears to the United Nations and was part of the U.S. delegation to the climate negotiations in Kyoto. Yeo holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University as well as a MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a leading independent nonpartisan foreign policy think tank, and a Board Member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.


Date:            Thursday December 13, 2018 

Speaker:     Neils Marquardt, Former U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar, Cameroon, and                                                            Equatorial Guinea

Topic:          The Fragility of African Democracy

R. Neils Marquardt , currently leads his own international consulting office in Portland -- Palms to Pines LLC. Before that he served four years as CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. He spent decades as an American diplomat promoting international trade and investment. His final diplomatic assignment was as U.S. Consul General in Sydney, 2010-2013.

During his 33-year State Department career, he also served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros (2007 - 2010), to the Republic of Cameroon (2004 – 2007), and to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (2004 – 2006). In three of those countries, he helped to found and launch new AmChams.

Ambassador Marquardt also served as an economic officer in US Embassies in France, Germany, Thailand, and the Congo, and he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda. A common thread through his career has been a love of foreign languages that enabled him to meet and interact with people of other cultures more comfortably on their own terms.


Date:            Monday November 19, 2018 

Speaker:     Ravit Baer, Deputy Consul General of Israel 

Topic:          U.S.-Israel Relations and the Middle East

Ravit Baer , an Israeli career diplomat, serves as Deputy Consul General of Israel in San Francisco for the Pacific Northwest. She also heads the political and public diplomacy departments of the Consulate.

Previously, she served in the Israeli Department for Multilateral European Organization where she was responsible for coordinating Israel’s relations with the European Union, NATO, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she served as a legal advisor in the Prime Minister’s office. She holds a bachelor and master’s degrees in law from the Hebrew University.


Date:            Wednesday, October, 17 2018 

Speakers:            ACROSS THE POND IN THE FIELD - Discussions Featuring:
                                           (click above for information)

  • Ambassador Emily Haber, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States
  • Ambassador Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States

  • Topic:          U.S. - Europe Relations

    Ambassador Emily Margarethe Haber , has been German Ambassador to the United States since June 2018.

    Immediately prior to this, Emily Haber, a career foreign service officer, was deployed to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, serving as State Secretary overseeing security and migration at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe. In this capacity, she worked closely with the US administration on topics ranging from the fight against international terrorism to global cyberattacks and cybersecurity. In 2009, she was appointed Political Director and, in 2011, State Secretary at the Foreign Office, the first woman to hold either post. Earlier in her career, she served at the German Embassy in Ankara; in Berlin, she has served as Deputy Head of the Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division, as Director of the OSCE Division, and as Deputy Director-General for the Western Balkans. Emily Haber has extensive knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia, having worked both in the Soviet Union Division at the German Foreign Office and, on various occasions, at the German Embassy in Moscow, where she served as Head of the Economic Affairs Section and Head of the Political Affairs Department.

    Emily Haber attended schools in New Delhi, Bonn, Paris, Brussels, Washington, and Athens. From 1975 to 1980, she studied history and ethnology in Cologne, earning her PhD with a dissertation on German foreign policy during the Morocco crisis on the eve of World War I.

    Ambassador Hendrik Jan Jurriaan Schuwer , was born May 3, 1953, in The Hague, the Netherlands, in a family of 5. His parents met as journalists who worked for the Netherlands Press Agency. His father later became the director of public relations for Caltex (Benelux) and his mother a teacher.

    After secondary school, Henne attended the University of Leiden, where he earned a master’s degree in law. Henne then started working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979, and has held positions in Vietnam, India, Belgium and the US.

    He is married to Lena Boman from Sweden. Together, they have four adult children. His two daughters are psychologists and his two sons are engineers.

    In his free time, Henne likes to play tennis and golf, and read about the history of the 20th century. But most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family.

    Henne Schuwer has been with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 36 years. Thanks to two previous assignments in the United States, one in Los Angeles and one in Washington, D.C., he has extensive knowledge of American politics and trade issues.


    Date:            Wednesday September, 19, 2018

    Speaker:      Earl Anthony Wayne, Former US Ambassador to Mexico

    Topic:          "U.S.-Mexico Relations"

    Ambassador Wayne, is an accomplished diplomat and executive,. He has served in a wide variety of positions during his career, including as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Argentina, Deputy Ambassador in Afghanistan, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. He left the State Department in late 2015 as a Career Ambassador, the most senior U.S. diplomatic rank.

    Ambassador Wayne is currently engaged in a variety of activities. These include working as a Public Policy Fellow and Co-Chair of the Mexico Institute’s Board at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and as a Non-Executive Director on the Financial System Risk Advisory Committee of HSBC Latin America. Wayne serves as a non-resident advisor/fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Atlantic Council. Wayne is the Treasurer of the American Foreign Service Association and Treasurer of its PAC. He is a consultant and speaker on international and management Issues. In fall 2016, he taught at Hamilton College as the Sol M. Linowitz Visiting Professor of International Affairs. He has writes and speaks frequently on international topics, including Mexico, NAFTA, Afghanistan, trans-Atlantic relations and trade.