2020-2021 SPEAKERS

BoiseCFR May Meeting - Via Zoom

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Date:            Monday May 17, 2021 

Speaker:     Steven Feldstein

Topic:       The Rise of Digital Repression:
                   How Technology is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance

Steven Feldstein is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on issues of democracy, technology, human rights, and U.S. foreign policy.

Previously he held the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs at Boise State University. He served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the Department of State. He also was the Director of Policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development and Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Feldstein’s new book The Rise of Digital Repression explores how governments use digital technology to subdue opponents, suppress dissent, and maintain political power. His research took him to Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Hong Kong, all of which are experiencing troubling patterns of digital repression. Feldstein, who was a member of the BCFR when he was at Boise State University, holds degrees from Princeton and the U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

BoiseCFR April Meeting - Via Zoom

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Date:            Monday April 19, 2021 

Speaker:     Dr. Rachel Esplin Odell

Topic:       Globalization and Trade

Rachel Esplin Odell earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focusing on international relations and comparative politics. She was a member of the MIT Security Studies Program. She is also an International Security Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (on leave until August 2020). Her dissertation explains differences in states’ interpretation of the international law of the sea and the evolution in those interpretations over time. Her broader research interests include the nature and future of world order, U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese foreign policy, and crisis management in Northeast Asia.

Odell previously worked as a Research Analyst in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. At Carnegie, she co-authored several policy reports and articles, organized public forums and Track II workshops, and prepared and participated in briefings to officials in the White House, Congress, State Department, Pentagon, and U.S. intelligence community, as well as broader foreign policy communities in Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul.

Odell is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, and the Alexander George Award for Best Graduate Student Paper from the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association. In November 2017, she was a Visiting Research Fellow in the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo. In spring 2017, she served as the Acting Allston Burr Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Mather House, where she has been a Resident or Nonresident Tutor since 2014. She holds an AB summa cum laude in East Asian Studies with a secondary field in Government from Harvard University and has advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

BoiseCFR March Meeting - Via Zoom

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Date:            Thursday March 18, 2021 

Speaker:     Loch Johnson

Topic:       America's Secret Foreign Policy: The CIA in War and Peace

Loch Johnson s the Regents Professor Emeritus of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, as well as a Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. He is the author of over 200 articles and essays; and the author or editor of thirty books on U.S. national security, including: Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States (Oxford, 2018); National Security Intelligence, 2nd ed. (Polity, 2017); America and the Challenges of World Leadership (Oxford, 2014); and The Threat on the Horizon (Oxford, 2011)

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Professor Johnson received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Riverside. In post-doctoral activities, he was awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship; has studied nuclear weapons policy at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and has conducted research on Congress as a Carl Albert Visiting Fellow at the University of Oklahoma.

February Meeting (via Zoom)

Date:            Tuesday February 16, 2021 

Speaker:     Judd Devermont

Topic:       Africa Matters to U.S. Cities: the Hometown Argument

Judd Devermont is the Director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Wash. D.C. Prior to joining CSIS, he was served as the representative of the Director of National Intelligence on sub-Saharan issues, and as the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on sub-Saharan Africa. He also served at the National Security Council Director for Somalia, Nigeria, the Sahel, and the African Union.

In addition, he is a lecturer at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs; a senior advisor at Kupanda Capital, a pan-African investment platform; and at Fraym, a data analytics firm. He also hosts “Into Africa,” a biweekly podcast series on African politics and policy. He holds degrees from UCLA and Yale University in African studies.

January Meeting (via Zoom)

Date:            Tuesday January 26, 2021 

Speaker:     David Shambaugh

Topic:       Where Great Powers Meet: America and China in Southeast Asia

David Shambaugh has been Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and founding Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University since 1996. He was also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at The Brookings Institution (1998--2015), and previously served as Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies in the Elliott School (1996-1998).

Professor Shambaugh is recognized internationally as an authority on contemporary Chinese affairs, with particular expertise in Chinese domestic politics, China's military, Chinese foreign relations (esp. U.S.-China Relations, China-Europe relations, China-Asia relations), and the international politics and security of the Asia-Pacific region. He has authored or edited numerous books and articles. His latest book is Where Great Powers Meet: America and China in Southeast Asia (2020).

Professor Shambaugh received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and B.A. cum laude in East Asian Studies from The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

December Meeting (via Zoom)

Date:            Wednesday December 9, 2020 

Speaker:     Charles Kupchan

Topic:       "After America First:
                    Navigating America’s Isolationism and Internationalist Traditions "

Dr. Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

From 2014 to 2017 Kupchan served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council in the Obama White House. He was also Director for European Affairs on the NSC during the first Clinton administration. Before joining the Clinton NSC, he worked in the U.S. Department of State on the Policy Planning Staff. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University.

He is the author of Isolationism: A History of America's Efforts to Shield Itself from the World (2020), No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (2012), How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (2010), The End of the America Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century (2002), Power in Transition: The Peaceful Change of International Order (2001), Civic Engagement in the Atlantic Community (1999), Atlantic Security: Contending Visions (1998), Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe (1995), The Vulnerability of Empire (1994), The Persian Gulf and the West (1987), and numerous articles on international and strategic affairs.


Date:            Tuesday November 10, 2020 

Speaker:     Chuck Rosenberg

Topic:          "The Rule of Law: Norms Matter"

Chuck Rosenberg is former Chief of Staff to the Director of the FBI.

Chuck Rosenberg has held numerous senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice including U.S. Attorney in Virginia and Texas; Senior Counselor for National Security and Chief of Staff to two FBI Directors; Counselor to the Attorney General of the U.S.; and as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration until 2017. Currently he serves as a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC; Senior Counsel to a Washington, D.C. law firm; and as Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is also the host of a podcast, The Oath.


Date:            Tuesday October 13, 2020 

Speaker:     David Levine

Topic:          "The vulnerabilities of elections in the U.S. and abroad"

David Levine , is the Elections Integrity Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. David previously served in a range of positions administering and observing elections, and advocating for election reform. As the Ada County, Idaho Elections Director, he managed the administration of all federal, state county and local district elections in Boise and its environs.

As Election Management Advisor for the Washington, DC Board of Elections, he supported the Executive Director and the Board in highly complex matters relating to elections operations, data management, voter registration and outreach, and advised others concerning legislation, statutes and regulations impacting election programs. He also served as the Deputy Director of Elections for the City of Richmond, Virginia.

Before he actually administered elections, David worked with advocacy groups to improve the election process. He has also observed elections overseas in a number of countries for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Haverford College and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.


Date:            Monday September 14, 2020 

Speaker:     Ingrid Rabe

Topic:          "Global Health Issues and Covid-19."

Dr. Ingrid Rabe serves as a Consulting Medical Epidemiologist for the World Health Organization. Her responsibilities include leading pilot sentinel surveillance for arboviruses in several African and Asian countries, and for co-development of the WHO Arbovirus Strategic Plan.

Previously she was a Medical Epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Decease Control and Prevention. She continues to serve as an external examiner in the School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr. Rabe holds medical degrees from Pretoria University and the University of the Witwatersand.