2022-2023 SPEAKERS

BoiseCFR May Meeting

Date:            Monday, May 22, 2023

Speaker:     Bonnie Glick

Topic:          "Technology in an Era of Great Power Competition"

Bonnie Glick is an American diplomat and businesswoman who served as the Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 2019 to 2020. Nominated for the post by President Donald Trump in April 2018, she was confirmed by the United States Senate by unanimous consent in January 2019.

On September 21, 2021, Glick was announced as the inaugural director of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue during the Concordia Summit on the margins of the UN General Assembly. She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Glick worked for 12 years as a Foreign Service Officer at the United States Department of State. She later worked for IBM as a global account executive, where she co-authored three patents as part of IBM Research. Glick served as the Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging from 2017 until 2019 under Governor Larry Hogan.

Glick grew up in Chicago where she attended the Akiba Schechter Jewish Day School and Kenwood Academy. Glick graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and International Relations, where she was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. She graduated from Columbia University with a master's degree in International Affairs. She earned a Master's in Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

BoiseCFR April Meeting

Date:            Thursday, April 27, 2023

Speaker:     Indran Amirthanayagam

Topic:          "The Uncivil War: The Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka and
                                     It’s Relationships to India and South Asia"

Indran Amirthanayagam has served for thirty years as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Information Agency and the Department of State where he received the Superior Honor Award.

Currently he serves as Deputy Director in the Global Information Center, whose mission is to “recognize, understand, expose and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation” Previously, he was Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

He has published twenty- three books of poetry writing in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He is the editor of the Beltway Poetry Quarterly and hosts The Poetry Channel on YouTube.

A native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, he holds degrees from Haverford College and Columbia University.

BoiseCFR March Dinner Meeting

Date:            Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Speaker:     Vangala Ram

Topic:          "The Persian Empire Redux: Iran and the Modern Middle East"

Vangala Ram , is an intelligence and Foreign Service professional, retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service as a Senior FSO recently, after a distinguished twenty-seven career, earning several awards along the way, such as the Superior Honor Award (SHA).

Mr. Ram’s tours in the Foreign Service included nine overseas diplomatic assignments in Banjul, Amman, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tunis, Riyadh, Seoul, Cologne, Kabul, and Herat. Some of his key positions included Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Senior Civilian Representative (SCR), and Office Director for Regional Security and Arms Transfers in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/RSAT).

Mr. Ram served as the Department of State Chair at the National Intelligence University (NIU) and later taught graduate school there for several years. Mr. Ram has served as a Senior Analyst (de facto DNIO), at the National Intelligence Council (NIC), and as a Cyber Subject Matter Expert (SME) at USCYBERCOM.

He is the new Program Director for the American Committees on Foreign Relations

BoiseCFR February Dinner Meeting

Date:            Monday, February 13, 2023

Speaker:     Ambassador William H. Hill

Topic:          "The Russia-Ukraine War: What Caused it and Where is it Going?"

Ambassador William H. Hill , is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute in Washington, D.C. A retired Foreign Service Officer, Dr. Hill is an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union, east-west relations, and European multilateral diplomacy.

He served two terms as Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova, where he was charged with negotiation of a political settlement to the Transdniestrian conflict and facilitation of the withdrawal of Russian forces, arms and ammunition from Moldova. He is the author of Russia, the Near Abroad and the West; and No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989.

Previously he was a Professor of National Security at the National Defense University. He holds a B.A. degree from Harvard University; M.A. in Russian History and Soviet and East European Politics; and a PhD. From the University of California, Berkeley.

Because of holiday scheduling and our January speaker getting Covid, we did not have a December and January meeting.

BoiseCFR November Dinner Meeting

Date:            Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Speaker:     Asha Castleberry-Hernandez

Topic:         National Security and China

Asha Castleberry-Hernandez is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council; a global fellow at the Project on the Study of the 21st Century; and adjunct fellow at the American Security Project.

Previously she served in as a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of State where she focused on China and the Middle East in the Biden Administration. She is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she served as the Kuwait desk officer at U.S. Army Central, and as senior key leadership engagement officer for the Combined Joint Task Force Operation “Inherent Resolve,” in Iraq during the Obama Administration. She also served at the U.S. Mission at the United Nations.

She is a graduate of Hampton University and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with additional studies in China and at the University of Oxford’s New College Program. She is also the founder of Diversity in National Security Network, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

BoiseCFR October Dinner Meeting

Date:            Wednesday, October 19, 2022 (Date Change - One Week Earlier)

Speaker:     Ambassador Pjer Simunovic

Topic:         A World Unhinged: Trying to Regain Balance

Ambassador Pjer Šimunović, is the current Croatian Ambassador to the United States. Šimunović joined the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Zagreb in September 1998 as deputy head of the Analytical Department, staying until March 2000. He served his first foreign posting at the Croatian embassy in Paris, where he served as first secretary and counsellor for political affairs, as well as deputy head of mission, from March 2000 to September 2003.

Šimunović left the Foreign Ministry to return to journalism and to the Večernji List, working as an advisor to the board from September 2003 to February 2004. But when the Foreign Ministry asked him to return to serve as chief negotiator with NATO, Šimunović agreed. He served as national coordinator for NATO, as well as assistant minister for International Organizations and Security, from March 2004 to July 2008. Croatia entered NATO's Partnership for Peace in 2000 and became the 28th and most recent member of the European Union on July 1, 2013.[

Šimunović then left the Foreign Ministry for the Ministry of Defense, serving as Director of Defense Policy from August 2008 to February 2009, and as State Secretary for Defense Policy from February 2009 to December 2011. He was appointed Croatian Ambassador to the United States on September 8, 2017.

BoiseCFR September Dinner Meeting

Date:            Monday, September 19, 2022

Speaker:     Ambassador Hesham Youssef

Topic:         The Middle East: A Regional Perspective

Ambassador Hesham Youssef, currently with the U.S. Institute of Peace, was a career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. Previously he served as Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and as a senior official in the Arab League.

Amb. Youssef has worked extensively on conflict resolution in the Middle East, and in particular the Arab-Israeli conflict, reconciliation in Iraq, and the situation in Sudan.

Amb. Youssef holds degrees in physics from Cairo University, St. John’s College, and the American University in Cairo.