Details

When

March 1, 2018, 1:30 pm - December 11, 2018, 6:02 pm

Where

The Middle East Institute
1319 18th Street NW
Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

This event will be livestreamed starting at 1:30pm.

Since 9/11, American security strategy has focused on building the military capabilities of global allies in order to advance shared goals and address joint threats. In the Middle East, the results of this approach have been mixed at best. Frustration over U.S. security assistance to the region has grown in Washington, as funding and arms transfers to various state and non-state partners have led to unintended consequences, prompting the Trump administration to reevaluate U.S. aid to Egypt, Pakistan, and the Palestinians.

The Middle East Institute (MEI) will convene a panel of experts to examine these key issues, with a keynote address by Lee Litzenberger, the senior advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Missy Ryan (The Washington Post) and featuring Michele Dunne (CEIP), Mara Karlin (SAIS and the Brookings Institution), Justin Reynolds (The Cohen Group), and Bilal Y. Saab (MEI).

Agenda:

1:30-2:00PM | Keynote remarks: Prospects for reform of U.S. security assistance strategy
Lee Litzenberger
Senior advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs,  U.S. Department of State
Amb. (ret.) Wendy Chamberlin, moderator
President, MEI

2:00-3:30PM | Panel discussion: Challenges and opportunities in U.S. security assistance to the Middle East
Michele Dunne
Director and Senior Fellow, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace   
Mara Karlin
Nonresident senior fellow, The Brookings Institution
Justin Reynolds
Senior associate, The Cohen Group
Bilal Saab
Senior fellow and director of Defense and Security Program, MEI
Missy Ryan, moderator
Reporter, The Washington Post

Speaker Biographies:
Amb. (ret.) Wendy Chamberlin

President, MEI
Amb. (ret.) Wendy Chamberlin has been president of the Middle East Institute since 2007. Previously, as deputy high commissioner for refugees from 2004 to 2007, she supervised the administration of the U.N. humanitarian organization. A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, she was ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002, when she played a key role in securing Pakistan’s cooperation in the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11. Amb. Chamberlin served as director of global affairs and counter-terrorism at the National Security Council (1991-1993) and as deputy in the bureau of international counter-narcotics and law enforcement affairs (1999-2001). As assistant administrator in the Asia-Near East bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2002 to 2004, she oversaw civilian reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan and development assistance programs throughout the Middle East and East Asia. Other assignments included U.S. ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (1996-1999), director of press and public affairs for the Near East Bureau (1991-1993), deputy chief of mission in Kuala Lumpur (1993-1996), Arab-Israeli affairs (1982-1984) and postings in Morocco, Pakistan, Malaysia, Laos, and Zaire.

Michele Dunne
Director and senior fellow, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace    
Michele Dunne is the director and a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policy in the Middle East. She was the founding director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council from 2011 to 2013 and was a senior associate and editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2006 to 2011. Dunne was a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Department of State from 1986 to 2003, where she served in assignments that included the National Security Council, the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the U.S. consulate general in Jerusalem, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She also served as a visiting professor of Arabic language and Arab studies at Georgetown from 2003 to 2006.

Mara Karlin
Nonresident senior fellow, Security and Strategy-Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution; and Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS
Mara Karlin is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She is Associate Professor of the Practice of Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she also serves as associate director of the school’s Strategic Studies Program and is executive director of The Merrill Center for Strategic Studies. Karlin has served in national security roles for five U.S. secretaries of defense, advising on policies spanning strategic planning, defense budgeting, future wars and the evolving security environment, and regional affairs involving the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Most recently, she served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development. She is the author of Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States.

Lee Litzenberger
Senior advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Lee Litzenberger became the Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) in January 2018. In this role, he leads all aspects of bureau management and acts as head of the PM Bureau in the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary’s absence. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. Litzenberger has served as Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Mission to NATO, Brussels (2014-2017), the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia (2010-2013) and the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2006-2009). He was the NATO Deputy Senior Civilian Representative in Kabul, Afghanistan (2013-2014). His other overseas assignments include the U.S. Mission to the European Union, Brussels, and the U.S. Embassies in Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Algeria, and the U.S. Consulate General in Marseille, France. Mr. Litzenberger has also served at the Department of State in Washington, in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Justin Reynolds
Senior associate, The Cohen Group
Justin Reynolds joined The Cohen Group after eleven years in the United States Air Force where he led combat and peacetime airlift operations and logged over 3,000 hours as a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. In his final assignment, Justin served as an Instructor/Evaluator pilot and the Director of Operations for a deployed C-17 flying unit responsible for combat airlift operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. From 2009–2013, Justin was a primary instructor training pilot in the aerobatic T-6 Texan II. As the 37th Flying Training Squadron’s Chief Evaluator and Functional Check Flight pilot he was charged with overseeing the training of U.S. and international military pilots. In 2012 Justin was selected to attend the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies where he completed the Program in Advanced Security Studies. Justin received a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2016. Justin also received his MA in Ancient and Classical History from American Military University (2010) and his BA in History from the University of Alabama (2003). He has been awarded two Meritorious Service Medals, an Air Force Commendation Medal, and five Air Medals. Justin continues to serve as a C-17 pilot in the Air Force Reserve.

Bilal Y. Saab
Senior fellow and director of Defense and Security Program, MEI
Bilal Y. Saab is senior fellow and director of the Defense and Security Program at the Middle East Institute. He specializes in the Levant and the Persian Gulf. Previously, he was senior fellow and director of the Middle East Peace and Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, where he also created and chaired the Gulf Policy Working Group and led the Middle East Crisis Simulation Series. Saab is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations. Throughout his career, Saab held various research and analytic positions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East including at Brookings, CSIS, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, Middle East Institute, and Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. Saab has contributed to and appeared on American and international media outlets including NPR, PBS, Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, and Bloomberg.

Missy Ryan, moderator
Reporter, The Washington Post
Missy Ryan writes about the Pentagon, military issues, and national security for The Washington Post. She joined the Post in 2014 from Reuters, where she reported on U.S. national security and foreign policy issues. She has reported from Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Chile.