Speakers

December 7, 2021

December 8, 2021

December 9, 2021

Editorial Speaker

Frank Kendall

Secretary

Air Force

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Editorial Speaker

Frank Kendall

Secretary

Air Force

Frank Kendall is the 26th Secretary of the Air Force responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. Air and Space Forces. In this capacity, he directs the Department of the Air Force’s annual budget exceeding $168 billion, provides Air and Space forces to combatant commanders for global military operations, and is accountable for the welfare of nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families.

Mr. Kendall has more than 50 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs across private industry, government, and the military. He was a consultant to defense industry firms, non-profit research organizations, and the Department of Defense in the areas of strategic planning, engineering management, and technology assessment. Additionally, he is an attorney and was active in the field of human rights, working primarily on a pro bono basis.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kendall was Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, providing management and direction to the engineering functions throughout the company and for internal research and development. He also served as a Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense sector consulting firm.

Within government, Mr. Kendall held numerous posts including Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics as well as Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a former member of the Army Science Board and the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Board, and was a consultant to the Defense Science Board.

Mr. Kendall is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served 11 years as an active duty Army officer, including assignments in Germany, teaching Engineering at West Point, and in research and development positions.

Editorial Speaker

Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless

U.S. Air Force; Commanding General

District of Columbia National Guard

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Editorial Speaker

Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless

U.S. Air Force; Commanding General

District of Columbia National Guard

Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless is the Interim Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard. As Commanding General, she is responsible for the strategic leadership, training, readiness, operational employment and performance of the Army and Air Force components of the D.C. National Guard.  General McCandless oversees Joint Force Headquarters-Air, which includes the 113th Wing, F-16 Fighting Falcon that secures the skies over the Nation’s Capital and C-40 Clipper that transports members of Congress and other dignitaries globally. As well as the Land Component Command that includes the 74th Troop Command, 260th Regiment (Regional Training Institute), the 1-224th Aviation Security and Support Battalion, and the 1-226th General Support Aviation Battalion, which includes the UH-60 Black Hawk, UH-72 Lakota and the C-26 Metroliner.

General McCandless began her military career receiving a commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Miami. She has commanded units at the squadron and wing levels. Prior to her current assignment she served as Director, Office of Legislative Liaison, National Guard Bureau.

Editorial Speaker

Rep. Stephanie Bice

R-Okla., Member

House Armed Services Committee

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Editorial Speaker

Rep. Stephanie Bice

R-Okla., Member

House Armed Services Committee

Congresswoman Stephanie Bice is a fourth generation Oklahoman, born and raised in Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1995 with a degree in Marketing and International Business. 

Prior to her election to Congress, Bice served in the Oklahoma State Senate for six years. During her tenure, she was Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. 

Before her public service, Bice worked in the private sector for eight years in financial oversight, business strategy and marketing for her family's technology company. In addition, she ran her own marketing company, and later helped lead a boutique digital marketing agency as vice president of business development.  

Oklahoma's Fifth Congressional District includes all or parts of Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. 

In the House of Representatives, Bice was elected by her peers to serve as Freshman Class President and serves as a member of the Republican Whip Team

Stephanie and her husband Geoffrey have two daughters.

Editorial Speaker

Rep. Mikie Sherrill

D-NJ, Member

House Armed Services Committee

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Editorial Speaker

Rep. Mikie Sherrill

D-NJ, Member

House Armed Services Committee

After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1994, Congresswoman Sherrill spent almost 10 years on active duty in the Navy. She flew missions throughout Europe and the Middle East as a Sea King helicopter pilot, worked on the Battle Watch Floor in the European Theater during the Iraq invasion, and served as a Flag Aide to the Deputy Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Congresswoman Sherrill also served as a Russian policy officer and worked on the implementation of our nuclear treaty obligations and oversaw the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Russian Federation Navy. Congresswoman Sherrill sits on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the House Education and Labor Committee.

Editorial Speaker

Elisabeth Braw

Senior Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

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Editorial Speaker

Elisabeth Braw

Senior Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

Elisabeth Braw is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on defense against grayzone threats. She is also a columnist with Foreign Policy, where she writes on national security and the globalized economy, and the author of The Defender’s Dilemma: Identifying and Deterring Grayzone Aggression (2021).

Before joining AEI, Elisabeth was a senior research fellow at RUSI, whose Modern Deterrence project she led. Prior to that, she worked at Control Risks, a global risk consultancy. Elisabeth is also a member of the steering committee of the Aurora Forum (the UK-Nordic-Baltic leader conference) and a member of the UK National Preparedness Commission. She regularly writes op-eds, including for the Financial Times, Politico, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (writing in German) and the Wall Street Journal. She is also the author of God’s Spies (2019), about the Stasi.

Elisabeth attended university in Germany, graduating with a Magister Artium in political science and German literature.

Editorial Speaker

Benjamin Haddad

Senior Director, Europe Center

Atlantic Council

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Editorial Speaker

Benjamin Haddad

Senior Director, Europe Center

Atlantic Council

Benjamin Haddad is the senior director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council. He is an expert in European politics and transatlantic relations. Before moving to the Atlantic Council, he was a fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington DC. His work has notably advocated for transatlantic unity in the face of Russian aggression, greater European responsibility, and investment on strategic matters. His recent book “Paradise Lost: Europe in the World of Trump” makes the case for greater European unity in a world of new challenges and threats.

He has been published in Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Politique Etrangère and is a frequent guest on France 24, BFM, CBC, CNN, Fox News, and NPR.

A graduate of Sciences Po Paris, where he obtained an MA in international affairs and HEC, with an MA in financial economics, Haddad has lectured in international affairs at Sciences Po.

Editorial Speaker

Constanze Stelzenm├╝ller

Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations

Brookings

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Editorial Speaker

Constanze Stelzenm├╝ller

Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations

Brookings

Constanze Stelzenmüller is an expert on German, European, and trans-Atlantic foreign and security policy and strategy. She is the inaugural holder of the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. From March 2020 to December 2020, she was a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe. She held the Kissinger Chair on Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress from October 2019 to March 2020. She served as the inaugural Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at Brookings from 2014 to 2019.

Prior to working at Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she directed the influential Transatlantic Trends survey program. Her areas of expertise include: transatlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the European Union’s foreign, security, and defense policy; international law; and human rights.

Stelzenmüller is the former director of GMF’s Berlin office. From 1994 to 2005, she was an editor for the political section of the German weekly DIE ZEIT, where she had also served as defense and international security editor and covered human rights issues and humanitarian crises. From 1988 to 1989, she was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School. She has also been a GMF campus fellow at Grinnell College in Iowa, a Woodrow Wilson Center public policy scholar in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Remarque Forum—a conference series of the Remarque Institute at New York University.

Stelzenmüller’s essays and articles, in both German and English, have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Foreign Affairs, Internationale Politik, the Financial Times, the International New York Times and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Her dissertation, "Direkte Demokratie in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika," was published in 1994 by Nomos. She is also a frequent commentator on American and European radio and television, including Presseclub (ARD), National Public Radio, and the BBC. Stelzenmüller is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Swedish Society for War Sciences.

She has worked in Germany and the United States, and speaks English, French, German, and Spanish. Stelzenmüller holds a doctorate in law from the University of Bonn (1992), a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1988), and a law degree from the University of Bonn (1985).

Editorial Moderator

Kevin Baron

Executive Editor

Defense One

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Editorial Moderator

Kevin Baron

Executive Editor

Defense One

Kevin Baron is the founding executive editor of Defense One. Baron has lived in Washington for more than 20 years, covering international affairs, the military, the Pentagon, Congress, and politics for Foreign PolicyNational JournalStars and Stripes, and the Boston Globe, where he ran investigative projects for five years at the Washington bureau. He is a frequent on-air contributor and previously was national security/military analyst at NBC News & MSNBC. Baron cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity and he is twice a Polk Award winner and a former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Baron earned his M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University, B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond, and studied in Paris. Raised in Florida, Baron now lives in Northern Virginia.

Editorial Moderator

Tara Copp

Senior Pentagon Correspondent

Defense One

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Editorial Moderator

Tara Copp

Senior Pentagon Correspondent

Defense One

Tara Copp is senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense One. Copp has reported through the Middle East, Asia and Europe to cover defense policy and its impact on the lives of service members. Her investigative reporting on military aviation accidents and on skyrocketing veteran cancer rates drove Congressional hearings and legislation. Before returning to journalism, she worked as a senior defense analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, focused on readiness and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a Plan II graduate of the University of Texas and earned her masters in Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Editorial Moderator

Jacqueline Feldscher

Senior National Security Correspondent

Defense One

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Editorial Moderator

Jacqueline Feldscher

Senior National Security Correspondent

Defense One

Jacqueline Feldscher is senior national security correspondent at Defense One. Previously, she was national security and space reporter at Politico. Before that, Feldscher covered defense issues in Congress and at the Pentagon for the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, and Navy Times, covering the Navy and Coast Guard. She’s a graduate of Boston University, and holds a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Editorial Moderator

Marcus Weisgerber

Global Business Editor

Defense One

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Editorial Moderator

Marcus Weisgerber

Global Business Editor

Defense One

Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of Inside the Air Force. He has reported from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, and often travels with the defense secretary and other senior military officials.