Event Recaps

On October 10th, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and DEF CON hosted a public event on the vulnerabilities in US voting infrastructure and recommendations for a path forward in securing our democracy. Panelists included Ambassador Douglas Lute, former US permanent representative to NATO; Jeff Moss, founder of DEF CON and senior fellow for the Cyber Statecraft Initiative; John Gilligan, chairman of the board for the Center for Internet Security; Sherri Ramsay, former director of the NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center; and Harri Hursti, founding partner of Nordic Innovation Labs and organizer of the DEF CON Voting Village. The panel was moderated by Jake Braun, a lecturer at the University of Chicago and opening remarks were given by Fred Kempe.

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The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted its first ‘Nuclear Strategy and Security in the Second Nuclear Age Conference’ on November 16 and 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The conference brought together experts, officials, and leaders from across the world and multiple international organizations with the aim of understanding the emergence of Asia as the epicenter of the second nuclear age.

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On November 30, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative hosted an informative discussion on Catalonia’s bid for independence and upcoming elections on December 21. The session was led by the new Director of the Global Business and Economics Program, Bart Oosterveld. 

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On Tuesday, November 29, the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council launched its newest report, Forging a New Era in US-South African Relations.

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On November 8th, 2017, the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council hosted a panel discussion with Mr. Javid Ahmad, Mr. Ahmad Nader Nadery, Dr. Vanda Felbab Brown and Ambassador James Cunningham on the civilian elements of the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, including the reform process, internal politics, economics, and how the Afghan government plans to deliver on its pledges. 

As part of its ambitious reform and self-reliance agenda, the Afghan government has made considerable progress towards improving the capacity of civilian management, leadership, human resources, as well as in addressing formal corruption. This panel sought to address the key challenges and prospective solutions. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Javid Ahmad. 
On November 7, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative launched its first-ever report on Aviation Cybersecurity—Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag, underwritten by Thales. The event featured a keynote by Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the US Department of Homeland Security. Opening remarks were provided by The Hon. Jane Holl Lute, CEO of SICPA North America, former deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security and Atlantic Council Board Director, as well as Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales North America and Atlantic Council Board Director.
 
In an increasingly connected aviation ecosystem, the ever-expanding and complex cybersecurity issues that affect aviation stakeholders are immense. The launch convened a group of leading aviation industry and cybersecurity experts that discussed the report's key findings and examined the threats, vulnerabilities and potential solutions. Panelists included Pete Cooper, author of the report and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative; Christian Espinosa, white hat hacker and CEO of Alpine Security; Steve Luczynski, former deputy director of cyber plans and operations at the Office of the Secretary of Defense; David Silver, vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association and Elizabeth Wharton, senior assistant city attorney for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

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On Monday, November 6, the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, hosted a panel discussion on how governments and the private sector can tackle Africa’s jobs gap. The event coincided with the US launch of the Institute’s new report: The Jobs Gap: Making Inclusive Growth Work in Africa.

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The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted the “Unlocking US-India Trade Potential Conference” in Bengaluru, India from November 6-8, 2017. This conference, launched in partnership with the US Consulate, Chennai, the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), and the Takshashila Institution, explored the economic partnership between the United States and India. This conference convened American and Indian sector experts to enable direct interactions among global economic leaders and cultivate economic policies to bolster bilateral trade.

The conference addressed topics such as trade facilitation, ease of doing business in India, special economic zones, infrastructure, smart cities, intellectual property rights, development of information and communication technology, and global economic trends. Prominent speakers at the conference included Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Dr. Paula Stern, Consul General Robert Burgess, Mr. Philip Shaw, Mr. Michael Koch, Dr. Rupa Chanda, Mr. Bobby Majumder, Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Mr. Siddharth Roy and Ms. Sharmila Barathan among others.

By identifying factors that may impede increased trade and developing potential solutions to overcome these challenges, the conference managed to help the two countries reach new heights in their trade relations.

Watch the highlights of the conference here:

1) Opening Remarks by Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy

2) Welcome Remarks by Dr. Mukesh Aghi  

3) Remarks by U.S Consul General Robert Burgess

4) The Honorable Paula Stern on US Trade Policy: A First-Person Account  

5) Keynote Speech by Mr. Nandan Nilekani  

6) The Honorable Dr. Paula Stern and Mr. Nandan Nilekani in Conversation with Ms. Maya Mirchandani
On October 31, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, along with the Council’s Future Europe Initiative and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, convened an expert panel for a conversation about the current state of climate action in the United States and in the transatlantic relationship more broadly. Ambassador Richard Morningstar (Ret.), the Global Energy Center’s founding director and chairman, introduced the event by noting the important and timely nature of the conversation, given the upcoming twenty-third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, the Trump administration’s announcement that the United States plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and the emergence of pledges from state and local governments and businesses to remain committed to trying to reach the agreement’s goals.

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On Thursday, October 19, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in collaboration with The Sentry at the Enough Project, hosted a discussion on illicit financial flows in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), occasioned by the release of the group’s new report: The Terrorist’s Treasury

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