Press Releases

The evening highlights the “power of storytelling to foster dialogue around the world”

WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on March 15 held a private screening of 12 Strong, the incredible story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. The event included an expert panel discussion on the origins of the war in Afghanistan and future US policy for the country and region.  

Held at the National Archives, the screening convened government, business, and military leaders, and included welcoming remarks by Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council President and CEO.

Charles Rivkin, MPAA Chairman and CEO, took the stage to comment on the power of filmmaking: “Films like 12 Strong offer a gateway to understanding complex events that shape our nation’s history and tell the stories of people who were part of inspiring moments,” said Mr. Rivkin. “Tonight’s discussion is an example of how the film and television industry is committed to using the power of storytelling to foster dialogue around the world.” 

Adrienne Arsht, Executive Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors, commented: “The Atlantic Council seeks to tackle the biggest challenges of our time, so we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to engage audiences on big policy questions and debates. Movies are an excellent way to connect people to issues that may seem complicated and far away – such as the US involvement in Afghanistan.”

The night also included a moderated discussion by Christine Wormuth, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council, with former senior Commander to US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General David Barno, USA (Ret.), and former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Dr. Michael Vickers. The panelists discussed the origins of the Afghanistan war, prospects for peace, and the resilience of US service members and families after more than 16 years of war.

About the Atlantic Council
The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders.

About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council today announced Klara Jordan as Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative in its Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Ms. Jordan will play a pivotal role in re-invigorating the Initiative’s work on cyberspace as a tool of statecraft, where national security overlaps with foreign policy and economic prosperity, while continuing the Initiative’s path-breaking work on the intersection of cybersecurity and public safety.

Ms. Jordan joins the Atlantic Council from the private sector where she provided government affairs and public policy consulting services to cybersecurity and information technology companies at Orlie Yaniv Strategies LLC. She also previously worked at the policy and privacy division of FireEye, a global cybersecurity company, focusing on providing insights on opportunities and risks that stem from emerging policy, laws, and regulations. Prior to her private sector experience, Klara spent two years at the Council’s Scowcroft Center as deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative where she focused on cybercrime, cyberespionage, and cyberwarfare, and led programming on NATO and EU cybersecurity. Her background also includes work on international law at the American Society of International Law and at NATO’s Allied Command Transformation.

From data breaches on financial institutions to election meddling in the United States and throughout the world, the international community is facing regular and sophisticated cyber security threats that require robust and creative solutions,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council President and CEO. “Klara’s strategic insights and experience will be imperative to crafting the cyber policy agenda moving forward. The Atlantic Council is delighted to welcome back Klara in her new role as Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative.”

Said Ms. Jordan, “These are critical times when our allies and rogue powers alike are developing their cyber doctrines and capabilities and the private sector possesses unprecedented capabilities and policy influence. This climate requires that the international business, technical, and policy communities collaborate to build sustainable policy solutions to respond to today’s challenges and prepare for future ones.”

The focus of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative is to: 1) Examine the nexus of geopolitics and national security with cyberspace; 2) Continue to build out the new field of cyber safety in the Internet of Things; and 3) To help build the next generation of cybersecurity and cyberspace policy professionals.  Throughout all of its work, the Initiative focuses relentlessly on providing practical, innovative, and relevant solutions to the challenges in cyberspace. The Initiative brings together a diverse network of respected experts, bridging the gap between the technical and policy communities.

For more information on the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, please visit here. To schedule an interview with Ms. Jordan, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
WASHINGTON, DC - The Atlantic Council today announced Richard Stengel as a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (@DFRLab).

Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, TIME Managing Editor and author, Richard Stengel has seen and led the transformation of media in the private and the public sector. At State, he led the department’s efforts at countering both ISIS propaganda and Russian disinformation. Stengel remains centered at the crossroads of media, policy and politics – as a strategic adviser to Snapchat and an analyst on MSNBC – and is currently working on a book for Penguin Press on the global information war.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to join the Atlantic Council and its DFRLab which is at the forefront of using cutting-edge techniques to expose disinformation and falsehood around the world. They are a model of the new kinds of institutions that support the pursuit of truth at a time that it is under an unprecedented threat.”

The longest serving Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs since the job was created in 1999, Stengel brought public diplomacy into the 21st century, modernizing State’s communications, expanding the department’s digital footprint, and ensuring that every embassy was on social media.

At the State Department, Stengel launched and led numerous programs and initiatives, including the Global Engagement Center, the United States’ only stand-alone anti-disinformation entity, the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi, the first joint American and foreign counter ISIL messaging hub ­– now a template for others around the world – and English for All, a government-wide effort that promotes teaching English abroad. He also oversaw all of the department’s extensive educational exchanges including the Fulbright Scholarship.

Prior to the State Department, Stengel was the managing editor of TIME for seven years, transforming it into a digital and social media powerhouse on a global scale. He oversaw all print, digital, and international functions, and redesigned, re-focused and reinvigorated TIME. Under his stewardship, TIME won its first-ever Magazine of the Year Award as well as numerous other National Magazine Awards, including for general excellence. Stengel also won an Emmy for executive producing the TIME documentary: “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.” Before becoming managing editor of TIME, Stengel was President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

“I am delighted to welcome Richard Stengel to the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe. “We are in a paradigm moment in which we must harness opportunities and mitigate threats within our rapidly evolving information environment. No one knows how to navigate that information environment better than Rick, who knows every angle from media to government to technology.”

The @DFRLab is at the forefront of open source research with a focus on governance, technology, security, social media, and where each intersect. By publishing what it can prove, or disprove, in real-time, the @DFRLab is creating a new model of research and education adapted for impact, as well as building a global movement to forge digital resilience.


For more information about @DFRLab or to schedule an interview with Mr. Stengel, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Atlantic Council is delighted to be ranked in the top ten of global think tanks for defense and national security, for institutional collaboration, and as a think tank to watch.

The Council is also ranked in the top ten in the US in Foreign Policy and International Affairs, Energy and Resource Policy, Conferences, External Relations/Public Engagement, Management, and Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies.

The rankings are contained in the latest 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, from The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The Index is used to identify and recognize centers of excellence in policy research, forge knowledge and policy partnerships and create a global think tank village. The Atlantic Council is delighted to have steadily climbed up the rankings in the last decade, a mark of our success and recognition by our peers and colleagues.

Some Atlantic Council data from the report:
  • Top Think Tanks in United States: #13
  • Top Defense and National Security: #9 (#6 in the US)
  • Top Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks: #16 (#8 in the US)
  • Top Energy and Resource Policy Think Tanks: #27 (#10 in the US)
  • Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks (#2)
  • Best Managed Think Tanks: #19 (#9 in the US)
  • Best Think Tank Conference: #14 (#4 in the US)
  • Think Tank to Watch in 2018: #8 – (#5 in the US)
  • Think Tanks with the Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program: #14 (#7 in the US)
  • Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy: #21 (#12 in US)
  • Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures: #18 (#9 in the US)
  • Best New Idea: #19 (#11 in the US)
For further information please contact: Andrew Marshall, Vice President of Communications, +1 202 873 0350
Adrienne Arsht Awarded Colombia's Distinguished Order of San Carlos

Founder of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center receives honor for her commitment to peace and prosperity in Colombia

WASHINGTON, DC – In recognition of her deep support of Colombia at a critical moment of national transformation, Adrienne Arsht, Executive Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council and Founder of its Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, received the Order of San Carlos at a private ceremony at the Colombian Residence in Washington, DC yesterday. The award was presented to the business leader and philanthropist by Colombian Ambassador to the United States Camilo Reyes on behalf of Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguin and by direction of President Juan Manuel Santos.

The award celebrates Ms. Arsht’s commitment to the prosperity of Colombia and to the implementation of peace in the country.  

“The leadership of Adrienne Arsht is an example of her selfless and constant support to the permanent and positive transformation of Colombia,” said Ambassador Camilo Reyes.

Adrienne Arsht commented: “Colombia is symbolic of the incredible transformations that I see in many parts of Latin America. It’s a country on the rise with the new era of peace holding great promise for the country.”

For half a decade, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center has led the way in broadening understanding of regional transformations in Latin America under a global context. Central to its work was the creation and implementation of the Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Months after the signing of the historic peace agreement, the twenty-six-member group released A Roadmap for US Engagement with Colombia, a report presented to Colombian President Juan Manual Santos and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in May 2017. Since then, the Center and the Task Force have continued to build bridges between the United States and Colombia.

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In view of media comment around the Atlantic Council’s Venezuela work, Jason Marczak, Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, Atlantic Council made the following comments:

“Around the world, the Atlantic Council puts forward policy ideas that help influential actors navigate political and economic change so we can live in a more secure and prosperous world. The deteriorating situation in Venezuela is of great concern.

That is why the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center follows the Venezuelan crisis very closely and seeks to contribute toward a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Venezuela. Given the gravity of the situation, we have stepped up our analysis and events—all of which seek to encourage a peaceful solution and engage stakeholders who can influence resolution of the worsening crisis.

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Appointment comes as NAFTA renegotiations continue, China increasingly asserts its presence on the world economic stage, the impact of Brexit remains uncertain, and protectionist and anti-globalist sentiments threaten the Western world.

WASHINGTON, DC
 – The Atlantic Council today named Bart J. Oosterveld as the new director of its Global Business and Economics Program and as the C. Boyden Gray Fellow on Global Finance and Growth. Mr. Oosterveld brings two decades of expertise in capital markets and credit ratings with Moody’s Investors Service, giving him unique insights into the ways governments, markets and companies interact in the global economy.

Mr. Oosterveld served in myriad roles at Moody’s Investors Service over the course of a nearly twenty-year tenure. His work at the nexus of finance and government will be an invaluable asset to the Global Business and Economics Program, which promotes transatlantic leadership to find multilateral solutions to today’s most vital and pressing global economic issues such as increasing protectionism, subdued economic growth, financial crime, and rising inequality. His extensive industry knowledge will help connect the work of the Global Business and Economics Program to the Council’s 11 other regional and functional programs and centers.

“With Bart, the council has gained a results-oriented, multi-lingual, private sector business leader who will bring his impressive skills to our efforts to better understand global economic and financial forces and their impact on larger strategic and security issues,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council President and CEO. “The Global Business and Economics Program, which he will lead, serves as the engine room for the Council’s effort to integrate the study of prosperity and security issues.”

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WASHINGTON, DC – Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe announced today that David McCormick – a highly regarded former Treasury and White House official, and Co-CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates – will replace General Brent Scowcroft as the chairman of its International Advisory Board (IAB). Scowcroft stepped down to serve as chairman emeritus of the IAB in 2015.

“There’s no better person than Dave McCormick to lead the remarkable group of CEOs and top former government officials on the International Advisory Board of Washington’s most vibrant and fastest growing think tank,” said General Scowcroft, the only individual to have served two presidents as national security advisor. “His distinguished career at Commerce, Treasury, and the National Security Council, coupled with his military service and time leading a major investment firm, makes him the right person to bring fresh energy and vision to this crucial advisory group.”

McCormick said, “It is an honor to follow in General Scowcroft’s footsteps as Chairman of this extraordinary group of global leaders. The Atlantic Council’s work of galvanizing US leadership alongside worldwide allies and partners to secure the future has seldom been so urgent.”

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council congratulates Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., its chairman of the past four years, on his unanimous confirmation by the US Senate as ambassador to Russia.

“There’s no more challenging overseas post, and there’s no more qualified person to fill it,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “Having served now in every administration since Ronald Reagan, and with deep political experience as Utah governor and as a presidential candidate, Governor Huntsman brings unique capabilities to a complicated and crucial assignment.”

Governor Huntsman will assume his third US ambassadorship, following China (2009-2011) and Singapore (1992-1993), at a moment of outsized importance in US-Russia relations.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The Atlantic Council today announced that senior vice president and anti-money laundering (AML) executive for sanctions at BB&T Bank, Brian O'Toole, has been appointed as a nonresident senior fellow with the Global Business & Economics Program. Brian is an accomplished expert on economic sanctions, with substantial experience in both the public and private sectors.

“Brian joins us at an exciting time as we take our Economic Sanctions Initiative to the next level,” said Andrea Montanino, Director of the Global Business and Economics Program. “He brings with him a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors and we look forward to working with Brian to forge a path toward more effective economic sanctions.”

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