H.E. Ursula von der Leyen
Minister of Defense
Federal Ministry of Defense of Germany
Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
Chairman Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Please join the Atlantic Council for a moderated discussion with Germany's Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, on the future of security in and around Europe. She will provide a German perspective on the security challenges facing the transatlantic community at a time of rapid change and turbulence. Minister von der Leyen's visit to Washington also follows on the heels of a recent NATO defense ministerial meeting, and President Obama's recent three-country trip to Europe.
The transatlantic community is currently facing a broad range of security and foreign policy challenges, ranging from the Ukraine crisis to continued unrest across the Middle East and an ongoing civil war in Syria. Along with these challenges, the transatlantic community must also grapple with austere fiscal circumstances on both sides of the Atlantic, along with the drawdown of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. But this period is also an opportunity for the transatlantic community, as the conflict in Ukraine has made collective defense a higher priority and brought European security to the top of the agenda. As a result, the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales could be used as a springboard to better equip the Alliance to deal with regional and global challenges.
Ursula von der Leyen is Germany's first female minister of defense, and has a long record of government service. Before taking up her current post in late 2013, she served as the minister for labor and social affairs. She has also served as the minister for family affairs and senior citizens. Born in Belgium, von der Leyen pursued a career as a medical doctor before entering local politics in Lower Saxony in 1999. She has studied at the University of Gottingen and at the London School of Economics, and earned a PhD from the Hanover Medical School.
12:00 p.m. Registration and light lunch
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Program
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007