On March 27, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, hosted a public panel to discuss supply chain cybersecurity. The timely discussion, underwritten by Raytheon, followed on the heels of the March 25 disclosure that computer hardware company ASUS had unwittingly been delivering malicious software to ASUS computer owners via its automatic software update utility. While an estimated one million ASUS computer users were affected in the campaign that Symantec Corporation believes began as early as June 2018, other supply chain attacks, such as NotPetya in 2017, have been far more widespread and damaging, and will certainly grow more so in the future.
On Wednesday, March 27, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted H.E. Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, prime minister, and H.E. Kamissa Camara, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, of the Republic of Mali, for a discussion on the security situation in Mali and the Sahel region.
On Wednesday, March 27, the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative hosted a conversation on environmental degradation, water shortages, climate change and implications for the Middle East and North Africa region. Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative, moderated the discussion as Peter Gleick, a world-renowned expert, innovator, and communicator on water and climate issues framed some of the most impending challenges the region faces today. Kaveh Madani, an environmental scientist, educator, and activist, and former Iranian government official, discussed Iran’s challenges in this area, and Caitlin Werrell, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security examined the implications of climate change, water stress and natural resource mismanagement in Syria and North Africa.
On March 27th, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, K&L Gates, and the Embassy of Denmark hosted a discussion on the future of renewable energy and the role of the free market in efficiently and effectively advancing the energy transition. Julia Pyper, senior editor of Greentech Media, moderated a panel consisting of David Livingston, deputy director for climate and advanced energy at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center; Morten Bæk, permanent secretary of state for the Danish Ministry of Energy; Nicolas Loris, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and fellow in energy and environmental policy for the Heritage Foundation; and William Keyser, partner and practice group coordinator for K&L Gates. The conversation explored a number of financial, infrastructure, and policy issues related to the energy transition, and looked to Denmark as a potential success story for their efficient transition to offshore wind.
On March 25th, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, the American Security Project, and the Center for Climate and Security hosted a conversation on climate change as a national security threat and the need for objective science to inform decision making. The White House’s announcement of a National Security Council (NSC) panel to reassess the 2018 National Climate Review (NCR) set the context for the afternoon. Global Energy Center Senior Fellow Joe Bryan and Center for Climate and Security Co-Founder Caitlin Werrell provided introductory and welcoming remarks, with both emphasizing the dangers of politicizing science, especially as it pertains to evidence based threat assessments.
On March 21-22, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative hosted its seventh annual DC Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge. United States Air Force Academy’s team, “Delogrand,” winning first place in the Student Track and National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace’s team, “NDU Team 3,” winning first place in the Professional Track. Grand prize for both teams was tickets, flights and lodging to the eighth International Conference on Cyber Engagement on April 23 in Washington, DC. “MIISattribution 2.0” of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey and “NDU Team 4” of National Defense University took second place in the Student and Professional tracks, respectively.
On Tuesday March 19, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted Umesh Pandey, founding member of the Moving Forward for Democracy Movement, to discuss the upcoming election in Thailand.
On Thursday, March 14, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center convened distinguished experts and international leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, as well as next steps in rebuilding the country’s economy, infrastructure, and institutions. The event served as the official unveiling of Plan País—the Venezuelan National Assembly’s detailed plan for reconstruction—on the international stage.
On Thursday, March 7, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosted a luncheon with H.E. Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
In his remarks, Secretary General Barkindo emphasized the symbiotic relationship between the United States and OPEC; as oil producers, both benefit from stability in the market. He discussed how the US and OPEC countries suffered due the global downturn in the energy market from 2014–2016 until OPEC and non-OPEC partners were able to stabilize the market through voluntary production adjustments.
On Monday, March 4, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a discussion with H.E. Dr. Mthuli Ncube, minister of finance and economic development of the Republic of Zimbabwe.