Speaker Bios: Toward a Transatlantic Strategy for Europe’s East

On January 29-30, the Council will host nineteen speakers at its flagship event “Toward a Transatlantic Strategy for Europe’s East”. Read their bios below.


H.E. Tamar Beruchashvili | Mr. Elmar Brok | Dr. Fran Burwell | The Hon. Paula DobrianskyH.E. Štefan Füle | The Hon. Stephen Hadley | Dr. Christoph Heusgen | The Hon. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. | Mr. Frederick Kempe | Mr. Craig Kennedy | Dr. Charlie Kupchan | H.E. Miroslav Lajčák | H.E. Ana Palacio | Dr. Konrad Pawlik | Amb. Juris Poikāns | H.E. Vadym PrystaykoH.E. Edgars Rinkēvičs | Dr. Samad Seyidov | H.E. Radek Sikorski |  Mr. Damon Wilson

H.E. Tamar Beruchashvili
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

Tamar BeruchashviliAfter serving as a career diplomat with twenty-two years of experience working on Georgia’s European integration, Tamar Beruchashvili was appointed to her current position of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in November 2014. Before her nomination, she served as the Deputy Foreign Minister between 2013 and 2014, as well as the Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations and the Deputy State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. She is an Associate Professor at the Ilia State University, and has guest-lectured at research centers and universities across Europe, in addition to publishing numerous scientific works.



Mr. Elmar Brok

Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament

elmar brokElmar Brok is a German Member of the European Parliament and the current Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was elected on the CDU ticket and sits with the European People’s Party group. He studied law and politics in Germany and at the Centre for European Governmental Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He worked as a radio journalist and newspaper correspondent, before he became Senior Vice President for Media Development at Bertelsmann AG. Within the Christian Democratic Party in Germany, Brok has held numerous leadership positions, before entering the European Parliament in 1980. As a member of the Convention on the Constitution for Europe and in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Brok contributed crucially to the Constitution of the European Union. Brok was also the European Parliament Representative on the Council’s Reflection Group for Maastricht II, the European Parliament Representative at the Intergovernmental Conference on the Treaty of Amsterdam, the European Parliament Representative at the 2000 Intergovernmental Conference, and rapporteur on the European External Action Service (EEAS). He has received many honors, including the First Class Federal Cross of Merit.


Dr. Fran Burwell
Vice President and Director, Transatlantic Relations Program, Atlantic Council

fran burwellDr. Fran Burwell is Atlantic Council Vice President and Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations. Her areas of expertise include US-EU relations and the development of the European Union’s foreign and defense policies, and a range of transatlantic economic and political issues. She is the principal author or rapporteur of several Atlantic Council publications including Transatlantic Leadership for a New Global Economy; Transatlantic Transformation: Building a New NATO-EU Security Architecture; Law and the Lone Superpower: Rebuilding a Transatlantic Consensus on International Law; and The Post-9/11 Partnership: Transatlantic Cooperation Against Terrorism. She is the co-editor (with Ivo H. Daalder) of The United States and Europe in the Global Arena. Prior to joining the Council, Burwell was Executive Director of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, and also served as founding Executive Director of Women in International Security.


The Hon. Paula Dobriansky
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

paula dobriansky

Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky is a Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Chair of the National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. From 2010 to 2012, she was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing corporate strategy in Washington, DC and other key capitals around the globe. During this time, she also held the Distinguished National Security Chair at the US Naval Academy. From 2001 to 2009, Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (longest serving in history) and received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. From 1997 to 2001, Dobriansky served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was also the Council’s first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Dobriansky received a BSFS summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MA and PhD in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. As a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dobriansky serves on various boards, including Freedom House, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, and American University in Afghanistan. She is also a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission and on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Previous boards have included the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chair), and George Mason University Board of Visitors.


H.E. Štefan Füle
Former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy

stefan fule

Štefan Füle is a Czech diplomat who served as the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy from 2010 to 2014. He has held several positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Füle served as First Secretary of Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic (until 1993 Czechoslovakia) to the United Nations in New York City from 1990 to 1995. His next assignment was at the headquarters of the Ministry in Prague until 1998. Then he served as the Czech Ambassador to Lithuania (1998 to 2001), also serving as the NATO contact point there. In 2000, Füle accepted the position of the First Deputy Minister of Defense but later returned to diplomatic work. He served as the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2003 to 2005) before being appointed as the Permanent Representative of his country to NATO, a position he held from 11 July 2005 to 7 May 2009.


The Hon. Stephen Hadley
Founding Partner, Rice Hadley Gates LLC; Former National Security Advisor

stephen hadley

Stephen Hadley completed four years as National Security Advisor on January 20, 2009. From January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2005, Hadley was the Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, serving under then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. From 1993 to 2001, Hadley was both a Partner in the Washington DC law firm of Shea & Gardner (now part of Goodwin Proctor) and a Principal in The Scowcroft Group. From 1989 to 1993, Hadley served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. Prior to this position, Hadley alternated between government service and law practice with Shea & Gardner. He was counsel to the Tower Commission in 1987, as it investigated US arms sales to Iran, and served on the National Security Council under President Ford from 1974 to 1977.

Hadley graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He received his Juris doctor degree from Yale Law School, where he was Note and Comment editor of the Yale Law Journal.


Dr. Christoph Heusgen
Advisor on Foreign and Security Policy to the Federal Chancellor, German Federal Chancelleryn

christoph heusgen

Before taking up his current position on the Federal Chancellery, Dr. Christoph Heusgen was the Bureau Chief and Head of the Political Staff of the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU under Javier Solana. He began his career in 1988 at the German Foreign Office by serving as the Personal Assistant to the Coordinator for German-French cooperation. From 1993 to 1997, Heusgen worked under Thomas Matussek as Deputy Head of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, after which he served as Deputy Director Deputy Director Europe. Between 1999 and 2005 he served on the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union as the Director of the Policy-Planning and Early Warning Unit. Since November 2005 he has been responsible for Germany’s foreign policy under Chancellor Angela Merkel..


The Hon. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
Chairman, Atlantic Council

jon huntsmanJon M. Huntsman, Jr. is chairman of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors. He began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has served each of the four US presidents since then in critical roles around the world, including as Ambassador to Singapore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, US Trade Ambassador, and most recently, US Ambassador to China, in which he received unanimous votes in all three Senate confirmations. Twice elected Governor of Utah, Huntsman brought about strong economic reforms, tripled the state’s rainy day fund, and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows. During his tenure, Utah was named the best managed state in America. Recognized by others for his service, Governor Huntsman was elected as Chairman of the Western Governors Association, serving nineteen states throughout the region.

Although he bowed out of his run for the Presidency in 2012, he currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institute, a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Trustee of the Reagan Presidential Foundation, and Chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Governor Huntsman has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Distinguished Lecturer at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Diplomacy. Huntsman is the father of seven children, including two adopted daughters from China and India. His two sons are midshipmen at the US Naval Academy, where his oldest son was selected as a naval aviator. Huntsman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has eight honorary doctoral degrees.


Mr. Frederick Kempe
President and CEO, Atlantic Council

Frederick Kempe

Frederick Kempe is President and CEO of the Atlantic Council. Under his leadership since 2009, the Atlantic Council has achieved significant growth while considerably expanding its staff, work, and influence in areas that include international security, business and economics, energy and environment, and global issues of transatlantic interest ranging from Asia to Africa. Mr. Kempe is the author of four books, and a regular commentator on television and radio both in Europe and the United States. His latest book, BERLIN 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth was published after a long and prominent career at the Wall Street Journal. His last position with the paper was in New York, where he served as Assistant Managing Editor, International, and “Thinking Global” columnist. Prior to that, he was the Editor and Associate Publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe, simultaneously functioning as European Editor for the Global Wall Street Journal from 2002 to 2005. Mr. Kempe is a graduate of the University of Utah and has a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a member of the International Fellows Program in the School of International Affairs..


Mr. Craig Kennedy
Former President, German Marshall Fund of the US

craig kennedy

After 18 years as the president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Craig Kennedy stepped down in March 2014. His tenure saw the growth of the GMF from a small grant-making organization with around 20 employees to an expanded global think tank focusing on foreign policy, economics, immigration, the environment, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans.

He began his career in 1980 as a Program Officer at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago. From 1983 to 1986, he was Vice President of Programs for Joyce. As President of the Joyce Foundation from 1986 to 1992, Kennedy built the Foundation’s environmental program and launched a new program on US immigration policy. He left the Joyce Foundation to work for Richard J. Dennis, a Chicago investor and philanthropist. During this same period, he created a consulting firm working with nonprofit and public sector clients. Kennedy serves on the Board of Refugees International, The US-Russia Foundation, True North Venture Partners, First Solar, and as an independent trustee of Invesco Van Kampen Closed-end Funds. He is also a member of the Alfred Herrhausen Society Board of Trustees.


Dr. Charlie Kupchan
Professor of Internal Affairs, School of Foreign Service and Government Georgetown University

charlie Kupchan

Dr. Charles A. Kupchan is a professor of international affairs at the School of Foreign Service and Government at Georgetown University. He is also Whitney H. Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Kupchan was the Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration, and worked in the US Department of State on the Policy Planning Staff. Prior to government service, he was an Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of nine books, most recently of No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (2012), as well as numerous publications. Kupchan received a B.A. from Harvard University and M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, Columbia University’s Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Centre d’Etude et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo. During 2006-2007, he was the Henry A. Kissinger Scholar at the Library of Congress and was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


H.E. Miroslav Lajčák

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

miroslav lajcakMiroslav Lajčák is a Slovak diplomat who was Director-General for Political Affairs in the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs before becoming the High Representative and EU Special Representative. He has extensive experience in Southeastern Europe where, before his current appointment, he was best known for his role as mediator and personal representative of the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, in Montenegro in 2006. In this capacity, he oversaw the Montenegrin referendum. Between 2001 and 2005, Minister Lajčák was based in Belgrade as Slovakia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro), Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

From 1998 to 2001, he was Chef de Cabinet of Slovakia’s then Foreign Minister, Eduard Kukan. And between 1999 and 2001, concurrently, he was Special Assistant to Minister Kukan in his capacity as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Balkans. In the 1990s, Minister Lajčák served as Slovakia’s Ambassador to Japan and Russia as well as Chef de Cabinet of Slovakia’s then Foreign Minister and later Prime Minister, Jozef Moravčík.


H.E. Ana Palacio
Member, Consejo de Estado of Spain; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been secretary general of NATO since 2009.

ana palacioAna Palacio is an international lawyer and the Founding Partner of Palacio y Asociados, a law firm with offices in Madrid, Brussels, and Washington DC. Since 2013 Ana Palacio has been a Member of the Advisory Group on Foreign Affairs and Security established by the President of the European Union. She is a member of the Article 255 Panel, established by the Treaty of Lisbon, which is responsible for vetting Judges and advocates General for the EU/Luxembourg court system. Palacio sits on the boards of various think tanks and public institutions, including: The Atlantic Council of the United States, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council, and Fundación para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales – FAES. Palacio has also been a Distinguished Professor at the European Collegio Europeo di Parma, and Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Global Affairs at Yale University. Presently, Palacio is an Adjunct Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In March 2014, Palacio was appointed European Coordinator for the TEN-T Rhine-Alpine Corridor, a multimodal corridor connecting the North Sea ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to the Mediterranean basin in Genoa, via Switzerland and some of the major economic centers in the European Union.


Dr. Konrad Pawlik
Undersecretary of State for Development Cooperation, Polish Diaspora and Eastern Policy, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland

konrad pawlik

Konrad Pawlik has been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland since October 2007. Since February 2012 he served as Head of the Eastern Europe Section at the Eastern Department. In December 2012, he became Deputy Director of the Eastern Department and, since June 2014, has been running the Department. In August 2014, he took the office of Director of the Eastern Department and the Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Eastern Partnership. Between October 2010 and January 2012, he worked as First Secretary at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the OECD in Paris.

From 2007 to 2010, Pawlik served at the Foreign Economic Policy Department and, after its closure, at the Department of Economic Diplomacy; first in a role dealing with Eastern markets (Foreign Economic Policy Department), and from January 2010 as Head of Desk for the Commonwealth of Independent States’ markets at the Department of Economic Diplomacy. From April 2006 to September 2007 Konrad Pawlik served as Senior Specialist at the Office of Foreign Affairs. Pawlik is the author of a number of scientific publications in prestigious scientific periodicals including Economics of Transition, the International Trade Journal, Eastern European Economics, and Global Business and Finance.


Amb. Juris Poikāns
Latvia’s Ambassador-at-Large for Eastern Partnership

jurius polkansJuris Poikāns is Ambassador-at-Large for Eastern Partnership at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. He coordinates Eastern Partnership policies for the ongoing EU Presidency of Latvia in the first half of 2015. Mr Poikāns has served at the diplomatic missions of Latvia in Russia, Belarus, Slovenia and the United States. A career diplomat, he has also served in numerous senior level ministry capacities, including from 2009 to 2010 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. He served in senior positions at the Latvian embassies in Washington and Moscow. Ambassador Poikāns earned his bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Latvia. He studied international politics, law and international trade at the Oxford University Foreign Service Program and diplomacy at the Foreign Service Academy in Islamabad, Pakistan. He is a 1997 graduate of the Marshall Center’s Executive Program.


H.E. Vadym Prystayko
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

vadym prystakoVadym Prystayko has been the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs since December 2014 after ending his two-year term as the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada. He worked as the Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States from 2009 to 2012. Before then, from 2007 to 2009, Prystayko was the NATO Directorate General at the Ministry of Foreign of Ukraine, as well as serving as the Chargé d’affaires and Political Counselor of the Embassy of Ukraine to Canada between 2002 and 2006. Prystayko before 2002 crafted a civil servant career by working in the Foreign Policy Directorate of Ukraine, the Ukrainian embassy in Australia, and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade of Ukraine. He graduated from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 1994, and received a Master’s Degree from the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade. He speaks Ukrainian, Russian, and English.


H.E. Edgars Rinkēvičs
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

edgars rinkevicsEdgars Rinkēvičs has served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia since 2011, and before that, as Head of Chancery to the President of Latvia. In 1993, Rinkēvičs started work as a journalist reporting on foreign policy and international relations at Latvian Radio. In 1995 he took up a post at the Ministry of Defense, becoming the Director of his internal department the following year. In May 1997 he became Deputy State Secretary for Defense Policy, and then subsequently the Secretary of State. Between 1998 and 2004, Rinkēvičs was a member of the “Latvian Way” political party. In February 1998, he became involved with discussion on the US-Baltic Partnership Charter; and from 2002 to 2003 was a member of the Latvian delegation negotiating accession to NATO (Deputy Head of Delegation).


Dr. Samad Seyidov
Chairman of International and Interparliamentary Relations Committee, Azerbaijani Parliament

samad seyidov

Dr. Seyidov is currently the Chairman of the Committee on International Relations and Inter-Parliamentary Relations of the National Assembly (Milli Majlis) of Azerbaijan, head of the Azerbaijani delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Vice Chairman of the Assembly. Seyidov has headed the Azerbaijan-American friendship group at the Parliamentary Assembly since 2010, and has been elected to the Parliament of Azerbaijan three times (in 2000, 2005, and 2010).

Since 1998 he has represented the Azerbaijani educational system at the Council of Europe and has given presentations at various conferences and seminars in the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Belgium, Turkey, France, Israel, and other countries. He is the author of more than 100 scientific works, including textbooks, instructional manuals, and monographs. For his diplomatic services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in 2009 awarded him the “90th Anniversary Jubilee Medal of the Diplomatic Services of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” In 2012 he became a member of the International Council of Sciences of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.


H.E. Radek Sikorski
Marshal of the Sejm, Republic of Poland

radoslaw sikorski

Radosław Tomasz “Radek” Sikorski is a Polish politician representing the Civic Platform party, and the current Marshal of the Sejm, the Lower House of the Polish Parliament. Sikorski graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA and an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). As Deputy Minister of National Defense in 1992, Sikorski initiated Poland’s NATO accession campaign. From 2002 to 2005, he was resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC and Executive Director of the New Atlantic Initiative. He appeared before the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs as an expert on Atlantic issues. Sikorski was elected Senator for Bydgoszcz in 2005 and served as Minister of National Defense in 2005 to 2007. In 2007, he was elected to the Sejm. He was sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland on 16 November 2007. He has also been Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs since January 2010. In October of the same year, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Civic Platform. On 24 September 2014, Radosław Sikorski was elected the Marshal of the Sejm in the 7th term.


Mr. Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

Damon Wilson

Damon Wilson is Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council. His areas of expertise include NATO, transatlantic relations, Central and Eastern Europe, and national security issues. From 2007 to 2009, Wilson served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. Previously, Wilson served at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq as the Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff. Prior to this posting, he worked at the National Security Council as the Director for Central, Eastern, and Northern European affairs from 2004 to 2006. From 2001 to 2004, Wilson served as Deputy Director of the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General, assisting Lord Robertson in his drive to transform the Alliance by enlarging NATO membership, conducting operations beyond Europe particularly in Afghanistan, and adapting Allied capabilities to face modern threats. Wilson also supported the secretary general’s role in the successful effort to avert civil war in Macedonia. Prior to serving in Brussels, Wilson worked in the US Department of State’s Office of European Security and Political Affairs, on the State Department’s China desk, and at the US Embassy in Beijing. Wilson began his service at the State Department by helping coordinate policy to adapt NATO to modern security challenges and planning for the Alliance’s 50th anniversary summit in Washington during the Kosovo conflict.