Raising the Curtain on the 2018 NATO Brussels Summit

June 13, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Washington, DC
Raising the Curtain on the 2018 NATO Brussels Summit

Welcoming Remarks:
Mr. Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President
Atlantic Council

Opening Remarks:
H.E. Raimundas Karoblis
Minister of National Defense
Republic of Lithuania

Opening Keynote: US Priorities for European Security
Mr. Thomas Goffus
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO
US Department of Defense

Moderated Q&A:
Mr. Thomas Goffus

Magnus Nordenman

Director, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Panel 1: Back to Basics: Defense and Deterrence in Northern Europe and Beyond

Dr. Richard Hooker
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia
US National Security Council

Gen Frank Gorenc, USAF (Ret.)
Former Commander 
US Air Forces in Europe and Africa and NATO Allied Air Command

Mr. Jonatan Vseviov
Permanent Secretary 
Ministry of Defense of Estonia

Ms. Jill Aitoro
Defense News

Panel 2: The Alliance Agenda on the Road to Brussels: Tackling NATO’s Expansive Threat Environment 

Amb. Alexander Vershbow
Former Deputy Secretary General, NATO
Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council

Mr. Michael Murphy
Director, Office of Security and Political-Military Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs
US Department of State

Dr. Fabrizio Luciolli
President, Atlantic Treaty Association
President, Italian Atlantic Committee

Ms. Laura Rosenberger
Director and Senior Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy
German Marshall Fund

Ms. Tara Copp
Pentagon Bureau Chief
Military Times

Congressional Keynote:
The Hon. Michael Turner (OH-10)
Head, US Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
US House of Representatives

The Hon. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-7)
Member, Armed Services Committee
US House of Representatives

Closing Remarks:
Mr. Barry Pavel
Senior Vice President, Arnold Kanter Chair, and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
Atlantic Council

Please join the Atlantic Council and the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania for a public conference on “Raising the Curtain on the 2018 NATO Brussels Summit.” The event will take place on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 from 2:00-5:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters.
One month ahead of the July meeting, this event will serve as a primer for the Summit, highlighting many of the top issues on the Alliance’s agenda. The discussions will focus on priorities for strengthening collective defense and deterrence in Northern Europe and beyond, including US proposals to improve capabilities, readiness, and decision-making. The conference will also explore the Alliance’s broader agenda on the road to Brussels, including the way forward for NATO’s southern flank and what the Alliance must do to address terrorism, hybrid threats, and capacity-building in the region.
Convening senior officials, military leaders, top experts, business executives, and media from across the Euro-Atlantic policy community, the conference will provide a unique platform to discuss critical issues for the NATO alliance at a time when the threats have never been more pressing.
Register now by clicking on the RSVP button above. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a fascinating discussion.

On Twitter? Follow @ACScowcroft and use #NATOSummit to join the conversation.
This invitation is transferable and open to the public.

The event is open to the press and on the record.

DATE: June 13, 2018

TIME: 2:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators, Washington, DC 
If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Alexatrini Tsiknia at atsiknia@atlanticcouncil.org.


Mr. Damon Wilson is executive vice president of the Atlantic Council. Previously, he served as special assistant to the President and senior director for European Affairs at the National Security Council.  During this time, Mr. Wilson managed interagency policy on NATO, the European Union, Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Eurasian energy security and Turkey, and planned numerous Presidential visits to Europe, including US-European Union and NATO Summits. His other government positions have included chief of staff and executive secretary at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; director for central, eastern and northern European affairs at the National Security Council; and various positions at the Department of State dealing with European security and China. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Wilson served as deputy director of the Private Office of NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, where he assisted 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. Following his undergraduate studies at Duke University and the University of Grenoble, France, Mr. Wilson completed his graduate studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, and conducted independent research on democracy in Estonia. For his efforts to advance transatlantic relations, Mr. Wilson has received state awards from the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, and Poland.

H.E. Raimundas Karoblis is the minister of national defense for Lithuania. Prior to his current position, Minister Karoblis served as the vice minister of foreign affairs of the Republic Lithuania from 2015 to 2016 and as permanent representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the European Union from 2010 to 2015. He began his career in 1992 as a legal consultant with the Lithuanian Free Market Institute before transitioning to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he remained in various capacities, including as director of the Economic Department, from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 to 2003, he served as minister counsellor for the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the UN Office in Geneva. During part of that time, from 2001 to 2003, he also served as permanent representative of Lithuania to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Afterwards, he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007, where he served as director of the Economic Department and the Foreign Trade Policy Department. He has received state decorations for his service, including the Knight’s Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania in 2003 and the Commander’s Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania in 2014.

Mr. Thomas Goffus is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO Policy at the US Department of Defense. In this role, he is responsible for the routine defense relationship between the US, European Union, NATO and the nations of Europe. A retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, Mr. Goffus served from 1985 until 2009. During his tenure with the Air Force, Mr. Goffus was stationed in Greece at the NATO Combined Air Operations Center as the chief of defensive fighter operations, and graduated from the NATO Senior Officer’s Course at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. In 2009, Mr. Goffus became the senior military advisor to the assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs for the Department of State. In this position, Mr. Goffus provided insight into NATO’s combat operations in Libya, and he also helped review the size options for US force construction in Europe. Following his tenure with the State Department, Mr. Goffus became the director of Strategic and Eastern European Affairs with the National Security Council in 2012. While serving in this role, Mr. Goffus helped prepare and execute the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, where he supported efforts to enable the declaration of interim capability of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. At the Summit, he spearheaded US intervention on defense capabilities development, and assisted with designing and implementing a sustainable concept for Baltic Air Policing. Mr. Goffus holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy as well as master’s degrees from the University of Washington and the United States Naval War College.

Mr. Magnus Nordenman is a director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He leads and manages the Scowcroft Center's projects and programming related to transatlantic security, the future of NATO, Nordic-Baltic defense, and maritime issues. Magnus' other duties include leading major business development efforts for the Scowcroft Center, expanding and maintaining relationships with the US government, ministries of defense and foreign affairs of US friends and allies, corporate actors, and the broader Washington policy community. Before coming to the Council, Magnus worked as a defense analyst with a consulting company in Washington, where he focused on the US defense budget, US foreign basing, the unmanned vehicles market, and current US military operations. He has also worked as a training adviser at the Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Canada, where he built scenarios to be used in command post exercises by, among others, the Canadian forces, the United States Marine Corps, and the United Nations. He also worked as a strategic planning consultant for major European defense industry companies. Magnus was educated at the Virginia Military Institute, and earned his MA in national security studies from the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. He has also studied strategy and military history at the German Armed Forces University in Munich. 

Dr. Richard Hooker is the special assistant to the president and senior director for Europe and Russia on the US National Security Council (NSC). He previously served as deputy commandant and dean of the NATO Defense College in Rome.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Council. He is also a fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and the National Defense University (NDU) director for research and strategic support, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), as of September 2013. A former White House fellow, Dr. Hooker previously taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point and held the Army Chair at the National War College in Washington, DC. He also served with the Office of National Service, The White House under President George H.W. Bush, with the Arms Control and Defense Directorate, National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, and with the NSC Office for Iraq and Afghanistan in the administration of George W. Bush. While at the NSC, he was a contributing author to The National Security Strategy of the United States. His areas of expertise include Defense Policy and Strategy, the Middle East, NATO/Europe and Civil-Military Relations. Dr. Hooker graduated with a B.S. from the US Military Academy in 1981 and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in International Relations from the University of Virginia. He is a distinguished graduate of the US National War College, where he earned an M.S. in National Security Studies and also served as a post-doctoral research fellow. Prior to his retirement from active duty, Dr. Hooker served for thirty years in the United States Army as a parachute infantry officer in the United States and Europe. While on active duty he participated in military operations in Grenada, Somalia, Rwanda, the Sinai, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, including command of a parachute brigade in Baghdad from January 2005 to January 2006. His military service also included tours in the offices of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAF (Ret.) is the former commander of US Air Forces in Europe, US Air Forces Africa, and NATO Allied Air Command. He was also director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany. His responsibilities included managing Air Force activities across 104 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as the Arctic, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Gen. Gorenc became a command pilot, flying over 4,500 hours. Among other certifications, he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the US Air Force Academy, an M.S. in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle, and an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College. The general has commanded the Air Force District Washington and a component Numbered Air Force, in addition to a fighter squadron, an operations group, and two wings. After fulfilling a variety of roles at Air Combat Command, Air and Joint Staff, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Gen. Gorenc became the assistant vice chief of staff and director of air staff, Headquarters, US Air Force in Washington DC, before assuming his current position. Gen. Gorenc has also received numerous major awards and decorations.

Mr. Jonatan Vseviov is the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defense of Estonia (MOD) since January 1, 2016. He is responsible for the policy, resource and investment planning of the Estonian MOD and Defense Forces, coordinating the activities of Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, Estonian Defense Resources Board and Estonian Defense League. As the permanent secretary he leads the process for the fulfilment of national defense strategic goals as well as organizational development. Until his appointment as permanent secretary, Mr. Vseviov served as the undersecretary for defense planning (since August 2014), as well as the acting undersecretary for defense policy (since September 2015; he also held the same position from 2011 to 2012). From August 2013 until assuming the position of undersecretary, Mr. Vseviov represented the Ministry of Defense at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, DC as the defense counsellor. Prior to joining the Ministry of Defense, he served at the Embassy as a diplomatic officer for political affairs from 2005 to 2008. Mr. Vseviov has been awarded the Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defense, the Estonian Defense Forces distinguished service decoration (twice), and the 1st Class Cross of Merit of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service. Jonatan Vseviov is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Tartu and has earned a master’s degree, with honors, in security studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Jill Aitoro is editor of Defense News. She is also executive editor of Sightline Media’s Business-to-Government Group, guiding and developing the multimedia editorial strategy for Defense News, Federal Times, C4ISRNET, and FifthDomain, Sightline’s central digital hub for news, information and collaboration about federal and defense cybersecurity and cyberwarfare. Jill is also editor of Defense News, directly managing the global and prestigious Defense News brand, working with a dedicated team of editors, reporters and videographers. Jill brings over fifteen years’ experience of editing and reporting on defense programs, policy and procurement, federal government IT and business issues facing the defense and federal sector. She has interviewed top defense officials from around the globe, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, led conferences and panels at prestigious events, such as the Reagan National Defense Forum. Prior to joining Sightline Media, Jill worked for Washington Business Journal as editor of their federal practice, leading all defense and federal contracting and policy coverage. Prior to that she was a senior reporter for Government Executive, covering cybersecurity, defense IT and DHS among other roles. Jill anchors the weekly Defense News television program appearing on the American Forces Network, which features interviews with senior defense leaders and expert reporting on industry, politics and defense acquisition. In addition, Jill has appeared regularly on Washington DC network TV stations and in national broadcast news media outlets. Jill has received multiple awards for her government reporting and multimedia editorial projects, including coverage of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program and sequestration and an exposé on the selling of gray market technology from China to the Defense Department. Jill graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and earned her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Amb. Alexander Vershbow is a distinguished fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Ambassador Vershbow was the deputy secretary general of NATO from February 2012 to October 2016. Prior to his post at NATO, Ambassador Vershbow served for three years as the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. In that position, he was responsible for coordinating US security and defense policies relating to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, and Africa. From 1977 to 2008, Vershbow was a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He served as US ambassador to NATO (1998 to 2001); to the Russian Federation (2001 to 2005); and to the Republic of Korea (2005 to 2008). He held numerous senior positions in Washington, including special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council (1994 to 1997) and State Department director for Soviet Union affairs (1988 to 1991). During his career, he was centrally involved in strengthening US defense relations with allies in Europe and Asia and in transforming NATO and other European security organizations to meet post-Cold War challenges. He also was involved in efforts to support democracy and human rights in the former Soviet Union.

Mr. Michael Murphy is the current director of the Office of Security and Political-Military Affairs at the Bureau of European Affairs at the US Department of State. In this role, he manages the twenty-five-person office responsible for developing and implementing European security and political-military policy, including managing U.S. relations with NATO and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as overseeing conventional arms control regimes in Europe. He also serves as the assistant secretary of state’s senior advisor on all matters related to NATO, OSCE and conventional arms control, and as the primary interlocutor on European security for interagency principals on both NATO and OSCE. Mr. Murphy also serves as the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs key spokesperson on European security issues and policy. He interacts with senior-level officials from NATO, OSCE and their member states in order to influence their decisions on issues of importance to the United States. Mr. Murphy began his career as a Foreign Service Officer in 1991, and has been with the Department of State ever since, including stints as the deputy chief of mission and the charge d’affaires, ad interim at the US Embassy in Botswana from 2012 to 2015 and 2014 to 2015, respectively. From 1996 to 1998, he worked as a NATO desk officer in the Bureau of European Affairs at the State Department. He has also served as the associate dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute, a position he held from 2015 to 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Hamilton College in 1987.

Dr. Fabrizio Luciolli has been, since 2014, president of the Atlantic Treaty Association and president of the Italian Atlantic Committee. Dr. Luciolli is also professor of International Security Organizations, Military Policy, and National Security Policy at the Center for High Defense Studies of the Italian Ministry of Defense (2000 to 2015). He is a regular lecturer in various national and international, military, and academic institutions and a coordinator of training courses for military officers and diplomats in the Western Balkans and Middle East. He is also director and promoter of NATO and EU cooperation projects in Central and Southeastern Europe and in the Mediterranean countries. Dr. Luciolli is a consultant on foreign affairs and security matters to various Governments and Members of Parliament as well as advisor for International and Institutional Relations of private groups. He is the author of several papers and articles published in national and foreign journals.

Ms. Laura Rosenberger is director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before she joined GMF, she was foreign policy advisor for Hillary for America, where she coordinated development of the campaign’s national security policies, messaging, and strategy. Prior to that, she served in a range of positions at the State Department and the White House’s National Security Council (NSC). As chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and earlier as then-Deputy National Security Advisor Blinken’s senior advisor, she counseled on the full range of national security policy. In her role at the NSC, she also managed the interagency Deputies Committee, the US government’s senior-level interagency decision-making forum on our country’s most pressing national security issues. Laura also has extensive background in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Northeast Asia. She served as NSC director for China and Korea, managing and coordinating US policy on China and the Korean Peninsula, and in a variety of positions focused on the Asia-Pacific region at the Department of State, including managing US–China relations and addressing North Korea’s nuclear programs. She also served as special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns, advising him on Asia-Pacific affairs and on nonproliferation and arms control issues. Laura first joined the State Department as a presidential management fellow. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution from American University’s School of International Service, and received her bachelors’ degrees with honors from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College in sociology, psychology, and women’s studies. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is an avid Steelers fan.

Ms. Tara Copp is the Pentagon bureau chief for the Military Times Newspapers at Sightline Media Group. In this position, she travels with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford to report on the Trump administration's national security policy. She also regularly requests from the Pentagon, under the Freedom of Information Act, aviation safety records to examine readiness issues across rotary and fixed aircraft for all the services. Prior to her current position, she worked as the Pentagon correspondent at Stars and Stripes and the defense correspondent at the Washington Examiner from 2015 to 2017. Before that, she served as the senior defense analyst at the US Government Accountability Office, from 2007 to 2015. During that stretch, from 2013 to 2014, she assisted the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to provide oversight of critical defense issues for the 113th Congress. She is the author of the award-winning military nonfiction book The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story. She earned her master’s degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University in 2007 and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997.

The Hon. Michael Turner (OH-10) was first elected to Congress in 2002. In Congress, Turner serves as a subcommittee chairman on the House Armed Services Committee and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In the 109th Congress, Congressman Turner served as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census. During his tenure, he helped save the Community Development Block Grant Program. Congressman Turner previously served as the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, where he had jurisdiction over the nation's nuclear arsenal, the Department of Defense's intelligence programs, and over missile defense systems. Turner currently serves as the chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee which oversees ammunition programs, Army and Air Force acquisition programs, all Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs, National Guard and Army and Air Force National Guard and Reserve. Turner's chairmanship ensures that America's soldiers and airmen are fully equipped to carry out their mission.  In January 2011, Turner was appointed chairman of the US Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the inter-parliamentary organization of legislators from the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. In December 2014, Turner was elected president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In January 2015, the speaker of the house appointed Congressman Turner to the House Intelligence Committee. He is one of only two members of Congress to serve on both the House Intelligence Committee and as a subcommittee chairman on the House Armed Services Committee. He received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University; an MBA from the University of Dayton; and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western University School of Law.

The Hon. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-7) [gah-YAY-go] represents the 7th District of Arizona, including parts of Phoenix and Glendale. Representative Gallego is the son of Hispanic immigrants, a veteran, and a community leader. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in International Relations. Congressman Gallego enlisted in the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2005 as an infantryman, serving in Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. His Company saw some of the worst fighting of the Iraq War, in eight months losing twenty-two Marines and a Navy Corpsman killed in action. Following his experience in Iraq, Congressman Gallego is committed to ensuring that servicemen and –women are never sent into harm’s way without a plan for winning the fight, securing the peace, and providing post-conflict medical, psychological, and familial care. Representative Gallego has largely focused on defense policy in Washington and as a member of the Armed Services Committee. He has led the response to Russia’s attack on NATO, the US elections of 2016, and western democracy in general, and is pushing for common-sense solutions to foreign policy problems from Iran to North Korea to the South China Sea to NATO’s frontier. He believes in retaining the United States’ qualitative military edge and in sending troops into harm’s way only when absolutely necessary. Congressman Gallego also strongly believes in improving the health and welfare of veterans by first working to prevent unnecessary wars. When troops are sent into battle, he believes in providing them with the equipment and training to win the fight. And, after combat, he believes in providing veterans and their families the support to treat continuing and chronic health issues, the means to continue their education, and the dignity to continue to serve their country in a private capacity. Representative Gallego was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, serving until 2014. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2014 and is currently in his fourth year of service. Congressman Gallego serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, where he is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs. He is a senior whip for the Democratic Caucus, vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, and second vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Mr. Barry Pavel is senior vice president and director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, focusing on emerging security challenges, defense strategies and capabilities, and key European and global defense issues. Mr. Pavel was a career member of the Senior Executive Service in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for almost eighteen years. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the special assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy and strategy on the National Security Council staff, serving both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. In this capacity, Mr. Pavel led the development of five of the first eight Obama Administration Presidential Study Directives. He was the initiator and architect of the NSC’s first-ever National Security Priorities Review and a key contributor to the president’s 2010 National Security Strategy; led the NSC’s oversight of the four Defense Department strategic reviews, including the president’s September 2009 decision on European missile defense and all presidential decisions on nuclear policy and posture; co-led the development of the president’s June 2010 National Space Policy; and contributed to the president’s policies on Europe and NATO, Korea, cyberspace, Defense Department operational plans and activities, military family policy, and other matters. Mr. Pavel holds an MA in security studies and an MPA in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a BA in applied mathematics and economics from Brown University.