A central mandate of any national government is national security, but the responsibility involves much more than traditional military defense capabilities. Today, while balancing military and diplomacy priorities, national governments assess and combat threats in cyberspace and outer space, water supplies and power grids, food production and energy chains. In this six-part virtual series, the International Relations Council will take a deep dive into the national security arena, offering historical context and global perspective for core dimensions of national security and exploring the risks, priorities, and tactics on the radar of U.S. security policy.

All programs will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Central time. Please click on the program of interest below for more information and a link to register.

Supporting Series Sponsors
Buttonwood Financial Group, LLC
Cyprienne Simchowitz & Jerry White
Nicole Gresham Perry

Dr. Ken Burton is currently the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) Coordinator and APHIS lead for USDA NBAF in Manhattan, KS. Dr. Burton received his Bachelor of Science in biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Kansas State University. He owned and operated the Lyons Veterinary Clinic in Lyons, Kansas for 28 years, providing rural Rice County residents with companion animal and food animal production veterinary medicine and surgery. Read more and register.

Dr. Kyleanne Hunter, PhD, is a Marine Corps combat veteran with multiple combat deployments as an AH-1W “Super Cobra” attack pilot. She finished her active duty time in the Marine Corps’ Legislative Liaison Office in the House of Representatives. She is as Assistant Professor of Military and Strategic Studies at the United States Air Force Academy and the co-director of the Athena Leadership Project. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a Masters of Arts and a Doctorate from University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Read more and register.

Mona Yacoubian’s work centers on conflict analysis and prevention in the Middle East, with a specific focus on Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. In 2019, she served as executive director of the Congressionally-appointed Syria Study Group, which USIP was mandated to facilitate. Additional research interests include violent extremism, fragility and resilience. Yacoubian joined the U.S. Institute of Peace after serving as deputy assistant administrator in the Middle East Bureau at USAID from 2014 to 2017, where she had responsibility for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Prior to joining USAID, Yacoubian was a senior advisor at the Stimson Center focusing on the Arab uprisings with an emphasis on Syria. Read more and register.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Europe, focusing on Russia, authoritarianism and threats to democracy, and the state of the Transatlantic alliance. Prior to joining CNAS, Andrea served for eight years as a senior intelligence officer. From 2015 to 2018, she was Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Read more and register.

Bob Kolasky was selected to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) National Risk Management Center (NRMC) in 2018, at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As one of CISA’s Assistant Directors, he oversees the Center’s efforts to facilitate a strategic, cross-sector risk management approach to cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure. Read more and register.

Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan (2015 – 2018), Robert Cekuta has long and extensive experience as a top level U.S. diplomat. Deeply engaged in advancing high-profile international energy projects, trade policy initiatives and agreements, commercial sales, and other complex international security matters, Amb. Cekuta’s positions in the State Department included Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities. Read more and register.