SENATOR BEN CARDIN
SENATOR BEN CARDIN has been called a "legislator's legislator" by the Washington Post. In more than 20 years in the Congress, Ben Cardin has become a national leader on health care, retirement security, homeland security, the environment and the economy.
First elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, he currently serves on the Foreign Relations, Finance, Budget, Environment and Public Works and Small Business & Entrepreneurship committees. In the 112th Congress, he also serves as co-chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission).
During the 111th Congress, Senator Cardin was chairman of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Judiciary. In the 112th Congress, he reintroduced the Espionage Statutes Modernization Act, and the Classified Information Procedures Reform and Improvement Act, bills that both contain important reforms that would update critical national security laws and enable the government to properly prosecute present-day terrorism, espionage and narcotics-related cases. While a member of the House of Representatives, he served on the Select Committee on Homeland Security from 2003-2004.
From 1987-2006, he represented Maryland's 3rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives. From 1967-1986, Senator Cardin was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, serving as Speaker from 1979-1986.
AHMED HAFEZ is the First Secretary of the Political Section of the Embassy of Egypt in Washington, D.C. Since his arrival in November 2008, he has been covering foreign policy issues, among which are several key Middle East and Asian issues. Additionally, he covers congressional affairs, focusing on the embassy’s relations with the House of Representatives.
Prior to his arrival to Washington almost three years ago, Hafez was a Cabinet Advisor to the Egyptian Foreign Minister for Israeli/Palestinian affairs and the Peace Process--a position he assumed in 2006 upon returning from a four-year posting in the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv where he was stationed during the tumultuous times of the second Palestinian Intifada. He also previously worked in the international economic relations division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Before joining the diplomatic corps, Hafez--holder of a B.A. dual field of studies in international relations and business administration from Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland--worked in marketing and brand management at Procter & Gamble focusing on new product initiatives. .
RANDA FAHMY HUDOME
RANDA FAHMY HUDOME is an internationally recognized expert in the field of U.S.-Middle East relations and energy policy. She serves as President and CEO of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), a strategic consulting firm that provides advisory services to international and domestic clients. Ms. Fahmy Hudome's professional career includes executive branch service as the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Bush Administration; legislative branch service as Counselor to U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI); private sector experience practicing as an attorney for Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, and serving as the Congressional Liaison for the National Association of Arab Americans. Ms. Fahmy Hudome’s opinions on international diplomacy have been published in the Wall Street Journal, and she appears frequently as a commentator on energy and national security issues on the Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN International, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, and BBC Arabic. Ms. Fahmy Hudome has served on many boards including the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors of SWAPSOL, a privately held company that has discovered a breakthrough in hydrocarbon refining and CO2 mitigation. Her not-for-profit board service includes the Professional Advisory Board of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, and ANERA: American Near East Refugee Aid. Ms. Fahmy Hudome received her juris doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she held the post of Administrative Editor of The Georgetown Journal of International Law. Fahmy Hudome maintains bar memberships in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of International Trade. Her B.A. in political science and international relations was awarded summa cum laude by Wilkes University.
DR. CARTER MALKASIAN
directs the stability and development program at CNA, a federally funded research center. From August 2009 to July 2011 he was a political officer for the Department of State in Afghanistan, working on a district support team (DST) in Garmser district, Helmand province, Afghanistan. From June 2010 to July 2011, he was the team leader.
Prior to working for the Department of State, he directed the Stability and Development Program at CNA from October 2006 to July 2009. In 2007 and 2008, he led a team that advised Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in eastern Afghanistan. Previously assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) as an advisor on counterinsurgency, he deployed for the war in Iraq from February to May 2003, February 2004 to February 2005, and February 2006 to August 2006. Most of that time was spent in Al Anbar province. Dr. Malkasian's most recent publication is a co-edited book (with Daniel Marston of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst), Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare. His other books include: A History of Modern Wars of Attrition (2002) and The Korean War, 1950-1953 (2001). His journal publications include: "Did the Coalition Need More Forces in Iraq? Evidence from Al Anbar" in Joint Force Quarterly "A Thin Blue Line in the Sand" in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas; "Signaling Resolve, Democratization, and the First Battle of Fallujah" in the Journal of Strategic Studies; "The Role of Perceptions and Political Reform in Counterinsurgency" in Small Wars & Insurgencies; and "Toward a Better Understanding of Attrition" in the Journal of Military History. Dr. Malkasian completed his doctorate in the history of war at Oxford University.
COLMAN MCCARTHY is the Founder and Director of the Center for Teaching Peace. He has written articles for the Washington Post for over 25 years.
McCarthy's books include, I'd Rather Teach Peace, All of One Peace: Essays on Nonviolence, and Involvements: One Journalist's Place in the World.
He is on the adjunct faculty at American University, Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Maryland, and teaches a daily class at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
JUAN MÉNDEZ served as Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide between 2004 and 2007. During this time, Méndez personally issued warnings to deter Ivory Coast's use of government-sponsored media which threatened a Rwanda-style genocide. He also initiated U.N. studies of free speech and international media.
He began his legal career in his native Argentina, defending human rights, eventually being arrested and tortured during the Argentine dictatorship. Upon his release, Méndez moved to the U.S., joining the faculty at Georgetown University law school and the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies. Méndez is an advocate for more proactive use of international criminal courts. He has held leadership roles with Human Rights Watch, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and many other organizations, receiving several awards for his service.
COL.(RETIRED) ELSPETH CAMERON RITCHIE, MD, MPH,
adult and forensic psychiatrist; Chief Clinical Officer -Washington, D.C., Department of Mental Health; former medical director of the Army Medical Department's Office of Strategic Communications
An internationally recognized expert, Dr. Ritchie brings a public health approach to management of disaster- and combat-related mental health issues. She will discuss public health lessons from mass violence and disasters since 9/11. Dr. Richie edited the book Interventions Following Mass Violence and Disasters: Strategies for Mental Health Practice
ERMIN SINANOVIC is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. His research interests include transnational Islamic revival, Southeast Asian politics, Islamic movements, Middle East politics, and Islam and politics in general. At the Naval Academy, Prof. Sinanovic teaches courses on Southeast Asian politics, Middle East politics, and Islam and politics. His work has been published in refereed journals and edited volumes. Prof. Sinanovic is a faculty adviser for the Muslim Midshipmen Club at the Naval Academy. He was born in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to coming to the US in 2000, he has also lived in Croatia and Malaysia. He currently resides in Edgewater, MD.
COLONEL J. MATT VENHAUS
COLONEL J. MATT VENHAUS is currently Director of Military Information Support Operations Policy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Col. Venhaus has spent most of his 24 years in the Army in the field of foreign media influence operations. A 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Col. Venhaus has served in a variety of command and staff positions. He was the Chief of Radio and Television production and dissemination for NATO Stabilization Forces in Bosnia. Later, he was the Operations Officer for the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force during Operation ALLIED FORCE (the Kosovo Air Campaign). He served as the Information Operations Chief of Targeting and Assessment in Afghanistan during the early stages of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. After returning from Afghanistan, he served as a Senior Human Factors Analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency. During his most recent operational deployment, he was the Commander of the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force responsible for the conduct of PSYOP throughout the US Central Command's Area of Responsibility with forces operating in over 11 countries.
His recently published special report entitled "Why Youth Join Al Qaida," has been widely circulated both inside and outside of the Department of Defense. It examines over 2,000 case studies of individuals who became foreign fighters to discern their base motivations and seeks to establish a usable strategy to divert future generations from the path to extremism.
In addition to his Bachelor's Degree, he has been awarded a Master's Degree in International Relations from Troy University, and Masters of Professional Studies in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University.
Col. Venhaus is a graduate of the Army, Joint, NATO, and Senior Psychological Operations Courses, the Information Operations Qualification Course, and he has completed his professional military education up to and including the Army War College.
RACHEL WOHL is a mediator, facilitator and attorney, and has helped design, strengthen and expand a variety of conflict resolution programs. She serves on the board of directors of the international organization Mediators Beyond Borders; she also serves at MBB as Board Liaison for the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
Rachel also works as the founding Executive Director of the Maryland Judiciary's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO). She has been chosen by the International Association for Conflict Resolution to receive the Mary Parker Follett Award for Innovation in the Field of Conflict Resolution, as well as the Arthur W. Machen Award for outstanding legal service to the underprivileged, and the Benjamin L. Cardin Pro Bono Service Award.
Rachel has taught ADR seminars in the U.S. and Scotland, including regular courses at the Pepperdine University School of Law Straus Dispute Resolution Center and the University of Baltimore School of Law. Rachel co-chaired the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality, which produced a report that is available on the Section's website.