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2023-2024 SPEAKERS

BoiseCFR May Meeting

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Dr. Julie Callahan, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)

"Food Security, Sustainability, and the Evolution of Agricultural Trade Policy"


Dr. Julie Callahan serves as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy. In this role, she oversees work to promote the interests of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and food manufacturers, including oversight of agricultural trade policy development, work to reduce tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports, negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs), and work in the WTO and multilateral organizations on agricultural trade-related issues for USTR.

Dr. Callahan previously served as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative and Senior Director in the USTR Agriculture Office, focusing on strategic engagement in UN organizations, EU, UK, Turkey, and Eastern European Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues and agriculture-related Technical Barriers to Trade.

Prior to joining USTR, Dr. Callahan held senior leadership positions in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, executing strategic and operational planning, aligning FDA analytical and policy approaches to preempt or resolve regulatory issues that arise in international trade, and promoting U.S. public health objectives in US trade positions, including in WTO SPS and TBT Committees, trade negotiations, and FTA implementation. She has also served in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, and the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Callahan earned her doctoral degree in Marine Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Science in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science from MIT.


BoiseCFR April Meeting

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Suzanne Loftus, Ph.D.

"A War of Attrition in Ukraine and the Future of European Security"


Dr. Suzanne Loftus is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor for the Walsh School of Foreign Affairs at Georgetown University. She was Professor of Strategic Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. 

She received her Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Miami and specializes in Russian foreign and domestic policy, Russian nationalism and national identify, post-Soviet studies, and great power competition. She is the author of various books, journal articles, book chapters, reports, and op-eds. Her latest book, Russia, China and the West in the Post-Cold War Era: The Limits of Liberal Universalism, analyzes great power relations over the past three decades and assesses the factors that have led to today's confrontational geopolitical environment using constructivist identify theory and structural realism as frameworks. Based on her analysis, her major project for the Wilson Center focuses on finding adequate policy solutions to the challenges outlined in her book.


BoiseCFR March Meeting

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Dr. Gifford Wong

"Polar Opposites, Policy Neighbors: America's History in the Arctic and Antarctica"

Dr. Gifford Wong is a Research Staff Member (RSM) at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) in Washington, D.C. STPI is a federally funded research and development center established by Congress to inform the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His portfolio includes climate change, energy and the environment, and Polar research and development. He teaches in the Dornsife Washington DC Program with the University of Southern California, serves on advisory committees with the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) and the Polar Science Early Career Community Office (PSECCO), and is part of the Science and Society Section leadership team within the American Geophysical Union.

Before joining STPI, Wong served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State through a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, where his portfolio included Polar issues, maritime security, energy, and public health. He also served as climate and environment adviser to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse while on the AGI Congressional Science Fellowship.

He earned a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, an Honours in Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania at Hobart, and a B.A. in Asian American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He also teaches science communication and performs long-form improv with the Washington Improv Theatre.


BoiseCFR February Meeting

Friday, February 23, 2024

Ms. Kristin Kane

"U.S. Foreign Policy and Messaging to the World"


Kristin M. Kane is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) of the State Department’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs, GPA, as of May 2023. She is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor. Kristin most recently served as Charg√© d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Lisbon from 2019-2022 and then as Director of Policy at the Office of the Inspector General.   

From 2016-2019, Kristin was the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy Brasilia, where she oversaw the political affairs work of one of the largest U.S. Missions in the world, during the transitions between three Brazilian presidents. Before Brasilia, Kristin directed an African Affairs office located in Paris, Africa Regional Services. As Public Affairs Officer in Dakar, Senegal (also covering Guinea-Bissau); Maputo, Mozambique; and in Lagos, Nigeria, Kristin led large teams working on U.S. assistance programs -- from counter-terrorism funding (TSCTP), to PEPFAR (AIDS relief) to the Millennium Corporate Challenge (MCC).    

In Washington, D.C., Kristin worked on policy, press, and Congressional issues in the Bureau of International Organizations. Early in her Foreign Service career, Kristin served in the Political-Economic and Consular sections at Embassy Lisbon.  

Kristin is from Los Angeles and Monterey, California. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA), with distinction, from UC Berkeley and a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS), cum laude, from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School. Kristin currently speaks Portuguese and French. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Fouta Djallon, Guinea) and has traveled through much of sub-Saharan Africa. She is married to Hamed Lamine Kane, an IT specialist also in the Foreign Service, and they have two young adult daughters, both in college.


BoiseCFR January Meeting

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Dr. Taylor Winkleman

"Global Health Security and Biorisk"

Dr. Taylor Winkleman is an adjunct assistant professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine; a consultant for the international community, focusing on biorisk mitigation; and a globally-recognized biorisk subject matter expert. She is a clinically-trained veterinarian and policy analyst with over a decade of experience in global health security, biorisk, science policy, and international policy.

She is a founding member and the immediate past coordinator of the Next Generation Global Health Security Network. In 2021, Dr. Winkleman completed a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship with the World Health Organization. In 2016-17, she completed an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Fellowship in the Office of U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey, focusing on global health, foreign relations, military and veterans affairs, human rights, wildlife trafficking, and space policy. Prior to her fellowship year, she completed research with Gryphon Scientific, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the mEpiLab at Massey University in New Zealand.

Dr. Winkleman is a combat veteran, and spent six years in the U.S. Army as a Cryptologic Voice Intercept Operator. She holds a B.S. in English and Biology from Augusta State University, MPH from the University of Georgia, and DVM from the University of Georgia.


BoiseCFR November Meeting

Monday, November 13, 2023

Dr. Sarah Yerkes

"Tunisia: From Democratic Bright Spot to Despair"

Dr. Sarah Yerkes is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on Tunisia’s political, economic, and security developments as well as state-society relations in the Middle East and North Africa. She has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow and has taught in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.

Yerkes is a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, where she focused on North Africa. Previously, she was a foreign affairs officer in the State’s Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian affairs. Yerkes also served as a geopolitical research analyst for the U.S. military’s Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) at the Pentagon, advising the Joint Staff leadership on foreign policy and national security issues.

She holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, M.A. from Harvard University, and B.A. from Emory University.


BoiseCFR October Meeting

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

James Ketterer

“Jazz Diplomacy: America's Conversation with the World, and Itself”

James Ketterer is Senior Fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College in New York state. At Bard, he previously served as Dean of International Studies and Director of the Bard Globalization and International Studies program in New York City. Ketterer also served as Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University in Cairo and as Egypt Country Director for AMIDEAST, a large educational NGO represented across the Middle East and North Africa. He was at the State University of New York for several years, serving as Vice Chancellor for Policy and Planning, Deputy Provost, and Director of the Center for International Development, where he implemented large capacity building projects supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). These projects worked with parliaments and other institutions in many countries across Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe. He has also worked in government, including at the National Security Council, the New York Senate, and the New York Commission on Higher Education. He studied at Fordham University (BA, Political Science/Middle East Studies) and New York University (MA, Near and Middle Eastern Studies).

Ketterer just returned from four years in Egypt, where he worked closely with U.S. Embassy Cairo, including on cultural diplomacy projects and a high profile jazz tour.

His talk will combine fascinating aspects of diplomatic practice, U.S. history, and cultural elements, including U.S. Department of State archives and personal experiences. Photos and videos will supplement the talk.


BoiseCFR September Meeting

Monday, September 18, 2023

Anish Goel, Ph.D.

“India-Pakistan: A Fraught Regional Relationship”

Dr. Anish Goel works as a senior advisor and analyst in Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, an internal think tank of the Department of Defense. In this role, Anish focuses on the evaluation of policies and strategies for global posture, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Building on his long experience in national security and foreign affairs, he conducts original research and analysis, provides expert guidance and recommendations to Defense leadership, and evaluates programs and initiatives. Anish is concurrently a senior fellow at New America, where he focuses on foreign policy issues in South and Southeast Asia.

Previously, Anish served for three years as a Professional Staff Member with the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services. In this role, his responsibilities included oversight of the Defense science and technology enterprise, and Pentagon policy and strategy in Asia-Pacific. From 2008 to 2011, he was in the White House’s National Security Council as Director and Senior Director for South Asia, a position that made him the senior-most advisor on South Asia to the President of the United States. Prior to the White House, Anish served in the State Department as senior science and technology officer for South Asia. He led departmental efforts on the U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation initiative, negotiating agreements with 45 governments and securing Congressional approval.

Anish joined the government through a science and technology policy fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has appeared as an expert panelist on a variety of topics, and has written for Foreign Affairs, CNN, Foreign Policy, Science and Diplomacy, the New York Times, and NBC News.

Anish earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He currently resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

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