Our program is subject to change. Speakers have confirmed their intent to participate; however, scheduling conflicts may arise.
Charles M. Blow an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times where his column appears on Thursdays and Mondays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such a social justices, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and has served as a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale where he taught a seminar on media and politics and the 2016 election.
Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.”
Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. Mr. Blow went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.
Mr. Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications, and he holds an honorary doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He lives in Brooklyn and has three children.
Michèle Flournoy is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).
She served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. She led the development of DoD’s 2012 Strategic Guidance and represented the Department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media and before Congress.
Prior to confirmation, Ms. Flournoy co-led President Obama’s transition team at DoD.
In January 2007, Ms. Flournoy co-founded CNAS, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS’ President until 2009.
Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).
In the mid-1990s, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. She has received several awards from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Ms. Flournoy is a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Defense Policy Board, the DCIA’s External Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She serves on the boards of The Mitre Corporation, CSRA, Amida Technology Solutions, The Mission Continues, and CARE, and is a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.
Ms. Flournoy earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard University and a master’s degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.
Gideon Rose has been Editor of Foreign Affairs since 2010, after serving as Managing Editor of the magazine from 2000–2010. Prior to that he was Deputy Director of Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and from 1994–1995 he served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He received a B.A. in Classics from Yale and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, and has taught American foreign policy at Princeton and Columbia. He is the author of How Wars End (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and other works.
Wendy R. Sherman is Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, where she brings decades of experience in business, government, international affairs, and politics to help ASG clients gain understanding of geopolitical developments, navigate international markets, and constructively address policy challenges around the world. Ambassador Sherman is also Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Ambassador Sherman rejoined ASG after her distinguished service as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this global role, she oversaw the bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South and Central Asia, the Western Hemisphere, and International Organizations. She also led the U.S. negotiating team and was a central player in reaching a successful conclusion of the Iran nuclear agreement. In recognition of her diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.
Prior to her most recent service at the State Department, Ambassador Sherman was Vice Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, having helped to found and grow the firm for a decade.
Ambassador Sherman previously served as Counselor for the State Department (1997–2001), as well as Special Advisor to President Clinton and Policy Coordinator on North Korea. In that role, she worked as a close advisor to then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on every major foreign policy and national security issue, and also managed numerous special assignments including negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation.
From 1993–996, Ambassador Sherman served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
Earlier in her career, she managed Senator Barbara Mikulski’s first successful campaign for the U.S. Senate and served as Director of EMILY’s List.
Ambassador Sherman served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America and was also on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board, a group tasked with providing the Secretary of Defense with independent, informed advice and opinion, concerning matters of defense policy. In 2008, she was appointed by Congressional Leadership to serve on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism. She is a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group. Ambassador Sherman is a frequent commentator and analyst for both international and domestic media.
She attended Smith College and received a B.A. cum laude from Boston University and a master’s degree in Social Work, Phi Kappa Phi, from the University of Maryland.