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ENGAGING WORLD LEADERS, GROUNDBREAKING INSIGHTS


The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts many special events providing students, faculty, alumni, and guests opportunities to hear a wide spectrum of viewpoints on the issues that shape our world. 'The Recap' captures important events across our three campuses.

Please visit regularly for summaries, videos, and photos of our world-class events.

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ENGAGING WORLD LEADERS, GROUNDBREAKING INSIGHTS


The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts many special events providing students, faculty, alumni, and guests opportunities to hear a wide spectrum of viewpoints on the issues that shape our world. 'The Recap' captures important events across our three campuses.

Please visit regularly for summaries, videos, and photos of our world-class events.

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Latin America and the Asian Giants


Evolving Ties with China and India

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Latin America and the Asian Giants


Evolving Ties with China and India

Robert Devlin, Professorial Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program
R. Evan Ellis, Professor of Latin American Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute in the US Army War College
Francisco González, Associate Professor of Latin American Studies
Mauricio Mesquita Moreira, Principal Economic Advisor of Integration and Trade Sector at Inter-American Development Bank
Riordan Roett, Director of the Latin American Studies Program

November 16, 2016

The Latin American Studies Program hosted a book launch event at the Washington, DC campus featuring Latin America and the Asian Giants: Evolving Ties with China. The book is co-edited by Riordan Roett and Guadalupe Paz. Highlighting the roles of China and India in the growth of Latin American countries, the book’s authors brought their individual areas of expertise to each chapter.

Evan Ellis of the US Army War College discussed the security dimensions of Chinese and Indian involvement in the region. He emphasized that while China’s relationship with Latin America is primarily about economics, trade, and investment, the military component is significant and continues to grow.

Francisco Gonzalez discussed the region’s changing energy landscape and assessed the implications of new Asian players. He highlighted three demand and supply shocks in the 2000s which are essential to understanding Chinese oil demand in Latin America.

Robert Devlin examined Latin American trade with China and India. He explained how the main strategic question is how much attention should be given to the two countries in light of other global and regional opportunities. He concluded that Latin American industrial trade policy should focus on markets where they already have a foothold in terms of diversification, upgrading and value-added commerce.

Mauricio Moreira of the Inter-American Development Bank described the best- and worst-case future scenarios for Latin American trade with China and India. As low commodity prices dampen global economic growth forecasts, Dr. Moreira encouraged Latin American states to enact sound fiscal, monetary, and social policy to improve the region’s prospects during future trade negotiations. He also advised that China and India pursue future trade by harnessing Latin American regional agreements already in place.

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US Monetary Policy, Current Concerns of a Fed Policymaker


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US Monetary Policy, Current Concerns of a Fed Policymaker


Hosted by the International Finance Student Club at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Dennis P. Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

November 16, 2016

Navigating the country through the economic recession of 2008 has been a delicate job for monetary policy makers. Dennis Lockhart of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta returned to Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he graduated in 1971, to share his experience with current students.

Beginning his job as bank president in March 2007, Lockhart walked through the highlights of US monetary policy during his tenure. The federal funds rate in 2007 was set at 5.5% comparing with 0% at the end of December 2008 as a response to financial crisis, with unemployment reaching 10% in the process.

To support economic recovery, the Fed implemented quantitative easing, a process through which the central bank essentially creates new money and buys long term securities. During this process, the Fed’s balance sheet grew from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion.

The US economy has experienced a gradual recovery since then, but is still experiencing fairly weak annual growth, despite economic data consistently suggesting that the economy is near a break-out. Lockhart suggested there are a number of factors holding back growth, such as declining participation in the labor force.

Today unemployment has fallen to 4.9% and the economy is showing signs of significant progress. However, economists are debating the causes behind weak aggregate demand and growing income inequality.

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International Dinner 2016


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International Dinner 2016


International Dinner
November 12, 2015

The school celebrated one its favorite annual traditions on November 12 — the International Dinner. To mark the occasion, different cultural clubs in DC prepare various foods representing their culture to share with the school’s community, students dress up in traditional attire, and there’s even an international talent show. At the end of the event, two awards were distributed - one for best dish, which went to the Thai Club and the other to Emmett Potts, MA ’17 for best performance.

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Thinking Historically: A Guide to Strategy and Statecraft


12th Annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture

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Thinking Historically: A Guide to Strategy and Statecraft


12th Annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture

Hosted by the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies

Francis J. Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT

November 10, 2016

Scholars of international relations have traditionally been sorted into one of two camps: those in the discipline of history and those in political science. At the 12th annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture, Francis Gavin argued for the value of historical perspective and what it brings to strategy and statecraft.

Historical sense is not just having information about the past, but the ability to combine and integrate knowledge, Gavin said. Historians investigate and produce facts, string them together, analyze and infuse them to tell stories.

Gavin shared examples to illustrate five important ways history can help us understand international relations, namely, the concepts of vertical history, horizontal history, chronological proportionality, unintended consequences, and policy insignificance. The most valuable quality gained from an immersion in history is humility, Gavin said. A scholar well versed in diplomatic history can appreciate how so many confident predictions of the future and explanations of the past turn out to be plain wrong.  

Addressing questions from the audience, Gavin commented on the US presidential election, the differences between recent presidents in their understanding of history, and how history can be a burden to scholars as well as an aid.  

Named for distinguished historian and Johns Hopkins SAIS lecturer Alvin Bernstein, the lecture series focuses on the intersection of history and national security policy.

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How To Operate A Crystal Ball


Speculative Predictions in a Complex World

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How To Operate A Crystal Ball


Speculative Predictions in a Complex World

The 2016 Max M. Fisher Lecture and Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Mark White, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence in the International Economics Program

November 9, 2016

Professor Mark White, recipient of the 2016 Max M. Fisher Prize for Excellence in Teaching, spoke about the process of making predictions. He defined a prediction as a qualitative idea with three building blocks: an event, timing, and causality.

White introduced three concepts which can be used to think about making predictions. The first is the improbability principle. This is the idea that the likelihood that at least some improbable events will happen is quite high. The second is that of planning bias: people visualize the steps to success more easily than potential interruptions or obstacles. The third and last element is what he calls the time effect. Data is historical, but predictions go into the future. If predictions are made over longer periods of time, corrections are inevitable.

At times, seemingly stable situations are in fact unstable under the surface. White used the example of  regimes that were hit by the Arab Spring, starting from Tunisia. The self-immolation of the Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi was the catalyst for the Arab Spring, but Tunisian society already exhibited many factors of instability that many analysts had missed. Lastly, White highlighted that belief systems tend to lead people to have excessive faith in the stability of any given structure. Beliefs systems will then encourage confirmation bias, which further encourages analysts to be blind to change. Change often only seems inevitable in retrospect, White said.

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Afghanistan and the Asian Future


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Afghanistan and the Asian Future


Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States
Moderated by Kent Calder, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

November 2, 2016

Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, joined Johns Hopkins SAIS faculty, students and guests for a discussion on the future of Afghanistan.

Mohib recounted the recent Brussels Summit on Afghanistan, where the Afghan government's agenda was reviewed and the donor community renewed its commitment to the country. The final pledge amount of $15 billion was a vote of confidence for the country. Mohib pointed to progress the Afghanistan government has made in fighting corruption, reforming the judiciary, expanding women’s rights, and improving education and healthcare. In particular, Afghanistan is trying to renew its role as the hub of the New Silk Road, through 14 regional agreements.

From a security point of view, Mohib said the objective is to make Afghanistan an anchor of stability for the region. From an economic perspective, Afghanistan’s full participation in trade, development, energy, transportation, and production will benefit the entire region and determine whether the country achieves its goal of self-reliance. Afghanistan’s allies in Asia, like Japan and India, have played a crucial role in the country’s development, Mohib said.

In conclusion, Mohib discussed the high stakes of Afghanistan‘s role in Asia, as the nation is positioning itself to participate in and benefit from Asia’s rise, and it is striving towards an Afghanistan where goods, ideas and people flow freely.

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A Conversation With the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


General Joseph Dunford, Jr.

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A Conversation With the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


General Joseph Dunford, Jr.

General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Moderated by Eliot Cohen, Director of Strategic Studies

October 27, 2016

Noting that Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni are very well represented at the Department of Defense and throughout the federal government, General Joseph Dunford began his presentation with an appeal to students to consider careers in public service. The political environment has been challenging recently, he said, but solving our nation's pressing challenges will require the talent and valuable skills of graduates with global perspective.

Dunford continued by sharing the key responsibilities of his role, which include advising the president, developing the capabilities that US joint forces will need in the future, and strengthening the leaders these forces will need.

Dunford gave a detailed breakdown of challenges facing our military today, highlighting the adversarial competition between the US, Russia, and China which falls short of armed conflict but pressures each nation to advance its interests while actively working against the interests of rivals. He also discussed Iran, North Korea, and the threat of violent extremism worldwide.

Dunford ended his remarks on a positive note and was highly confident in the ability of US armed forces to protect the homeland and our way of life, to meet our alliance responsibilities, and to maintain a competitive advantage over any potential adversary. However, Dunford said the US must remain vigilant to ensure these abilities will continue for the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in the near future.

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Latin America as an Emerging Market


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Latin America as an Emerging Market


Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Pepsico Latin America
October 21, 2016

PepsiCo Latin America's Laxman Narasimhan spoke with the Johns Hopkins community during an event co-hosted by Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Carey Business School. Narasimhan discussed Latin America as an emerging market and ways for companies to access Latin American consumers. He also spoke about the forces that are currently changing the business landscape in Latin America, and shared with the audience some of his personal lessons in leadership.

Following the presentation, Narasimhan had lunch with a small group of students in the Latin American Studies program to hear about their career plans and share insights on professional networking throughout the region.

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Combating Terrorist Financing


Advances and Challenges Fifteen Years After 9/11

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Combating Terrorist Financing


Advances and Challenges Fifteen Years After 9/11

Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, US Department of the Treasury
October 20, 2016

Preventing extremist groups from accessing financial resources is a powerful tool in the fight against global terrorism, said Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Department of the Treasury. In a discussion moderated by Professor Eliot Cohen, Director of Strategic Studies, Szubin explained that the Treasury combats terrorist financing by working with our international counterparts to make the global financial system more transparent.

While sanctions may be the best known method of combating financing, they are by no means the only tool, Szubin said. Selecting the best method to counter terrorist funds depends on how the group in question is financed. Terrorist groups that make money from exploiting the territory and people under their control are most impacted by measures like military action, which removes them from their sources of revenue. On the other hand, groups that are financed by external donors are most effectively addressed if donors are prevented from accessing the international financial system. Treasury also often works with foreign partners to help them develop the capacity needed to curtail financing in their respective countries. Questions from the audience focused on how other nations react to the United States using its unique position in the financial world to take these actions against terrorism.

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A Conversation With Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi


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A Conversation With Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi


Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy
October 19, 2016

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined Johns Hopkins SAIS students for a speech during his official state visit to the United States. Renzi stressed his belief in the centrality of education: “Universities today are the places where we build the future.” The prime minister also highlighted his appreciation for Johns Hopkins SAIS’ presence in Europe with its campus in Bologna.

Touching on current events, Renzi reminded students of his contrarian views regarding Europe’s security challenges and the refugee crisis. He believes the real threat to European security comes from marginalization in European metropolises and stagnant growth, not from refugees.  The prime minister also explained his strategy to fight populism in Europe. Renzi intends to invest in culture and education as much as he invests in security. Finally, he stated that Europe needs to invest in a strategy of growth and not of austerity. Without investments in innovation, technology and culture, populist forces will shape the future.

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The Future of Global Jihadism


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The Future of Global Jihadism


Peter Bergen, Vice President, Director, International Security, Future of War, and Fellows Programs at New America
Moderated by Walter Andersen, South Asia Studies Program, Johns Hopkins SAIS

October 18, 2016

Peter Bergen, journalist, author, and documentary producer came to campus to share insights from his career of reporting on terrorism and national security. The discussion was video-linked with a live audience at National Defence University in Islamabad, Pakistan.  

Providing an overview of the fight against ISIS, Bergen argued that the terror group is not the cause of the problems in the Middle East but a symptom of greater issues that will be much harder to resolve. According to Bergen, the underlying issues include: sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia Muslims being fueled by the deep pockets of regional powers; the collapse of governments in the Middle East and North Africa; the largest wave of immigration coming out of the Middle East since World War II; disenfranchisement of Muslims in Europe; and the rise of nationalist political parties across Europe. These issues must be addressed if viable solutions to Middle East instability are to be realized, Bergen said. 

Bergen also shared an update on the status of the fight against ISIS. At the time of this presentation, Iraqi forces had begun an assault on the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. ISIS forces have been significantly reduced, its recruitment numbers are as low as 50 per month, and the terror group is on the verge of losing control of its last big city in Iraq, Bergen said.

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Women Leaders Making a Difference on the Global Stage


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Women Leaders Making a Difference on the Global Stage


Part of the Women Who Inspire series

Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media
Moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute

October 12, 2016

Award-winning magazine editor and Daily Beast co-founder Tina Brown was the speaker for the latest installment of the Johns Hopkins SAIS series, Women Who Inspire. Brown spoke with ambassador and moderator Shirin Tahir-Kheli about her efforts to create, through her Women In the World Summits, a platform for local women leaders to tell their stories to make a difference in their communities.

For Brown, one of the keys to driving positive change on seemingly intractable problems is to emphasize the story before the issue: people do not respond to an issue without a story they can identify with, she said. With her summits, Brown is finding stories with the power to address global challenges specifically because they are told through the voices of women.

Brown shared striking stories from past summits, and explained that women's leadership is not only an end unto itself, but a tool to realize many global benefits including better health outcomes, rising household earnings, and improved organizational decision making.    

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By Speaker


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By Speaker


Paul Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank AG

Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

Masood Ahmed, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (Hopkins-Nanjing Center Convocation, June 18, 2016 and Rethinking Regional Security, October 22, 2015)

Samuel Alito, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

General John Rutherford Allen, former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan; former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL

Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and CFO of the World Bank Group

Ambassador Barbara Barrett, Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation

Daniel Barnett, MD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Priya Basu, Manager, Development Finance, The World Bank

Don Beyer, U.S. Representative for Virginia's 8th District

Bill Bishop, Writer, The Sinocism China Newsletter

Maria Elena Boschi, Italian Minister of Constitutional Reform and Relations with Parliament

John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Media

William J. Burns, President of Carnegie Endowment

Dennis Carroll, Director, Global Health Security and Development, Bureau for Global Health, USAID

Amy Celico, Principal, Albright, Stonebridge Group

Martin Cerisola, Assistant Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Nadereh Chamlou, International Development Advisor

Ling Chen, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Derek Chollet, Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

David Chun, Founder and CEO of Equilar

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health

Celeste Connors, Associate Practitioner in Residence, Energy, Resources, and Environment Program

H.E. Jose L. Cuisia, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S.

Nikhil da Victoria Lobo, Senior Vice President, Head Global Partnerships Americas, Swiss Re

Uri Dadush, Senior Associate and Director of the International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center, Rabat Morocco

Ronald J. Daniels, President of The Johns Hopkins University

Chen Deming, President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and former Minister of Commerce for the People's Republic of China

Roger Diwan, Vice President, IHS Financial Services

David Dollar, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution

Ambassador Eric Edelman, Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence, Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Gady Epstein, Media Editor at The Economist

Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Adam Garfinkle, Editor, The American Interest

Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International

Jeremy Goldkorn, Founder and Director of Danwei

Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg LP

Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor

Penda Hair, Co-Founder and Co-Director, The Advancement Project

Birgit Hansl, Lead Economist and Program Leader for the Russian Federation at the World Bank

General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA

Davida Herzl, CEO of Aclima

Carla Hills, Chairman and CEO, Hills and Company

Aasim M. Husain, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard University Law School

Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO of Lazard

Chen Jun, President of Nanjing University

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and to Iraq, former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

Edward Knight, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Nasdaq

Senator Menno Knip, Chair, Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Economic Relations

Monica Kowal, Vice Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission

Pravin Krishna, Chung Ju Yung Distinguished Professor of International Economics and Business

David M. Lampton, George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Nicholas Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman of Estée Lauder Companies

Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon

Roger Leeds, Senior Research Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Michael Lynton, CEO Sony Entertainment, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow Center for Middle East Policy and Energy Security and Climate Initiative, The Brookings Institution

Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Catherine L. Mann, OECD Chief Economist

James McIntire, Washington State Treasurer

Liu Mingkang, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Former Chairman, China Banking Regulatory Commission

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Pepsico Latin America

 

Susan Ness, Conference Chair and Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations

Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, United Arab Emirates Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Evan Osnos, Staff Writer for The New Yorker

Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs

Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO

Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

Trudy Rubin, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Paolo Scaroni, Deputy Chairman of the Rothschild Group

Jacquelyn Serwer, Chief Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Jean-Francois Seznec, Scholar, Middle East Institute and Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2016 Commencement speaker)

Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Randa Slim, Director for Track II Initiatives at the Middle East Institute and Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Martin Sommer, Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division, International Monetary Fund

Brande Stellings, Vice President of Corporate Board Services of Catalyst

Steve Strongin, Head of Global Investment Research, Goldman Sachs

Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University

Reka Szemerkenyi, Ambassador of Hungary

Hung Tran, Executive Managing Director, Institute of International Finance

Tiger Tyagarajan, President and CEO of Genpact

James White, Former (retired) Chairman and CEO of Jamba Juice

Gita Wirjawan, Chairman of Ancora Group and former Republic of Indonesia Minister of Trade

Peter Wittig, Ambassador of Germany

Shahid Yusuf, Chief Economist, International Growth Center, and Johns Hopkins SAIS Adjunct Professor

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund