Carnegie Mellon University

CIRP Policy Forum Fall 2020*


The Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Politics and Strategy
invites you to a special summer event:
A Conversation with Wyndee Parker
National Security Advisor to Nancy Pelosi,
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Friday, August 14, 2020
2:00 to 3:15 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here.

Wyndee Parker has served as Nancy Pelosi's National Security Advisor since 2009 and was formerly Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Parker also serves on the American Bar Association Advisory Committee on Law and National Security. She holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a juris doctorate from the Ohio State University College of Law.



Colin Dueck, "Conservative Nationalism and the Trump Doctrine"

Thursday, September 17, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here. 

How does President Donald Trump fit into America’s foreign policy tradition? In his new book, Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism, author Colin Dueck argues that Trump’s brand of foreign policy fits into conservative nationalism, the oldest tradition in American foreign policy. Age of Iron describes the shifting priorities that have shaped American foreign relations over the last century, and frankly assesses the administration’s foreign policy in that context.


Harvey Milk in 1978. Photo courtesy of Daniel Nicoletta / CC BY-SA (

Documentary and Discussion of The Times of Harvey Milk

Friday, September 18, 2020
12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT on Zoom
Register here.

Join IPS Director and Taube Professor and Kiron Skinner on Zoom for a viewing of The Times of Harvey Milk, about the twentieth-century trailblazer, human rights activist, and one of the first openly gay US politicians elected to public office. Professor Skinner will lead a discussion of the film afterward.

Presented in partnership with CMU PRISM


Dov Levin, "Meddling in the Ballot Box: The Causes and Effects of Partisan Electoral Interventions"

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on Zoom
Register here.

Why do world powers sometimes try to determine who wins an election in another country? What effects does such meddling have on the targeted elections results? Great powers have attempted for centuries to intervene in elections occurring in other states through various covert and overt methods, with the American intervention in the 2013 Kenyan elections and the Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections being just two recent examples. Indeed, the Americans and the Soviets/Russians intervened in one out of every nine national-level executive elections between 1946 and 2000. Meddling in the Ballot Box is the first book to provide a comprehensive analysis of foreign meddling in elections from the dawn of the modern era to the 2016 Russian intervention in the US election.


Amarnath Amarasingam, "The Islamic State Online: Historical Trajectories and New Frontiers"

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here. 

This talk examines some of the ways in which the Islamic State has used the online space in the past, how it has navigated different platforms, and the challenges it has faced since the peak of its activity in 2013. Based on interviews with ISIS supporters and fighters, and based on an extensive archive of Telegram data going back to 2015, this talk tries to take stock of where we have been, and the challenges the group faces going forward in the online space. 

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Analysis.


The Global Decriminalization of Homosexuality: A Conversation with Ambassador Richard Grenell and Mr. Stuart Milk

NEW DATE: Friday, October 2, 2020
12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. EDT on Zoom
Register here.

Join Ambassador Grenell and Mr. Milk, Founder and President of the Harvey Milk Foundation, on Zoom as they discuss their work on the global decriminalization of homosexuality.


Panel Discussion: Women Leading Navy Technological Innovation

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here.


  • Captain Ann Casey: Commanding Officer of the Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group
  • Captain Tracy L. Hines: Commanding Officer of the Hopper Information Services Center
  • Captain Danielle Lukich: Deputy Commanding Officer and Information Warfare Director, Navy Special Warfare Development Group
  • Shirley Dulux: Operations Chief, Hopper Information Services Center
  • Lieutenant Sabrina Reyes-Dods: Women in Submarine Coordinator, Submarine Forces

Moderator: Carol Goldburg, Co-Founder, Women in the Social Sciences; Executive Director, Undergraduate Economics Program, Tepper School of Business

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Analysis and CMU Women in the Social Sciences, a joint initiative of CIRP's Policy Forum and the Office of the Director of Undergraduate Economics.


Jennifer Buckner, "Cyber Operations: A Military Practitioner’s Perspective"

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here.

Issues related to cyber operations influence all aspects of our professional and personal lives, public safety and national security. Jennifer “Jen” Buckner (Brigadier General, US Army, Retired) presents a “practitioner’s perspective” on US Cyber Command and the military’s evolving role in protecting and defending the United States in cyberspace.

Drawing from her extensive and recent experience – including command of the Army’s first Cyber Brigade, training and educating cyber forces, and leading Joint Task Force Ares, the US government interagency task force to counter ISIS in cyberspace – Jen will offer insights on how cyber operations inform and accelerate national security policy development, international cyber norms, and integration with combat operations and traditional forms of military maneuver. 

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Analysis.


Professional Journeys Discussion with Jason England

Thursday, October 22, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom
Register here.

Join us to learn more about the professional journey of Jason England, an Assistant Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. England graduated from Wesleyan University with high honors and three awards for fiction; got his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop; and was the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute. His short fiction has been anthologized, and his essays on race, sports, and societal issues have appeared in various publications, including Sports IllustratedThe Root, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Foreign Policy Priorities from National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT on Zoom
Register here. All questions must be submitted in advance.

Join us for a conversation with Robert O'Brien, the US National Security Advisor. Prior to working in that role, he served as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the US Department of State. Working for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, O’Brien led the US government’s diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters. He worked closely with the families of American hostages and advises the senior leadership of the US government on hostage issues. O’Brien also coordinated with the interagency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell on the development and implementation of US hostage recovery policy and strategy.


Jason Blazakis, "Onlining White Hate: The Challenge of White Supremacy Extremism"

Thursday, October 29, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT on Zoom.
Register here. 

Professor Blazakis will explore the online dimensions of the rising challenge of white supremacy extremism.  He will explore the following questions: How do white supremacists spread their propaganda?  How do they finance their operations?  And what are the real-world and virtual links between US-based white supremacists and their international analogs? And, finally, what, if any, policy moves can be made to counter the rising threat of white supremacy?

Presented in partnership with the CMU Institute for Strategic Analysis.


Election Town Hall with Congressman Mike Doyle

Monday, November 2, 2020
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST on Zoom
Register here.

Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-18) joins us for a special election week Town Hall to discuss his work with the Autism Caucus, civil and human rights, healthcare, climate change, and more. 


A Conversation on Breonna Taylor and Race in America with Dr. Marcia Chatelain

Monday, November 9, 2020
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST on Zoom
Register here.

Dr. Marcia Chatelain joins us for a discussion of Breonna Taylor and race in America.
Dr. Chatelain is currently a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was a Reach for Excellence Assistant Professor of Honors and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.


Professional Journeys Discussion with Conrad Tucker

Thursday, November 12, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST on Zoom
Register here.

IPS presents a Professional Journeys discussion with Conrad Tucker, the Arthur Hamerschlag Career Development Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Tucker focuses on the design and optimization of systems through the acquisition, integration, and mining of large-scale, disparate data. Previously, he was a faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University and directed the Design Analysis Technology Advancement (DATA) Laboratory.


Professional Journeys Discussion with Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, former US Ambassador to Malta

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST on Zoom
Register here.

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a thirty-year diplomat, was the longest serving US Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. Through a series of senior positions that included advising the Commander of US cyber forces on our foreign policy priorities, expanding our counterterrorism partners and programs as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and coordinating the largest evacuation of American citizens from a war zone since WWII, her professional life has played out almost daily in international media.

Over the years, Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley has been a keynote speaker on foreign policy issues for a variety of organizations including IESAbroad, The Cleveland City Club, TrueBlue Inclusion; Harvard University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, The University of Denver, The University of Malta, and Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center. She is an in-demand panelist and moderator at some of the most respected international think tanks including The German Marshall Fund, The Brookings Institution, CSIS, The World Affairs Council, and The Council on Foreign Relations on issues ranging from U.S. Middle East Policy, how diversity and inclusion improves US foreign policy making, cyber security challenges, and counterterrorism. She is a strong proponent of excellence through diversity across organizations and strives to break down barriers to the full participation of women and minorities.


Kosovo and Serbia Diplomacy: The Road Ahead

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST on Zoom.
Register here.

Join us for a conversation with IPS Senior Fellow and former US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and IPS Postdoctoral Fellow Professor Dan Silverman.

About Richard Grenell

Richard Grenell joined the Institute for Politics and Strategy in July 2020. In his role as Senior Fellow, he will develop projects concentrating on the new Europe and the global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.

Prior to joining IPS, Grenell served as Ambassador to Germany, Presidential Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia, and Acting Director of National Intelligence. In that role, which he held from February to May 2020, Grenell oversaw the seventeen agencies in the intelligence community, and served as the principal advisor to the president and the National Security Council on intelligence matters. During his short tenure, Grenell dramatically reformed the Office of the DNI, moving it toward an agency that coordinates intelligence rather than functioning as a competing body. 

As US Ambassador to Germany from May 2018 until May 2020, Grenell pressed Germany to increase its defense budget to meet NATO guidelines and worked to ensure the security of shared intelligence as the nation fielded bids for 5G mobile-Internet infrastructure.  


A Conversation with Secretary Barbara Barrett

Friday, December 4, 2020
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EST on Zoom
Register here. Registration for direct participation in the Zoom talk and discussion is reserved for the Carnegie Mellon community. We encourage others to watch the live stream of the event on our Facebook page

Join us to learn more about the US Space Force with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.

Presented in partnership with the Carnegie Mellon University Chapter of Women in International Security.

About Barbara Barrett

Barbara M. Barrett, as the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, leads the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the US Air Force and US Space Force. She is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping Air and Space Forces and for the welfare of 695,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Space Professionals and their families. As the Department’s senior leader overseeing an annual budget of more than $205 billion, Secretary Barrett directs strategy, policy, acquisitions, technology, personnel, and risk management. She implements decisions of the President and Congress and fulfills Combatant Commanders’ operational requirements.


A Conversation on Race in America with Secretary Condoleezza Rice

This event has been postponed due to an unanticipated scheduling conflict. We hope to reschedule the event in the Spring 2021 semester, so stay tuned for additional information.

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.

From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the sixty-sixth Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

*Lecture details are subject to change.