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Speaker Series

During the Spring 2021 semester, CLA Associate Dean for Research Sorin Matei and the Strategy, Security, and Social Systems Initiative (FORCES) are pleased to welcome a group of VIPs to the FORCES Speaker Series. Each is a recognized expert in their field within security, strategy and social systems, and brings a wealth of knowledge to campus. 

Greg Poling

Title: "US-China Competition: Foreign Policy Challenges in Southeast Asia"
Date/Time: 02/16/2021; 4-5 PM EST
Greg PolingRichard Samuels is currently a senior fellow for Southeast Asia and is the director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He is an expert on South China Sea disputes and Asian multilateralism. He oversees research on U.S. policy in the Asia Pacific with a focus on the maritime domain and the countries of the Southeast Asia. He has had numerous publications in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and the Nikkei Asian Review. He has also authored or co-authored multiple works including The Thickening Web of Asian Security Cooperation: Deepening Defense Ties Among U.S. Allies and Partners in the Indo-Pacific (RAND Corporation, 2019), Building a More Robust U.S.-Philippines Alliance (CSIS, August 2015), and A New Era in U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Deepening Ties Two Decades after Normalization (CSIS, June 2014).
Poling holds an M.A. in International Affairs from American University and a B.A. in History and Philosophy from St. Marys College of Maryland.


To attend Greg Poling's session, register here.



Kimberly JacksonKimberly Jackson

Title: "Competition & Conflict: Key Factors in Defense Policymaking"
Date/Time: 02/25/2021; 2:30 - 3:45 PM EST
Ms. Kimberly Jackson was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness in January 2021. In this capacity, Jackson serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for strategic and operational readiness of the Armed Services. Prior to re-joining the Department of Defense, Jackson was an international and defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. At RAND, Jackson directed studies on the effects of military culture on inter-service competition and the development of senior military officers, DoDs evolving roles and capabilities in supporting the National Defense Strategy, and the comparative advantages of defense organizational structures and command and control models in strategic competition. She also led research on topics including professional military education and talent management, general/flag officer management, special operations, security cooperation, and Reserve Component forces. Additionally, from 2019-2021, Jackson was a professor of policy analysis at the RAND Pardee RAND Graduate School. Until 2020, Jackson was an officer in the United States Navy Reserve, where she held assignments within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Naval Special Warfare, and in the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group. Jackson holds an M.P.P. and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She resides in Stuttgart, Germany, with her husband, Cristopher, an active-duty Army officer.


To attend Kimberly Jackson's session, register here.


Jeffrey EdmondsJeffery Edmonds

Title: "Russia's National Defense Framework and Military Posture"
Date/Time: 04/01/2021; 1:30 - 2:45 PM EST

Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on Russia, Eurasia, and South Asia. His research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations.  Jeff most recently served as Director for Russia on the National Security Council and Acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 Presidential transition.

While on the NSC, Jeff advised the President and his senior staff on Russia-related national security topics to include the Ukraine and Syria crises, Russian military developments and foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, information and cyber operations. Prior to the NSC, Jeff served as a senior Eurasian military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency. Jeff has served in the Army on both active duty and the Reserves for 22 years, serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.



To attend Jeffrey Edmonds's session, register here.


Arthur Tulak
Arthur Tulak

Title: "China's Information Strategy in the INDO-PACOM Region"
Date/Time: 04/08/2021; 1:30 - 2:45 PM EST
COL, USA, Ret. Arthur N. Tulak, Ed.D. is currently a member of the Research Faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech Research Institute - GTRI) and works in the Pearl City Hawaii Field Office of GTRI in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in the J81 Joint Innovation and Experimentation Office and J39 Information Operations Division. His current operations-focused research is focused on information operations, deterrence, hybrid warfare, and strategy. 
Prior to joining the faculty of GTRI, he served as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He began his Army career with a Regular Army Commission on 10 May 1985, as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. He then served twenty-nine years in the U.S. Army in various positions, culminating in his assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff (ACofS), G-39, Information Operations, at HQ, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) at Fort Shafter Hawaii. 
COL, Ret. Tulak has published several articles on the topics of Information Operations and Homeland Defense/ Homeland Security in several periodicals, to include Military Review, Army War College Parameters, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, The Officer Review magazine, and the Indo-Asia Pacific Defense Forum magazine. His educational credentials include: a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California; a Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies from Missouri State University; a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Colleges, and; diplomas from the U.S. Army War College Defense Strategy Course, USMC Command and Staff College, USAF Command and Staff College, and the Air War College.


To attend Arthur Tulak's session, register here.