Be Informed: Speakers

List of Current Speakers for NDUF Programs

The National Defense University Foundation Speaker's Bureau is comprised of Professors, Faculty and other "Subject Matter Experts" from NDU.

NDU has research, relationships and discussion on almost all topics regarding National Security. Below is a selection of our most popular speakers and their fields of expertise.

Please contact us if you don't see the topic you are looking for. We are happy to identify the right speaker for your event.

Dr. Cynthia A. Watson
Areas of Expertise: China and Latin America

China's Growing Shadow in the Global Arena

Explore the challenges and opportunities presented by China's continual growth and technological development

Dr. Cynthia A. Watson joined the NDU Faculty in August 1992. Dr.Watson served for five years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, then for Curriculum and Faculty Development. She is Director of the Electives Program at the College. Dr. Watson earned a BA from the University of Missouri at Kansas City , a MA from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. Before joining the National War College , Dr. Watson was Assistant Dean for Social Sciences and taught in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. She has also taught Politics at Ithaca College . Additionally, Dr. Watson has worked for the U.S. General Accounting Office and U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Watson is on the Governing Boards of a number of professional organizations and the Editorial Board of Third World Quarterly. Current research interests include China-Taiwan in Latin America and China in the World. Her books, U.S. National Security and Nation-Building, were published in 2002 and 2004. She is completing volumes on U.S. Military Service, Professional Military Education, and U.S. National Security 2nd edition.

Additional Topic: “Repairing the State of Latin America - US Relations: How Long Do We Have?”

Dr. Albert C. Pierce
Area of Expertise: Ethics and Leadership


A Question of Ethics

Explore the role ethics can, and should, play in today's National Security environment.

Dr. Albert C. Pierce has had a long association with NDU. From 1981 to 1983, he served as the first deputy director of the Strategic Concepts Development Center (SCDC), the predecessor of NDU's Institute for National Strategic Studies, a think tank created by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Deputy Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci. In February 1985, Dr. Pierce joined the faculty of the National War College , and he served there as Professor of Military Strategy until the summer of 1998. From August 1998 to February 2006, Dr. Pierce served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy, whose mission is “to promote and enhance the ethical development of current and future military leaders.” Dr. Pierce was then appointed to the newly created NDU position of University Professor of Ethics and National Security. Stemming from the success of his position, in coordination with the Colin Powell Chair for National Security, Leadership, Character and Ethics, Dr. Pierce is now leading the development of the National Defense University's Institute for National Security Ethics and Leadership as its first director.

Dr. Bard O'Neill
Areas of Expertise: Insurgency and Terrorism

Inside the Mind of a Terrorist

By far our most requested presentation, Dr. O'Neill introduces the point of view of Al Qaeda and then explains how it relates to the American public opinion and policy.

Dr. Bard E. O'Neill is Professor of International Affairs, National War College . Dr. O'Neill is Director of Studies of Internal Warfare and Terrorism at the National War College . He is the author of several books including Insurgency and Terrorism , now being recognized as the “Seminal work; a modern ‘classic', and The Deadly Embrace: The Impact of Israeli and Palestinian Rejectionism on the Peace Process. He has lectured extensively on the Middle East , insurgency, and terrorism and is a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Justice Department, Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA and National Security Agency. He has appeared as a guest analyst on CBS, CNN, C-Span, the Asian News Network and National Public Radio.

Dr.Judith Yaphe
Areas of Expertise: Iran/Iraq/Arabian/Persian Gulf Security Issues

Tehran and Washington - A Tale of Two Cities

A conversation with a world renowned expert, often quoted and interviewed in National News, on Iran and its relationship with the US .

Dr. Judith Yaphe, Distinguished Research Fellow for the Middle East at the Institute for National Strategic Studies shares her immense expertise to shed light on the complex events that are occurring in the Middle East . Incorporating Iraq , Iran and her recent visit to Israel , Dr. Yaphe will put the current conditions into historical perspective as well as discuss the various paths these circumstances could create. She specializes in Iraq , Iran , Arabian/Persian Gulf security issues, and Political Islam/Islamic extremism. Before joining INSS in 1995, Dr. Yaphe served for 20 years as a senior analyst on Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf issues at the CIA. Among Dr. Yaphe's accomplishments in government was her role as senior political analyst on Iraq and the Gulf, for which she received the Intelligence Medal of Commendation. Dr. Yaphe frequently briefs senior U.S. and foreign officials and has testified before Senate and Congressional committees on Iraq , terrorism, and regional strategic issues as well as being highly sought out by the press.

Mr. Harvey Rishikof, Esq.
Area of Expertise: International Law

Can We Do That? International Law and U.S. Security Strategy

A look at the legal, and in many cases ethical, impact of US choices on the international landscape.

Mr. Harvey Rishikof, Esq. , former Chair, Department of National Security Strategy, Professor of Law and National Security Studies at the National War College in Washington, DC, specializes in the areas of national security, civil and military courts, terrorism, international law, civil liberties, and the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Rishikof's career includes experience the academy, the private sector, and public service. As Legal Counsel to the Deputy Director of the FBI (1997-99), Rishikof focused on FBI policies concerning national security and terrorism, and served as liaison to the Office of the Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Mr. Rishikof's most recent publications include: "Morality, Ethics, and Law in the War on Terrorism (The Long War), West Point Terrorism Series Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century: International Perspectives, James J.F. Forest ed. (2007) among many others. Mr. Rishikof regularly participates in high level international seminars and projects.


International Terrorism - Beyond Al Qaeda

Introducing the roots of terrorism from an Islamic standpoint, Dr. Beyoghlow ties that history to today and looks to the future.

Dr. Kamal A. Beyoghlow is Professor of Security Studies, and Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic Studies at the National War College , National Defense University (NDU). Previously, he held the titles of Academic Chair and Professor of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (CT) at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) also at NDU. His duties at ACSS included initiating and developing CT concepts and programs as well as articulating CT policy towards the African sub-continent. Prior to his ACSS appointment, Dr. Beyoghlow was Professor of International Relations and National Security at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College from 1992 to 2004 where he also taught and directed courses on Islam and the Middle East and North Africa (including Southwest Asia), International Relations, WMD proliferation and counter-proliferation, and terrorism and counterterrorism. Dr. Beyoghlow has lectured on international and regional politics at various other colleges and universities. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Government at American University where he teaches courses on Homeland Security and the US Intelligence Community.

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