Past Speakers

Wednesday * April 19, 2017

Paulo Sotero

Director of the Brazil Institute

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

An award winning journalist, from 1989 to 2006 Paul Sotero was the Washington correspondent for Estado de S.Paulo, a leading Brazilian daily newspaper. Sotero began his career at Veja in the late 1960s and worked for the magazine in São Paulo, Recife, Brasília, and Paris, until he was named its correspondent in Portugal after the democratic revolution of April 25, 1974. Sotero has been in Washington, D.C., since 1980, where he has been a correspondent for Istoé weekly magazine and the financial newspaper Gazeta Mecantil. He is a frequent guest commentator for the BBC, CNN, AlJazeera, Voice of America, National Public Radio, Globo News Television and the Brazilian Radio Network – CBN. He also contributes regularly to Brazilian and international newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. A native of the state of São Paulo, Sotero holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the Catholic University of Pernambuco, and a Master’s in Journalism and Public Affairs from the American University, in Washington, D.C. He has been an adjunct lecturer at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and is currently on the adjunct faculty of the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.


M.A., Journalism and Public Affairs, American University, Washington, D.C.


Brazil,Latin America,Media,U.S.-Brazil Relations


Washington correspondent for O Estado de S. Paulo; commentator and analyst for national and international news outlets; adjunct lecturer of Brazilian politics and the media at Georgetown University; writer and lecturer on Brazilian and Latin American affairs and Brazil-U.S. relations


Latin America, with particular emphasis on Brazil, contemporary politics, and the media

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Tuesday * March 7, 2017

Harry Krejsa

Research Associate

Asia-Pacific Security

Center for a New American Security

Harry Krejsa is an Asia-Pacific security and economics specialist at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Krejsa worked as a policy analyst for the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. He also served as a Researcher with the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at National Defense University, where he published a report on Chinese investment in the United States and its security implications.

Mr. Krejsa has led a field analysis on political transition in Myanmar, piloted anti-terror training programs in South Asia, and served as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan. Mr. Krejsa publishes and speaks widely on foreign policy, provides media commentary in both English and Chinese, and his analysis has been featured in Politico, Vice, the Des Moines Register, and Bloomberg.

Mr. Krejsa holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Political Science and East Asian Studies, for which he also studied at Nanjing University in China.

Wednesday * February 15, 2017

Immigration / Refugee Panel Discussion

Zeljka Krvavica, Case Manager for the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services

Vinh Nguyen, ELL Community Outreach Supervisor for the Des Moines Public Schools

Nosa Ali, Roosevelt High School Senior and first generation immigrant from Sudan

Robert Nishimwe, North High School Senior and first generation immigrant from Tanzania

Sunday * January 29, 2017

DMCFR Business Meeting

Tuesday * December 6, 2016

Stephen R. Grand

Under the bipartisan Co-Chairmanship of former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, the Atlantic Council convened the Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) in February 2015 to examine the underlying issues of state failure and political legitimacy that drive extremist violence and threaten fundamental interests broadly shared by the peoples of the region and the rest of the world.

The Task Force brings together a broad array of regional stakeholders and international experts to collaborate in identifying ways in which people in the Middle East can build and support governing institutions that offer legitimacy, opportunity, and an alternative to violence. The Task Force is an initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in cooperation with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

The task force has been addressing migration crisis, religion, identity, and countering violent extremism, rebuilding societies for resilience and recovery in times of conflict, security and public order, and economic recovery, revitalization and potential.

Stephen R. Grand is the Executive Director of the Task Force:
Stephen Grand leads the Middle East Strategy Task Force at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
Grand is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World (housed within the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings), where he served as director from 2006 to 2013. He recently published a book, Understanding Tahrir Square: What Transitions Elsewhere Can Teach Us about the Prospects for Arab Democracy (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Project on Middle East Democracy, Adviser to Ethica Global Alliance, and a member of the International Advisory Council of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. He is also the Founder and Codirector of the Egyptian Roundtable on Civic Life.

From 2004 to 2006, Grand was Director of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. From 2002 to 2003, he was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Until June 2002, Grand served as Director of Programs at the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States. Before joining GMF in 1997, he was a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, covering Europe and the New Independent States. In 1994, he was a Visiting Researcher at Charles University’s Center for Economics and Graduate Education in Prague. Grand earned a doctorate from the department of government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the government honors program at the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar.

Wednesday * November 16, 2016

Dr. Mark Katz