Upcoming Speakers

Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations (DMCFR)

2017 – 2018  Speakers

Tuesday * September 19, 2017

Thomas Wright

Brookings Institution

Director – Center on the United States and Europe

Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy, Project on International Order and Strategy

Thomas Wright is the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously, he was executive director of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and senior researcher for the Princeton Project on National Security.

Wright works on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Donald Trump’s worldview, the future of Europe, and Asian security. His book “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power” was published by Yale University Press in May 2017.

Wright has a doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a bachelor’s and master’s from University College Dublin. He has also held a pre-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a post doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Wright’s writings have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Orbis, Survival, The Washington Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as a number of international newspapers and media outlets.

Fulbright Commission, Ireland, vice chair and board member
International Politics Reviews, Palgrave Macmillan, editorial board

Thursday * October 19, 2017

Daniel R. Pearson

Cato Institute

Senior Fellow, Trade Policy Studies

Daniel Pearson joined the Cato Institute after serving for 10 years on the U.S. International Trade Commission, the federal agency that, among other responsibilities, oversees the U.S. trade remedy laws. Pearson was nominated to the USITC by President George W. Bush and began his term as a commissioner on October 8, 2003. He served as chairman for the two-year term beginning June 17, 2006 and as vice chairman for the two-year term beginning June 17, 2008. Prior to joining the USITC, Pearson served as assistant vice president of public affairs and as a policy analyst for Cargill from 1987 to 2003. He was agricultural legislative assistant to Sen. Rudy Boschwitz of Minnesota from 1981 to 1987.

Wednesday * November 15, 2017

Philip C. French

Chairperson of the ICASS* working group for the State Department

Career Foreign Service Officer

Former Executive Director of the American Committees on Foreign Relations

Philip C. French is currently engaged with the US State Department in several roles: Chairperson of the ICASS* working group for the State Department and teaching advanced studies for the State Department in the metro Washington DC area. Phil has been a career Foreign Service Officer with extensive management, analysis, and business advocacy experience in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He was the former Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Caracas (2007-08); and former Director, Andean Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2005-07) with previous negotiation/post conflict assignments in the Middle East. He is a skilled political analyst, writer, & speaker.

Phil was also the former Executive Director of the American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR) in Washington DC for several years–until his State Department responsibilities demanded his full attention in 2015.

Phil is fluent in several languages including Spanish & Tagalog.  And is particularly knowledgeable concerning Venezuela…his spouse is from Venezuela and most of her family is still in Venezuela.  Primarily, he will giving an up to date and inside look at the current troubling conditions in Venezuela and South America.

*ICASS is the the principal means by which the U.S. Government provides and shares the cost of common administrative support at its more than 250 diplomatic and consular posts overseas. The Department of State is the primary service provider and it offers these administrative support services to other agencies. ICASS, is valued at more than $3 billion, of which 95 percent was for the cost of services delivered overseas at posts, and 5 percent for Washington-billed costs.