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Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future: NATO ACT Report Launch

Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future: Launching ACT’s 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis Report

Keynote Remarks by:

General Denis Mercier
Supreme Allied Commander-Transformation
North Atlantic Treaty Organization

A conversation with:

Maj. Gen. William B. Hickman
Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Policy, Headquarters
Supreme Allied Command-Transformation

Ms. Amy McAuliffe
National Intelligence Council

Dr. Michael O’Hanlon
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy
Brookings Institution

Ms. Caroline Vicini
Deputy Head of Delegation
Delegation of the European Union to the United States

Moderated by:

Ms. Susan Glasser
Chief International Affairs Columnist

The shift toward multi-polarity and a growing potential for major power conflict, combined with increasing populism, rapidly changing demographics, and emerging technologies, is presenting unique challenges to governments, militaries, and societies around the world. Allied Command Transformations’s (ACT) 2017 Strategic Foresight Analysis report identifies the key drivers of these global trends and their implications for NATO and the Alliance. The panel – featuring US and European experts on security, strategy, and foresight – will discuss how NATO and the Alliance can use insights from the analysis to help prepare itself for a future that is more complex, interconnected, and unpredictable.



1957 E Street, NW
City View Room
Elliott School of International Affairs
George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052


This event is open to press and on the record.
On Twitter? Follow @ACScowcroft and @ACForesight



General Denis Mercier was confirmed by the North Atlantic Council as Supreme Allied Commander-Transformation in March 2015. Above all, NATO has been a constant throughout his career, at the tactical, operational and strategic level. Posted from 1999 to 2002 as deputy head of the combined joint task force deputy branch at Regional Headquarters AFNORTH, in Brunssum (Netherlands), he also acted as liaison officer for the Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic stationed in Norfolk. Back in France, he was appointed as the commander of Reims Air force base, and from 2004 to 2008 he was assigned to the French Air Force headquarters in Paris. Following his nomination as senior military advisor for the Minister of Defense in 2010, General Mercier prepared and participated in all NATO ministerial meetings between 2010 and 2012, as well as the NATO summits of Lisbon and Chicago. Moreover, he was the minister's special advisor for Operation Unified Protector over Libya. He became the French Air Force chief of staff in September 2012. He has been awarded the rank of Grand Officier of the French Legion of Honor. He is also, among other distinctions, an officer of the National Order of Merit.

Maj. Gen. William Hickman is the deputy chief of staff, strategy plans and policy for the Supreme Allied Command-Transformation. Prior to his current post, he served as deputy commanding general of operations for the Third Army/ARCENT. He has had numerous previous posts both in the United States and abroad, including serving as the commanding general of Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana; deputy commanding general (Support), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); and commander Bravo Company 3rd Battalion 325th Infantry Regiment (Airborne Combat Team), United States Army Southern Europe Task Force. Major General Hickman earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University in 1983 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the reserve officer training corps program. He later earned a master's degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University and a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Throughout his career Major General Hickman has received over twelve awards and decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and Bronze Star Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters).

Ms. Amy McAuliffe started as chair of the Office of Director of National Intelligence’s National Intelligence Council (NIC) in January 2017. In other leadership positions, she led Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) and the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Office of Middle East and North African Analysis, and served as deputy director of CIA’s Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC). Earlier in her career, Ms. McAuliffe held various leadership positions in WINPAC and served as the daily PDB briefer for Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. She started her analytic career at CIA covering European security issues. Amy has a BA in government from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in international affairs from American University, and an MA in military studies from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She is the winner of the Langer Award, the Director’s Award (CIA), and the Presidential Rank Award.

Dr. Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in US defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He is also director of research for the foreign policy program at Brookings. He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. O’Hanlon was a member of the external advisory board at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011 to 2012. He has written numerous books and op-eds, and has had more than 3,000 TV and radio appearances. O'Hanlon was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1994. He also worked previously at the Institute for Defense Analyses. His doctorate from Princeton is in public and international affairs; his bachelor's and master's degrees, also from Princeton, are in the physical sciences. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Congo/Kinshasa (the former Zaire) from 1982 to 1984, where he taught college and high school physics in French.

Ms. Caroline Vicini is the Deputy Head of Delegation for the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Prior to joining the Delegation, Ms. Vicini served as Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, Sweden. From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Vicini worked in Washington, DC, as managing director for the public affairs company, Kreab Gavin Anderson serving Scandinavian corporate clients. In the second half of 2009, she replaced the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Swedish Embassy in Dublin.From 2004-2008, Ms. Vicini was the DCM at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Vicini worked in security policy and military affairs at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, first as Head of the Pol-Mil section and thereafter as Deputy Head of the Department of European Security Policy. Ms. Vicini’s earlier postings include Algiers, Paris, and Rome, where she also worked at the headquarters of the World Food Program. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the School of Economics at Gothenburg University.

Susan Glasser is POLITICO’s chief international affairs columnist and host of its new weekly podcast, The Global Politico. Glasser served as founding editor of the award-winning POLITICO Magazine and went on to become editor of POLITICO throughout the 2016 election cycle. Prior to joining POLITICO, Glasser served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Foreign Policy, during which time the magazine was recognized as a finalist for ten National Magazine Awards and won three of the magazine world's highest honors. Before that, Glasser worked for a decade at The Washington Post, where she was a foreign correspondent, editor of the Post’s Sunday Outlook and national news sections and political reporter. She started at the Post in 1998 as deputy national editor and later served as a national political reporter. Prior to the Post, Glasser worked for eight years at Roll Call, the newspaper covering the US Congress. A graduate of Harvard University, she serves on the boards of the Pew Research Center and the Harvard Crimson student newspaper and is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.

2017-11-16 17:00:00 2017-11-16 17:00:00 America/New_York Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future: NATO ACT Report Launch European Union Delegation in the US: Opportunities and Challenges of a Complex Future: NATO ACT Report Launch City View Room at Elliott School of International Affairs, the George Washington University, 1957 E Street, NW , Washington European Union Delegation in the US delegation-usa-info@eeas.europa.eu
November 16, 2017

5:00 PM - 5:00 PM

City View Room at Elliott School of International Affairs, the George Washington University,
1957 E Street, NW ,
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