History: 2019-2020 Program

September 4, 2019

His Excellency, Jonatan Vseviov, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia, will address the International Club of Annapolis on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.  Ambassador Vseviov is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Tarfu and has earned a Master’s degree, with honors, in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.  Before assuming his current duties, Ambassador Vedviov worked at the Estonian Ministry of Defense for ten years, rising to the post of Permanent Secretary in January 2016.  He served as the Undersecretary for Defense Planning, the Undersecretary for Defense Policy, and the Director of Policy Planning.  During his tenure at the Defense Ministry, the Ambassador had a leading role in shaping Estonia’s defense policy both domestically as well as internationally.  He has also been involved with the preparation and implementation of NATO’s present deterrence and defense posture, including the execution of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic States and Poland.  During his previous tours of duty in Washington, D.C., the Ambassador was involved with the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program for Estonian citizens.  In light of the 2007 cyber-attacks on Estonia, he was engaged in securing the political support of the U.S., and in 2014, Ambassador Vseviov worked on achieving additional assurance and deterrence measures from the U.S.  From 2011 to 2013, the Ambassador was the academic dean of the Estonian National Defense Course.  He has been giving lectures on international relations as well as Estonian security and defense policy in several universities.  The Ambassador is married and the father of two children.

Country Fact Sheet


October 2, 2019

Mr. Olivier Knox, Chief Washington Correspondent for the SiriusXM and recent President of the White House Correspondents’ Association will address the International Club of Annapolis on Wednesday October 2, 2019. His topic will be: “In the 2020 Information War, You’re the Target,”

He is host of “The Big Picture with Olivier Knox” (weeknights from 6-7pm on POTUS channel 124).

Mr. Knox was raised in his bilingual family in Middlebury, Vermont and Paris, France.He started his journalism career shortly after graduating from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) campuses in Bologna, Italy and Washington D.C. . His first post was at Agence France-Presse (AFP), where he became Congressional Correspondent covering, among other things, the events leading up to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and eventual acquittal. From there, Knox covered the presidential campaign of Vice President Al Gore, and then all eight years of President George W. Bush. In 2012, he was named Yahoo News’s first White House correspondent, and then chief Washington correspondent. He joined SiriusXM in April 2018. Mr. Knox, as President of the White House Correspondents Association, Chaired the Association’s annual dinner in 2018 which focused on the defense of the free press in general and the safety of reporters in particular. He has followed the attacks on Annapolis’s newspaper, The Capital, with special sympathy and interest. Mr. Knox lives with his wife, Jennifer and son Oscar in Bethesda MD.


November 6, 2019

Dr. Ernest Tucker, history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and current president of the International Club of Annapolis, will address the club on Wednesday November 6, 2019. His topic will be: “No Friends but the Mountains: Kurds in the Middle East”

Dr. Tucker has taught in the history department at the U.S. Naval Academy since 1990, receiving the rank of full professor there in 2006. In December 2017, he became the Faculty Director of the Naval Academy’s Center for Regional Studies.  Tucker received his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history from the University of Chicago, and has spent time living and doing research in the Middle East.  He has published three books and his articles and chapters have appeared in a wide variety of scholarly journals, dictionaries, collections, and encyclopedias.  Tucker has also traveled extensively in the region and led several student groups there.


December 4, 2019

Our speaker on December 4 will be the Polish Ambassador, Piotr Wilczek.  A highly recognized professor, intellectual historian, writer and translator, Ambassador Wilczek has served as Polish Ambassador to the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas since November 2016.

Ambassador Wilczek graduated from the University of Silesia in Katoqice, Poland, where he received his Ph.D. and served as a professor and dean for 22 years.  In 2008, he joined the University of Warsaw faculty to become the Founding Director of Collegium Artes Liberales (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), the first American-style liberal arts program at this major research university. He has lectured at various universities in the United States and has published extensively.

During his diplomatic term, Ambassador Wilczek has been developing the Poland-US partnership in many concrete ways, facilitating, in particular, closer mutual defense cooperation, strengthening commerce and trade links, enhancing energy security and advocating for Poland’s long-awaited inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program.


January 8, 2020

Our speaker on Wednesday January 8 will be Ambassador David John Newman of Botswana.

Ambassador Newman obtained a law degree at the University of London in the UK and qualified as a Barrister at the Middle Temple. He then lectured in the Law Department of the University of Malawi and published a textbook on Criminal Procedure and Evidence.

In 1982 he moved to Botswana to assist in the establishment of the Law Department at the University of Botswana. For 14 of the next 20 years, he was managing partner in a leading law firm in Botswana. During that time he also had a number of personal business interests, primarily in the fields of energy and property development.

From 2004-2015, Ambassador Newman served as a Judge on Botswana’s Supreme Court. For much of that time he also conducted an internship program for law students from the Universities of Cincinnati and Pennsylvania.

In August 2015, Ambassador Newman became the 12th Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Botswana to the United States. He has seven children, 4 of whom joined him and his wife, Changu, in Washington. He and his wife can attest to the multi-racial tolerance, which is an attribute of the people of Botswana, and is evident in the 2017 feature film about the country’s founding President Sir Sereste Khama, called “A United Kingdom”.

Country Fact Sheet


February 5, 2020

On Wednesday 5 February, we will feature Myanmar, formerly Burma – which is emerging as a prosperous nation and tourist destination at the crossroads of Asia. Our Speaker, Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn received his B.S. (Geology) at Yangon University and his Masters in Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

In 1982, he began his career as a Geologist in Myanmar’s Irrigation Department. His appointments in foreign affairs began in 1983 and alternated between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yangon and overseas diplomatic posts. With respect to the latter, he held post of increasing seniority in Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Nations in New York, where he was Minister Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Myanmar.

His appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yangon, included Deputy Director of Protocol, and Permanent Secretary/Director General of the ASEAN Affairs Department. He was appointed Ambassador to the United States in September 2016.

Ambassador Aung Lynn is married to Kay Thi Kyi Wynn and they have 2 children.


March 4, 2020

On Wednesday 4 March, we will feature Ethiopia, a country, which has undergone a positive democratic reformation since Abiy Ahmed, recipient of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, became Prime Minister in April 2018.

Fistum Arega became Ethiopian Ambassador to the US in December 2018. From April to November 2018 he served as the Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister.

From February 2013 to April 2018, Ambassador Fistum was Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Under his leadership, the Investment Commission played a catalytic role in the increase of foreign direct investment from $1b in 2012 to $4b in 2018 and the resulting high growth in Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He has promoted Ethiopia as an investment and sourcing destination and traveled to over 40 countries.

Prior to these appointments, he served as Head of the Addis Ababa Investment Agency, Head of the Addis Ababa Trade and Industry Bureau as well as chairman and board member of different public enterprises.

Ambassador Fistum received a Master of Arts in development Economics and Policy Management from the University of Manchester.  Born and raised in Addis Ababa, he is married and has four children.

Country Fact Sheet


April 1, 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19

May 6, 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19

June 3, 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19