History: 2020-2021 Program

Wednesday 10 March 8:00pm 

Cyber – What’s the Big Deal by Chris Inglis

Mr. Chris Inglis is a Visiting Professor for Cyber Security Studies at the US Naval Academy and a Managing Director for Paladin Capital. In 2014 he retired from the Department of Defense as Deputy Director of the National Security Agency completing a career in public service of more than 41 years.

Mr. Inglis is a Commissioner on the 2019-2021 United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission charged by law to consider and recommend a US cyber strategy.  He is also a Director on the Boards of FedEx and Huntington Bank, in each case serving as the chair of their respective technology committees.

From 2014 – 2020, Mr. Inglis served as a member of the US Strategic Command Strategic Advisory Group and chair of its Intelligence Panel. From 2016-2020, he served as a member of the Director of National Intelligence Strategic Advisory Group, leading its 2019 study of the National Counter-Terrorism Center.

A 30-year veteran of the Air Force active and reserves, Mr. Inglis retired as a Brigadier General, holds the rating of Command Pilot and is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, the Air War College and intermediate service schools.

Mr. Inglis holds advanced degrees in engineering and computer science from Columbia University (MS), Johns Hopkins University (MS), and the George Washington University (Professional Degree).

He lives with his family in Annapolis.


What is Cyberwarfare? – Generally speaking, the term is applied to a cyber attack that has the backing of one nation with the intent of hurting another.

What Forms can it take? – Any of the most common methods of cyber misconduct, including infecting a computer system with malware, holding it hostage with ransomware or hacking data for the purpose of espionage. A more extreme example might be a cyberattack that aims to sabotage, say, the launching of missiles.

Why all the worry? – If influencing elections seems relatively tame, consider what a full-blown cyberwarfare could mean: the complete and prolonged shutdown of a power grid; the wipeout of data centers by malware that overheats circuits; the scrambling of bank records to cause financial panic; interference with the safe operations of dams and nuclear plants or blinding of radar and targeting systems of fighter jets.  Beyond the malicious effects that might be imposed on data, computers and the life critical functions dependent on them, there is growing concern about the use of cyber methods to conduct influence campaigns that affect the cohesion of large populations.

Who are the combatants? – In addition to Russia and the U.S., nations with active cyber warfare programs are thought to include China, Israel, the U.K., Iran and North Korea.

The National Security Agency, NSA, is responsible for global monitoring, collection and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. NSA is both a member of the Defense Department and the Intelligence Community Agency.

To overcome the very real threats to our country, national decision makers:

  • Need to know what our adversaries are doing and what their capabilities are so they can make decisions and plans and execute policies and operations.
  • Must ensure US digital infrastructure is resilient and well-defended.
  • Must be able to outmaneuver and impose appropriate consequences on those who would do us harm in cyberspace.

The U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission was established in 2019 to “develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber-attacks of significant consequences”.  The Commission issued a recommended strategy and implementing actions in March 2020 and will continue to oversee its implementation through 2021.

Paladin Capital Group is a leading global investor that supports and grows the world’s most innovative cyber companies. Paladin is a multi-stage investment firm that pursues compelling technology, product, and service opportunities in innovative, emerging, and growing markets.


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January 13, 2021 (changed from Jan 6) VIDEO LINK

Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand

On Wednesday 13 January 2020 at 7:00pm (this is one hour earlier than our standard presentation time) we will hear from Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand – an island country in the South Pacific with a unique form of democracy and some famous citizens.

Rosemary Banks has had a forty-year career with the Ministry of Foreign Affaires and Trade, including six previous overseas assignments.  She was Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2005-2009) and Ambassador to France and Portugal and New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the OECD (2010 – 2014).  Ambassador Banks served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Canberra.

As Deputy Secretary in New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Ambassador Banks was responsible for multilateral, legal and consular affairs.  Earlier Wellington-based positions included Director of Development Assistance, Director of North Asia Division, Director Public Affairs and foreign policy adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to her appointment as Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Banks served as a Crown negotiator for the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.  She was also a member of the council of the University of Canterbury and a Senior Adjunct Fellow in the Department of Political Science.

Ambassador Banks has provided diplomatic craft training for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Treasury, the New Zealand Defense Force and the Papua New Guinea Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Banks has a Master of Arts degree in Russian with First Class Honors from Canterbury University and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics

Country Fact Sheet

November 4, 2020
ZOOM Event

Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States

Daniel Mulhall became the Republic of Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States in August 2017.

Ambassador Mulhall was brought up on Waterford, Ireland, and pursued his graduate and post-graduate studies in modern Irish history and literature at University College, Cork

He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and served in diplomatic posts in New Delhi, Vienna (OSCE), Brussels (EU) and Edinburgh.  His ambassadorial posts have included Malaysia (2001-05), Germany (2009-13) and United Kingdom (2013-17).

In the Department of Foreign affairs and Trade, he served as DG (Director General) for European Affairs (2005-09). From 1995-98 he was the Department’s Press Counselor and, in that capacity, was part of the Irish Government’s delegation at the time of the Good Friday Agreement ending the “Troubles” in 1998.

Ambassador Mulhall, a distinguished author, advocates public diplomacy through social media. He has his own twitter account (@DanMulhall).

Country Fact Sheet

September 9, 2020 (Labor Day September 7)

Veruzhan Nersesyan, Ambassador of Armenia to the United States

Ambassador Veruzhan Nersesyan was appointed Ambassador Extradordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to the United States in November 2018.

He obtained an MA in International Relations in 1996, an MA in Public Administration in 1998 and a Global MA (Fletcher School of Law in Diplomacy) in 2009.  He holds graduate certificates in Conventional Arms Control and Preventative Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

Within the Armenian Government he has served in positions of increasing responsibility as OSCE Desk Officer, Head of Conventional Arms Control Division, Head of External Relations for the National Assembly, Assistant to the President and Assistant to the Prime Minister.

His overseas responsibilities have included DCM OSCE Vienna (2000-2003), and DCM Armenian Embassy Washington DC (2008-2012).

Ambassador Nersesyan is fluent in English and Russian and speaks some German.  He is married with three children.

Country Fact Sheet

Wednesday 5 May, 2021  ZOOM Event

Ambassador Quinonez will tell us about Guatemala: a Central American country south of Mexico which is home to volcanos, rainforests, beaches and ancient Mayan sites.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday 5 May, 2021/ 8:00pm

TITLE OF TALK: Guatemala, a partner to the United States

DESCRIPTION OF TALK: The talk will focus on the intense and dynamic bilateral relationship between the United States and Guatemala and the main issues arising from it, with an emphasis on current events.

LOCATION: Zoom (login on our Zoom page)

SPEAKER: Ambassador Quinonez
Prior to his appointment as Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of América, Alfonso Quiñonez was the Public Affairs Manager for a large industrial conglomerate in Guatemala for a period of 5 years.
Prior to his work in the private sector, Ambassador Quiñonez worked at the Organization of American States (OAS) for a period of approximately 15 years until 2015. His last position was Executive Secretary for the Summit of the Americas and Secretary for External Relations. Previously he served for five years as the Executive Secretary for Social and Economic Development and Director General of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and- Development. He joined the OAS in 2001 as Director of the Department of Cooperation Policies.
Before joining the OAS, Ambassador Quiñonez was a member of the Guatemalan Foreign Service, having held positions in Spain as Counselor, in the United States as Deputy Chief of Mission, and Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States until 2000.

Ambassador Quiñonez has held a number of positions in different organizations in Guatemala and internationally, such as member of the Board of the US-Guatemala Business Council, the Board of Advisors of the Inter American Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Pan-American Development Foundation. He has also held different positions in international organizations and academia, such as member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), where he chaired its Finance Committee; member of the Advisory Board of the Master’s Program in Integral Economic Development at the Catholic University of America School of Business and Economics; and lecturer at the United States Foreign Service Institute on Latin American and Caribbean issues. He was also a professor at the School of Political Studies and International Relations at Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala.
He is married and has two children.

• Fellow at the School of Public Affairs of the University of Maryland, US Foreign Policy Making
• Fellow at the Inter-American Defense College, Continental Security and Defense
• Georgetown University, LLM Common Law Studies
• Francisco Marroquin University of Guatemala, Juris Doctor

Country Fact Sheet