Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the United States, regretfully must step down as our keynote speaker due to diplomatic commitments. We are delighted to welcome as our keynote Ms. Helga Barth:

Helga Barth, Minister and Head of Political Affairs of the German Embassy

Helga Margarete Barth is Minister and Head of Political Affairs at the German Embassy in Washington DC. Prior to coming to Washington DC in August 2015, she served as Head of the Middle Eastern and Asian Affairs Division on Chancellor Merkel’s foreign policy team (2010-2015).

Her previous postings with the Federal Foreign Office include two years as the Ministry’s Research Coordinator on the Policy Planning Staff (2008-2010), a posting as Political Counsellor in Ankara, Turkey (2005-2008), and two years at the Division for Turkish Affairs (2003-2005). She has also served as Deputy Consul General in Guangzhou (Canton), China, and as a political desk officer at the German Embassy in Tokyo.

Ms. Barth first came to the United States to attend a summer program at the University of Delaware and later spent a year at Cornell University’s Asia Department. Ms. Barth holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Studies (Sinology), Modern History, and German Literature from Tubingen University, Germany. She also attended the universities of Erlangen and Bonn, as well as Shandong University at Jinan, China (1983-1985).

External Threat: The Russian Challenge to European Integration and Transatlantic Relations

Heather A. Conley is senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2009, she served as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross. From 2001 to 2005, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the countries of northern and central Europe. From 1994 to 2001, she was a senior associate with an international consulting firm led by former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage. Ms. Conley began her career in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was selected to serve as special assistant to the coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Ms. Conley is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic and is frequently featured as a foreign policy analyst on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, and PBS. She received her B.A. in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Fiona Hill is director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. From 2006 to 2009, she served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council. She is a frequent commentator on Russian and Eurasian affairs, and has researched and published extensively on issues related to Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, regional conflicts, energy, and strategic issues. She is co-author of the second edition of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015) and holds a master’s in Soviet studies and a doctorate in history from Harvard University where she was a Frank Knox Fellow.

Hans Kundnani is a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, based in Washington, D.C. Before that, he worked as the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an associate fellow at the Institute for German Studies at Birmingham University. He is the author of two books, Utopia or Auschwitz. Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust (2009) and The Paradox of German Power (2014), which has been translated into German, Italian, Korean and Spanish.

Angela Stent is Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies  and Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is also a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the Brookings Institution. From 2004-2006 she served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council.  From 1999 to 2001, she served in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State. Stent’s academic work focuses on the triangular political and economic relationship between the United States, Russia and Europe.  Her latest book is The Limits of Partnership: U.S-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century.

Internal Challenges: Implications of Populism for Transatlantic Relations

Jamie Fly is Counselor for Foreign and National Security Affairs to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).  Prior to joining Senator Rubio’s staff in February 2013, he served as the Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) from its founding in early 2009. Prior to joining FPI, Mr. Fly served in the Bush administration at the National Security Council (2008-2009) and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2005-2008). He was director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the National Security Council.  In the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he was an assistant for Transnational Threats Policy.  Prior to his service in government, Mr. Fly worked for the Republican National Committee on President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign in Ohio and on the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Additionally, Mr. Fly was a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2002-2004, where he worked on European and national security issues. He has also worked at the World Bank.  Mr. Fly received a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from American University and an M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University.

Andrew Imbrie served as a Speechwriter to Secretary of State John Kerry. Previously, he served as a professional staff member and speechwriter on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Other professional experience includes work with the U.S. Missions to NATO and the European Union. He has taught speechwriting to graduate and undergraduate students at American University. He received his B.A. from Connecticut College and his M.A. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Georgetown University.


Steven Keil is a fellow and program officer focusing on GMF’s security and defense policy work in Washington, DC. Keil works on issues surrounding the U.S.-German relationship, the broader transatlantic relationship, U.S. national security, and the politics of the post-Soviet space. Prior to joining GMF, he was a fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, where he conducted work placements in the CDU/CSU Foreign Policy Working Group in the Bundestag, as well as the Eastern European and Eurasian Research Division at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. Previously, Keil also worked in the United States Senate for the personal office of U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD). Keil received his bachelor’s from the University of South Dakota in political science, German, and history and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service BMW Center of German and European Studies. He speaks fluent German and basic Russian.

Ashley Rainey Donahey is currently a special adviser to the Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. Department of State.  Ms. Donahey’s previous experience within the Department includes serving as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the foreign affairs officer responsible for Israeli-Palestinian issues for the Bureau of International Organizations Affairs, a G-7 political track negotiator, a campaign strategist for the 2015 re-election of the United States to the UNESCO Executive Board, a managing editor for the Bureau of International Information Programs, and an intern in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  Ms. Donahey holds an MA in French Literature from the University of Michigan as well as an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Security Challenges: Rethinking the Transatlantic Relationship

Arnaud Hoyois is a PhD candidate at King’s College London (KCL) in European and International Studies (School of Politics and Economics). He earned an MRes in War Studies at KCL (School of Security Studies), specialising in Conflict, Security and Development and European participation in UN interventions, a Masters in Finance at the Paris Graduate Business School (ESCP Europe), and studied International Relations at Sciences-Po Paris. His research interests include theories of European integration in the Common Security and Defence Policy and European interventionism in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Africa. Prior to becoming a researcher, Mr. Hoyois worked for PwC in Corporate Finance in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Plamen Mavrov is a first-year graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. His research interests revolve around the political economy of globalization and its relation to international security. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where he majored in International Affairs and Political Science and minored in Economics.

Sloane Taylor Stathis is an intelligence specialist with a background in defense and operations.  She spent 5 years at the Defense Intelligence Agency and was a recipient of the Director of National Intelligence Team Award. Ms. Stathis is currently a Senior Intelligence Analyst at SAIC and a full-time graduate student at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, she is earning a master’s in German and European Studies, with a concentration in International Business Diplomacy. Ms. Stathis received her B.A. in International Studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is the recipient of the Carmel Scholarship for Russian History and Culture and studied at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Sloane resides in Arlington, VA with her German Shepherd Kaiser.


The Transatlantic Relationship Post-TTIP: Digital Cooperation and Media Accountability

Matthias Kaspers is an MPP candidate at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, currently working for PD, a public sector consulting company. He holds a BA in International Relations from the Dresden University of Technology and recently spent a semester at Georgetown University, which sparked his interest in transatlantic relations and US politics. In the past, he worked with McKinsey & Company on business strategies, with the Boston Consulting Group on social impact assessments, with the German Embassy Tel Aviv on political analyses, and with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Morocco on migration issues.

Evangelos Razis is a Master of Science in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University, where he focuses on international trade-and-investment policy and business-government relations. When not in class, he is a Government Relations Analyst at Fujitsu, Japan’s leading information technology hardware and services company. Before joining Fujitsu, Evangelos was a Graduate Policy Fellow at the Information Technology Industry Council, where he worked on issues related to data localization, multilateral affairs, and market access barriers to the European Union and Russia. In the Fall of 2016, he was awarded an eBay Public Policy Scholarship. He graduated from Fordham University in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science. Evangelos speaks Greek, Russian, and some Georgian.

Elisabeth Winter is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS), a collaboration of Freie Universität Berlin, Hertie School of Governance, and WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Her dissertation examines networks of preferential trade agreements and their linkages to international security policy. Related research interests are global trade governance, transatlantic relations, and EU/US foreign trade policy. After finishing a BA in International Socio-Economics, Ms. Winter graduated in North American Studies from Freie Universität Berlin, specializing in US foreign politics and economics. In 2016, she joined the BMW Center at Georgetown University as a Junior Visiting Researcher.