LEAP Events

Speaker Series

Bill Taylor speaking


Bill Taylor speaking with Chris Kojm


Photo: Audience members raise hands to ask a question to former Director of National of Intelligence James Clapper


The Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative at the Elliott School sponsors two speaker series: “Why Ethics Matter” and “Leadership in International Affairs: Lessons Learned." Poignant speakers have included James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence), Ambassador Prudence Bushnell (who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala and Kenya), and Dr. Robert M. Franklin (president emeritus of the Morehouse College). These speakers impart candid leadership advice, tell of ethical challenges they have faced in their careers, and describe the practical skills Elliott Students require for professional success.

Discover the LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series, featuring interviews with prominent practitioners in the field of International Affairs!

  • Tuesday, March 22nd, Event with General Richard Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Thursday, March 24th, Event with Luke Collin, Director of Japan Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Wednesday, March 30th, “The Development Diplomat” with Fatema Sumar, Vice President of Compact Operations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State, as well as author of “The Development Diplomat."
  • Tuesday, April 5th, Event with Taylor Jack, Program Manager at Chemonics International in the East and Southern Africa Division and returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
  • Thursday, April 14th, “Answering a call to serve in the Wake of 9/11: One Career Civil Servant’s Journey Across Multiple U.S. Administrations” with Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, former Director for Iran and Iran Nuclear Implementation on the White House National Security Council (NSC) Staff and former Team Chief and Analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense.


Please email [email protected]edu if you would like your organization to partner with the Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative.

Spring 2022

Fall 2021

  • Tuesday, November 30th, “There is nothing for you here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century” with Dr. Fiona Hill, former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council and deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council. Co-sponsored with IERES.
  • Thursday, November 18th, “Women at Elliott and GW: Speaking Up With Confidence” with Dr. Rollie Lal and Dr. Irene Oh, co-Chairs of the Global Affairs and Religion Network (GARNET) at the Elliott School. They led a discussion about the importance of women speaking up in class, joining leadership roles, networking, and being confident in public.
  • Friday, November 18th, “The Costs and Consequences of War: Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan”. Panel 1 was with Heidi Peltier, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Political Science and Project Director, Cost of War Project, Boston University; Ji-young Lee, Associate Professor of International Relations and C.W. Lim and KF Professor of Korean Studies, American University; Paul Morrow, Vietnam Legacies Project, Human Rights Center, University of Dayton; and Benjamin D. Hopkins, Professor of History and International Affairs, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. The panel moderator was  Christopher Kojm, Director of the Leadership, Ethics and Practice Initiative.  Panel 2 was with Daniel Jasper, Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator, Asia, American Friends Service Committee; Susan Hammond, Executive Director and Founder, War Legacies Project; and Heidi Kühn, Founder and CEO, Roots of Peace. The panel moderator was Linda J. Yarr, Research Professor of International Affairs and Director, Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA), Elliott School of International Affairs. Sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
  • Tuesday, November 16th, “A Call for Antiracism in the US Nuclear Community” with Dr. Aditi Verma, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program, Harvard University; and Sylvia Mishra, a New Tech Nuclear Officer at the European Leadership Network and a doctoral researcher at the Department of Defence, King’s College London. Sponsored by the Security Policy Studies Program.
  • Friday, November 12th, “Gender Equality and Public Service: A White House Perspective” with Rachel Vogelstein, Senior Advisor to the White House Gender Policy Council.
  • Tuesday, November 9th, Panel: “Initiative on US Higher Education Pathways for Refugee Students” with Dr. Miriam Feldblum, President, Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration; Dr. Kyle Farmbry, University Alliance for Refugees and At-Risk Migrants; Rosie Hughes, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR); Laura Wagner, Project Manager, Initiative on U.S. Education Pathways; and Diing Manyang, Elimisha Kakuma. Sponsored by No Lost Generation GWU.
  • Friday, November 5th, Panel: “What Should We Teach? Analyzing Future International Affairs Education and Research Needs Through the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends Report”. Panel 1was with Maria Langan-Riekhof, director of the Strategic Futures Group at the National Intelligence Council; Dr. Suzanne Fry, political analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and a member of its Senior Analytic Service; and Dr. Mathew Burrows, director of the Atlantic Council's Foresight, Strategy and Risks Initiative (FSR) and Co-Director of the New American Engagement Initiative (NAEI).  The panel moderator was Dr. Marcus King, John O. Rankin Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Elliott School's Master of Arts in International Affairs Program. Panel 2 was with Dr. Martha Finnemore, University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University; Dr. Miles Kahler, Distinguished Professor at the School of International Service, American University; and Dr. Andrew Loomis, who serves in the State Department as Senior Advisor and manages a team in the Office of Communications.  The panel moderator was Dr. Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University.
  • Thursday, November 4th, “Leadership Lessons Learned as the President’s Briefer” with Beth E. Sanner, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Mission Integration, Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Director of the President’s Daily Brief.
  • Wednesday, November 3rd, “Leading with Empathy” with Rebecca Wallace, Deputy Director of the Office of Peacekeeping Operations at the US Department of State. She discussed how the new generation of leaders can combine traditional leadership principles with a more compassionate approach featuring empathy, kindness, and collaboration to become more effective leaders overall.
  • Wednesday, October 27th, “Ethical Leadership: Strategies to Ensure That Your Virtue is Not a Surprise" with Dr. Brian Ray, Senior Ethics Advisor for the Standards of Conduct Office at the Pentagon, as well as an Army Reserve Colonel and Chaplain. He is also the Director of the Poe Business Ethics Center and a Master Lecturer of Leadership and Ethics at the University of Florida.
  • Tuesday, October 26th, “Careers in International Consulting: Pathways & Prospects” with Pierre Tantchou, Angela Bruce-Raeburn, Evan Nicole Lege, and Howard Goodinson. Sponsored by the Young Black Professionals in International Affairs and the Multicultural Business Students Association, this panel event sought to demystify the field of international consulting and show students how to enter and excel in the field.
  • Tuesday, October 19th, “Call Me American” with Abdi Nor Iftin, who spoke about his book by the same name, and about his experiences as a child in Mogadishu, Somalia, and his path to America seeking a better life.
  • Monday, October 18th, "Take the Pen" with Jane Rhee, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. She discussed how the best career advice she ever received was, “Take the pen”, which meant that there is more than one way to demonstrate leadership. They all took the pen – or the other tools they had available to them – in their own way. What mattered was how they used those tools to ask the right questions and hone the skills and traits that helped them become effective leaders: sound judgment, strong communication, and strategic thinking.
  • Saturday, October 16th, “Ruined Tempest”, a student-participant Simulation surrounding the impact and international response to a cyclone strike in Sri Lanka, prepared and conducted by Strategic Crisis Simulations, a student-run organization.
  • Friday, October 15th, “Diverse Perspectives in IA: Honoring Latinx/Hispanic Heritage” with Ambassador Lino Gutierrez, former Ambassador to Argentina and Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs. 
  • Thursday, September 30th, “Artificial Intelligence, National Security, and Ethics” with Professor James E. Baker, Former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the former Special Assistant to the President, Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, and Counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board. He is also the author of In the Common Defense: National Security Law for Perilous Times and coauthor of Regulating Covert Action. 
  • Thursday, September 23rd, “Promoting Justice Across Borders: The Ethics of Reform Intervention” with Dr. Lucia Rafanelli, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and an Expert on Theories of Human Rights and Global Justice. 
  • Wednesday, September 22nd, “The Frontlines of Peace” with Dr. Severine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and an Expert on International Humanitarian Interventions
  • Friday, September 17th, “A Borderless Society 2000 Years Ago: Christians and International Affairs in the Roman Empire” with Dr. Paul Duff, Professor of Religion and expert on the Bible and Christianity at the George Washington’s Columbia School of Arts and Sciences. 
  • Thursday, September 16th, “The Seductions of Leadership” with Minister Margaret Kibben, Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives. 
  • Wednesday, September 15th, “The Power of Giving Away Power” with Ambassador Matthew Barzun, Former Ambassador to Sweden and the United Kingdom.
  • Tuesday, September 9th, “Role of Youth in International Organizations” with Arora Akanksha, the youngest candidate to run for UN Secretary-General.

Spring 2021

  • Thursday, April 15th, Virtual Event: "National & International Security through the Women, Peace & Security Lens." Join us for a discussion with Adm. Michelle Howard (Ret.), LEAP, and GEIA. Admiral Howard will discuss the Department of Defense's Women, Peace, and Security implementation plans. She will also discuss her various experiences in leadership and ethics along the way.
  • Wednesday, April 14th, Virtual Panel: "CybHERsecurity: Women in Cyberspace" with Rhea Siers, Sayako Quinlan, Cheri Caddy, and Michele Markoff. These extraordinary women will sit on a panel to answer questions about their personal experiences in the cybersecurity field as female experts, current happenings in cyberspace, and the role of cybersecurity within the international order. Sponsored by The MA in Security Policy Studies Program, the Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative, the Gender Equality in International Affairs Initiative, the Cyber Security & Privacy Research Institute, and the SEAS Center for Women Engineering.
  • Wednesday, April 14th, Virtual Event: "GEIA Women’s Leadership Index Launch with Gwen Young." Join GEIA Director Dr. Shirley Graham and GEIA visiting scholar and COO of the Women Business Collaborative, Gwen Young, to launch the GEIA Women’s Leadership Index, measuring where women are and the power they hold in governments across the globe. We will discuss the pathways, position, and power women hold in public offices worldwide with an eye towards national security.
  • Saturday, April 10th, Virtual Simulation: Strategic Crisis Simulation: The Celtic Rift. Join us for our annual collaboration with the Elliott School's Leadership, Ethics, and Practice (LEAP) Initiative as we explore the future of the island of Ireland. For this simulation, we will explore the political ramifications of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace status in Northern Ireland. Following a hotly contested UK general election in 2024, Irish Republicans in Northern Ireland have decided to push for Irish Unification officially. What follows are contentious referendums and border polls, prompting responses from local political parties and national actors. Participants will navigate a shaky democratic process while attempting to establish lasting peace in Northern Ireland.
  • Tuesday, April 6 Virtual Event: “Spymaster’s Prism” with Jack Devine. His long career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) included serving as both the Acting Director and Associate Director of the CIA's operations outside the United States. He had supervisory authority over thousands of CIA employees involved in sensitive missions throughout the world.
  • Monday, April 1st Virtual Event: “Women in the Intelligence Community” Panel with The Hon. Susan M. Gordon, The Hon. Stephanie L. O’Sullivan, and Dr. Letitia A. Long. Panel discussion about the role of women and leadership within the Intelligence Community. Susan Gordon served as the Principal Deputy Director for National Intelligence during the Trump Administration. Stephanie O’Sullivan served as the Principal Deputy for National Intelligence during the Obama Administration. Letitia Long served as the first woman Director Of the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency.
  • Tuesday, March 30 Virtual Event: “The Rise in Domestic Violence Cases Due to COVID-19.” with Michelle Milford Morse, Carol Ajema, and Jessica Kyle.  Student-organized panel moderated by Elliott School graduate student Lucero Flores. Michelle Milford Morse is the UN Foundation’s Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy. Carol Ajema is a Senior Gender and Gender-Based Violence Specialist, International Center for Research on Women – Africa. Jessica Kyle serves as a Senior Program Officer for International Justice Mission.  
  • Monday, March 29 Virtual Event: “Diverse Perspectives in IA: Women’s History Month and South Asian Heritage.” Book launch for Dr. Kavita Daiya, author of 'Graphic Migrations: Precarity and Gender in India and the Diaspora.'  Sponsored by the Gender Equality in International Affairs Initiative and co-sponsored by LEAP and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.
  • Wednesday, March 24,  Virtual Event: "A Discussion with General Herbert Raymond McMaster." General H.R. McMaster is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who served in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as the 26th United States National Security Advisor from 2017 to 2018.
  • Tuesday, March 23 Virtual Event: “A Conversation with Shawn Skelly." Shawn Skelly is a retired American Navy officer, national security expert, and LGBT rights advocate. During President Barack Obama's administration, she served as Director of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation. In 2017, she was appointed by Obama to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, making her one of the highest-profile, openly transgender presidential appointees in U.S. history. Skelly served on President-elect Joe Biden's transition team for the Department of Defense.
  • Friday, March 12 Virtual Event: “The State of American Leadership and Ethics Today with Ambassador Norm Eisen.” Amb. Norm Eisen, the former Chief Ethics Officer in the Obama White House and former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic discussed proposals in an upcoming Brookings report about restoring ethics and the rule of law to the federal government after four years of the Trump administration.
  • Thursday, March 11 Virtual Event: "Myanmar Coup and Going Forward." LEAP and the George Washington International Student Association sponsored Elliott School Professor Dr. Christina Fink and Dr. MieMie Wynn Byrd from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies to join two Burmese students to discuss the recent coup that took place in Myanmar on February 1, 2021.
  • Thursday, March 11 Virtual Film Series: "Presumed Guilty" A discussion with Emmy Award-winning director and justice reform advocate Roberto Hernández. He is the Senior Researcher at the World Justice Project. He oversees the various Mexico-based projects, with more than a decade of experience designing and deploying surveys that measure various aspects of criminal justice in Mexico and overseas. He holds a B.A. in Law from el Instituto Technológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), an LL.M. in Comparative Law from McGill University in Montreal, and he is a Ph.D. candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Tuesday, March 9, Virtual Event: "The DC Student Consortium on Women, Peace, and Security Launch Event." The District of Columbia (D.C.) Student Consortium on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) conducted a virtual launch event in honor of International Women’s Day in coordination with the US Civil Society Working Group on WPS and the George Washington University (GWU) Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs. Co-sponsored by LEAP.
  • Wednesday, March 3 Virtual Event: "Diverse Perspectives in IA: Teaching Gender in International Affairs," with Dr. Shirley Graham and Dr. Michael Brown. A Conversation between Dr. Michael E. Brown and Dr. Shirley Graham about the importance of teaching gender in international affairs, the most urgent gender issues facing us today, and the challenges facing gender scholars and policymakers. Sponsored by GEIA, Diversity & Inclusion, and LEAP.
  • Wednesday, March 3, Virtual Panel: “Post-Brexit: Europe’s Geopolitical Landscape and Economic Outlook,” with Amb. Daniel Mulhall, Dr. Clair Gammage, Dr. Michael Geary, and Mr. Joseph Dunne. This student-organized panel was moderated by Kyle Bligen and Elan Fox, Elliott School students. Amb. Mulhall is Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States. Dr. Gammage is Senior Lecturer in Law at Bristol University. Dr. Michael J. Geary is a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program and an Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Mr. Joseph Dunne was nominated in 2019 as Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington. The panel discussed the impact of the Brexit trade agreement on the European economy, multilateral cooperation, and global trade. 
  • Monday, March 1, Film Series:  “The Dissident,” a film about the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Discussion with Director Bryan Fogel.
  • Friday, February 26, Virtual Panel on “The COVAX Initiative and Equitable Global Vaccine Distribution.” With Dr. Jeremy Youde, Dr. Jon Andrus, Loyce Pace, and Dr. Adam Jachimowicz moderated by Dr. Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre. Dr. Jeremy Youde is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Ms. Loyce Pace is a Biden-Harris COVID-19 Advisory Board Member and President of the Global Health Council. Dr. Jon Andrus is an Adjunct Professor of Global Health at George Washington University, and Dr. Adam Jachimowicz is a researcher, teacher, and practitioner in the field of Emergency Management. Dr. Deloffre is Director of the Humanitarian action Initiative and is an Associate Professor at the Elliott School. The panel discussed how ‘Vaccine nationalism’ and a narrow view of health security remain strong competition drivers for the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Thursday, February 25, Virtual Event: “African American Leaders in Foreign Policy” with Professor Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Mr. Chris Richardson, and Professor Skip Gnehm. Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff is a Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the George Washington University. Chris Richardson is a former diplomat, immigration attorney, and General Counsel and COO for BDV Solutions, LLC. Edward "Skip" Gnehm Jr. served 36 years in the Foreign Service with Ambassadorships in Kuwait, Australia, Jordan, and the UN. Currently, he is the Kuwait Professor of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs.
  • Tuesday, February 23, Virtual Event: GEIA Event: “Book Discussion with Dr. Aisling Swaine Research on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.” GEIA Director Dr. Shirley Graham hosted a conversation with renowned author Dr. Aisling Swaine on her book "Conflict-Related Violence against Women: Transforming Transition." Her research impels readers to examine gendered aspects of violence, and gender inequality intrinsically linked to power structures exacerbated during periods of conflict.
  • Thursday, February 18, Virtual Panel: "Intersection of Race in International Affairs Theory and Foreign Policy” with Mr. Travis L. Adkins, Dr. Yolande Bouka, Dr. Vanessa Wills, Dr. Siba N’Zatioula Grovogui. Mr. Travis L. Adkins is a lecturer of African and security studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Dr. Yolande Bouka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. Dr. Vanessa Wills is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Siba N’Zatioula Grovogui is a professor of international relations theory, law, and political thought at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. The purpose of this event was to examine the intersection of race in the founding principles of international relations and foreign policy and how they inform our knowledge of international legitimacy, cooperation, development, and power. This event collaborates with the GW Black Student Union’s annual Black Heritage Celebration to commemorate Black History Month.
  • Wednesday, February 17, Virtual Event: “A Conversation with Faiza Patel." Faiza Patel serves as co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program. She spoke about her career at a leading NGO in the field of Law and National Security. She has testified before Congress opposing the dragnet surveillance of Muslims, organized advocacy efforts against state laws designed to incite fear of Islam, and developed legislation creating an independent inspector general for the New York Police Department.
  • Thursday, February 16, Virtual Event: "Lessons Learned from Past International Projects with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago" with Dr. Michael Marge." Dr. Marge discussed international experiences in implementing collaborative projects with the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and lessons he learned about effective diplomatic relationships with a Nation that sought robust cultural and economic exchanges with the United States.
  • Wednesday, February 10, Virtual Event: “A Conversation with Maria Pica Karp." Maria Pica Karp is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Government Affairs for Chevron. She manages federal, international, state government, legislative and regulatory affairs and oversees the company’s political contributions and compliance programs.
  • Thursday, January 21, Virtual Event: “The Capitol Riots, QAnon, and the Internet.” The shocking attack on the US Capitol and threats to US democracy in the wake of the US election were the topics of a panel discussion, including Elliott School Professors Chris Kojm and Dr. Rollie Lal, School of Media and Public Affairs Professor Dr. Rebekah Tromble, Seamus Hughes, Deputy Director for the GW Program on Extremism, and Mary McCord, Fellow, GW Program on Extremism. The panel discussed how extremist ideas have spread through society, how technology is an enabler for extremist groups such as QAnon and the Capitol rioters, as well as international implications.
  • Tuesday, January 19, Virtual Event: “King Week: Principled Leadership in Times of Crisis.” Former Elliott School Dean Reuben Brigety discussed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's life and experience and its meaning for students of international affairs. Dean Brigety explored Dr. King’s example of moral leadership.
  • Friday, January 8, Virtual Event: "Race and Gender in International Affairs Panel." The panel discussion focused on preparing future leaders to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their future careers. Panelists included Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Founder, and Executive Director, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS; Dr. Shirley Graham, Director, Gender Equality Initiative in International Affair; Dr. Lakeisha Harrison, Professorial Lecturer, Elliott School of International Affairs; Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, Former Ambassador; and Laxman Belbase, Professorial Lecturer, Elliott School of International Affairs / Co-Director, MenEngage Global Alliance. The event was moderated by Dr. Marcus King, Director, Master of Arts in International Affairs Program, and John O. Rankin, Associate Professor. Hosted by the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs (GEIA), the Elliott School Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership, Ethics, and Practice (LEAP) Initiative, the International Affairs Society, and Young Black Professionals in International Affairs.
  • Friday, January 8, Virtual Event: “Sixty Minutes with Ditte Juul-Jørgensen, Director General for Energy of the European Commission.” Mrs. Juul-Jørgensen took up the position of ENER Director in August 2019. She joined DG ENER from a position as Head of Cabinet for EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Previously, she was Director of Legal Affairs and Trade in Goods in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade at the World Trade Organization.

Fall 2020

  • Tuesday, December 8, Virtual Event Film Series: "Waking Dream," with documentary film director Theo Rigby's comments. Rigby joined for a Q&A session discussing leadership & ethics and six undocumented young people's stories as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship.
  • Wednesday, December 2, Virtual Event: "Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity in the Navy,” A Conversation featuring (Ret.) Admiral Michelle Howard, Elliott School Shapiro Visiting Professor in 2018-2020, in a conversation with Rear Admiral Kelly Aeschbach, Commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence and GWU graduate. 
  • Thursday, November 19, Virtual Event: "Unpacking the Implications of American Exceptionalism," with Temi IbirogbaCharles KupchanEric Cheyfitz, and Netfa Freeman. Temi Ibirogba is the Program and Research Associate for the Africa Program at the Center for International Policy. Charles Kupchan is a Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Eric Cheyfitz is the Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University. Netfa Freeman is a long-time Pan-Africanist and internationalist human rights organizer. This event deconstructed the discrepancies between American exceptionalism's ideal and reality and disentangled these discrepancies' consequences. This panel examined the overlooked assumptions that undergirded American exceptionalism and discussed how the US could grapple with its violent history to work towards playing a positive role in international relations.
  • Tuesday, November 17, Virtual Event: "The State of Intelligence: Leadership to Meet Future Challenges" with Robert Cardillo, who has held numerous leadership positions in his 35 years of service in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). Most recently, he served as the sixth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from October 2014 until February 2019, where he led the Agency’s efforts to modernize and grow its global geospatial intelligence mission. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Cardillo served as the first deputy director for intelligence integration at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
  • Wednesday, November 11, Virtual Event: “Leadership Challenges in Addressing Change Across the Public, Private, and Academic Sectors,” with Varun Sivaram. A widely published scientist and innovation scholar, Sivaram is a senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and serves on the boards of Stanford University's energy and environment institutes.
  • Friday, November 6, Virtual Event Film Series: "Belly of the Beast," with Director Erika Cohn's comments. Film screening and Q&A session discussing leadership & ethics surrounding a legal battle against modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons.
  • Monday, October 19, Virtual Event: “The Importance of Public Service: A Conversation with Fiona Hill,” with Dr. Fiona Hill, a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She recently served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. From 2006 to 2009, she served as the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council.
  • Wednesday, October 14, Virtual Event: “Sustainable Tourism,” with Prof. Anne Becker, the Maude, and Lillian Presley, Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. An anthropologist and psychiatrist, Professor Becker’s research focus include the social and cultural mediation of presentation and risk for eating disorders, social barriers to care for mental disorders, and school-based mental health promotion.
  • Wednesday, October 7, 2020, Virtual Event: “Dissent and the Decision to Leave: Views from a Former Foreign Service Officer,” with Bethany Milton, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer who resigned in protest from the Department of State in August 2019 over Trump Administration policies.
  • Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Virtual Event: “Diálogos Hispanos:  A Conversation with Rep. Joaquin Castro.” Rep.Joaquin Castro represents the 20th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Co-sponsored with Security Policy Studies. 
  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, Virtual Event: “Leading from the Center,” with Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the CEO of New America, and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009-2011 she served as the director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Before her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Virtual Event: “International Human Rights Law: Leadership, Challenges, and the Path Forward,” with Associate Dean Rosa Celorio, who joined GW Law in 2018 after having worked for more than a decade as a Senior Attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States.
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020, Virtual Event: “No Going Back: Post-Corona Reconstruction Program Presented by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus.” Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of both social business and microcredit and the founder of Grameen Bank and more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. In 2006, Prof. Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to "create economic and social development from below." Prof. James E. Foster served as the moderator. 
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020, virtual event, “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Talking Points,” with Peter Loge, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, SMPA Director of External Relations, and Director of the Project on Ethics in Political Communication.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020, virtual event, “Sports, Ethics, and Black Lives Matter Panel,” with Dr. Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff, ESIA BA ’99, an expert on sports diplomacy, moderated a discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of athletics. Joining Lindsay were Pops Mensah-Bonsu, CCAS BA ’06, who most recently served as the General Manager of the NBA G League Capital City Go-Go and is a former professional basketball player; and Jen Rizzotti, current George Washington University Head Coach of Women’s Basketball, and Assistant Coach for USA Women’s Basketball.
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020, virtual event, “Immigration from Mexico and integration of Mexican immigrants,” with Tomás Jiménez, Professor of Sociology and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University. He is also Director of the Undergraduate Program on Urban Studies.
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020, virtual event, “Do The Right Thing," with Russ Travers, the former Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
  • Friday, September 11, 2020, virtual event, “Sixty Minutes with Reinhard Bütikofer of the German Alliance 90/The Greens,” discussing US-EU relations, the EU’s response to the crisis in Belarus, EU-China relations, energy and climate, and democracy issues in the transatlantic community.
  • Wednesday, September 9, 2020, virtual event, "Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump” with Prof. Joseph S. Nye Jr., a University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Summer 2020

  • Thursday, August 20, 2020, “A Paradox of Morality: Using Games to Understand Group Moral Responsibility,” with Prof. Kaushik Basu of Cornell University (Co-sponsored with the International Institute for Economic Policy). 
  • Friday, August 14, 2020, “Race and International Affairs: Promoting Anti-Racism as a Foreign Policy Professional,” panel discussion with Dr. Imani Cheers, The Hon. Aaron Williams, Amb. Liberata Mulamula, Mr. Christopher Richardson, and Ms. Maryum Saifee, Dr. Imani Cheers is the Associate Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs and Associate Professor of Digital Storytelling. The Hon. Aaron Williams is the former Director of the United States Peace Corps. Amb. Liberata Mulumula is an Associate Director and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of African Studies at the Elliott School and former Ambassador of Tanzania to the United States. Mr. Christopher Richardson is a former diplomat and an immigration attorney. The event co-sponsored with the International Affairs Society and the Elliott School’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020, virtual event, “Future of Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship with European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič,” (Co-sponsored with the Security and Sustainability Forum). 
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2020, virtual event, "From Hope to Horror: Diplomacy and the Making of the Rwanda Genocide," book launch by Ambassador Joyce Leader, moderated by Institute for African Studies Director Jennifer Cooke. (cosponsored with IAS)
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2020, virtual event, “Leadership in Our Time: Sixty Minutes with Michael Chertoff,” former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, moderated by Andreas Simonyi.  (Co-sponsored with the Security and Sustainability Forum). 
  • Thursday, June 11, 2020, virtual event, “Fostering Social Cohesion in Diverse Societies,” A Conversation with the OSCE High Commissioner in National Minorities, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier.

Spring 2020

  • Tuesday, April 28, LEAP Student Leadership Panel with Elliott School Undergraduate and Graduate students as they discuss their leadership experiences. Moderated by Graduate student, Rebecca HoweWatch the LEAP Student Leadership Panel event recording.
  • Wednesday, April 22, Virtual Event, “Microaggressions:Toxic Rain in Educational Institutions,” with Dr. Derald Wing Sue, co-sponsored with the Diversity and Inclusion Manager.
  • Tuesday, April 14, Virtual Event "Promoting Ethics and Leadership in International Organizations" with Jorge Dajani, Chief Ethics Officer of the World Bank Group on the specificities of ethics functions in international public organizations and the importance of creating a value-based culture. Moderated by James Foster.
  • Wednesday, April 8, Virtual Event: "The End of Authority: Politics in a Post-Truth Age" with Journalist and author Ray Suarez. The event breaks down this time of trial for journalists, elected officials, and an audience trying to figure out what’s true, and what’s not. Watch "The End of Authority: Politics in a Post-Truth Age" event recording.
  • Wednesday, April 1, Virtual Event: Film Festival: “The Report” Q&A Session led by Daniel J. Jones a former United States Senate investigator, best known for his role in leading the investigation into the CIA's use of torture in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Jones is the founder and president of Advance Democracy, Inc. (ADI), a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that conducts public interest investigations around the world that promote "accountability, transparency, and good governance." Watch "The Report" Q&A session with Daniel Jones.
  • Thursday, March 5, GEIA International Women's Day (IWD) Conference on Women, Peace & Security (WPS).  Co-sponsorship by LEAP.
  • Thursday, March 5, “North Korea: Domestic security challenges, U.N. energy sanctions and the re-emergence of the threat of famine” with Dr. Hazel Smith a Professorial Research Associate in Korean Studies School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom and Professor Emerita of International Security, Cranfield University, UK. With Director Linda Joyce Yarr, Director Partnership for International Strategies in Asia as moderator. 
  • Friday, February 28, “A Conversation on Leadership and Ethics,” with Ambassador William B. Taylor, who received the Elliott School’s Leadership, Ethics and Practice Award.  Moderated by LEAP Director Chris Kojm.
  • Thursday, February 27, “What I Have—and Haven’t—Learned about Ethical Leadership from Studying Humanitarian INGOs” with Jennifer Rubenstein, an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia specializing in political theory.
  • Tuesday, February 25, “Complicity and Compromise: How ethical considerations ought to shape decision making of humanitarian organizations in complex environments,” with Dr. Chiara Lepora, a physician working with the International Committee of the Red Cross and formerly with Doctors Without Borders.  Discussion moderated by Michael Barnett, University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The George Washington University.
  • Monday, February 24, Film festival: “The Cave” with discussion moderated by Dr. Shirley Graham, Director of the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs.
  • Thursday, February 20, Conference on the 40th Anniversary of the National Intelligence Council, “Past as Prologue.
  • Wednesday, February 19, “Ethical dilemmas in leadership: the Palestinian case” with Nizar Farsakh, Principal at Farsakh Training & Consulting LLC and Chair of the Board of The Museum of the Palestinian People. Discussion moderated by Elliott School Vice Dean Ilana Feldman, Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs.
  • Saturday, February 8, Crisis Simulation - “Troubled Waters: A Simulation of Water Rights Disputes Along the Nile River” in partnership with the GWU Strategic Crisis Simulation Student Organization.
  • Monday, February 3, “Intervention without Empire: The Ethics of Foreign Influence in a (Neo-) Colonial World” with Dr. Lucia Rafanelli, an Assistant Professor of Ethics & International Affairs and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University, and Professor Chris Kojm as moderator.
  • Wednesday, January 29, “Humor, Ethics, and Dignity: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” with Sean Kanuck, an international attorney and professional intelligence analyst who advises governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs on the future of information technology, founder and CEO of EXEDEC LLC.
  • Monday, January 27, “Leadership in Challenging Times” with Aaron Williams, an international development expert, and a former diplomat. He served as the 18th Director of the Peace Corps from 2009 to 2012 under President Barack Obama. Discussion moderated by Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at George Washington University.
  • Monday, January 27, Film festival “Complicit - St Louis” with the comments of Jonah Karoll and Professor Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
    The George Washington University, Chair of the Rabin Forum.
  • Monday, January 13, “Reclaiming the great world house: Martin Luther King, Jr's Vision for 21st Century Leadership” with Dr. Vicki Crawford, Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, Associate Professor of African-American Studies, Morehouse College.

Fall 2019

  • Wednesday, November 20, "Sports Diplomacy and Gender" with Ms. Joanna Lohman, sports diplomat, and LGBT rights advocate, and Ms. Nora Summerville (GW MAIA ‘17), moderator, is a monitoring and evaluation specialist for PeacePlayers International.
  • November 7 - 15, “Waging Peace Program”. LEAP will co-sponsor a series of events (including exhibits, film screenings, panel discussions, a peace poetry open mic, etc…) to educate students and the general public about often overlooked facets of the history of US involvement in Vietnam, including the impact that antiwar GIs and veterans had on ending the war. You can download our Waging Peace in Vietnam program brochure here to learn more about the program.
  • Tuesday, November 5, “Book Launch: After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present” with Hope Harrison, author and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the Elliott School. 
  • Monday, November 4, "Ethics and Leadership: Core Values in Public Service" with Beth Nolan, Vice President and GW General Counsel, former White House Counsel. 
  • Friday, November 1, “The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924,” with Benny Morris, author, professor, and historian. 
  • Tuesday, October 29, “The Ethics of Technology and Development” with Aasit Nanavati, Strategy and Sales, DevResults and George Washington University Adjunct Professor & Josh Machleder, Senior Advisor for Media and Internet Freedom, USAID.
  • Thursday, October 24, “The Ethics of Promoting Justice Across Borders” with Lucia Rafanelli, GW Faculty. 
  • Wednesday, October 23, "Ethics and Leadership in Post Civil War Sierra Leone", A discussion with Mohamed Sidibay, peace activist, Elliott School alum, and former child soldier in Sierra Leone. 
  • Wednesday, October 23“International Financial Institutions’ Accountability Mechanisms” A discussion with Mohammad Hamze from the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO MICI, Inter-American Development Bank and Esteban Tovar Cornejo, from the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Tuesday, October 15, ETHICS DAY: “Doing the Right Thing in Humanitarian and Development Work – The Perspective of an NGO” with Michael Klosson, Vice President for Policy and Humanitarian Response for Save the Children.
  • Friday, October 11, “Restoring Our Places” with Mark Freiman, President of the Canadian Peres Centre for Peace Foundation and of Canadian Jewish Congress.
  • Wednesday, October 2, "Taking in Refugees in World War II and Now: The Story of a Plateau in France and its Citizens who for Centuries have Risked Their Own Well-Being to Help Others" with Maggie Paxson.
  • Saturday, September 28A Crisis Simulation: "Crumbling Facade: Exploring Possible U.S. Responses to China's Campaign of Cultural Genocide in Xinjiang" in partnership with the GW Strategic Crisis Simulation Student Organization.
  • Thursday, September 19, "Women and War: Evolving the Narrative of Women's Contributions to Peace & Security" Speaker: Jessica Smith.
  • Monday, September 16, Ethics and Leadership, a discussion on America's First Foreign Policy. Speaker: Patrick Fine, Chief Executive of FHI 360.
  • Monday, September 16, "2019 Ambassador of Conscience Award Ceremony honoring Greta Thunberg and the Fridays For Future Movement". Speaker: Greta Thunberg and the Fridays For Future Youth Movement.
  • Thursday, September 12, Human Rights in Practice: Measuring Modern Slavery to Improve Public and Private Policy. Speaker: Dr. Davina Durgana, award-winning international human rights expert. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Dr. Davina Durgana
  • Friday, September 6, “Call Sign Chaos: a story about learning how to lead in a chaotic world,'' Speaker: Jim Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of Defense.
    This Fall, the Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative has given twenty First-Year Experience students the unique opportunity to attend this event, and hear from former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Spring 2019

  • Thursday, April 25, “Ethical and Leadership Challenges in Human Rights, Peace and Environmental Struggles".
    Speaker: Dr. Barbara Wien, Professor at American University's School of International Service. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Dr. Barbara Wien.
  • Monday, April 22, “Earth Day: The Ethics of Climate Change". Speaker: Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute.
  • Thursday, April 18, "Developing Successful Leadership Skills in Challenging Environments". Speakers: Dr. Bonnie Jenkins, founder of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organization & senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Ms. Asha Castleberry, GW professor and national security and foreign policy expert. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series  with Bonnie Jenkins & LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Asha Castleberry.
  •  Wednesday, April 17, Spring 2019 LEAP Student Panel & Networking Reception. Student Speakers: Nico Han, Alvin Young, Nadia Crevecoeur, Juliette Erath
  • Thursday, April 11, Policymaking and the Rwandan genocide: Ethical and Leadership Challenges. Panel speakers: Ambassador Prudence Bushnell served as the US Ambassador to Kenya and Guatemala, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs; Ms. Janet Fleischman, independent consultant, senior associate with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and former Washington Director for Africa at Human Rights Watch; Dr. Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at GW, worked at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations from 1993 to 1994 and covered the Rwandan Genocide.
  • Thursday, April 4, "Think Globally. Act Locally. Evaluate the Interaction". Speaker: Dr. Michael Quinn Patton, program evaluation and organizational development consultant.
  • Wednesday, April 3, "25 Years After the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi: Seeking Reparative Justice, Realizing Human Rights, and Reflecting on the Legacy of the Genocide in the Lives of its Survivors." Speaker: Albert Gasake, Survivor of the Rwandan genocide & Attorney with the Rwanda Bar Association.
  • Thursday, March 28, “Surveillance and Oversight: Implications for U.S. Leadership” Speaker: Chairman Adam Klein, Chairman and Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series.
  • Tuesday, March 26, "The Trials of Richard Goldstone". Speaker: Dr. Daniel Terris, Director Emeritus of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. Current Dean of the Al-Quds Bard College of Arts and Sciences at Al-Quds University.
  • Monday, March 25, "A Conversation with Swanee Hunt" Speaker: Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Founder of Inclusive Security and the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at the JFK School of Government at Harvard.
  • Thursday, March 7, "Celebrating 2019: The Year of Women in Politics". Speakers: Ms. Frieda Edgette, Founder of Courage to Run; Ms. Gwen Young, Director of the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and Women in Public Service Project; Ms. Lisa Schroeter, Global Director, Trade and Investment Policy, The Dow Chemical Company; Ms. Ianta Summers, Women's March Organizer.
  • Friday, March 1, “Falling Shadows: A Simulation of Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar,” In partnership with the GW Strategic Crisis Simulation Student Organization.  LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Caitlyn Leong.
  • Thursday, February 28, "Leadership, Ethics, and International Affairs: Giving Voice to Value”. Speaker: Dr. Mary Gentile, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Mary Gentile.
  • Monday, February 25, “Should Leaders Focus on Poverty or Inequality? Ethical and Policy Perspectives”. Speaker: Dr. Douglas Hicks, Professor of Religion, Dean of Oxford College at the Emory University. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Douglas Hicks. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Douglas Hicks.
  • Wednesday, February 13, "Ethics and Leadership: A Discussion with Ambassador Rich Verma". Speaker: Ambassador Rich Verma, former Ambassador to India, Vice Chairman at the Asia Group. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Rich Verma.
  • Tuesday, February 5, Panel on “The Ethical Implications of Drone Warfare”. Speakers: Dr. Hugh Gusterson, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, GW; Ms. Rachel Stohl, Director of the Conventional Defense Program at the Stimson Center, and Dean David Deptula, Head of the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Power Studies.
  • Wednesday, January 30, In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day “The Road to Babi Yar”: Film Screening and Discussion. Speaker: Dr. Walter Reich, Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior, GW and Mr. Boris Maftsir, Israeli documentary filmmaker.
  • Wednesday, January 16, King Week - “Martin Luther King: a voice and force in international affairs.” Speaker: Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President Emeritus of the Morehouse College. LEAP Exclusive Podcast Series with Robert Franklin.

Fall 2018

  • Tuesday, December 4, "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust" with Diana Henriques, Journalist at New York Times, Member of the GW Board of Trustees.
  • Tuesday, November 27, Career Cafe with Carla Koppell, Director of Diversity & Inclusion in International affairs, School of Foreign Affairs, Georgetown University.
  • Monday, November 19, "The Individual in International Affairs: Towards an Ethics of Recognition & Human Rights." Speaker: Noam Schimmel, Professor of Ethics and International Affairs, Elliott School.
  • Thursday, November 15, "Tales from the Pitch: Navigating Ethical Issues in Global Sports." Speaker: Lindsay Krasnoff, communications specialist, historian, sports expert.
  • Wednesday, November 7, “‘Never Again' or 'Ever Again'? The Challenge of the Holocaust for Our Leaders and Our Time." Speaker: Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor International Affairs, Elliott School.
  • Monday, October 29, Leadership & Ethics: A View of American Foreign Policy Over 60 Years Through the Eyes of William F. Buckley and the Movement He Founded." Speaker: Al Felzenberg, American presidential historian, political commentator, and former communications director.
  • Wednesday, October 24, “Leadership and Ethics,” Speaker: Michelle Howard, Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) & Visiting Shapiro Professor of International Affairs, Elliott School.
  • Monday, October 22, Ethics Reviews in Research for National Security Speaker: Jason Matheny, former Director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.
  • Wednesday, October 17, Global Ethics Day "Terrorism, Betrayal & Resilience: My Story of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings." Speaker: Prudence Bushnell, former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala and Kenya.


Crisis Simulations

In Spring 2019, the Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative ran a crisis simulation entitled "Falling Shadows: A Simulation of Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar"  in partnership with the GWU Strategic Crisis Simulation Student Organization. This was a unique opportunity for students to develop leadership, ethics and practical skills by playing roles they might hold in the future. During the simulation, students were assigned to play the roles of U.S officials, international officials and the media, in connection with the Rohingya crisis. Students gained a better understanding of the dynamics of power involved in the decision-making process in a humanitarian crisis. They learned about difficult ethical and policy dilemmas and also learn about themselves — their convictions, values, and strengths. 

Media Highlights


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