Featured Speakers, 2017

Bart Witteveen – Opening Keynote Address

Director of Programs for Doctors Without Borders Canada/ Médecins Sans Frontières


The Emergency Gap: Humanitarian Action Critically Wounded

Nearly 25 years ago Bart started his humanitarian career with Médecins Sans Frontières in Somalia;  since then he has also held leadership positions with Save the Children, the Danish Refugee Council, and World Vision Canada as well as worked with the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department, ECHO, heading up their office in Palestine as well as a policy adviser on the principles and legal aspects of humanitarian aid.  He has worked in a wide range of countries, including the fragile contexts of Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, DR Congo, Palestine, Iraq, and Libya; and participated in rapid response missions to major natural disasters in Columbia, Honduras, Pakistan, and Nepal.  He was an election observer for the European Union in 1994, monitoring the first democratic elections in South Africa and Malawi.  Bart is currently the Director of Programs for Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, based in Toronto.

Dr. John Robert Ferris – Dinner Keynote Address

The Official Historian of GCHQ


Signals Intelligence and Surveillance: A Brief History

John Ferris is a Professor of History and Fellow at the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He holds a PhD in War Studies from Kings College, London. He has written widely in military, diplomatic, strategic and intelligence history, and in strategic studies. He is the Authorised Historian for the British communications intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters.

Dr. Brent J. Talbot

Professor of Military & Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy


Non-Nuclear Deterrence

Dr. Brent J. Talbot joined the Air Force Academy Political Science Faculty in 1992 and currently serves as a Professor of Military and Strategic Studies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, where he taught (concurrently to Academy service) as an Adjunct Professor during 2003-2011. Since 2012 he has been concurrently teaching as an adjunct online lecturer for the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He specializes in Middle East Security and his latest research is focused upon nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence strategies to counter proliferation.

Brent also served as the Deputy Director of the Air Force Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) during 1999-2001, and he is a graduate of the Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, where he studied Major Power Relations in the Asia-Pacific as well as Asian Culture and Strategy during the summer of 2005.

Brent’s publications focus primarily on Middle East topics, including “Israel, Iran, and the Arms Control Paradox of the Middle East,” chapter 6 in Security Issues in the Greater Middle East, Karl Yambert, Ed. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International, 2016), 59-67; “Stuxnet and After,” Journal of International Security Affairs No 21 (Fall/Winter 2011), 69-78; and “Israel and the Iranian Nuclear Infrastructure,” Joint Forces Quarterly Vol 56, No 1 (Jan 2010): 97-103.

As an Air Force Officer (now retired) and Senior Navigator, he has logged over 1500 hours in the F-111, T-37 and T-43 aircraft.



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