Speaker Date Topic
Ambassador of Myanmar Aung Lynn Jul 26, 2017

Appointed on 18 July 2016, Mr. Lynn is the first career member of the Foreign Ministry to hold the position of Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United States in 50 years. Despite his long, distinguished career in international affairs, Mr. Lynn’s early work was not in diplomacy but rather in geology, the field of his Bachelor’s degree studies at the University of Yangon. He joined his country’s government in 1982 as an assistant engineering geologist in the Ministry of Irrigation. He moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983. During the 1980s, Mr. Lynn served as a third secretary in the ministry, as a consul in Hong Kong and in the embassy in South Africa. While working on his Master’s degree in Public Policy at the National University of Singapore during the mid-1990s, he led the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Political Affairs. From 2004 to 2007, he was a counselor to Burma’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. By 2011, he was the Director General for the Department of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Affairs. During the months before his assignment in Washington, Mr. Lynn had become Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His diplomatic service to the United States comes at a crucial time as Myanmar experiences the challenges of democratization and re-enters the international community.

Deborah Tannen Aug 02, 2017
Inside the Language of Women's Friendships ... And Other Linguistic Issues
Inside the Language of Women's Friendships ... And Other Linguistic Issues

Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, Dr. Tannen has authored books and articles about how the language of daily conversation shapes relationships. Her most recent book is You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships. Interviewing 80 women of diverse backgrounds, she delves into women's friendships—illuminating how they work or fail and how we can improve them. Dr. Tannen is best known as the author of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on The New York Times best seller list for nearly four years and has been translated into 31 languages. Her other books include: You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their LivesYou're Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in ConversationTalking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at WorkThe Argument Culture: Stopping America's War of Words; and I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Sibs, and Kids When You're All Adults. All of them have made best seller lists and earned awards. Often a guest on television and radio programs, Dr. Tannen is one of only six in Georgetown University's College of Arts and Sciences who hold the distinguished rank of University Professor. She has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University and spent a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; she has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Recipient of five honorary doctorates, she is a member of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation Board of Directors.

Chief Gregory Dean Aug 09, 2017
DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department
DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department

Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Chief Dean to lead the 2,100-member DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) on 2 March 2015. Mr. Dean previously served for 10 years as the Fire EMS chief for Seattle, Washington, where he led the administrative and operational functions of a team of 1,150 employees with a $175 million budget. He entered the Seattle Fire Department as a trainee in 1970 and rose through the ranks to become chief. During his tenure in Seattle, he served as Fire Marshal, Assistant Chief of Administration, Deputy Chief of Personnel and Deputy Chief of Support Services. He has a proven record of results; under his leadership, Seattle and King County, Washington announced in 2014 that its overall cardiac arrest survival rate had reached an all-time high of 62 percent, up from 26 percent in 2002. Chief Dean has also served on the board for the Medic One Foundation, a nationally recognized paramedic-training program; and on the Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program.

William M. Treanor Aug 16, 2017

Dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. Treanor joined Georgetown in 2010 and was reappointed to serve a second five-year term beginning July 1, 2015. Under his leadership, Georgetown Law has hired 29 new faculty members, expanded the number of certified experiential offerings for students from 450 to more than 2,000 seats, nearly doubled financial aid and experienced the most successful fundraising year in its history, raising over $27.5 million in 2016. In 2012, he was recognized by theNational Law Journalas a "Champion" because of his work to “uphold the profession’s core values,” and in the same year he received the 2012 David Stoner Uncommon Counselor Award from the David Nee Foundation for his efforts to raise mental health awareness among law students.National Juristmagazine has named him one of the most influential people in legal education four times. Dean Treanor’s areas of expertise include constitutional law, property, criminal law, intellectual property and legal history. He has been recognized as one of the 10 most-cited legal history scholars in the United States by the University of Chicago Law School’s Brian Leiter. At Georgetown Law, he has taught a first-year legal justice seminar and an upper-level course on the drafting of the US Constitution. Before coming to Georgetown, Dr. Treanor was Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law at Fordham Law School, where he began teaching in 1991. He has a doctorate in history from Harvard University and a JD from Yale Law School.

David Ballard Aug 23, 2017

Joining the US Foreign Service in 1985, Mr. Ballard’s 30-year career included field posts in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Portugal, Rwanda and Tunisia as well as positions such as Director of the US Department of State’s Office of Foreign Press and US Army Foreign Policy Advisor. In January 2016, a few months after formally retiring from the Foreign Service, he became a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reviewer for the State Department. He is responsible for reviewing documents for release under FOIA in response to litigation and/or court orders. His selection for this position reflects his expertise and extensive experience in US foreign policy, diplomatic history and protocol as well as his knowledge of the classification system and of laws and practice related to release of information. Mr. Ballard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service and an African Studies Certificate from Georgetown University and a Certificat d’Études Africaines from the National University of the Ivory Coast.  

Adam Zarazinski Aug 30, 2017
Marching Forward: Addressing Waste and Fraud by Veteran-focused Charities
Marching Forward: Addressing Waste and Fraud by Veteran-focused Charities

Adam Zarazinski currently serves as an active duty judge advocate in the United States Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Andrews. As an Air Force JAG, Adam acts as a prosecutor with worldwide jurisdiction over Air Force members. He has prosecuted cases involving sexual assault and rape, international drug trafficking, and aggravated assault and battery.  He also recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan where he was a legal adviser to NATO and United States commanders on international law and operational law. Adam worked in international development for three years prior to attending the University of Michigan Law School and joining the Air Force.  During that time, he represented the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights at the United Nations while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, was an assistant to the Director of the Specialized Crime and Analysis Unit at INTERPOL in Lyon, France, and designed and implemented a $2 million program to curtail the spread of venereal disease in the Amazon Jungle as a project manager with the World Health Organization. Adam recently co-founded Marching Forward, a non-profit organization that addresses waste and fraud in fundraising and program implementation of veteran-focused charitable organizations through building a collaborative online platform that is built specifically for military members, veterans, and their families. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Paula. 

 

Malcolm Young Sep 06, 2017
Project New Opportunity: Prisoner Reentry into Society
Project New Opportunity: Prisoner Reentry into Society

An attorney who earned his JD at The Catholic University of America, Mr. Young is the Director of Project New Opportunity, providing assistance and counsel to people released from federal prisons in advance of the duration of their original sentences due to: (1) judicially-approved sentence modifications authorized when the US Sentencing Commission revised federal sentencing guideline for those convicted of drug trafficking offenses; (2) commutations issued by President Obama; and (3) the 2015 US Supreme Court case Johnson v. United States, finding a specific sentence enhancement unconstitutional. Prior to joining Project New Opportunity, he was the Interim Executive Director at the Campaign for Youth Justice and the Director of the Program for Prison Reentry Strategies at the Northwestern University Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. Among his other positions, Mr. Young was the Founding Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, serving in that role from 1986 to 2005. He is one of the country’s leading voices on sentencing reform and prisoner reentry into society.

Brandon Todd Sep 13, 2017
Ward 4 DC Councilmember
Ward 4 DC Councilmember

A native Washingtonian and alumnus of Eastern Senior High School on Capitol Hill, Mr. Todd was elected in April 2015 as the fifth Councilmember representing Ward 4 for the District of Columbia, succeeding Muriel Bowser who assumed the office of mayor. He was re-elected in November 2016 to a full four-year term. Councilmember Todd seeks to advance an agenda focused on expanding services for seniors, improving education in DC schools, supporting the growth of small businesses, and making the city safer. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and sits on the Committees on Health, Human Services, and Transportation & the Environment. He is also Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee and a member of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. Mr. Todd holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Bowie State University and a Master of Business Administration from Trinity Washington University. He attends St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and lives in Ward 4’s Petworth neighborhood. 

Rick Lofgren Sep 20, 2017
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association

Named President of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) in August 1998, Mr. Lofgren has worked to build the charity into a highly respected national fundraising entity that saves kids’ lives while sparing their families from financial ruin. During his tenure, COTA has increased patient campaign dollars raised from less than $750,000 to more than $5 million. Besides offering hands-on fundraising assistance to families and patients awaiting life-saving transplants, COTA has partnered to register thousands of organ donors and held dozens of bone marrow registration drives under Mr. Lofgren’s leadership. Since 1986, COTA has helped thousands of transplant-needy children and young adults, and has raised more than $100 million for transplant-related expenses. At Indiana-based COTA, Mr. Lofgren administers strategic operations and policy formulation for the $30 million health care-related and fundraising charity. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Non-profit and Public Organizational Management from the University of Illinois in Springfield and a Master of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University.  

Emily Esfahani Smith Sep 27, 2017
The Power of Meaning
The Power of Meaning

A journalist and writer, Ms. Esfahani Smith is the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, in which she identifies “four pillars of meaning”—belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. She was inspired to write this book at least in part by her parents who ran a Sufi meeting house out of their Montreal home when she was a child. Growing up surrounded by people who believed in Sufism—the mystical interpretation of Islam, practiced loving kindness and service to all, and whose lives were so rich with meaning left an impression on her. Ms. Esfahani Smith draws on psychology, philosophy, literature, and her own reporting to consider the human experience. Her articles “There’s More to Life than Being Happy” and “Masters of Love,” originally published in The Atlantic, have been read over 30 million times. She is a columnist for The New Criterion and an editor at the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles Project. A collaboration between the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University, the Circles bring people together to enjoy deep, meaningful conversations about what it means to live well. Ms. Esfahani Smith is an instructor in positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Master’s degree. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband.