All EU in Focus Dialogues will begin at 12:00 PM and held in the 3rd Floor Reading Room. Lunch will be provided. There will be suggested readings for each session, as the Dialogue is meant to be a round table discussion with the esteemed guests.
You must attend all sessions to be considered for the Brussels Retreat.
Lisa Friedman is a reporter on the climate desk, focusing on climate and environmental policy in Washington. She has covered eight international climate talks and chased climate-related stories from the bottom of a Chinese coal mine to the top of snow-capped Himalaya Mountains.
She previously worked for Climatewire where she led a team of 12 reporters focused on the business and politics of the changing climate. Before Climatewire, she was the Washington bureau chief for The Oakland Tribune and later The Los Angeles Daily News.
She and her husband own a pizzeria and a bakery in Washington’s Bloomingdale neighborhood.
Laura Kupe currently serves as Counsel on the House Committee on Homeland Security. Prior, Laura was a policy analyst in the Washington, D.C. office of the RAND Corporatio and as Special Assistant at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Office of International Engagement within the Office of Policy.
In her role, Laura served as a subject-matter expert on the Department's engagement with European Union member states and the Five Eyes on topics including immigration/migration, border security, and counterterrorism. Before that, she was detailed to the Office of Presidential Personnel in the White House and served as Domestic Director, working with the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education on personnel matters and presidential appointments. Before her detail, Laura served as the Briefing Book Coordinator to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. Prior to her time in the federal government, Laura served as a legislative fellow for Congresswoman Karen Bass, Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Laura speaks German, French, and Luxembourgish.
H.E. Dirk Wouters was appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the United States of America in Washington DC from September 2016. The Ambassador represents His Majesty The King of the Belgians and Belgium’s federal government in the United States of America and in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He is responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including bilateral political and economic relations, and visa and consular services.
Prior to joining the Delegation, Ms. Vicini served as Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, Sweden. During her five years in this position, she was the focal point on all issues related to the Vienna Convention for Stockholm’s 109 foreign missions, and in charge of all high-level visits to the Swedish government. Ms. Vicini had the pleasure to receive President Obama on his first visit to Sweden in 2013.
From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Vicini worked in Washington, DC, as managing director for the public affairs company, Kreab Gavin Anderson serving Scandinavian corporate clients.
From 2004-2008, Ms. Vicini was the DCM at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, a posting that coincided with the construction and inauguration of the new chancery by the Potomac River in Georgetown. During her tenure in Washington, she led the project team that developed the House of Sweden’s public diplomacy program.
From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Vicini worked in security policy and military affairs at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, first as Head of the Pol-Mil section and thereafter as Deputy Head of the Department of European Security Policy. She handled policy areas including: CBMs, defense material, the initial development of the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), and matters related to the intelligence agencies.
Ms. Vicini’s earlier postings include Algiers, Paris, Dublin, and Rome, where she also worked at the headquarters of the World Food Program. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the School of Economics at Gothenburg University.
Caroline Vicini is married and has two daughters.
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. She 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).
Prof. Federiga Bindi is Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She also holds the Dan German Distinguished Visiting Chair at the Department of Government and Justice at UNC-Appalachian State University and leads the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Women Leadership in International Relations program at the Institute for Women Policy Research in Washington DC.
Prof. Bindi held a number of policy appointments in government, among which Fellow at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Sen. John Kerry. Prof Bindi also advised four different Italian governments and a number of international organizations such as the European Commission, the Council of Europe, UNIDO and the World Bank on issues such as foreign policy, international trades, transatlantic relations, global governance, post-conflict reconstruction, civil servants training, higher education, youth policies, gender empowerment, women leadership. She held senior management appointments both in academia and government, such as Founding Director of the EU Center of Excellence at UniRoma Tor Vergata, Acting Director of International Affairs and Director of International Training of the National School of Administration, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels. Occasionally, she acts as a strategic consultant for international organizations, NGOs, business and senior political leaders.
Prof. Bindi served as P.I. on 10 international research networks, in addition to 10 international outreach grants, 20 students’ international mobility grants and 3 grants for Aid projects. She successfully applied for 22 individual international fellowships and grants. She thus has been a Visiting Fellow in a number of prestigious international institutions, among which the Brookings Institution, the Institute d’Études Politiques in Paris, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, the University of Lisbon and the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Prof. Bindi published seven volumes – among which The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (2010 & 2012); The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem? (2011); Italy and the EU (2011), Analyzing European Union Politics (2012) – is a frequent commentator on the press and on the Huff. Post. Prof. Bindi’s publications can be found here.
Fluent in six languages, Prof. Bindi has a PhD from the European University Institute, and an MA in Comparative Politics magna cum laude from the University of Florence. She took part of her graduate classes at the University of Oslo, Norway. As an undergraduate, she studied in Florence and Paris, at the Institut d’Études Politiques. Previously she was an AFS exchange student in Perth, Australia.
In her free time, Prof. Bindi is an avid skier: a former alpine ski racer, she is now a USSA Coach. Off season, she enjoys all sort of outdoors sports and travelling with her family on their 4×4 camper, the “Millennium Falcon”.
Christian Brunmayr graduated from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in 1993, started at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the same year and later worked at the Austrian Embassy in Bratislava as well as the Austrian Permanent Representation to the European Union (EU) in Brussels where he was Austrian delegate in several EU-Council Working Groups (Southeast Europe, Mediterranean region, Middle East / Gulf) and Chairman of these Working Groups during the first Austrian Presidency of the EU-Council in 1998. From 1999 to 2003 he worked as desk officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Council Secretariat of the EU in Brussels. Subsequently, he was assigned to the Division of Personnel at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 2007, Christian Brunmayr worked as Chargé d'Affaires at the Austrian Embassy in Caracas and was appointed Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul in the same year. In 2010 and 2011 he was heading the Unit for Arms Exports Control, Military Transits and Overflights at the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna. From 2011 to July 2015 Christian Brunmayr served as Director of the Department for the implementation of cultural and scientific projects abroad in the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Since August 2015 he is working as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Tim Rivera is currently Programs Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. He is responsible for the management, development, and implementation of a multimillion euro portfolio of grants and contracts in support of the European Union's policy, outreach, and public diplomacy objectives in the United States. He is also point person in the Delegation on higher education issues (excluding research) and manages a number of the Delegation's relations with American universities and civil society organisations. He previously worked for the British Council, the UK's international organization for cultural relations, coordinating a number of projects at the intersection of academia, religion, foreign policy, and civil society.
In 2014, Tim completed a Master of Arts in International Relations with distinction from the War Studies Department at King’s College London where his research focused on cultural relations and cultural diplomacy. In January 2015, the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy published his MA dissertation, Distinguishing Cultural Relations from Cultural Diplomacy: The British Council’s Relationship with Her Majesty’s Government.
He graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science focusing on international relations.
Amy Harder is one of the top national energy and climate change reporters in the country. She covers these issues in a regular column at Axios, called Harder Line. In her column and elsewhere on Axios.com, Harder reports on trends and exclusive scoops, while also distilling into understandable formats complex energy and climate issues relevant to people outside the industry. Previously, she covered the same issues for The Wall Street Journal, based out of its Washington, D.C., bureau, and before that at National Journal. She has appeared on PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, CBS and NPR, among many other media outlets. She is regularly sought out to speak and participate in events, including moderating and participating in panel discussions and giving speeches in Washington and throughout the country. She is originally from Washington State and received a B.A. in journalism with honors from Western Washington University.
Ulrich Mans serves as the Political and Legal Advisor (Human Rights and UN Affairs) at European Union Delegation to the United States. His work focuses on Human Rights, UN Affairs and Humanitarian Response. His portfolio includes the EU-US relationship towards the US domestic/international Human Rights agenda, US foreign policy priorities towards the United Nations, the emerging policy areas around humanitarian response and global migration issues.
Nicola Shadbolt works as the Economic Second Secretary at the British Embassy Washington, advising the UK Government on US economic and financial policy. Prior to her role at the Embassy, Nicola worked as an economist at the Bank of England advising the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). During her time at the Bank she covered a range of macro issues including the UK housing market, household behaviour and trade in financial services. She holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a MSc from University College London (both in economics).
Boris Toucas is a visiting fellow with the Europe Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS, he served at the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament office of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2013 to 2016 and was responsible for nuclear deterrence and ballistic missile defense as a member of the Warsaw Summit negotiating team. During this period, he also focused on the North Korean proliferation crisis. From 2007 to 2013, he was an officer at the French National Court of Asylum in charge of examining refugee status applications on appeal. He holds a M.A. in international relations and political science from the Bordeaux Institute of Political Studies.
H.E. Pierre Clive Agius is currently the Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to the United States of America, and resident in Washington D.C. He previously served as Ambassador to the Republic of Poland from October 2013- January 2016.
Ambassador Agius is a career diplomat who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 as a First Secretary. Ambassador Agius was first appointed as Ambassador of Malta to the Kingdom of Belgium in December 2008 and to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in March 2009. During this same period Mr. Agius, was also appointed as Ambassador of Malta to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In March 2012, Mr. Agius was appointed Ambassador to the France and to the Principality of Monaco.
Previously, Mr. Agius, was appointed as Special Envoy of Malta to the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2007. Mr. Agius had also been posted from 2004-2007 as Deputy Head of Mission at the Permanent Mission of Malta to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Organisation (UNO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other International Organisations. Mr. Agius had served from 2002-2004 as Diplomatic Counsellor to the late President of the Republic, H.E. Prof. Guide de Marco. Mr. Agius had prior served from 1999-2002 at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva, during which term he served also as Consul General. From 1995-1999, Mr. Agius had also served as a First Secretary at the Embassy of Malta in Paris.
Mr. AGIUS reads a Masters in Diplomatic Studies (M.Dip) from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, where he studied in 1994-95. Mr. Agius had previously obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management in 1994 and graduated from the University of Malta in 1992 with honours after completion of the course of Bachelor in Education (B.Ed. Hons).
Mr. Agius was decorated by the President of the Republic of Italy Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in January 2004.
Mr. Agius is fluent in Maltese, English, Italian and French and has good knowledge of Slovene and Arabic.
Tim Bennett has served as Director-General/CEO of TABC since the group was launched on January 1, 2013, following the merger of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) and the European American Business Council (EABC). He has held senior positions in the U.S. Government (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), including as a lead U.S. negotiator in multilateral trade negotiations (Uruguay Round) in Geneva, as chief negotiator for bilateral trade and investment issues with Mexico leading up to NAFTA, as chairman of five inter-agency trade policy committees, and as the U.S. Trade Attaché in the U.S. Mission to the European Union.
He also served in the private sector as a senior executive in both large and small technology industry trade organizations. Specifically, Bennett served as President of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), with offices in Washington and Brussels, until it successfully merged into Tech America. He also served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Electronics Association (AeA), with responsibility for 18 AeA offices around the U.S.; as a Trustee on AeA's Education Foundation Board and AeA's Insurance Trust Board; and as AeA’s Senior Vice President International, managing the organization's DC policy team and AeA's offices in Beijing, Brussels and Tokyo. Prior to those positions, Bennett worked in New York City in international public relations with Hill and Knowlton and Fleishman Hillard. In his last role in Washington before moving to New York, he was Of Counsel for seven years at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington, DC-based international law firm where he served as Vice President of Steptoe’s international trade and investment consulting arm. Immediately prior to joining TABC, Bennett was a DC-based consultant providing an array of services in government affairs, association management, and international trade and investment policy.
During Bennett's career, he has spoken at over 300 conferences, seminars and industry groups in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and China; testified several times before the U.S. Congress; spoken before the Friends of T-TIP group and before the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; addressed the TTIP Working Group of the European Economic and Social Committee; co-authored three books and had numerous articles published; and appeared on numerous occasions on radio and TV to comment on matters of international political economy and cybersecurity.
Bennett holds a B.A. (Magna cum Laude) in Political Science & French from DePauw University and an M.A. (with High Honors) in International Affairs from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. He earned a certificate in European Studies from The Bologna Center, SAIS in Bologna, Italy.
Victoria Rietig is an expert on migration in the Americas and Europe. She has published and speaks widely on asylum and refugee issues, unaccompanied child migration, deportations and return migration, labor migration, labor market integration, human trafficking, and migration and development.
Her research has been published, among others, in the International Migration Journal, the Migration Policy Institute, the Migration Information Source and the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration.
She and her work have been quoted in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, Vice, LA Times, The Boston Globe, International Business Times, Foreign Affairs, Handelsblatt Global Edition, ORF, The Toronto Star, El País, La Reforma, El Universal, Proceso, La Jornada, La Prensa Gráfica, and many others.
Ms. Rietig has been working on migration flows and policies in Germany, the United States, Mexico, and Central America for a decade. She has worked and consulted for the United Nations, the US and European governments, and non-profit organizations.
She currently is an independent migration expert advising governments and foundations on migration and refugee issues. Her clients include Germany’s development agency GIZ, the US Department of State, the UK’s Foreign Office, and think tanks in Germany and the United States. In the past, she was a Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute and a US-German Next Generation Fellow at the Atlantic Council, both think tanks in Washington, DC. She also worked for the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC), an interagency center of the US Departments of State (DOS), Justice (DOJ), and Homeland Security (DHS), and for the New York office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Ms. Rietig holds a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Goverment, with a focus on forced migration and human trafficking, and an MA in American studies, history, and psychology from Freie Universität Berlin, with a focus on US-Latin American migration and integration.
Theodore A. Reinert is Program Officer at the Transatlantic Academy. At the Academy, Reinert manages and edits publications, works with the fellows and other staff on programming and Academy management, and coordinates with partners.
He previously served as a research assistant with the Academy during the 2012-13 year and in other research roles with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the New York University Center on International Cooperation, and the Center for European Policy Analysis; as a fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States working on the EUSPRING project on democracy and citizenship in North Africa; as a media analyst with SOS International LLC; as a journalist; and as a Fulbright teaching assistant in Hamburg.
Reinert holds an M.A. in European studies and international economics from Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and an A.B. in English and German from Bowdoin College.