Seminar XXI: Introductory Banquet

Posted on September 9, 2011


Seminar XXI held its’ introductory and alumni banquet on Tuesday night at the National Press Club in DC. I definitely felt like the junior member. I ended up at a table with all alumni, each one was a current or retired general or flag officer, senior executive service member, or c-suite member.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Under Secretary of State for Policy was the guest speaker. Ms. Slaughter set the tone for the remaining year in Seminar XXI whose program objective is to give policy makers alternative viewpoints of the national security challenges we face. She spoke of a model of social actors, networks, globalization, and technology that COEXISITS (not replaces) with the Cold War international relations models of state actors, alliances, bipolar worlds, and diplomatic couriers. The challenge is to leverage the new model with the old model to influence the direction of world events. Coming from the perspective of just writing the first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, she argued the security is shaped more and more by development that is not as expensive as the other big “D,” Defense. She challenged the group to leverage all actors in our society to meet the national security problems we face.