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Wed, Oct 13



National Security Priorities Heading into 2022

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National Security Priorities Heading into 2022
National Security Priorities Heading into 2022

Time & Location

Oct 13, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM


About the event

Please join the Harvard Kennedy School DC Alumni Council and the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Board for a Discussion on National Security Priorities Heading into 2022 with the Honorable William R. Evanina (ret.), former Director of the Nation Counterintelligence and Security Center; Ambassador C. Steven McGann (ret.), Ambassador to the Republics of Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, and the Kingdom of Tonga and Tuvalu; and Jen Stewart, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

This virtual discussion is under the Chatham House Rule. And what a wonderful opportunity to hear from such an accomplished panel well suited to have a candid discussion on the myriad of threats and foreign policy challenges facing our nation.

Zoom Link:

William R. Evanina William (Bill) R. Evanina is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He currently serves as founder and chief executive officer of the Evanina Group, advising chief executive officers and boards of directors on strategic corporate risk. He also serves on the advisory board of Peraton in Herndon, VA.  

Evanina became the first Senate-confirmed Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) in 2020 after serving in that role since 2014. As the head of counterintelligence (CI) for the US government, Evanina was responsible for leading and supporting the CI and security activities of the US intelligence community, government, and at-risk private-sector entities. Under NCSC, he oversaw programs such as the National Insider Threat Task Force; personnel security and background investigations; information technology protection standards and compliance; CI cyber operations; supply chain risk management; and programs to raise awareness of threats to US critical infrastructure. Under Evanina’s leadership, NCSC produced the US president’s National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America 2020-2022 which has been instrumental in raising awareness of foreign intelligence threats to critical infrastructure sectors and private-sector executives. Evanina also chaired the National Counterintelligence Policy Board and the Allied Security and Counterintelligence Forum, each comprised of senior CI and security leaders from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Evanina also served as chair of the NATO Counterintelligence Panel.  

Prior to his selection as the NCSC director, Evanina served as the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s counterespionage group and assistant special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Washington Field Office. Evanina served over thirty-one years of distinguished federal service, twenty-four of which took place as a special agent with the FBI. Evanina’s government career began in 1989 as a project manager with the General Services Administration.  Evanina was born and raised in Peckville, PA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Wilkes University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Arcadia University.  

Ambassador C. Steven McGann  Ambassador C. Steven McGann (ret), Founder of The Stevenson Group, is an international consultant and global security strategist. He specializes in providing strategic counsel to companies and organizations seeking to expand their operations into the United States, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin American markets. He has cultivated a team to help clients identify opportunities in the defense/security sector and creating specialized advisory services tailored to meet their needs. Ambassador McGann, formerly a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor, has held several influential positions in the United States and overseas.  

Ambassador to the Republics of Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, and the Kingdom of Tonga and Tuvalu.  He previously was the Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Adviser of the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University (NDU).  Ambassador McGann is a  member of the Board of Trustees at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA. He also is an affiliate of the Center for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Ambassador McGann serves on the advisory councils of several foreign affairs organizations.

Jen Stewart Jen is the former chief of staff to the Honorable Dr. Mark T. Esper, the twenty-seventh Secretary of Defense. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading the Secretary of Defense’s executive staff, working with civilian executives and senior military leaders across the Department, and providing counsel and advice to the Secretary on all matters concerning the Department.  

Previously, Jen served as both the majority and minority staff director at the House Committee on Armed Services for the Honorable William M. “Mac” Thornberry. In this capacity, she was the principal staff advisor responsible for the formulation, passage, and enactment of annual defense authorization legislation, which covers all programs and activities at the Department of Defense as well as the national security programs at the Department of Energy. She was also responsible for the strategic planning and execution of all committee oversight and legislative operations.  

Prior to her tenure as staff director, Jen served as senior advisor to General (ret.) Joseph F. Dunford during his first term as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this role, she was responsible for facilitating his relationships across the interagency and with Congress. She also co-led the Joint Staff’s presidential transition team.  Jen started her career working in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Honorable John A. Boehner. In addition to serving as policy advisor on all national security matters for Speaker Boehner during his ten years in leadership, she also served in a similar role in assisting the Honorable Paul D. Ryan transition into his responsibilities as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Overall, she has nineteen years of public service, including over fifteen consecutive years of serving in senior national security positions at both the Department of Defense and in Congress.


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