8:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

9:00-9:30 a.m.

Conference Welcome & Intro

  • Mr. Joseph Humire, Executive Director, Center for a Secure Free Society      
  • Dr. Alejandro Chafuen, Founder and Chairman, International Freedom Educational Foundation
  • Mr. Frank Fletcher, Director of Lectures and Seminars, Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security
  • Pledge of Allegiance by Abby Moffat, Chief Executive Officer, Diana Davis Spencer Foundation

Award Ceremony for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa 

10:00 a.m.

Opening Statement: Why the Western Hemisphere is Important
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Armed Services Committee*  

10:00-11:15 a.m.
Panel 1: Geostrategic Challenges

Featuring some of the top Pentagon officials responsible for U.S. defense policy on the Western Hemisphere over the last 17 years, this panel discusses the most pressing geopolitical and strategic challenges in the region.

  • Introduction by Mr. Mark Walker, SFS Senior Fellow for Congressional Affairs
  • Dr. Rebecca Bill Chavez, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2008-2013)
  • Mr. Stephen Johnson, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2006-2008)
  • Mr. Roger Pardo Maurer, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2001-2006)
  • Moderated by Mr. Pablo Gato, Noticiero Univision and Gato Communications
11:15-11:25 a.m.
11:25 a.m.-12:40 p.m.
Panel 2: Extra-Regional Influences

Exploring the growing strategic influence of Russia, China, and Iran in the region, this panel highlights how the Western Hemisphere plays into global geopolitics.

  • Introduction by Mr. Ken Abramowitz, Kenneth and Nina Abramowitz Foundation
  • Dr. Walid Phares, Co-Secretary General, Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counterterrorism
  • Ms. Lisa Daftari, Editor-in-Chief, The Foreign Desk
  • Mr. Ilan Berman, Senior Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council
  • Moderated by Lt. Col. Mike Waltz, CEO of Metis Solutions and Fox News Contributor
12:40 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Lunch with Award Ceremony for Dr. Max Manwaring
2:00-2:30 p.m.
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Panel 3: Countering Threat Networks

From the mounting crime-terror nexus to the explosion of transnational organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, this panel presents the most perilous transnational threat networks in the region and explores how to counter them.

  • Introduction by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Vice Chairman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance
  • Mr. Mario A. Duarte, Secretary of Strategic Intelligence, Republic of Guatemala
  • Col. Joshua Potter (USA), United States Special Operations Command, J36 Transnational Threats Division
  • Col. Bill Edwards (Ret), Thornton Tomasetti Group Inc. and former Director of Intelligence J2, U.S. Special Operations Command, North
  • Mr. Douglas Farah, Senior Visiting Fellow, Center for Complex Operations, National Defense University and President, IBI Consultants LLC
  • Moderated by Col. Tim Kiely (Ret), Vice President, Exostrategies Inc.
4:00-4:15 p.m.
4:15-5:45 p.m.
Panel 4: Venezuela, The Way Ahead

As the crisis in Venezuela captures international headlines, and regional policymakers wrestle with the fallout, this panel features current and former Latin American policymakers to discuss prospective solutions to mitigate the crisis.

  • Introduction by Joseph Humire, Executive Director, Center for a Secure Free Society
  • Hon. Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, 76th President of Bolivia
  • Ms. María Fernanda Cabal, Representative in the Colombian National Congress
  • Ms. Rocío San Miguel, President, Asociación Civil Control Ciudadano
  • Mr. Marcel Granier, General Director, RCTV
  • Moderated by Mr. Fernando Del Rincón, Host of Conclusiones on CNN en Español
5:45-6:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception