FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2017
Washington, D.C. – On September 14th-15th, 2017 the Rumsfeld Foundation hosted its fifth annual Graduate Fellowship Conference in Washington, D.C. Participants included 60 current and former Fellows, as well as 17 Advisers from across the country. Events began with a Welcoming Reception on Thursday evening where Fellows and Advisers had the opportunity to connect with one another.
Formal conference sessions commenced the following morning with welcoming remarks from Sarah Conant Tonucci, Executive Director of the Foundation. Throughout the day’s discussions participants and speakers were encouraged to reflect on the conference theme, “American Leadership: Advancing the Interests of the American People at Home and Abroad.”
Following breakfast, Donald Rumsfeld, President of the Foundation, conducted a lively interview session with Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, Founder and Chairman of Laffer Associates. Dr. Laffer, a renowned economist who served on President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board and created the “Laffer Curve,” provided remarks on tax policies and reforms, as well as broader economic issues of the day.
Following Dr. Laffer’s remarks, three of the Program’s distinguished Advisers from The George Washington University, Hillsdale College and Missouri State University participated in a panel discussion focused on foreign and domestic challenges facing the current presidential administration and suggestions as to how America can effectively balance its vital interests at home and abroad. The panel was moderated by Dr. Gabe Scheinmann, a former Graduate Fellow at Georgetown University, now serving as the Executive Director of The Alexander Hamilton Society.
During the luncheon, Judge Michael B. Mukasey, Of Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton and 81st Attorney General of the United States, provided remarks on the nation’s current challenges and opportunities, reflecting on his extensive experience in both the public and private sectors.
In the afternoon, Fellows and Advisers participated in interactive breakout sessions, which continued the discussion on the day’s theme through more interest-tailored angles including academia, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, geopolitics, global trade and intelligence. Discussion leaders included: Mr. Eric Brown, Senior Fellow at The Hudson Institute; Ms. Siobhan MacDermott, Global Cybersecurity Public Policy Executive at Bank of America; Ms. Mira Ricardel, Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration; Ms. DeNeige Watson, Executive Director of the RiskDesk at RANE; and two of the Program’s Advisers at George Mason University and the University of Virginia.
After some time available for further networking, the Conference concluded as Fellows, Advisers and several speakers gathered for a reception and dinner where Donald Rumsfeld made closing remarks on the growing value of the Program’s impressive network of service-oriented individuals.
Since 2008, the Foundation has provided more than 140 Fellowships totaling over $2 million to 114 graduate scholars, all with an interest in public service or policy-relevant fields. To learn more about the Graduate Fellowship Program, please visit the Foundation’s website, Facebook page or Twitter account.
Sarah Conant Tonucci