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May Program


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Philip French  [

 Course: Current Policy Issues in US-Latin America Relations 

Philip C. French spent 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, in addition to two tours in the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Following a tour in Madrid as Consul General, Mr. French was assigned in 2001 to San Salvador as Deputy Chief of Mission and later served as acting Chief of Mission.  He was posted to Caracas as Deputy Chief of Mission in 2007 before his final assignment as Team Leader for the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team in Fallujah, Iraq from 2008 to 2009.

From 2011 until 2016 Mr. French served as Executive Director of the American Committees on Foreign Relations, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the national security interests of the U.S by enhancing citizen knowledge of foreign affairs.  He currently chairs the inter-agency working group for the State Department’s International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS), the system by which the U.S. Government provides and shares the cost of common administrative support at its more than 250 diplomatic and consular posts overseas.   Mr. French is also a part-time Coordinator in the Department of State’s Political Military Action Team.  A graduate of the University of California, Riverside, Mr. French spent the 1996-97 academic year as Diplomat in Residence at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.  

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Brian Taylor []

Course: Russia and Post-Soviet Politics 

Dr. Taylor is a Maxwell Professor of Political Science currently serving as Chair of the Political Science Department. He previously served as Director of the Center for European Studies.  His research interests include the role of state coercive organizations, such as the military and the police, in domestic politics, comparative state-building and civil-military relations. HIs geographic specialization is Russia and the post-Soviet region. In addition to a recently released book, The Code of Putinism, Professor Taylor is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications, recipient of multiple grants, Fulbright Scholar and Carnegie Scholar. PhD in Political Science,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998.

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The Hon. James Baker []

Course: Central Challenges in National Security Law and Policy  

Jamie Baker joins the College of Law as a tenured professor with a courtesy appointment in the Maxwell School, also serving as Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. Judge Baker is one of the most highly regarded national security lawyers and policy advisors in the nation. Starting his career as an Infantry Officer in the US Marine Corps, Judge Baker subsequently joined the staff of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan before serving the US Department of State, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and National Security Council. Mostly notably, he served on the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces for 15 years—the last four as Chief Judge—before stepping down in 2015. The Court hears appeals arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and its decisions are subject to review by the US Supreme Court. Judge Baker authored more than 250 opinions for the Court, addressing criminal law and procedure, rules of evidence, jurisdiction, and the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution.

Since 2015, Judge Baker has served as a Member of the Public Interest Declassification Board, established by Congress in 2000 to promote transparency in national security activities; as a Consultant for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, for which he reports on international laws and norms relating to emerging technology; and as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, which promotes public understanding of, and careers in, national security.