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Wed, Apr 27



American Association of Rhodes Scholars (AARS) Talk on the Implications of the War in Ukraine

Join five Rhodes Scholars and Oxonians with backgrounds in the U.S. military, international affairs, national governance, security, and intelligence as they discuss the long-term implications of war in Ukraine.

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American Association of Rhodes Scholars (AARS) Talk on the Implications of the War in Ukraine
American Association of Rhodes Scholars (AARS) Talk on the Implications of the War in Ukraine

Time & Location

Apr 27, 2022, 7:00 PM


About the event

Join five Rhodes Scholars and Oxonians with backgrounds in the U.S. military, international affairs, national governance,  security, and intelligence as they discuss the long-term implications of war in Ukraine on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 pm ET.

Panelists Michael McFaul (Montana and St. John's 1986), Heather Wilson (New Hampshire and Jesus 1982), Dennis Blair (Virginia and Worcester 1968), and Wesley Clark (Arkansas and Magdalen 1966) all have deep experiences in this area, and they'll take it on with Steve Abbot (Alabama and New College 1967) moderating. The event is hosted by the Association of American Rhodes Scholars and is open to all Rhodes Scholars and Oxonian members of the AARS. 

Space is limited, so sign up today for this vital conversation.

About the Panelists and the Moderator:


Michael McFaul (Montana and St. John's 1986) is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, all at Stanford University. He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller,  “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.”  Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective  (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations between China, Russia, and the United States, and the relationship between democracy and development.  Prof. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991.

Heather Wilson (New Hampshire and Jesus 1982) became the 11th President of The University of Texas at El Paso in 2019 after serving as Secretary of the United States Air Force. She is the former president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and she represented New Mexico in the United States Congress for 10 years.  In the Congress, she was a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and served on the House Armed Services Committee as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  Active in community and national affairs, Dr. Wilson is a member of the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, and she chairs the Women in Aviation Advisory Board of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).   In the private sector, Wilson worked in a consulting capacity for Los Alamos, Sandia, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories as well as the Nevada Test Site.  She also has served on both publicly traded and privately held corporate boards in the defense, energy, space, and health sectors. Dr. Wilson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to admit women and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in International Relations from Jesus College, Oxford. President Wilson is an instrument rated private pilot. She and her husband, Jay Hone, have three adult children and one granddaughter.

Dennis Blair (Virginia and Worcester 1968) Admiral Dennis Blair is the first Knott Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Practice at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He serves as a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council and chairs the board of Securing America’s Future Energy.  In addition, he serves on the boards of Freedom House, the National Bureau of Asian Research, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, No Labels, and chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of Lockheed Martin Space.   From 2014-18 Admiral Blair was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.  From January 2009 to May 2010, as Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair led the sixteen national intelligence agencies.  He was president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Defense Analyses from 2003-06.   Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2002 after a career of 34 years, Admiral Blair was the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command.  A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Admiral Blair earned a master’s degree in history and languages from Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar.  He is the author of Military Engagement: Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions.  Three commissions he co-chaired have issued recent reports: A National Security Strategy for 5G; Oil Security 2025: U.S. National Security Policy in an Era of Domestic Oil Abundance, and The Report of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.

Wesley Clark (Arkansas and Magdalen 1966) is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator. General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman and Founder of Enverra, Inc. a licensed investment bank; Chairman of Energy Security Partners, LLC; as well as numerous corporate boards. He is active in energy, including oil and gas, biofuels, electric power and batteries, finance, and security. During his business career he has served as an advisor, consultant or board member of over ninety private and publicly traded companies. In the not-for-profit space, he is a Senior Fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, Director of the Atlantic Council; Founding Chair of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock, and Founder of Renew America Together. A best-selling author, General Clark has written four books and is a frequent contributor on TV and to newspapers. Clark retired as a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served in his last assignments as Commander of US Southern Command and then as Commander of US European Command/ Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). He was the principal author of both the US National Military Strategy and Joint Vision 2010, prescribing US warfighting for full-spectrum dominance. He also worked with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the Dayton Peace Process, where he helped write and negotiate significant portions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. In his final assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, a 78-day air campaign, backed by ground invasion planning and a diplomatic process, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He has also been awarded the Department of State Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary doctorates and civilian honors.

Moderator Steve Abbot (Alabama and New College 1967) Until September 2019, Admiral Abbot served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, a private, non-profit aid society dedicated to assisting Sailors, Marines, and their families.  From October 2001, to May 2003, he served as the Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to the President. During the First Gulf War, he commanded the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and commanded the Theodore Roosevelt battle group while assigned as Commander, Carrier Group Eight.  He commanded the United States Sixth Fleet from 1996 to 1998.  Admiral Abbot’s last military assignment was Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany. He oversaw the daily activities of a Unified Combatant Command with an area of responsibility encompassing 89 countries and more than 13 million square miles.   Born in Pensacola, Florida, Admiral Abbot graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1962, and the United States Naval Academy in 1966.  His graduate studies include Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.  Admiral Abbot also completed U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and Naval Nuclear Power training.  Admiral Abbot currently serves as a co-chair of Count Every Hero, a non-partisan effort to protect the voting rights of all Americans, especially active duty members, veterans and families.

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