Russia, Ukraine, and Euro-Atlantic Security

October 12-13, 2017

57 Stodder Hall, University of Maine

Co-hosted by the School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) and the Cohen Institute for Leadership & Public Service, this conference will take place amidst an ongoing public debate about the Russia challenge and the evolution of what has been for nearly 70 years America’s most critical defense alliance (NATO). Its aim is to enhance an understanding of those challenges.

Our speakers include former diplomats and academics representing Russian, European, Ukrainian, and American perspectives. They will address Russia and Ukraine relations, European relations with Ukraine, Russian-European relations, U.S.-Russian relations, and Euro-Atlantic security. The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion involving the presenters and special guests former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and former Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman.

This event is free and open to the public.  No registration is required.

Unless indicated otherwise, all conference panels will be held in the Stodder Hall Graduate Commons (Directions here).  Limited parking is available for UMaine visitors without permits in the Lengyel lot, located between Lengyel Hall and the Buchanan Alumni House (Directions here).




Thursday, October 12

8:45 AM Russia and Ukraine Relations

Presenter: Constantine Pleshakov, former foreign policy analyst at the Institute of U.S. and Canada Studies in Moscow, author of The Crimean Nexus: Putin’s War and the Clash of Civilizations

Panelists: James W. Warhola, Professor of Political Science and Dr. John M. Nickerson Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine

                   Mandy Barrington, MA Global Policy Candidate, University of Maine

10:30 AM – Ukraine and Europe Relations

Presenter: Eugeniusz Smolar, foreign policy analyst, Senior Policy Fellow and Member of the Board, and former President of the Centre for International Relations

Panelists: Kenneth M. Hillas, Jr., Adjunct Professor of International Affairs, UMaine; retired Senior Foreign Service Officer

                   Morgan Holtsclaw, MA Global Policy Candidate, University of Maine

12:00 PM – Lunch Break

1:00 PM – Russia and Europe Relations

Presenter: Bastian Hermisson, Executive Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s North America

Panelists: Ambassador (ret) Lawrence E. Butler, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia

                   Evan Christie, MA Global Policy Candidate, University of Maine

2:45 PM – U.S.-Russia Relations

Presenter: Jeffrey Mankoff, deputy director and senior fellow with the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program

Panelists: Seth Singleton, Adjunct Professor of International Relations, UMaine

                   Lucas Ashbaugh, MA Global Policy Candidate, University of Maine

Friday, October 13

9:00 AM – Euro-Atlantic Security

Presenter: Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

Panelists: ADM Gregory G. Johnson, former commander U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and Allied Forces, Southern Europe

                   James Higgins, MA Global Policy Candidate, University of Maine

10:45 AM – Roundtable Discussion with Conference Speakers and Special Guests former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and former Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman

12:15 PM – Conference Adjourns

2:15 PM  – The Biennial William S. Cohen Lecture: “Assessing the First Year of an Unconventional Presidency”
                   (To be delivered at the Collins Center for the Arts)