Sohrab Ahmari is a Senior Writer for Commentary magazine, where he covers a broad range of foreign, domestic and literary issues. Prior to joining Commentary, Mr. Ahmari worked for five years as a writer and editor for The Wall Street Journal opinion pages in New York and London. In addition to the Journal, Mr. Ahmari’s writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Weekly Standard, the Catholic Herald, Dissent, First Things and America, among many other publications. He has testified before the British Parliament and appears regularly on broadcast media on both sides of the Atlantic, including the BBC, Sky News, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Fox News Channel. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Mr. Ahmari is the author of The New Philistines: How Identity Politics Disfigure the Arts (Biteback, 2016). He is currently writing a memoir, on the intellectual road from Nietzsche to Pope Benedict XVI, for Ignatius Press.
Lieutenant General Mick Bednarek retired in 2015 after nearly 40 years of military service. He most recently served 26 months as the Senior Defense Official in Iraq and Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Baghdad. In this capacity he coordinated Security Cooperation and Security Assistance activities to strengthen the strategic partnership and promote a unified, democratic, stable, self-reliant, and regionally integrated Iraq. He has commanded at every echelon, from company to Army level, culminating in command of First United States Army, responsible for the training and readiness of our Nations Guard and Reserve Forces for worldwide deployment. General Bednarek is currently engaged in consulting for multiple organizations ranging from foreign policy think tanks to defense contracting. Lieutenant General Bednarek’s awards and decorations include two Defense Superior Service Medals, six awards of the Legion of Merit, the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, and multiple other individual and unit level awards. He is married to the former Holly Meyer, and they have three daughters, one son, and one daughter-in-law. They reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Mitch Boersma is chief operating officer of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC, and co-founder of The Leonine Forum – a year-long fellowship program equipping young leaders with a renewed understanding and application of Catholic Social Teaching for professional and civic life. He is the coordinator at Catholic Voices USA, and an associate editor of The Stream. In 2014, Mitch was named one of FOCUS’ (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) 30 under 30 young Catholics in the country. Mitch is a former Washington Fellow of the National Review Institute, a Tertio Millenio Seminar Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a graduate of the Summer Seminar on Catholic Social Teaching from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. His work has appeared in secular and religious news outlets including RealClearReligion, EWTN, Legatus Magazine, Fox News, The Stream, Verily Magazine, and National Review Online, among others. He holds a Bachelors degree in Business from the University of Dallas and a Masters degree in Moral Theology and Ethics from the Catholic University of America. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife Rosie and two children.
Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez is Vice-President of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and a member of the board of directors at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at George Washington University. He is also a non-resident Fellow in Middle East Politics and Media at the TRENDS research and advisory center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. A graduate of the University of Arizona (B.A. and M.A.) and the Defense Language Institute, he served in the U.S. Army and came to the United States as a refugee from Cuba in 1959. He served as a Foreign Service Officer from 1983 to 2015 and served as the State Department’s Coordinator for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications from 2012 to 2015. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea and U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Sudan. He held senior public diplomacy positions at the U.S. Embassies in Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Guatemala, Kuwait, and in the Department’s Near East Affairs (NEA) Bureau. He was a recipient of a 2008 Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the 2006 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, a 2003 Superior Honor Award for his work in Afghanistan, among many other awards. He speaks fluent Spanish and Arabic in addition to English.
Lela Gilbert is an award-winning writer who has authored or co-authored more than 60 books. She was based in Israel from 2006 until 2017 and served as Philos Project’s lead blogger for several years. Her best known book is the critically acclaimed Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner. She authored Baroness Cox: Eyewitness to a Broken World; she also co-authored Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians and the award-winning Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion. Lela is editor of Newsmax’s “Faith and Freedom” blog. She is an adjunct fellow at Hudson Institute and a frequent contributor to Fox News, Algemeiner, The Jerusalem Post, Providence Magazine and many other publications. She is active on social media and her website is email@example.com
Colonel Douglas Mastriano was commissioned in the United States Army in 1986. He began his career on the Iron Curtain with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he served along the East German and Czechoslovakian borders. Here, he witnessed the end of the Cold War and deployed to Iraq for Operation Desert Storm where his regiment led the main attack against Saddam’s Republican Guards. Having survived several close calls by God’s grace, he went on to work in the Pentagon, the 3rd Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and US Army Europe (USAREUR). He also served four years in NATO Land Headquarters, from where he deployed three times to Afghanistan, commanding soldiers from eighteen nations. Colonel Mastriano is an award winning author and has published numerous articles on Russia, NATO, Baltic security, the First World War as well as other strategic, defense and historic topics.
Carmen LaBerge is a writer, speaker and host of the daily Christian talk radio show The Reconnect. She is also in her ninth year serving as the President of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a ministry that’s been working to equip Christians for faithful witness for more than 50 years. Before becoming president of the PLC, Carmen served in mainline Christian ministry for 17 years. Carmen is the founding Chairman of Common Ground Christian Network and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. She also participates actively on the Mission America Coalition, the National Religious Broadcasters and the Christian Leadership Alliance. In just 2016, Carmen has conducted over 150 interviews with widely respected influencers, reporters, authors and leaders. She is a frequent guest on MyFaith Radio Network and has written for ChristianityToday.com and other outlets. Carmen is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. She lives outside of Nashville, TN with her husband Jim and family.
Gerald R. McDermott (PhD, University of Iowa) is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also associate pastor at Christ the King Anglican Church. His books include The Other Jonathan Edwards: Readings in Love, Society, and Justice (with Ronald Story), The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (with Michael McClymond), A Trinitarian Theology of Religions (with Harold Netland), Cancer: A Medical and Spiritual Guide (with William Fintel, MD), Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods, andWorld Religions: An Indispensable Guide.
Gregory Alan Thornbury, Ph.D., serves as the sixth President of The King’s College in New York City – an institution dedicated to faith, free enterprise, and The American Dream. Called “America’s first hipster college president” by The American Spectator, Dr. Thornbury is also a Visiting Professor at the Values and Capitalism initiative of the American Enterprise Institute; a Senior Fellow for The Kairos Journal; a columnist for Townhall.com; and a member of the editorial board of the Salem Media Group. His recent books focus on the relationship between philosophy, theology, and culture. They include Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry, and Bigger on the Inside: Christianity and Doctor Who, with graphic artist Ned Bustard. Prior to joining King’s in 2013, Dr. Thornbury served at Union University in Tennessee as a Professor of Philosophy, Founding Dean of the School of Theology, and Vice President. He has completed graduate work at Southern Seminary in Louisville and the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Thornbury and his wife Kimberly, who also holds the Ph.D., have two daughters and reside in Manhattan.