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.
Andrew Doran is a Senior Advisor and co-founder of In Defense of Christians, a Washington, DC-based organization that advocates for ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East. He writes variously about U.S. foreign policy and human rights in the Middle East. He previously served on the executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He lives in the Washington, DC area.
Kirsten Evans is the Washington Liaison for Policy and Partnership of the Iraq Project for Genocide Prevention at The Stockton Center for Human Security, which implements nation-based genocide prevention workshops and educational programs in vulnerable societies around the world. She previously served two years as Executive Director and Senior Advisor of In Defense of Christians (IDC), a political advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Christians and Christianity in the Middle East, and a leading advocate of official US recognition of the genocide of religious minorities by ISIS. She has spoken at the United Nations, the European Parliament, and national and international audiences on the plight of Christians in the Middle East. She is a published contributor to the Washington Times, the National Review, the National Catholic Register and Zenit News, and has provided regular commentary on the issue across a wide range of national and international television, radio, and print news outlets. She holds a Master’s degree in International Public Policy with a focus on religion and human rights from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a specialization in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She also holds a Master’s degree in Religious Sciences from the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. Previous to IDC, Ms. Evans represented the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in its ongoing national dialogues on faith and public policy with the Muslim, Jewish, and Orthodox Christian communities in the United States, and served as an ad hoc consultant to the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York. Kirsten currently serves as Chief of Staff and a Senior Consultant at Inveniam Capital Partners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Paul D. Miller is the associate director of the Clements Center for National Security at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a distinguished scholar with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and a lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
As a practitioner, Dr. Miller served as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff; worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, including a deployment to Afghanistan.
His most recent book, American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2016.
In his first book, Armed State Building (Cornell University Press, 2013), Miller examined the history and strategy of stability operations. Miller taught at the National Defense University and worked at the RAND Corporation prior to arriving at UT-Austin.
Miller blogs on foreign affairs at Elephants in the Room. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Survival, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, The American Interest, The National Interest, The World Affairs Journal, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and elsewhere. Miller holds a PhD in international relations and a BA in government from Georgetown University, and a master in public policy from Harvard University.
He is a contributing editor of the Texas National Security Review, a contributing editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy, a research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a member of the advisory board for the Philos Project, and a member of the Texas Lyceum.