Please contact Joanne Needham at (603) 646-2207 if you have any questions.
The Center hosts a variety of visitors throughout the academic year to stimulate discussion on regional, national, and international affairs.
Mike Astrue, former Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
Michael Astrue has split his career between public service and the biotechnology industry. He led one of the most successful turnarounds in the history of the industry as CEO of Transkaryotic Therapies and served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. He also worked for thirteen years in senior positions in four Administrations. Among other positions, he served in the Reagan and Bush White Houses as Associate Counsel to the President, and as General Counsel of HHS (1989-1992), where he personally litigated the first federal HIV discrimination and patient dumping enforcement cases. As Commissioner of Social Security (2007-2013) he reported directly to Presidents Bush and Obama. He overhauled the agency's antiquated IT systems and electronic services, reduced backlogs, created fast tracks for patients with severe rare disorders, and significantly improved the economic information provided to the public, particularly to women, as they make retirement choices. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, he has received two honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the Public Health Award from the National Organization of Rare Disorders and Humanitarian of the Year from the Alzheimer's Association.
W. Chris King, Dean, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Dr. W. Chris King serves as the Chief Academic Officer of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff. Dr. King earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee in 1988. Dr. King has authored two books, and 15 book chapters with his most recent manuscript being, Understanding International Environmental Security: A Strategic Military Perspective. He has published more than 30 journal articles and scientific reports, and lectured at more than 50 professional conferences, including the technical sessions of the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009. Dr. King won both the American Academy of Environmental Engineering Honor Award in 1992 for his work on the Kuwait health risk assessment and the Army Science Award for outstanding research for his work in geophysical remote sensing. In 2000, he completed his M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College. Dr. King is a licensed professional engineer and is board certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers with a specialty in hazardous waste management. He is a founding member of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change. He retired from active duty after 34 years of commissioned service at the rank of Brigadier General.
Co-hosted with the Department of Government
Ambassador Thomas Shannon, Jr., Counselor to the Department of State, former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., was appointed Counselor of the Department by Secretary Kerry on December 24, 2013. Ambassador Shannon had served briefly as Senior Advisor to the Secretary following his return in September from Brazil, where he served as United States Ambassador for nearly four years. He is a Career Ambassador in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States. Ambassador Shannon is only the seventh Foreign Service Officer to hold the position of Counselor since World War II, and the first in 32 years. Prior to his tenure in Brazil, Ambassador Shannon served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2005-2009), as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (2003-2005), and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State(2002-2003), where he was Director of Andean Affairs (2001-2002). He was U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), with the rank of Ambassador (2000-2001). Ambassador Shannon also served as Director of Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1999-2000), as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela (1996-1999), and as Regional Labor Attache at the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa (1992-1996). Ambassador Shannon graduated with high honors from the College of William and Mary in 1980, having studied government and philosophy. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then studied at Oxford University, where he received a M. Phil in Politics in 1982, and a D.Phil in Politics in 1983. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Last Updated: 10/24/14