​​​​​​2022 - 2023 Speaker Series

General Mark C. Schwartz
September 07, 2022

Lieutenant General (R) Mark Schwartz served in the United States Army for 33 years. Mark has over 20 years of exemplary global leadership experience, leading multi-service, multinational, and intergovernmental teams.

A career Green Beret, Mark has served throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. These experiences have resulted in Mark developing lasting relationships with a multitude of U.S. Allies and Partners.​​​​​​​

Mark’s most recent position as United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority saw him lead the team responsible for U.S. security policy in developing Palestinian Authority Security Forces and manage a five-year $350 million Security Assistance programming budget.

Mark’s other General Officer assignments included Deputy Commander for the Joint Special Operations Command, Commander of Special Operations Command Europe, Deputy Commanding General for Maneuver 1st Cavalry Division, and Deputy Commander for the Special Operations Joint Task Force in Afghanistan.

Mark is a native of Colorado, growing up in Longmont, CO before joining the United States Army. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO.


Professor Federiga Bindi
October 05, 2022

Dr. Federiga Bindi is a Senior Fellow at IWPR. She is also a tenured Professor of Political Science and Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she founded and directed the “Jean Monnet EU Center of Excellence” (2004-2012). Professor Bindi, who has a PhD from the European University Institute, has been a Visiting Fellow in a number of prestigious international institutions, among which the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Affairs, SAIS Johns Hopkins, the Institute d’Études Politiques in Paris, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, the University of Lisbon and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Professor Bindi served in a number of senior positions in government, among which

Senior Advisor to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2011); Head of International Affairs and at the Italian National School of Administration (2010-2012) and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels (2012-2014). She published eight volumes, among which Europe and America: The End of Transatlantic Relations? (2020),  The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (2010 & 2012); The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem? (2011); Italy and the EU (2011), Analyzing European Union Politics (2012). Federiga is currently editing a book Women Leaders in Foreign Policy for Brookings Press.

At IWPR, Federiga directs The State of the Women research network, financed by the European Commission, which aims to produce the first comprehensive mapping of the state of women, gender parity and women leadership in the European Union and the United States across 10 ten areas which constitute the fabric of society:  parliamentsgovernmentsCourtsmilitarydiplomacyacademiabusinessreligionmedia and sports.

Dr. Bindi also directs the  Foreign Policy Initiative promoting women leadership in foreign policy and a feminist foreign policy which follows a previous initiative Federiga created in Brussels, Women Leaders in International Relations.


Professor Scott Reynols Nelson
October 20, 2022
The history of World War I is often described as a story of German aggression, but as Professor Scott Nelson will discuss, the current Ukrainian war is no anomaly and has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Even World War I can be understood as a story of an aggressive Russian empire bent on controlling the Black Sea. These same forces are at work today. Professor Nelson is the author of Oceans of Grain, How American Wheat Remade The World, published in 2022. His book describes how a brilliant renegade communist, born in what is now Belarus, used fragile grain transport pathways in the early days of World War I to hold off the allies at Gallipoli and to help start the Russian Revolution.

Scott Reynolds Nelson, Ph.D., is the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of the Humanities at the University of Georgia, Athens. He is a Guggenheim fellow and the author of five books, including Steel Drivin’ Man (2007) about the life of Black folklore legend John Henry, which won four national awards including the Merle Curti Prize for best book on U.S. social history. His book on the history of financial crashes, A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America’s financial Disasters (2012), was named a best business book of the year by Business Week.

Professor Nelson has been a research fellow at Harvard U., the Ecole des Hautes etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, and Chicago’s Newberry Library. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in History from the U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Matthew Rojansky
January 24, 2023

Matthew Rojansky serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The U.S. Russia Foundation.

Prior to USRF, Rojansky served from 2013 as Director of the Kennan Institute, the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program within the Congressionally chartered Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Rojansky is among the most widely recognized and cited U.S. experts on Russia, and has published works on the history and practice of U.S.-Russia relations, bilateral exchanges, and rule of law.

Rojansky also serves as the U.S. Executive Secretary for the Dartmouth Conference, a track-two U.S.-Russian conflict resolution initiative begun in 1960, and has lectured at 

colleges and universities throughout the United States, Russia and Europe. He is a counselor to the Cooperative Security Initiative, the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, and the Euro-Atlantic Security Leaders Group.

​​​​​​​Previously, Rojansky was Deputy Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Executive Director of the Partnership for a Secure America. He has also served as an Embassy Policy Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, a Visiting Scholar in the Research Division at the NATO Defense College, and a Clerk to Judge Charles E. Erdmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He received his B.A. in history from Harvard College, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
General George W. Casey (ret)
April 2023
Global Engagement Award
General George W. Casey, Jr. is one of the most accomplished soldiers in U.S. history and an authority on strategic and transformational leadership. As the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from April 2007 to 2011, General Casey led what is arguably the world's largest and most complex organization, 1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget, during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He is widely credited with restoring balance to the war-weary U.S. Army and leading the transformation necessary to ensure the Army remained relevant in current conflicts. Prior to this post, General Casey commanded the Multinational Force-Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, where he guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. He currently lectures on leadership at the Johnson School of Management, Cornell University, at other business schools, and to 
the leaders of national and multinational corporations. He also lectures on International Relations at the Korbel School, University of Denver. He has published a book, Strategic Reflections, Operation Iraqi Freedom, July 2004-2007 (October 2012), about his experiences in Iraq, and several articles on leadership, including “Leading in a VUCA World”, Fortune Magazine (March 20, 2014).
The Denver Council on Foreign Relations is a nonpartisan organization. We strive to provide an unbiased space for a diverse spectrum of foreign experts, academics, diplomats, and public representatives to share their expertise. We do not endorse the statements of positions of any speaker. We aim to be a place of open discussion, ideas, and information to build public awareness and understanding of contemporary and emerging international issues.