The Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Speakers and Panelists

The Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Speakers and Panelists

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Conference: The Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)





Speakers and panelists:


Keynote address:

Lilianne Ploumen



In 1983, while still at university, Lilianne Ploumen became a community outreach worker in the Crooswijk area of Rotterdam. Two years later she joined the Institute of Psychological Market Research (IPM), working in the statistics department and as a research project leader. IPM focuses on research-based consultancy.

In 1995 she founded Ploumen Projecten, an organisation specialising in market research and innovation for commercial and non-profit clients. In the same year she also began working as a fundraising coordinator for Mama Cash, an international fund supporting women’s initiatives, going on to become director of the organisation from 1996 to 2001.

From 2001 to 2007 Ms Ploumen worked for the development organisation Cordaid, first as head of quality and strategy and later as director of international programmes.

She was Chair of the Labour Party (PvdA) from October 2007 to January 2012.

On 5 November 2012 Lilianne Ploumen was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Rutte-Asscher government.

Party political positions and outside activities

Lilianne Ploumen previously held the position of Vice Chair of the Evert Vermeer Foundation, and was a member of the Labour Party’s South-North Committee (advising on international cooperation).

She has also been a board member of feminist organisation Opzij and Women Inc. and member of the Stop Aids Now! supervisory board.



Panel 1: TTIP and the Geopolitics of the U.S.-EU relationship


Kurt Tong

kurt tongKurt Tong has served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State since July 2014.

Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Tong served for three years as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his time in Tokyo, he was the U.S. Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), managing all aspects of U.S. participation in APEC, while concurrently serving as the Economic Coordinator for the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, organizing bureau-wide efforts on economic policy.

Mr. Tong has been an economic affairs diplomat for the State Department since 1990, including service as Director for Asian Economic Affairs at the National Security Council from 2006 to 2008 and as Economic Minister-Counselor in Seoul from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he was Counselor for Environment, Science and Health in Beijing and served as Deputy Treasury Attaché in Tokyo and as an economic officer in Manila. Mr. Tong was a Visiting Scholar at the Tokyo University Faculty of Economics from 1995 to 1996. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was an Associate with the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo.

Mr. Tong holds a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and studied graduate-level economics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He has also studied at the Beijing Institute of Education, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo.

Mr. Tong speaks and reads Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. He has published articles in Foreign Policy and Nihon Keizai Kenkyu (an academic journal of the Japan Center for Economic Research). He was born in Ohio and raised in Massachusetts, and enjoys soccer, tennis and other sports.


Lt. Gen. Dan Christman, USA (Ret.)

ChristmanLieutenant General Christman is Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the United States Chamber of Commerce. From 1996 to 2001, General Christman was Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has also served as President and Executive Director of the Kimsey Foundation. During his tenure with the U.S. Army he was the assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and represented the United States as a member of NATO’s Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.


Dr. Daniel S. Hamilton

daniel_hamilton_1_0Dr. Daniel S. Hamilton is the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor and Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, named in annual surveys conducted by the University of Pennsylvania as the number one university think tank in Washington, DC and a leading “Global Go-To University Think Tank.” He also serves as Executive Director of the American Consortium for EU Studies, designated by the European Commission as the EU Center of Excellence Washington, DC.

Dr. Hamilton is the Director of the Atlantic Basin Initiative, a network of African, European, South, Central and North American Eminent Persons, research institutes and private sector leaders that explores the changing dynamics among the four continents of the Atlantic Basin with regard to energy, economic growth and human development, values and security.

Dr. Hamilton has held a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Department of State, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, responsible for NATO, OSCE and transatlantic security issues, Nordic-Baltic and Balkan Affairs; U.S. Special Coordinator for Southeast European Stabilization; Associate Director of the Policy Planning Staff for two U.S. Secretaries of State; Director for Policy in the Bureau of European Affairs; and Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador and U.S. Embassy in Germany. In 2008 he served as the first Robert Bosch Foundation Senior Diplomatic Fellow in the German Foreign Office. In 2012 he was a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘Futures Advisory Group’.


Ambassador Charles P. Ries

charles ries

Ambassador (Ret.) Charles Ries is Vice President, International at the RAND Corporation, where he oversees RAND’s international offices and strategy.  At RAND from 2009, his research has focused on ways to promote economic growth and development in a variety of settings.  While on a leave of absence from RAND in 2010, Ries served as Executive Vice President of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.


Ries’ more than three decades in the U.S. diplomatic service included four years (2000-2004) as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, where he was responsible for the U.S.-EU dialogue and economic relations between the U.S. and Europe.  He also served as Ambassador to Greece (2004-2007), Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at U.S. Embassy London (1996-2000), and Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs, at the U.S. Mission to the European Union (1992-1996).

Ambassador Ries was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1990-92) and served as Deputy Assistant USTR for North American Affairs.  Ries led the NAFTA negotiating group responsible for standards and conformity assessment matters, resulting in Chapter 9 of the agreement.  He also directed an interagency environmental review of the NAFTA, the first such environmental assessment of a trade agreement by the U.S. Ries also spend 14 months at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2007–2008), where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of assistance and economic policy initiatives. Ries is the first recipient of the State Department’s Rockwell Schnabel Award for U.S.-EU Relations (2004) for his “imaginative, dedicated leadership of the U.S. European Relationship,” as well as the Cordell Hull Award for Senior Economic Officers (2008), Distinguished Honor Award (2004), and Presidential Meritorious Service Award (2002).  For service in Iraq, he received the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of American Diplomacy and Chairman of the Policy Council of the Cox Foundation.


Panel 2: TTIP, emerging markets and the multilateral trading system


Christopher Smart

Christopher Smart currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economics, Trade & Investment at the National Security Council where he is responsible for a broad range of issues related to the President’s agenda on global trade, investment and relations with developed economies.  From 2009 to 2013, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Europe and Eurasia, where he led the Treasury Department’s response to the European financial crisis and managed the U.S. economic and financial relationships with more than 50 countries in Europe, Russia and Central Asia. Through July 2009, Dr. Smart was Director of International Investments at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston, Massachusetts, and manager of several portfolios investing in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  Under his management, the Pioneer Emerging Markets Fund posted performance among the top quartile of its peer group from 2005 to 2007.  In 2008, Barron’s-Value Line designated him on its list of Top 100 Mutual Fund Managers.  Christopher is also a frequent commentator on global finance for CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.

In 1993, Christopher served as Moscow Director of the Macroeconomic and Finance Unit, an advisory group to the Russian Ministry of Finance on a grant from the Ford Foundation. The following year, he was appointed Deputy General Director of the Russian Privatization Center, the principal conduit for foreign technical assistance on issues of market reform.  Earlier in his career, he was a research associate at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and a newspaper reporter in St. Petersburg, Florida and Paris, France.

With 15 years of work and study abroad, Christopher speaks fluent French and Russian and is the author of numerous articles on the former Soviet Union, including the book *The Imagery of Soviet Foreign Policy and the Collapse of the Russian Empire *(Praeger Publishers, 1995).  He received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and, until July 2009, a director of Accion International.


Peter S. Rashish

rashish-150x150Peter Rashish has over 25 years of engagement as a transatlantic policy entrepreneur – as a senior executive of the world’s largest business federation, a strategic advisor to major international companies, and as a consultant to international organizations, think tanks and foundations.

Currently Senior Advisor for Europe and Transatlantic Trade at Transnational Strategy Group LLC, Mr. Rashish earlier served as Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he was the senior Chamber official with responsibility for crafting and implementing strategies to promote the interests of Chamber members in the transatlantic market. He spearheaded the Chamber’s advocacy for an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, which has been officially launched as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” and developed new engagements in the continent’s emerging markets.

Previously, Mr. Rashish has served as an executive with several Washington-based international advisory firms, as Executive Vice President of the European Institute, on the Paris-based staff of the International Energy Agency, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Mr. Rashish has testified on the Eurozone and U.S-European economic relations before the House Financial Services subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade and the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia.

Mr. Rashish is a Senior Fellow (Nonresident) at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, a Senior Advisor to the European Policy Centre in Brussels, a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and has served on the faculty of the Salzburg Global Seminar and as a guest lecturer at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

He earned his B.A. from Harvard College and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Daniel J. Ikenson

ikensonDan Ikenson is director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, where he coordinates and conducts research on all manners of international trade and investment policy. Since joining Cato in 2000, Ikenson has authored dozens of papers on various aspects of trade policy, focusing his research on U.S.-China trade relations; bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and institutions; globalization; U.S. manufacturing issues; trade politics; and trade remedies, such as the antidumping regime.

Ikenson has been involved in international trade since 1990. Before joining Cato in 2000, he was director of international trade planning for an international accounting and business advisory firm. In 1997, he cofounded and was a principal at an international trade consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and from 1990 to 1997 he was a trade policy and antidumping analyst at a few international trade law practices in Washington, D.C. In addition to his many studies and articles, Ikenson is coauthor of the book Antidumping Exposed: The Devilish Details of Unfair Trade Law. He has testified before a variety of congressional committees on various policy matters. He has appeared on numerous television news programs on various networks, including PBS, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News, Fox Business News, and NPR. His articles have been published in widely circulated newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal,the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, Forbes, and National Review.


Dr. Susan Aaronson

aaronson-susanSusan Ariel Aaronson is Research Professor at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and the former Minerva Chair at the National War College. She directs a fellowship fund for students working on internet issues, the eBay Policy Scholars, and has organized a seminar series on Internet issues. While at GWU, Aaronson has received grants from the MacArthur, Ford, Swiss National Science Foundation and Ford Motor Company for her work on internet freedom and trade, corruption, and business and human rights. Her current research focuses on malware, trade and trust; the WTO and conflict; and repression, civil conflict and socio-economic outcomes. Dr. Aaronson is a frequent speaker on public understanding of globalization issues and international economic developments. She was a regular commentator on “All Things Considered” in 1994–1995, “Marketplace” from 1995–1998, and “Morning Edition” from 1998-2001. She has also appeared on CNN, the BBC, and PBS to discuss trade and globalization issues. She has also been a Guest Scholar in Economics at the Brookings Institution (1995–1999); and a Research Fellow at the World Trade Institute 2008-2012. Dr. Aaronson is the Treasurer of Giganet; serves on the Advisory Board for Business-Human Rights; and is a Senior External Advisor to the Business and Society Team of Oxford Analytica. In recent years, she has been a pro-bono advisor to the UN Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She has also consulted for the ILO; the World Bank; Free the Slaves; the Ford Foundation; the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; the Stanley Foundation; several corporations; and the governments of Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among others. Aaronson is the author of six books and numerous articles on trade, human rights, internet governance, and other issues related to globalization.


Dr. Joshua Walker

walker_joshua_flDr. Joshua W. Walker, director of global programs, is based in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C., office and specializes in business diplomacy, international affairs and public-private partnerships.

Before joining APCO, Dr. Walker served as an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was senior adviser to numerous officials in U.S. federal departments and agencies. He served at the U.S. Department of State in Secretary Kerry’s office of the chief economist and previously served in Secretary Clinton’s Global Partnership Initiative as the senior adviser on the Middle East and North Africa. He has also worked for the U.S. Embassy Ankara, Turkey Desk at the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.

Dr. Walker’s accomplished career has helped him to create deeper connections between the worlds of academia and public policy. Prior to the State Department, Dr. Walker was a transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, responsible for its Turkey program and Japan portfolio of the Asia team. He also co-founded the Yale Journal of International Affairs; Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in New York; and the Project on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations at Princeton, in addition to being a Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader and Truman National Security Project fellow.

He has taught at Brandeis University, George Mason University, Harvard Kennedy School, Middle East Technical University, Istanbul Sehir Merkez, Tokyo University, Transatlantic Academy, Princeton University, University of Richmond and Yale University.

Dr. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond, a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University and a Ph.D. in politics and public policy from Princeton University. Raised in Japan, Dr. Walker is a native English speaker and speaks both Japanese and Turkish fluently

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