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Congressman Adam Smith on US-Africa Security Relations
July 12

Congressman Adam Smith on US-Africa Security Relations

08:30 am - 09:30 am. Time zone: America/New_York

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Join the American Security Project on Tuesday, July 12 for a discussion with Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, about security challenges in Africa, the American national security interests in the region, and his proposals for addressing the problems. Congressman Smiths remarks will be followed by a discussion with LtGen John Castellaw, USMC (ret). ASP Board Member Matthew Bergman will introduce Congressman Smith and moderate the discussion.

Speaker Biographies:

Congressman Adam Smith

Congressman Adam Smith represents Washington’s 9th congressional district in the House of Representatives, and is a Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. Having served as congressman since 1997, Congressman Smith has chaired the subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF), and the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which oversees the US Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy. Congressman Smith has also served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Congressman Smith’s background gives him a unique insight into today’s most important national security issues, especially throughout the Middle East, the war in Afghanistan, Northern Africa, and US efforts to stop the spread of violent extremism. He recognizes the need for poverty reduction, education access, sustainable global markets, diplomatic engagement, good governance, among other measures to strengthen national and international security.


LtGen John “Glad” Castellaw, USMC (Ret.) – Discussant 

John “Glad” Castellaw is co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Farmspace Systems LLC., a provider of aerial (drone) services and equipment. During his 36-year career with the Marines, he served with the UN during the Siege of Sarajevo, commanded the American force in the multi-national security and stability operation in East Timor, and was the chief of staff for the U.S. Central Command at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also commanded Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (REINFORCED), Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. His last tours were in the Pentagon as head of Marine Aviation and then overseeing the Marine Corps budget.

Castellaw, a recognized national security expert, is a member of the USGLC National Security Advisory Council, lectures on National Security at UTM, serves on several Washington, DC based groups including the Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG), the American Security Project Consensus, and the Climate Security Working Group (CSWG). His honors, in addition to several military decorations, include membership in the UTM Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Hall of Fame, selection as the 1990 Marine Aviator of the Year, and as a recipient of the 2016 R. Clayton McWhorter Innovation Award given by the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. He was awarded the Order of Timor Leste (East Timor) by Prime Minister de Araujo for his service in restoring peace and security to that country.


Matthew Bergman – Moderator

Matthew Bergman is an attorney, philanthropist and entrepreneur based in Seattle.  Bergman has been involved in promoting educational reform, professional development and equal access to justice. He serves as a Trustee of Reed College on the Board of Visitors of Lewis & Clark Law School. He chaired the Cardozo Society of the Seattle Jewish Federation and currently serves on the House of Delegates of the Oregon State Bar Association. He is an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School where he teaches litigation strategy. Bergman is a board member of the Mississippi Center for Justice which prosecutes voting rights, fair housing and consumer protection litigation in Mississippi.

Bergman has been active in politics at the state and national level for 40 years. As a disciple of Henry (“Scoop”) Jackson, he worked to promote a close US-Israel relationship and mobilize American political support for the Solidarity movement in Poland, black trade unions in South Africa and anti-totalitarian forces in the developing world. Bergman has traveled extensively in Africa and the Middle East and established relationships with business and political leaders there. Bergman is particularly interested in female literacy as a bridge to economic, social and political development. In 2008, he founded the Maasai Children’s Initiative which established two girl’s schools in remote Maasai communities in Southern Kenya. The program included solar powered computer labs, clean drinking water, school feeding programs and cultural programs that served 350 girls and surrounding community.