CSIS Smart Women, Smart Power is a speaker series on women in international business and global affairs. The weekly podcast features leading women from the corporate, government, and national security worlds discussing top international issues. This podcast series is made possible with support from Citigroup.
Here's the Latest Episode from Smart Women, Smart Power:
Host Beverly Kirk talks to Vice Admiral Linda Fagan, Pacific Area Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, about Arctic security, the threat of illegal fishing to maritime security, and Coast Guard operations and readiness during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Host Beverly Kirk talks to Charity Wallace, Managing Director of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), about how the 2X Women's Initiative's investments are empowering women economically and helping their businesses survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Host Beverly Kirk talks to "Vote Girl Vote" co-founder Kate Howard about her organization's effort to tell the stories of all the women who fought for the right to vote so that they are not lost to history.
Nina Easton, CSIS senior associate (non-resident) moderated a panel discussion on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia and the impacts of Covid-19. She spoke with West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice, Elaine Wynn, Board Chair, Communities in Schools, and Michele Blatt, West Virginia Deputy Superintendent of Education. This conversation is part of the Smart Women, Smart Power speaker series sponsored by Citi.
On the final episode of the PONI Pathbreakers series, host Beverly Kirk talks with Ambassador Susan Burk, former Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Dr. Rebecca Davis Gibbons, assistant professor of political science at the University of Southern Maine and associate at the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard’s Belfer Center. They discuss the future of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their trailblazing careers in the nuclear community.
On the fourth episode of the PONI Pathbreakers series, host Beverly Kirk talks with Rose Gottemoeller, the former deputy Secretary General of NATO and Heather Williams, a lecturer in the Defence Studies Department and Centre for Science and Security Studies at Kings College London, about the future of arms control treaties and the impact current events have had on the relationship between the United States and its allies.
On the third episode of the PONI Pathbreakers series, former Sandia National Laboratories Director Jill Hruby and Dr. Mareena Robinson Snowden, Senior Engineer in the National Security Analysis Department at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab talk about being pioneers in their careers, nuclear proliferation, and great power competition.
On the second episode of the PONI Pathbreakers series, host Beverly Kirk talked about the role of Congress in nuclear policy with Madelyn Creedon and Augusta Binns-Berkey. They also discussed their careers and how nuclear policy fits into broader domestic issues. Madelyn is a part-time research professor of International Affairs and Chair of the Nuclear Security Working Group at George Washington University and a non-resident senior fellow at Brookings. Augusta is currently a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The views expressed in this episode do not reflect those of their respective institutions.
On the first episode of the PONI Pathbreakers series, host Beverly Kirk spoke with Erin Dumbacher, senior program officer for the Scientific and Technical Affairs program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Suzanne Spaulding, senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at CSIS. They discussed cyber deterrence and nuclear security, and their career experiences in a rapidly changing field. You can learn more about Erin’s work at NTI here and Suzanne’s work at CSIS here.
Valerie Jarrett, board chair of When We All Vote; co-chair of The United State of Women; and senior advisor to former president Barack Obama, spoke with Beverly Kirk about the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the importance of political participation, especially among young voters, and the changing tides of gender equity in America. This conversation is part of the Smart Women, Smart Power speaker series sponsored by Citi.
Host Beverly Kirk chats with British Army veteran Angela Owen, founder of Women in Defence UK, about the importance of female representation and gender balance in Britain’s defense community, how her organization is engaging individuals and challenging businesses to achieve these goals, and how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the British armed forces and defense sector.
CSIS senior scholars Dr. Alice Hunt Friend and Shannon Culbertson discuss lessons learned as government officials dealing with the 2012 Benghazi attacks and the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.
CSIS senior adviser Suzanne Spaulding hosted the discussion on how the pandemic and global responses will impact democracy, privacy, and trust in government across the world. The panelists were Ms. Camille Stewart Esq. (New America), Dr. Lainie Rutkow (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and Dr. Susanna Campbell (American University). Watch the full event here.
Host Beverly Kirk moderated the discussion on how and why this pandemic might change how the United States approaches its foreign policy, relations with allies and competitors. The panelists were Dr. Jennifer Bouey (RAND), Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper (Stephen A. Schwarzman Senior Fellow for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations), and Dr. Kori Schake (American Enterprise Institute). Watch the full event here.
Host Beverly Kirk moderated a virtual Smart Women, Smart Power event with Jen Klein and Rakeen Mabud of TIME’S UP and Rachel Vogelstein of the Council on Foreign Relations. The group discussed how women are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, and how response efforts and policies need to incorporate a whole of society approach. This event was sponsored by Citi.
CSIS senior fellow Alice Hunt Friend hosted the 2020 Future Strategy Forum discussion on Covid-19's impact on military readiness, ongoing operations, and civil-military relations, including the use of the military in domestic crises. The panelists were Dr. Risa Brooks (Marquette University), Ms. Pam Campos-Palma (former U.S. Air Force), Ms. Mackenzie Eaglen (American Enterprise Institute), and Dr. Mara Karlin (Johns Hopkins University SAIS and Brookings Institution). Watch the full event here.
The Honorable Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, joined CSIS’s Hon. Kathleen Hicks, PhD for a virtual keynote discussion during the 2020 Future Strategy Forum. The pair discussed the security issues surrounding Covid-19 from China and North Korea to disinformation campaigns.
CSIS's Melissa Dalton, Counterpart International's Mehreen Farooq, and Laura Rosenberger of the German Marshall Fund discuss the need for the U.S., Canada, and their allies to develop a more coherent strategy for security partners in conflict situations. The CSIS project on Capacity Building in Hybrid Environments is made possible by the generous support of Canada’s Ministry of Defence.
Christen Brandt, co-founder and Chief Programs Officer of She’s the First, joined host Beverly Kirk to discuss how Covid-19 is impacting girls around the globe. They discuss the parallels with the Ebola crisis and what lessons learned can be applied today, and why this issue must be prioritized by the international community.
Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of International Affairs Amb. (ret.) Nina Hachigian joined host Beverly Kirk to talk about the challenges cities face in the Covid-19 pandemic, and why cooperation is a key component of response efforts. They also discuss how the pandemic is impacting national security and the role of women in security issues.
Host Beverly Kirk chats with Neill Sciarrone, founder of Trinity Cyber, about the importance of emerging technology during the COVID-19 pandemic and why cybersecurity has to be a priority during national emergencies and natural disasters.
Cyberspace Solarium Commissioners Suzanne Spaulding and Dr. Samantha Ravich discuss the commission's recommendations aimed at helping the U.S. protect itself from cyberattacks.
CSIS Global Health Policy Center Senior Fellow Katherine Bliss talks with host Beverly Kirk about her coronavirus quarantine, her work on GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and lessons learned during GAVI's development that may be useful as the world grapples with COVID-19.
Host Beverly Kirk sat down with Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). They discussed how gender-blind infrastructure around the world can sometimes hinder gender equality and what UNOPS is doing to make sure infrastructure projects are designed with women in mind.
In celebration of International Women's Day, Smart Women, Smart Power hosted a conversation with three CIA Deputies: Dawn Meyerriecks, Deputy Director of CIA for Science and Technology; Betsy Davis, Deputy Director of CIA for Support; and Sonya Holt, Deputy Associate Director of CIA for Talent for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. Beverly Kirk moderated the discussion which highlighted how leadership at the CIA has changed, the Agency's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and how the Agency will lead in the 21st century.
Host Beverly Kirk talks with USMC LtGen Lori Reynolds, Deputy Commandant for Information and Commander of the Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command, about how the Marines are improving their readiness for information warfare and adjusting their strategies for operation in the information environment.
Girl Security founder Lauren Buitta joined host Beverly Kirk to talk about how her organization has empowered hundreds of young women to join the national security field. Erin Connolly and Meaghan Burnes, two young women who have gone through the Girl Security mentorship program, joined the conversation to share what they’ve learned through the program.
Col. Pam Melroy (USAF, ret.) joined us for a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation on innovation and the role of government in commercial space. Moderated by Nina Eason, Col. Melroy also discussed the importance of international partnerships and collaboration in space.
Brexit is on track to happen on January 31, 2020. Dr. Amanda Sloat from Brookings discusses the United Kingdom’s complicated transition out of the European Union with host Beverly Kirk.
Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, joined host Beverly Kirk to discuss the importance of international alliances, NATO’s dedication to gender equity, and her experience as a lead negotiator for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Host Beverly Kirk sat down with CSIS experts Kathleen Hicks, Sarah Ladislaw, and Stephanie Segal to discuss the year’s security and foreign policy hot topics and what we might expect in the coming year. We talk everything from China, climate, and trade to populism, technology, and U.S. leadership on the global stage.
Janet Fleischman, CSIS Senior Associate (Non-resident) in the Global Health Policy Center joined host Beverly Kirk for a conversation about her latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and international crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security.
Konchok and Migyur are Kung Fu Nuns from the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism in Nepal. They and Atlantic Council Senior Advisor Carrie Lee joined host Beverly Kirk to discuss Kung Fu’s role in promoting gender equality in the Western Himalayas. They also discussed their work on the environment and as first responders following the 2015 earthquake.
Dr. Barbara Burger, president of Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), joined guest host Melissa Dalton to discuss how CTV operates and how its work is impacting communities. They also discussed the importance of STEM education and finding allies.
Syria Study Group co-Chair Dana Stroul and Commission member Melissa Dalton discuss the group’s findings, the state of the Syria-Turkey conflict following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and international influence in the region.
House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) joined us for a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation on foreign aid and international affairs spending. Moderated by Nina Easton, the pair also discussed why it’s important to invest in women and girls worldwide.
NatSecGirlSquad Founder Maggie Feldman-Piltch explains how the group’s commitment to women in security and defense extends beyond career advice and networking and why “competent diversity” is key to inclusion in the defense and security sector.
This panel discussion looked at progress being made toward achieving gender equality in developing countries and the challenges women and girls still face. The conversation features moderator Beverly Kirk and guests Zoe Dean-Smith, Amb. Mathilde Mukantabana, Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, and Astri Kimball Van Dyke.
CSIS non-resident Senior Associate Monica Medina joined Beverly Kirk to discuss progress being made regarding women in military combat roles. She also talked about a court ruling from earlier this year that said excluding women from Selective Service registration is unconstitutional. That court decision is being appealed.
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins joined host Beverly Kirk to discuss how she navigated her career in the State Department and how her organization, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, is helping to increase the number of young women in the field.
Liz Smith, Executive Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Bloomin’ Brands and deputy chair of the Atlanta Fed, joined Beverly Kirk to talk about the importance of embracing your failures in the workplace, learning the lessons, and moving on quickly. They also discussed her mission of creating gender parity on corporate boards.
Cyber & Tech Attorney Camille Stewart talks with host Beverly Kirk about how U.S. adversaries access sensitive national security technologies and intellectual property through bankruptcy proceedings. They also discuss what’s being done to better protect information when companies fail.
The Smart Women, Smart Power Speaker Series hosted three Washington-based journalists for a conversation on how security and foreign policy issues will influence the upcoming campaign cycle. Moderated by Beverly Kirk, the panelists were Susan Glasser of The New Yorker, Jennifer Griffin of FOX News, and Lara Seligman of Foreign Policy.
A panel discussion of benefits and challenges in using international institutions as a tool of statecraft. The conversation features Dr. Esther Brimmer, Heather Conley, Naima Green, Dr. Kristina Spohr, and Dr. Mischa Thompson and was held at the Future Strategy Forum in April 2019.
After an earthquake devastated Barpak, Nepal in 2015, Maya Pandey, a Virginia high school student born in Nepal, raised money to build a learning center to give Barpak students a place to study while their schools were rebuilt. Maya talks with Beverly Kirk about the process of building and sustaining the learning center and about how she’s also giving back to her community in Virginia. This episode is part of our Smart Girls, Smart Power series.
Beverly Kirk talks with Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya about starting a school to educate young girls in her Kenyan hometown and keeping them out of forced early marriages. Two of her students also join the conversation to talk about their aspirations and goals.
Katie Kaufman, Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), spoke with SWSP host Beverly Kirk about the 2X Women’s Initiative and why investing in women entrepreneurs is profitable.
Dame Barbara Woodward, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to China discusses the current Washington-Beijing trade spat and its implications for the U.K. and the rest of the world. She also talks about 21st century diplomatic challenges and how most are related to China.
The first panel from this year’s Future Strategy Forum started with a conversation on great power cooperation and its impacts in the 21st century. The panelists were Meg Guliford, Lindsey Ford, Dr. Angela Stent, Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and Dr. Irene Wu.
RAND’s Radha Iyengar Plumb, CNAS’s Loren DeJonge Schulman (two of the Bombshell podcast hosts), and CSIS’s Alice Hunt Friend discuss mentoring young women (and men) and what it’s like to be leading women in international affairs and national security.
New York Times Foreign Correspondent Rukmini Callimachi discusses her career covering terrorists and war zones and explains why ISIS remains a threat despite its loss of territory.
Ambassador Susan Rice joined the CSIS Smart Women, Smart Power program and the Kissinger Center for Global Affairs for a keynote discussion at the Future Strategy Forum conference on April 2, 2019. She sat down with Dr. Kath Hicks for a conversation on her career path and her insights on the current and future use of statecraft in the world.
Dr. Jody Olsen, Peace Corps Director, joined us here at CSIS for a conversation in celebration of International Women’s Day. She spoke with series moderator Nina Easton about the importance of the Peace Corps as a development agency and its work on women’s economic empowerment.
Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, discusses her new book “Be Fearless” and shares stories of ordinary people around the globe doing extraordinary things to change the world.
Dr. Maria Melendez, Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, discusses post-Hurricane Maria rebuilding efforts on the island and how federal funding has been slow to arrive.
Former Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga joined us at CSIS for a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with moderator Nina Easton to discuss her efforts to bring justice to women and men victims of sexual violence during the Kosovo War.
Muriel Domenach, Secretary General of the French government’s Inter-ministerial Committee for the Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalization sat down with host Beverly Kirk to discuss how France is implementing radicalization prevention programs that target vulnerable young people.
Kim McHugh, Chevron Vice President of Drilling and Completions chats with Beverly Kirk about being the first woman in the energy industry to hold her job, how she encourages young women to pursue STEM careers, and why she strives for “work-life integration,” not “work-life balance.”
2018 Eisenhower Fellow Wafaa AlAshwali, CEO and Co-Founder of Serviis, a Saudi Arabia-based digital platform and local marketplace, talks to host Beverly Kirk about how her company and others like it are opening up new opportunities for women entrepreneurs in her country. She also discusses the Saudi Vision 2030 plan and efforts to include more women in the workforce.
Emily Haber, German Ambassador to the United States, joins Beverly Kirk on the Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast for a conversation about migration, integration, and the importance of a strong relationship between the U.S. and Germany.
Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United Airlines, joins Beverly Kirk on the Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast for a conversation on how technology is transforming the airline industry and how airlines are thinking about security in the digital age.
Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America, joined CSIS for a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Dr. Kathleen Hicks to discuss artificial intelligence, innovation, and re-skilling the workforce for the future.
Dr. Jeanette Epps, NASA Astronaut, joined CSIS for a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Nina Easton to discuss her recent removal from the International Space Station mission, challenges in her career, and the importance of international collaboration in space.
Suzanne Spaulding, Senior Adviser for Homeland Security in the International Security Program at CSIS discusses how Russian influence campaigns are impacting public confidence in democratic systems, including the courts and elections, and what the U.S. should do to counter them.
Dr. Heather Williams, Defense Studies Lecturer at King’s College London in the Center for Science and Security Studies talks with Beverly Kirk about challenges with trust in the institutions, treaties and norms that govern the global nuclear order and what needs to happen to rebuild trust that has been lost between the U.S. and Europe.
Ambassador Ertharin Cousin joins Nina Easton to discuss global food insecurity and hunger and the role they play in other security issues, including violent extremism.
CSIS Europe expert Heather Conley discusses the issues dominating the upcoming Swedish general election, including immigration and the rise of populist/nationalist Sweden Democrats political party. She also looks at the impact populism is having on elections across Europe.
From sanctions to Russian foreign policy strategy to election interference to possible areas of cooperation with the U.S., Olga Oliker, CSIS Senior Adviser and Director of the Russia-Eurasia Program discusses all things Russia.
CSIS experts Dr. Kathleen Hicks and Heather Conley discuss the impact of the July NATO Summit on future relations between the U.S. and Europe and examine the growing rift between the U.S., NATO, and Turkey.
Rebecca Hersman, Director of the Project of Nuclear Issues at CSIS; Katherine Charlet, Director Technology and International Affairs Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Dr. Lindsay Cohn, Associate Professor at the U.S. Naval War College; and Dr. Rupal Mehta, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discuss the opportunities and challenges of current and future warfare tools and technology.
Recorded while she was Mayor of Kaohsiung, Chen Chu, the current Secretary-General to the Presidential Office, talks to Beverly Kirk about her role as an activist and member of the “Kaohsiung Eight,” her transition to a political leader in Taiwan, and her views on women’s leadership and youth engagement.
Dr. Erin Simpson, Director for Strategic Planning at Northrop Grumman, sits down with Dr. Emma Ashford, Research Fellow at the CATO Institute, Dr. Audrey Kurth Cronin, Professor at American University, Ciara Knudsen, Director of Strategic Planning at the Department of State, and Dr. Maria J. Stephan, Senior Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace to discuss the challenge of non-state actors.
Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy sits down with Nina Easton to discuss the trends impacting the energy industry, the challenges it faces, and the efforts being made to create a cleaner, smarter energy future.
Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation, and Beverly Kirk discuss the importance of sports diplomacy, and the humanitarian work that the Players Association Foundation supports globally and in the U.S.
Julie Smith, Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security sits down with Amanda Dory, Faculty at the National War College, Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Olga Oliker, Senior Adviser and Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS, and Dr. Ariane Tabatabai, Director of Curriculum and Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown University to discuss strategic competition and the return of great power politics at the inaugural Future Strategy Forum.
Dr. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, joins Beverly Kirk to discuss educating and protecting young girls and improving maternal healthcare both in her country and in other developing countries. She also discusses the relationship between U.S. and African countries.
Dr. Kori Schake, Deputy Director at IISS and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses her book “Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony” and how these historical contexts can be applied to current conflicts with China and Russia.
Former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte sits down with Dr. Kathleen Hicks to discuss the Syrian conflict, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and her leadership of CSIS’ new health security commission.
Kate Germano, a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, and award-winning journalist, Kelly Kennedy, discuss their newly released book “Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines are Trained.” The book examines gender bias, changing the status quo, and how these lessons from the Marine Corps relate to all women.
Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme and Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Kimberly Flowers, Director of the Global Food Security Project at CSIS, and Beverly Kirk discuss hunger, food insecurity, and nutrition in the U.S. and around the world.
Dana W. White, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Chief Pentagon Spokesperson, and Beverly Kirk discuss the Defense Department’s budget, priorities, and the new “This is the Military” initiative helping to inform the public about those who serve our country. Follow the initiative on Twitter with the hashtag .
The Honorable Sue Gordon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, sits down with Dr. Kathleen Hicks to discuss intelligence, innovation and inclusion in a complex global security environment.
Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Cooperation, Adela Raz, and Deputy Minister for Policy in the Ministry of Finance, Naheed Sarabi, discuss their country’s security and economic challenges and the government’s efforts to bring women into public service.
CSIS Korea Chair Senior Fellow Dr. Sue Mi Terry discusses the diplomatic overtures between North and South Korea and the ongoing political tensions between Washington and Pyongyang during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Samm Sacks, a senior fellow in the CSIS Technology Policy Program, tells host Beverly Kirk about advances and challenges in China’s digital economy and its cyber governance law and analyzes the likelihood of a trade war between the U.S. and China.