As Radio Free Asia’s former President, Libby Liu transformed the news organization to meet the needs of its audiences living in some of the world’s worst media environments in the 21st century. Serving in that role since 2005, Ms. Liu oversaw the expansion of RFA’s operations to increase its focus and coverage within its six target countries, including China, Vietnam, Burma, and North Korea, while ensuring that the company utilized every available platform to reach people living in closed countries under authoritarian rule. With federal funding granted through the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Ms. Liu created the Open Technology Fund in 2012, a global internet freedom technology program housed within RFA, which has had a long history of success combating and overcoming internet censorship since the advent of the Great Firewall of China. OTF goes beyond RFA’s remit by serving citizens anywhere in the world where governments denies access, censors content, interferes with or monitors online activity. OTF supports the development of tools to enable understanding, access, and security for journalists, activists, researchers, and ordinary citizens living in repressive places.
Ms. Liu holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
George Peirce joined the faculty at Stetson University College of Law in January 2017 after 36 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors. He served as Stetson's Culverhouse Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for two and a half years and taught courses in international and national security law, civil procedure, federal courts, and trial advocacy.
Before joining the faculty, George served for more than 12 years as the Defense Intelligence Agency’s General Counsel. He and his staff provided advice and representation on all legal matters affecting DIA’s worldwide intelligence mission during global counterterrorism operations. While at DIA, he taught a national security law seminar as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School.
Before coming to DIA, George served for eight years in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, where he brought civil actions against polluters of our land, air and water resources, resulting in recoveries for the United States valued at over $260 million.
As an Army Reserve Colonel, he volunteered for active duty after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and served for a year as the Principal Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Joint Forces Command. He and his colleagues advised the command on the many novel legal issues raised by initial combat operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Earlier in his career, George was an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where he focused on litigation, international law, and ethics. He began his legal career as an Army judge advocate, with assignments that included criminal prosecution with the 1st Infantry Division, duty at a strategic intelligence outpost in Turkey, and service at the Pentagon with the Army’s International Affairs Division and the Army General Counsel’s Office, where he dealt with ramifications of the Iran-Contra affair.
Before leaving active duty for the Army Reserve, George also served on the International Law faculty at the Army JAG School. His service in the Army Reserve included duty in Panama, Germany and in Belgium at the headquarters of the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
George holds a B.S. degree from West Point, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, and is also a graduate of the Army War College. He has published articles on international law involving arms control, the law of war, and the law of the sea, and has given presentations on intelligence law and ethics at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, the National Defense University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Oxford.
Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Aaron has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows. Aaron was a 2016-17 Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri and taught a class on political fact-checking at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Don Shemanski joined the faculty of Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology as a Professor of Practice in 2008, after serving for 23 years in the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Don's last position at the State Department was as Counselor for Global Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, where he headed the office responsible for issues such as counter-terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation and international judicial assistance.
Don has also had a number of other postings in Washington and abroad, including tours in Italy, Pakistan, Cyprus and Germany. His assignments have included serving as coordinator for State Department refugee assistance programs for the former Yugoslavia, delegate to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting, Deputy Special Envoy to the Afghan Mujahedin and Alternate U.S. Delegate to the foundation, “Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future,” which administered payments to former World War II-era forced and slave laborers of the Nazi regime.
His foreign languages include German, Italian, and Greek.
A lawyer by training, Don spent three years as an associate attorney with an international law firm in New York City prior to joining the U.S. State Department. At Penn State, Don teaches courses in Internet and Privacy Law as well as courses that focus on intelligence analysis and the threat of terrorism and crime.
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