U.S. Stay Out? Does the Middle East Lend Itself to Military Solutions

Friday, February 21, 2020 11:20 AM

USFSP Student Center
USFSP University Student Center
200 6th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Topic Panelists

Dan Boylan
Dan Boylan worked on his first political campaign at the age of 11. By 18, he'd witnessed the protests in Tiananmen Square. His interest in documenting the world led to a journalism career covering state legislatures in Massachusetts and North Carolina, national security in Washington, and great-power politics as a foreign correspondent in Asia. After a Fulbright Fellowship studying free press in Indonesia, Dan taught journalism in Shanghai and Azerbaijan. Following 9/11, he served as a communications advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department and multiple foreign governments. Postings included Afghanistan and Iraq, where he directed the Multi-National Forces Iraq Media Operations Center in Baghdad during the final days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the trial of Saddam Hussein. After the Arab Spring, Dan led efforts to support the Syrian opposition’s strategic communications fight against Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. Today, from his base on Capitol Hill, Dan lectures on investigative journalism, political polarization, global strategic communications, media history, and street art. Dan was recently recognized for his reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with a Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, and a Society for Professional Journalists award. As a filmmaker, his work was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and he has also been on radio and TV stations including National Public Radio, the BBC and C-Span. He advises governments, militaries, NGOs, and corporations around the world
Gregory Hicks
An accomplished public speaker and published author, Greg is responsible for developing and implementing Gemini Industries’ strategic communications efforts. Prior to assuming his current position, Greg led the Gemini Industries Sovereign Challenge Program contract team to numerous accolades while assisting U.S. Special Operations Command to build stronger and more effective relationships with allies and partners. Before joining Gemini, Greg served for 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Greg’ overseas assignments included Libya, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia, and while in Washington, DC, he worked on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues. In his final overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission during the September 11, 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Greg led the successful efforts to save the lives of over 30 Americans who were fending off multiple terrorist attacks while ensuring the safety of 250 American and Libyan employees in Tripoli. While with Gemini and during his diplomatic career, Greg received over 25 awards for exemplary service to his country and company. Greg holds Master’s Degrees in Applied Economics and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan and Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bethany College, West Virginia.
Donald Shemanski
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.