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Mitchell Reiss  

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell appointed Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss as Director for Policy Planning on July 21, 2003.

In addition to his responsibilities as Director for Policy Planning, Dr. Reiss serves as the President's Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, with the rank of Ambassador, responsible for leading the U.S. role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Reiss was Dean of International Affairs, Director of the Reves Center for International Studies, Professor of Law at the Marshall-Wythe Law School, and Professor of Government in the Department of Government at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Prior to his service at William and Mary, Dr. Reiss helped establish KEDO (the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization), a multinational organization created to address weapons proliferation concerns in North Korea. His responsibilities there included serving as Chief Negotiator and as General Counsel. His government service includes positions in the National Security Council at the White House, and as a Consultant to the U.S. Arms Control & Disarmament Agency, the State Department, the Congressional Research Service, the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories. He has also served on the Council on Foreign Relations; Ford Foundation; and the Cambridge Institute for Applied Research as well as the Board of Directors for the Lawyers Alliance for World Security. Dr. Reiss has also been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Reiss has testified before Congress on U.S. foreign policy issues, appeared on national and international radio and television programs, and delivered talks before academic, military, and civilian audiences in East Asia, the former Soviet Union, Europe, South Asia, and the United States.

Dr. Reiss is the author of Bridled Ambition: Why Countries Constrain Their Nuclear Capabilities and Without the Bomb: The Politics of Nuclear Non-proliferation. He is also co-editor and author of Nuclear Proliferation after the Cold War. Published articles in The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Arms Control Today, The Wilson Quarterly, and the Congressional Record. He has contributed to nine other volumes and written over 50 articles on international security and arms control issues.

Dr. Reiss holds a B.A. from Williams College, an M.A.L.D. from Tufts University, a Ph.D. from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Columbia University.

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Speech Topics


A Foreign Policy Critique.

What are the key foreign policy issues that loom ahead? Are we winning or losing the global war on terror? What happens next in Iraq? Will the Middle East descend into greater chaos? How can we counter Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions? As China rises, will we see it as a strategic partner or strategic competitor? Is America better off now – more safe, more secure, more prosperous – than it was seven years ago? In a prescriptive and forward-looking talk, Mitchell Reiss takes on America’s foreign policy, discussing what will likely happen in the future, what he would like to see happen, strategies and policies that have succeeded and failed, and why.

The Future of Asia.

What does the future of Asia hold? How should the U.S., Russia, South Korea, China, and Japan prepare for the eventual collapse of North Korea? How does North Korea’s nuclear testing affect the future of the region? Should countries consider it a serious threat? What would North Korea’s collapse mean for global security, balances of power, economic markets and global business and trade?

The World in 2030.

What type of world will our children and grandchildren inherit in the next 20 years? What are the current trends – democracy, terror, demographics, energy, proliferation, development, and disease – that will shape our world over the coming decades? What countries are rising powers and which ones are losing their influence on the global stage? Will the European Union, Russia, India, or China try to “balance” or “counter” American preeminence? Indeed, can America stay #1 or will the sun eventually set on the American empire, as it has on others? What does the United States need to do now to sustain its extraordinary economic, military and diplomatic position into the new century?

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