Speakers and panelists:
Lilianne Ploumen has served as the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation since November 2012. In her expansive career, Ploumen has worked in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. In 1995, she founded Ploumen Projection, an organization specializing in market research and innovation for commercial and non-profit clients. Ploumen has also worked as the director of the organization Mama Cash, an international fund supporting women’s initiatives and she has served as the chair of the Labour Party in the Netherlands from October 2007 to January 2012.
Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Tong served for three years as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his time in Tokyo, he was the U.S. Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), managing all aspects of U.S. participation in APEC, while concurrently serving as the Economic Coordinator for the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, organizing bureau-wide efforts on economic policy.
Mr. Tong has been an economic affairs diplomat for the State Department since 1990, including service as Director for Asian Economic Affairs at the National Security Council from 2006 to 2008 and as Economic Minister-Counselor in Seoul from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he was Counselor for Environment, Science and Health in Beijing and served as Deputy Treasury Attaché in Tokyo and as an economic officer in Manila. Mr. Tong was a Visiting Scholar at the Tokyo University Faculty of Economics from 1995 to 1996. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was an Associate with the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo.
Mr. Tong holds a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and studied graduate-level economics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He has also studied at the Beijing Institute of Education, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo.
Mr. Tong speaks and reads Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. He has published articles in Foreign Policy and Nihon Keizai Kenkyu (an academic journal of the Japan Center for Economic Research). He was born in Ohio and raised in Massachusetts, and enjoys soccer, tennis and other sports.
Lt. Gen. Dan Christman, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Christman is Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the United States Chamber of Commerce. From 1996 to 2001, General Christman was Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has also served as President and Executive Director of the Kimsey Foundation. During his tenure with the U.S. Army he was the assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and represented the United States as a member of NATO’s Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.
Dr. Daniel S. Hamilton
Dr. Daniel S. Hamilton is the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor and Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, named in annual surveys conducted by the University of Pennsylvania as the number one university think tank in Washington, DC and a leading “Global Go-To University Think Tank.” He also serves as Executive Director of the American Consortium for EU Studies, designated by the European Commission as the EU Center of Excellence Washington, DC.
Dr. Hamilton is the Director of the Atlantic Basin Initiative, a network of African, European, South, Central and North American Eminent Persons, research institutes and private sector leaders that explores the changing dynamics among the four continents of the Atlantic Basin with regard to energy, economic growth and human development, values and security.
Dr. Hamilton has held a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Department of State, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, responsible for NATO, OSCE and transatlantic security issues, Nordic-Baltic and Balkan Affairs; U.S. Special Coordinator for Southeast European Stabilization; Associate Director of the Policy Planning Staff for two U.S. Secretaries of State; Director for Policy in the Bureau of European Affairs; and Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador and U.S. Embassy in Germany. In 2008 he served as the first Robert Bosch Foundation Senior Diplomatic Fellow in the German Foreign Office. In 2012 he was a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘Futures Advisory Group’.
Ambassador Charles P. Ries
Ambassador Charles Ries is the vice president, International at the RAND Corporation, where he oversees RAND’s international offices and growing international presence, and a senior fellow whose research has focused on the economics of development. While on a leave of absence from RAND in 2010, Ries was executive vice president of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Ries’ three decades in the U.S. diplomatic service included an assignment as Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2007–2008), where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of assistance and economic policy initiatives. Before that, he was U.S. Ambassador to Greece (2004-2007), and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2000–2004). In earlier assignments, Ries was the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London, and Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. He served as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North American Affairs and was a member of the NAFTA negotiating team.
Ries is the recipient of the State Department’s Cordell Hull Award for Senior Economic Officers, the Distinguished Honor Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Rockwell Schnabel Award for U.S.-EU Relations, and several Superior Honor Awards. For his service in Iraq, he received the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of American Diplomacy.
Christopher Smart currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economics, Trade & Investment at the National Security Council where he is responsible for a broad range of issues related to the President’s agenda on global trade, investment and relations with developed economies. From 2009 to 2013, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Europe and Eurasia, where he led the Treasury Department’s response to the European financial crisis and managed the U.S. economic and financial relationships with more than 50 countries in Europe, Russia and Central Asia. Through July 2009, Dr. Smart was Director of International Investments at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston, Massachusetts, and manager of several portfolios investing in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Under his management, the Pioneer Emerging Markets Fund posted performance among the top quartile of its peer group from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, Barron’s-Value Line designated him on its list of Top 100 Mutual Fund Managers. Christopher is also a frequent commentator on global finance for CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.
In 1993, Christopher served as Moscow Director of the Macroeconomic and Finance Unit, an advisory group to the Russian Ministry of Finance on a grant from the Ford Foundation. The following year, he was appointed Deputy General Director of the Russian Privatization Center, the principal conduit for foreign technical assistance on issues of market reform. Earlier in his career, he was a research associate at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and a newspaper reporter in St. Petersburg, Florida and Paris, France.
With 15 years of work and study abroad, Christopher speaks fluent French and Russian and is the author of numerous articles on the former Soviet Union, including the book *The Imagery of Soviet Foreign Policy and the Collapse of the Russian Empire *(Praeger Publishers, 1995). He received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and, until July 2009, a director of Accion International.
Sir Michael Leigh
Sir Michael Leigh is a Transatlantic Academy Fellow, consultant and senior advisor to GMF. He focuses on European Neighborhood Policy, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East as well as the future of the EU. He runs a program at GMF on the implications of the gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2006, Leigh became director-general for enlargement with the European Commission after serving for three years as external relations deputy director-general with responsibility for European Neighborhood Policy, relations with Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East, and the Mediterranean countries. He began his current role after more than 30 years in EU institutions, including as a cabinet member for various commissioners and as director in the Task Force for the EU Accession Negotiations. He began his career as assistant professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT.
Dan Ikenson is director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, where he coordinates and conducts research on all manners of international trade and investment policy. Since joining Cato in 2000, Ikenson has authored dozens of papers on various aspects of trade policy, focusing his research on U.S.-China trade relations; bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and institutions; globalization; U.S. manufacturing issues; trade politics; and trade remedies, such as the antidumping regime.
Ikenson has been involved in international trade since 1990. Before joining Cato in 2000, he was director of international trade planning for an international accounting and business advisory firm. In 1997, he cofounded and was a principal at an international trade consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and from 1990 to 1997 he was a trade policy and antidumping analyst at a few international trade law practices in Washington, D.C. In addition to his many studies and articles, Ikenson is coauthor of the book Antidumping Exposed: The Devilish Details of Unfair Trade Law. He has testified before a variety of congressional committees on various policy matters. He has appeared on numerous television news programs on various networks, including PBS, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News, Fox Business News, and NPR. His articles have been published in widely circulated newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal,the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, Forbes, and National Review.