Following the historic meeting of Korean leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, Kim Jung-un has agreed to abandon nuclear weapons. To discuss, we SPOTLIGHT Christine Ahn. Christine is the founder and international coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War, reunite families, and ensure women’s leadership in peacebuilding. In 2015, on the 70th anniversary of Korea’s division by Cold War powers, she led 30 international women peacemakers across the De-Militarized Zone, the world’s most fortified border, from North Korea to South Korea. They walked with 10,000 Korean women on both sides of the DMZ and held peace symposia in Pyongyang and Seoul to discuss the urgent need for women to advance a peace treaty to formally end the 65-year old Korean War. Media includes: The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, The Nation, NBC, NPR.
A caravan of around 200 migrants has been stopped at the U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego. The first eight migrants, the majority of whom are from Honduras and come as asylum seekers, have now been allowed into the processing center after having been told that they have to wait until "resources become available" before they can be processed. To discuss, we FEATURE Lourdes Guadalupe Martinez. Lourdes is the Political Director of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, or MUA, a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women in the San Francisco Bay Area with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. MUA’s focus issue areas are Immigrant Rights; Domestic Worker Rights; and Violence Against Women. Before joining MUA, Lourdes was an immigration attorney, working as an immigration legal educator with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) in San Francisco. Media includes: Univision, Telemundo, NBC Bay Area, KQED News.
T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to merge in a $26.5 billion deal. If the merger is allowed, the new company will be the second largest wireless carrier in terms of revenue. To discuss, we FEATURE Laurie Lamberth. Laurie is Associate Partner at 151 Advisors, where she provides strategic consulting services to companies in the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine (M2M), location-based services (LBS) and vehicle telematics — as well as the “big data” analytics they enable. Laurie’s practice is informed by more than 20 years’ experience in mobile, including 15 years spent with Nextel Communications and Sprint, where she led the enterprise business development team for seven years on both sides of the Sprint Nextel merger. Media includes: The Economist, Connected World Magazine, The Peggy Smedley Show, Radio Free Europe.
Primary elections are approaching and many seats are hotly contested. To discuss, we FEATURE Christy Setzer. Christy is the President of New Heights Communications, a progressive communications firm based in Washington, DC. She brings more than fifteen years of experience providing smart, creative, and hard-hitting communications strategies to the political, advocacy and corporate arenas. Her work can be seen in the messages delivered by CEOs, elected officials from the presidential to local level, and a variety of progressive organizations– from 527 groups to major national unions. Prior to starting her own firm, Setzer served as a spokesperson for three presidential campaigns—including as Iowa press secretary for Vice President Al Gore, spokeswoman for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and national press secretary for Senator Christopher J. Dodd. Media includes: Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, The Hill, The Wall Street Journal.
Yesterday was Defense Secretary James Mattis' deadline to propose plans for what to do with captives in Guantanamo Bay. To discuss, we FEATURE Gitanjali Gutierrez. An expert on international law, Gitanjali joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in August 2005. Gitanjali was a member of the original legal team for Rasul v. Bush, the landmark Guantánamo case in the United States Supreme Court. She was the first civilian attorney to visit a client at Guantánamo in September 2004, has made several trips to the prison since, and now advises the hundreds of pro bono attorneys working with CCR regarding Guantanamo. Gitanjali also plays a key role in habeas counsel and legislative strategy with other rights groups. Extensive media experience.
Independent Journalist, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism, DePauw University
For interviews on DOJ removal of press freedom from manual.
The U.S. Department of Justice has removed a section titled "Need for Free Press and Public Trial" from its manual for federal prosecutors. Many are claiming this is a direct attack on press freedom. To discuss, we FEATURE Miranda Spivack. Miranda is examining state/local government secrecy, which is on the rise as news coverage declines. She spent nearly 20 years at The Washington Post Co. as an editor and reporter, tussling often with local officials to obtain essential documents that they preferred to conceal. Media includes: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, WJLA, WAMU, WAMAL.
President of the board, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM); MD/PhD student, Case Western Reserve University
For interviews on universal flu vaccine.
After this year's flu epidemic, Bill Gates has pledged $12 million in funding for a universal flu vaccine research. To discuss, we FEATURE Gloria Tavera. Gloria is a MD/PhD student at Case Western Reserve University and was recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare in 2017 for her work with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), a global group of university students and academics organizing for public control over medicine and its pricing. Gloria’s research focuses on infectious disease genetics and immunology, particularly H. pyloribacterial genes associated with development of stomach cancer. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 with degrees in neurobiology, political science and a minor in public health. In 2011, she completed a research internship at the NIH as an intramural training fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, studying malaria drug resistance. Media includes: TVR2C, The Sound of Ideals, Malaria Journal, The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
President Trump is scheduled to speak at the NRA's annual meeting later this week. To discuss, we FEATURE Shannon Watts. The day after the Sandy Hook tragedy, Shannon started a Facebook group with the message that all Americans can and should do more to reduce gun violence. The online conversation turned into grassroots movement of American mothers fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, with more than three million supporters. Media includes: MSNBC, CNN, NPR, Time, The Washington Post.
The White House postponed by 30 days the deadline on the U.S. decision to grant permanent exemptions for steel and aluminum tariffs to Australia, Canada, and the European Union. To discuss the possibility of a trade war, we FEATURE Valerie Rouxel- Laxton. Most recently, Valerie was Head of Economics and Finance for the EU delegation in the U.S. and prior to that she was Head of Sector, Countries of the G20, for the European Commission. She is an international economic affairs specialist, specialized in European integration and global economic trends. She strives to comprehend complex economic matters, communicate clearly to explain technical issues, and to advise on policies when appropriate. In her latest professional role the main goal was to reach out to diverse audiences in the United States and convey analysis and views about the Transatlantic economy. Extensive media experience.
Robert I. Williams Term Professor of History; Director, Middle East Center
University of Pennsylvania
For interviews on Iran.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi has claimed that U.S. cooperation with Saudi Arabia would only continue to destabilize the Middle East. This is following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claims that the U.S. will pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. To discuss, we FEATURE Firoozeh Kashani Sabet. Firoozeh is the Robert I. Williams Term Professor of History and director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a scholar of modern Iran, the Ottoman Empire, and the Persian Gulf, having published extensively on these topics. She has studied Arab/Persian relations, as well as Sunni/Shia conflicts. She is also an expert on boundary disputes and politics in the Middle East, as well as an established scholar on the history of U.S.—Iranian relations. Media includes: NBC Philadelphia, Voice of America, NPR, Newsday.