More fabulous speakers for the LENS 2021 National Security Law Conference!

This coming week registration will open for 26th Annual Center on Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS) conference which will be presented via Zoom on 25-27 February, but we want to give Lawfire® readers a sneak peek at what you can experience at the conference which this year is free (Please consider supporting LENS with a donation here)

Ms. Flournoy

I’m excited to report that the agenda just keeps getting better and better!  We’ve recently confirmed that Ms. Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors and the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, will be joining us for our first-ever ‘Zoom’ conference.

This is really exciting for me since I’ve known Ms. Flournoy for years (we overlapped in the Pentagon for a bit, and I was on the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Board of Advisors when she was the CEO there).  She is not only a brilliant defense thinker; she’s also a fantastic leader.  We’ll learn a lot from her!

The conference agenda is really packed with terrific people. You may recall that we announced in November (see here) that former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown, ABA President Trish Refo, and Dean Cheng, the Research Fellow for Chinese Political and Military Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, will all be speaking.

Here are some additional all-stars you’ll hear.  Prof Rebecca Crootof, of University of Richmond School of Law; and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Pat Huston will kickoff the conference with a discussion of “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfighting.”

Note: This special event will take place on Thursday, February 25th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST, and will require a separate registration. Friday and Saturday, the LENS Conference will begin at 8 a.m.

Our panel on civil-military relations is really without peer.  You’ll hear from Prof. Rosa Brooks, Assoc. Dean and Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Law and Policy, Georgetown Law; Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Rubenstein Fellow, Duke University; Dr. Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute; and Prof. Peter Feaver, Director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.

As many of you know, the concept of lawfare is near and dear to me.  That’s why I’m especially pleased to have Prof. Jill Goldenziel  speaking to us about “Law as a Battlefield: The Global Escalation of Lawfare.” She teaches International Law and International Relations at the Marine Corps University, and she’s an Affiliated Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fox Leadership International program.

Heard about the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, but don’t know quite what’s involved?  You’ll get a legal analysis from Ms. Mallory Stewart.  She’s a non-resident Fellow at the Stimson Center; and is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Emerging Security Challenges and Defense Policy in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance.

Conference veterans will recall conference favorite Ms. Erin Wirtanen, the Chief Counsel for the Center for Cyber Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency.  This hyper-talented expert will brief us on the perils of “deep fakes” – don’t miss it!

With Prof Schmitt at the 2020 LENS Conference

Saturday morning’s kickoff presentation “Current Issues in the Law of Cyberwar” will see another popular speaker return:  Prof. Mike Schmitt, who teaches international law at the University of Reading (UK); is the Francis Lieber Distinguished Scholar (West Point); a Distinguished Scholar and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Texas; and Senior Fellow at the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Mike really is the world’s top expert on the law of cyberwar—but also, a truly entertaining speaker.  And, yes, I will be asking him about the Solar Wind hack!

We’ll be getting a real treat when we hear from Duke’s Dr. Missy Cummings.  She’s not only a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, she’s also a former U.S. Navy F-18 fighter pilot.  Believe me, there’s a lot of ‘fighter pilot’ still in her, so you can count on hearing what she really thinks.

Dr. Cummings and retired Air Force Colonel Dawn Zoldi (you’ll remember Dawn from previous conferences) will discuss “Developments in Drones and Autonomous Systems”—and, really, whatever these two powerful personalities want to talk about!

Our popular “Shortburst” panel will focus on law of armed conflict issues.  Maj. Heather Tregle, USA, JAGC, Stockton Center for International Law will speak about landmine policy; Prof. Geoff Corn, Presidential Research Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law will talk about his provocative scholarship on civilian casualty aversion; Prof. Adam Oler, Department of Security Studies at the National War College will speak about the “limits of the law of war”; and Prof. Laurie Blank, Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory Law, will brief us on her scholarship on ending war. Moderating this super-talented panel as moderator will be LTC Amy Nieman, USA, JAGC, Chief, Strategic Engagements, National Security Law Division.

So we have quite a lineup for you!  Watch this space for registration details that will come next week!!

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