Upcoming FAO Association Events

03 Jun 2015 5:00 PM • Rock Bottom Brewery 4238 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1256 Arlington, VA 22203 (in the Ballston Mall)
09 Jun 2015 6:30 PM • Cooper’s Pub (Cannery Row), Monterey, CA
19 Jun 2015 8:15 PM • 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC

Update from the FAOA President

Attention FAO Association Members

Due to late scheduling issues with our planned guest speaker, the FAO Association Board of Governors has decided to postpone the 2015 Annual Gala Black Tie Dinner, originally planned for Thursday, 30 April 2015. We are continuing to plan for this great event, and are working to lock in a date sometime in late summer or early fall. We will send out any updates as soon as it becomes available to give our members, corporate sponsors, and special guests enough advanced notice in their busy schedules. We appreciate your patience and understanding of our desire to ensure that we maintain the high standards of excellence that we have established over the last several years with this event.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Easter holiday!

Kurt Marisa, Colonel, USAF (ret.)
President, FAO Association


FAOA Distinguished Speaker Event – RDML Todd J. Squire Friday 22 May 2015, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Lunch Included with Admission

$25 (active FAOA members)

$35 (non-members / FAOA email list)

Fort McNair Officer’s Club, Washington D.C.


After the enlightening discussion in March on the crisis in Russia and Ukraine by US Army BG Peter Zwack, former US Defense Attaché to Moscow, the next event in our series of senior-level Service FAOs speakers will be a Distinguished Speaker Luncheon on Friday, May 22nd.  The guest speaker will be RDML Todd J. Squire, Director for International Engagement (N52) in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy’s FAO Community Sponsor.  RDML Squire has extensive overseas experience to include the German Armed Forces Staff College, US European Command, the Office of Defense Cooperation in Ankara, Turkey, and as the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation in New Delhi, India.

View RDML Squire's Biography

Annual UNA-NCA Peace & Security Roundtable: Beyond Crisis Management in the Middle East


UNA-NCA's Peace and Security Committee and Human Rights Committee will be hosted by the Institute of World Politics (IWP) for a three panel discussion on Beyond Crisis Management in the Middle East: Peace and Stability in the Post 2015 Development Framework. The panels will focus on the impacts of the Syrian refugee migrations in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. 


Your participation is appreciated for actionable dialogue at the next Annual United Nations Association – National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) Peace and Security Roundtable Event co-sponsored with The Institute of World Politics, Global Communities, and the The Alliance for Peacebuilding.  Lead speakers include keynote, Dr. Shelly Pitterman, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Washington D.C. Director, Dr. Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International, Mr. Nader Al Suhaim, Economic Counselor and Director for the Jordan Economic and Commerce Bureau (Embassy of Jordan, DC), Mr. David Weiss, CEO President for Global Communities, Mr. Mohammed Alaa Ghanem of the Syrian American Council and Research Fellow at the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies and other honored guests. 

When:  Thursday, May 21, 2015

Time: 2:00p.m. - 7:00p.m. (Food and refreshments with evening reception)

Where:  The Institute of World Politics, 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC

Member = $10

Non-Member = $20

Combo (includes $10 discount on UNA-NCA membership) = $30

Registration and Agenda details:  www.unanca.org/news-events/upcoming/397-save-the-date-making-the-new-deal-actionable

Event Summary:  The UN Crisis Information Management Strategy (CiMS) is based on the recognition that governments, the United Nations, International Financial Institutions, non-governmental organizations, business and media have significant experience in crisis response. Yet, no single agency, department or actor has the capacity or sole mandate to address or strategize these crises, as the situation around Syria shows. With UN-brokered peace talks on Syria starting up, it is vital that international actors and organizations facilitating this process work in a comprehensive and coordinated way that goes beyond crisis management to wider peace-building approaches. Efforts like the International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building provide a Post 2015 framework to begin discussion in areas requiring socioeconomic development impacted by the massive movement of populations as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis. This refugee movement is also providing a haven for violent extremism, human trafficking and other destabilizing illicit activities. The UNA-NCA and its partners have put together an expert group of discussants to help gain understanding through regional and local actors, international responders including the U.S. perspective, and practitioners in both public and private realms to begin to formulate a more successful, strategic approach.

Goals for this roundtable discussion include:

  • Understanding the situation and approaches to mitigating the impacts of the Syrian conflict from the regional and local points of view.
  • Looking beyond conventional security responses to the crisis to peace-building and state-building approaches, including good practices and constraints to delivering effective assistance. These include a review of non-traditional and private sector investment initiatives.
  • Identifying gaps in current policy approaches and capacities among major regional and international actors and suggest an integrated strategy that establishes goals, commitments, and coordinating principles to guide national and international interventions in areas impacted by Syrian refugee migration.
  • Building Post-2015 Agenda related political momentum for change and trust between host countries of refugees, development partners, and civil society.

Background Resources

Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN

Syrian Refugees

Crisis in Syria (USAID)

Impact of the Syrian Crisis (World Bank)



2015 Call for Civil Affairs Issue Papers

“Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention”

Civil Affairs (CA) has long been a major national strategic capability that helps transition from conflict to peace. Increasingly, however, CA is being required to engage partners to bring together whole-of-nation elements in emerging security cooperation and security assistance operations performed by General Purpose Forces in Regionally Aligned Force and “building partner capacity” missions as well as by Special Operations in “persistent engagement.” In conjunction with Military Information Support and Information Operations (MISO/IO) as well as Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), CA comprises the only part of the Joint Force specifically suited for Peace & Stability Operations under Joint Stability Operations Doctrine and the U.S. Army Functional Concept for Engagement. Especially in Phase 0 (Shape and Influence), they can contribute to conflict analysis, including sources of illicit power and the distribution and use of political power, in order mitigate the drivers of instability and not just threats. But how as such does CA contribute to conflict prevention, in coordination with MISO/IO and FAOs as well as an array of government, non-government, and private sector civilian partners and regional and multilateral organizations? What CA capabilities are required to support engagement in these ways?

The Civil Affairs Association and its partners are therefore reaching out to experienced civil-military operators to contribute to that discussion by preparing a short Civil Affairs Issue Paper (10 pages, 1.5 or double-spaced, or less) explaining their recommendations on some or all of the above questions, with additional consideration of Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P), as writers deem appropriate.

The Civil Affairs Association will publish the top five Issue Papers and publish them in the 2015-16 Civil Affairs Issue Papers at the Spring 2016 Roundtable. However, it will select the top three papers, likewise based on originality of thought, clarity of presentation, and feasibility of recommendations, for presentation and final voting by participants at the Civil Affairs Symposium in San Antonio, TX this fall.

First prize is a cash award of $500; second prize is $250; and third prize is $100. The deadline for submission of papers is Friday, 14 August 2015. Send the papers to Colonel (ret.) Christopher Holshek, Civil Issue Papers Editor, at holshek@hotmail.com. For further information and updates, consult the Civil Affairs Association website: http://www.civilaffairsassoc.org/

Sponsorship Opportunities


Gaza in Arizona: The secret militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border

This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure…Read More

Next defense secretary to face daunting challenges

Obama decreed that America's combat mission in Afghanistan is over, but there are more than 10,500 U.S. troops on the ground and many are still conducing counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and other insurgents. American and coalition forces. . . Read More

US Army open sources security code to fight cyber attacks

The US Army recently posted a security code to GitHub with a goal of open-sourcing it to better understand when they come under cyber-attack. Called Dshell, the code has been used for the past five years to analyze attacks on Department of Defense networks.  Read More

- FAO Network -

FAOWeb and the Joint FAO Program is an online portal that provides distance learning and community networking to Foreign Area Officers worldwide. It maintains skill sustainment and educational resources while building a network of professionals across the Armed Services.

All FAOs may access FAOweb, as well as select civilians, including personnel from USD(I)'s Civilian Foreign Area Specialist (CIVFAS) program, and others as warranted.  Active-duty and reserve FAOs are approved automatically; retired FAOs and other users may request an account by contacting the program office directly or email faowebhelp@nps.edu.

Foreign Area Officer Profile Video

This video is a brief introduction to the critical mission of Foreign Area Officers and to the goals of the Joint FAO Program.

The Joint Foreign Area Officer Program is an advanced education and skill sustainment initiative for FAOs from all services and provides two types of education: distance learning online and in-residence courses. JFP fulfills DoD's mandate to provide resources and opportunities for FAO skill sustainment and professional education.

National Language Service Corps
Recruiting for Language and Regional expertise.  The NLSC is a readily available group of language volunteers who provide supplemental language resources to U.S. federal agencies. A first-of-its-kind government organization, the NLSC offers multilingual speakers the opportunity to volunteer their language skills and be a bridge to their language communities. These assignments are predicated on the needs of U.S. federal agencies and their sudden short-term requirements for language speakers. If you value the opportunity to use your language skills in support of a national need, then we urge you to apply to become an NLSC Member.


DISAM Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management courses available on-line

The Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management provides professional education, research, and support to advance U.S. foreign policy through security assistance and cooperation. DISAM currently offers a variety of online courses and learning guides for the Security Cooperation Community in the areas of Security Assistance, Foreign Military Sales and Exports, and International Military Education and Training (IMET). You can view their online courses at DISAM.

- Selected Newsletters -

The ZGram™ is an electronic newsletter containing news, resources, products, symposia, employment, and business opportunities regarding United States Defense. ZGram is delivered in PDF format on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to your email address. All source links are active on the day each issue is transmitted.

- ACSC Awards -

The FAOA Major General Lansdale International Affairs Outstanding Research Award was presented on May 28, 2014. 

Click here for ceremony details and pictures

- Sponsorship -
Thinking about doing something great? Become one of our sponsors!

FAO Association is supported by our members and generous sponsors. Please take an opportunity to visit the sponsor page here.

- Thinking about Policy -

The Geopolitical Implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership By Charles A. Kupchan

U.S. and European negotiators are hard at work to bring negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to a successful conclusion. The primary motivation behind this effort is to boost economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. Amid a prolonged economic downturn, U.S. and European policymakers are searching for measures capable of stimulating growth and creating jobs. Structural constraints in Europe and political gridlock in the United States make a free trade agreement one of the more attractive options available for achieving these objectives.

 Read More

- Sponsorship -

Thinking about doing something great?  Become one of our sponsors!

FAO Association is supported by our members and generous sponsors.  Please take an opportunity to visit the sponsor page here.

Become a member today and receive the Journal online or in print!
Visit the sponsor page here for more information. 

- FAO Heritage Pentagon Exhibit -
Click here to view an update


FAO Association 2014 Annual Black Tie Event Featured key note speaker Major General Richard M. "Dick" Lake, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

Dick Lake serves as the Director of Security for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - one of the largest private foundations in the world. Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. The mission of the foundation’s Global Security Team is to consistently deliver a secure working environment for our employees and partners globally so they can realize their full potential and fulfill the foundation’s overall mission. Prior to joining the foundation, Dick served for over 36 years in the U.S. Marine Corps retiring as a Major General with assignments as a general officer at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps and in joint/interagency assignments in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of command and staff assignments as an infantry, intelligence, and foreign area officer in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa including training, humanitarian, crisis, contingency, and combat operations. His formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from The Citadel, a Master of Arts in Management from Central Michigan University, a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, and an honorary doctorate in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College. Dick is a graduate of a variety of professional schools including the Marine Corps Basic School, Infantry Officer Course, Amphibious Intelligence Officer Course, Amphibious Warfare School and Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He also graduated from the Norwegian Army Staff College and the Norwegian Armed Forces Staff College as well as serving as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow at the U.S. Department of State’s Senior Seminar.

FAO Association Distinguished Speaker Luncheon with CIA Director, John Brennan on Thursday, 13 March 2014

Foreign Area Officer Association hosted with CIA Director, John Brennan On 13 March 2014. There were over 200 attendees including US Armed Forces: active duty, reserve, and retired military officers, government and private sector civilians, and foreign partner defense attaché offices. Director Brennan encouraged Foreign Area Officer and its mission at all levels with a focus on tactical and strategic.  

Special thanks to our event Corporate Sponsors:
  • Leidos
  • The Intelligence Community 
  • American Military University
  • Pherson Associates LLC
  • Metis-Solutions
  • Culmen International LLC
  • Peduzzi Associates Limited


Thanks to all FAO Association Corporate and Educational Members/Sponsors!

- FAOA Membership Information - FAOA Membership Benefits include:

  1. Receipt of the quarterly FAOA Journal "International Affairs". 
  2. Members-only access area for special FAOA content and  access to the membership database
  3. On-line access to all Journals
  4. On-line access to job postings
  5. Members can review and update their own contact information
  6. Members can choose what information is visible to the general membership
  7. Secure site to protect membership information - access for members only!
  8. Searchable membership database
  9. Members can email other members (anonymous To: address protects members)
  10. Automatic email renewal reminders when your membership is expiring
  11. Automatic email event announcements and Member discounts for FAOA luncheons and annual formal dinner

- Sponsorship -
Thinking about doing something great? Become one of our sponsors!

FAO Association is supported by our members and generous sponsors. Please take an opportunity to visit the sponsor page here.

- Sponsorship -
Thinking about doing something great? Become one of our sponsors!

FAO Association is supported by our members and generous sponsors. Please take an opportunity to visit the sponsor page here. 

NMIA/FAOA Symposium Briefings now Available Online

The annual symposium co-hosted by NMIA and FAOA entitled Foreign Engagement & Global Coverage under the New Defense Strategy: FAOs, Security Cooperation, and the Defense Attaché System was a tremendous success thanks to many volunteers and partners. For those who weren't able to make it this year, we've made the cleared versions of the briefings available releasable briefings . 

By Airman 1st Class Zachary Vucic, Air Force News Service / Published September 16, 2013

by Robert R. Greene Sands

Building Partnership Capacity through Foreign Military Advising:  the Ground and Air Perspectives

The article focuses on the remarks. of Deputy Under Secretary Heidi Grant of U.S. Air Force for International Affairs (SAF/IA) at the Foreign Area Officer (FAO) Association Luncheon held in January 2013 at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. Ms. Grant discussed the role played by her office in reaching national security objectives via international partnerships worldwide. Ms. Grant offers a tribute to the significance of FAO Regional Affairs Strategist (RAS) community.

by LCDR Jim McMullin, U.S. Navy

- FAOA Writing Awards Program -

Your FAO Association provides awards to papers selected by the faculty of several DoD institutions as most deserving of recognition for scholarship, writing ability, and subject matter for papers and theses related to subjects on international affairs and thus related to the primary interests of FAO Association members. The winning thesis at the Joint Forces Staff College is

Aligning for Hemispheric Defense: Synchronizing NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM Efforts to Combat Transnational Criminal Organizations

written by a four-person team:

CAPT Bob Allen, United States Navy

CAPT Mary Jackson, United States Navy

COL Janice King, United States Army

CAPT Jorge Palacios, Chilean Navy

Because of space constraints, most winning theses are too long for publication in The FAO Association Journal of International Affairs. In those cases, we publish the entire thesis, with supporting footnotes/endnotes, online. The link to this award-winning thesis is Aligning for Hemispheric Defense.

- Employment Opportunities -

In our members-only section, we list jobs with companies looking for people with the breadth and depth of experience the FAO offers! If you represent a company or consulting firm and would like to post an employment opportunity with our exclusive membership, please contact our webmaster.

What are we missing?  How can the FAO Association help you with your career?
FAOA is a professional organization serving the interests of Foreign Area Officers in all services of the U.S. Armed Forces: active duty, reserve component, and retired. Founded in 1995, FAOA provides advocacy, networking, and mentorship. Connect to the community of FAOs on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thanks to all FAO Association Corporate and Educational Members/Sponsors!
Visit the sponsor page here for more information. . . Not a member yet? Join here!

FAOA is a professional organization serving the interests of Foreign Area Officers in all services of the U.S. Armed Forces: active duty, reserve component, and retired. Founded in 1995, FAOA provides advocacy, networking, and mentorship. Connect to the community of FAOs on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn.

The FAOA is a 501c(19) non-profit organization dedicated to the professional development of and advocacy for the FAO community. All content, unless otherwise noted, is copyrighted by the FAOA 2010. FAO Association, PO Box 295, Mt Vernon, VA 22121

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