2023 – “How Will Putin’s War End?”

This year’s Sisco Forum was held on May 8th, 2023 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and explored the subject of “How Will Putin’s War End?” The discussion opened with remarks from the Academy’s President Ambassador Ronald Neumann and the Honorable David M. Satterfield, followed by a keynote presentation by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. The panel discussion included Ambassador Doug Lute, Kenneth B. Medlock III, Ph.D., and Ambassador William Taylor.

This programming was organized by the American Academy of Diplomacy and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, with support from the Sisco Family Charitable Fund.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Ambassador Doug Lute 

Chair, International and Defense, BGR Group

CEO, Cambridge Global Advisors, LLC

McDermott Distinguished Chair of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point

Ambassador Douglas Lute is the former United States Ambassador to NATO.  Appointed by President Obama, he assumed the Brussels-based post in 2013 and served until 2017.   During this period, he was instrumental in designing and implementing the 28-nation Alliance responses to the most severe security challenges in Europe since the end of the Cold War.  

A career Army officer, in 2010 Lute retired from active duty as a lieutenant general after 35 years of service.  In 2007 President Bush named him as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to coordinate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2009 he was the senior White House official retained by President Obama and his focus on the National Security Council staff shifted to South Asia.  Across these two Administrations, he served a total of six years in the White House. 

Before being assigned to the White House, General Lute served as Director of Operations (J3) on the Joint Staff, overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide.  From 2004 to 2006, he was Director of Operations for the United States Central Command, with responsibility for U.S. military operations in 25 countries across the Middle East, eastern Africa and Central Asia, in which over 200,000 U.S. troops operated.

Through his military-diplomatic career, he received numerous honors and awards, including three awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Grand Officer of the Order of Merit for the Italian Republic, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit for the Federal Republic of Germany.

General Lute holds degrees from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and United States Military Academy at West Point, which named him a Distinguished Graduate in 2018.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a charter member of the Senior Military Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace; a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy; and a member of the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States. 

Kenneth B. Medlock III

Kenneth B. Medlock III, Ph.D., is the James A. Baker, III, and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute and the senior director of the Center for Energy Studies. He is also the director of the Masters of Energy Economics program, and holds adjunct professor appointments in the Department of Economics and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. Medlock is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Payne Institute at Colorado School of Mines. In 2012-2013, Medlock held the prestigious Haydn Williams Fellowship at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He teaches advanced courses in energy economics and supervises Ph.D. students in the energy economics field. Medlock has published numerous scholarly articles in his primary areas of interest, which include: natural gas markets, electricity markets, energy commodity price relationships, transportation, national oil company behavior, economic development and energy demand, energy use and the environment, and various energy transitions topics ranging from engineered and nature-based carbon capture to hydrogen to the economic drivers of technology adoption. He has testified multiple times on Capitol Hill on U.S. energy exports and electricity market evolution, has spoken at OPEC, and is frequently asked to speak about global and domestic energy issues.

Medlock is the past vice president for conferences for the United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE), and previously served as vice president for academic affairs. In 2001, he won (joint with Ron Soligo) the International Association for Energy Economics Award for Best Paper of the Year in the Energy Journal. In 2011, he was given the USAEE’s Senior Fellow Award, and in 2013 he accepted on behalf of the Center for Energy Studies the USAEE’s Adelman-Frankel Award. In 2019, Medlock was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of the Education of Future Energy Leaders by the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Foundation.  He is also an active member of the American Economic Association and is an academic member of the National Petroleum Council. Medlock has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission in their respective energy modeling efforts.

Ambassador William Taylor

William B. Taylor is vice president, Europe and Russia at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Earlier, he was the special coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the U.S. State Department overseeing assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009. Ambassador Taylor returned to Kyiv as chargé d’affaires ad interim June 2019.

He also served as the U.S. government’s representative to the Mideast Quartet, which facilitated the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, led by Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in Jerusalem. Prior to this assignment, he served in Baghdad as Director, Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (2004-2005), in Kabul as coordinator of USG and international assistance to Afghanistan (2002-2003) and in Washington with the rank of ambassador as coordinator of USG assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1992-2002).

Before coming to work for the Coordinator’s Office in July 1992, Ambassador Taylor spent five years in Brussels as the Special Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, William Taft. Prior to that, Bill directed an in-house Defense Department think tank at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. Earlier, he served for five years on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley; before that, he directed the Department of Energy’s Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Ambassador Taylor is a graduate of West Point and the Harvard Kennedy School.  He served as an infantry platoon leader and combat company commander in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Germany.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison 

Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison stepped down from her term as U.S. permanent representative to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, in 2021. During her 3.5 years as permanent representative, she focused on the importance of U.S. leadership in the alliance and strengthening the transatlantic bond that provides the security umbrella for Europe and North America. From 1993-2013, she represented Texas in the U.S. Senate. There, she was elected by her peers to chair the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-highest leadership position. She was ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and chair of the military construction subcommittee on the Senate Committee on Appropriations. She served two terms as chair of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Significant legislation included reauthorization and reform of NASA with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and the Hutchison-Mikulski legislation establishing a new retirement vehicle, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA. As Texas state treasurer, 1991-1993, she proposed limits on state debt the state legislature adopted and lead the successful defeat of a state income tax. Ambassador Hutchison is the author of three books, including the bestseller American Heroines (William Morrow, 2004). The Dallas City Council named the city’s convention center in her honor in 2013. She earned a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

David M. Satterfield

The Honorable David M. Satterfield is the director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and leads the institute’s Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East. He is also the Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy. He has more than four decades of diplomatic and leadership experience, including service as special envoy for the Horn of Africa, assistant secretary of state, National Security Council staff director and as ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey and charge’ d’affaires in Iraq and Egypt.

Satterfield’s extensive bilateral and multinational negotiating background most notably includes the 1995 Roadmap for Israel-Palestinian Peace (with the United Nations), the 2000 withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from Lebanon and Blue Line boundary agreement (with the United Nations), and the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. As the State Department’s coordinator for Iraq, he managed the largest domestic staff in the department’s history and directed fundamental reforms to the Foreign Service.

As director general of the Multinational Force and Observers, Satterfield conceived and directed the comprehensive modernization of military and civilian peacekeeping operations and led fundraising efforts with the U.S. Congress and donor governments.

Among other honors, Satterfield is the recipient of the highest Department of State recognition, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Award, and the highest award for senior federal executives, the Office of Personnel Management Distinguished Federal Executive Rank Award.

Satterfield is a graduate of the University of Maryland and speaks Arabic, French and Italian. He is married to Elizabeth Ann Fritschle, a career Foreign Service officer.

Ronald Neumann 

Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions.

Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs.

Ambassador Neumann is the author of a memoir, Three Embassies, Four Wars: a personal memoir (2017) and The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to maintain adequate State and USAID budgets and staffing and upgrade professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Board of a non-profit girls’ school in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Advisory Board of Spirit of America. He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council and the Advisory Council of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside and is a graduate of the National War College. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.