2019 – Nationalism and World Crises: A Discussion of America’s Role in International Affairs
Fourth Annual Ambassadors Forum:
Media Coverage of the 2019 Texas Tech Ambassadors Forum
Former US Diplomats Discuss Foreign Affairs During Annual Forum – Daily Toreador
Ambassador Forum Set to Provide Educational Experience– Daily Toreador
Moderator: Amb. Ronald Neumann
Catherine A. Novelli is a Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University and is the President of Listening for America, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to forging a new vision of U.S. international trade engagement. She served as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (2014- 2017), where she championed economic reform; internet inclusion; conservation of natural resources and increased international collaboration on science and technology.
Novelli spent seven years as Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple Inc. Prior to her position at Apple, she was a partner in the law firm of Mayer Brown International. She had a long career at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, rising to Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe & the Mediterranean, where she coordinated U.S. trade and investment policy for Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa. She negotiated most of the bilateral trade and investment agreements that underpin the U.S. economic relationship in that region.
Novelli currently serves on the Board of the National Wildlife Federation and the Advisory Board of the Pristine Seas Initiative of the National Geographic Society as well as the Wildlife Conservation Society. She also serves on the Policy and Global Affairs Oversight Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She was named an Ocean Elder.
She is a graduate of Tufts University, holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Laws from University of London.
Ambassador (ret.) Michael C. Polt is Senior Director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington D.C., where he leads the Institute’s signature leadership development and international affairs academic programs. He assumed his position in 2012, after concluding a distinguished 35-year diplomatic career serving six presidents and eleven Secretaries of State. Among Mr. Polt’s many high-level diplomatic assignments was his service as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia during the Obama Administration, Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro during the George W. Bush Administration, and as Principal Deputy and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs in the Powell and Clinton State Departments.
Ambassador (ret.)Frank Almaguer is a career diplomat and international development professional, with Latin America expertise. During his U.S. Foreign Service career, he achieved the rank of Career Minister and held multiple senior positions, including as ambassador to Honduras and USAID Mission Director in Bolivia, Eastern Europe and Ecuador. After the Foreign Service, Almaguer served the Organization of American States as Secretary for Administration. He also has served with U.S. delegations to the UN Human Rights Commission and the Technical Cooperation Committee of the IAEA. In 2016, Almaguer was appointed by Secretary of State Kerry, and reappointed in 2018 by Secretary Pompeo, to the Foreign Service Grievance Board. His numerous honors include Presidential Meritorious Awards and USAID’s Distinguished Career Award. He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue, The American Academy of Diplomacy and the National Peace Corps Association, among others. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Pan-American Agricultural University (“Zamorano”). Almaguer, born in Cuba and raised in Florida, holds an MS in Government Administration from George Washington University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida. He and his wife, Antoinette, have two children and four grandchildren.