Chicago Sun-Times
The 2012 NATO Chicago Summit brings world leaders to Chicago May 20-21

White House officials, Czech, Lithuania, Romania ambassadors in Chicago today

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WASHINGTON--In advance of the May NATO Summit, two White House national security experts are in Chicago today for briefings as well as the ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Romania.

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes and NSC Senior Director for European Affairs Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall are meeting with the Chicago Host Committee and are appearing at two events, one hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, and the other hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Below, from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs...


Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, The White House
Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Special Assistant to President Obama, and Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Staff

His Excellency Petr Gandalovič, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States
His Excellency Žygimantas Pavilionis, Ambassador of Lithuania to the United States
His Excellency Adrian Cosmin Vieriţa, Ambassador of Romania to the United States

At the May 20-21 NATO Summit in Chicago, President Obama will host leaders from more than fifty countries and international organizations to discuss pressing issues facing the transatlantic alliance.

The Obama administration has focused on the revitalization of alliances and partnerships as a fundamental element of its national security policy. Through NATO, the United States and Europe are bound by collective defense commitments and common values. Following its adoption of a new Strategic Concept at the 2010 Lisbon Summit and the successful conclusion of Operation Unified Protector in Libya, NATO must now make further progress in Afghanistan, address defense capability requirements - such as missile defense - in a time of declining defense budgets, and continue to enhance its cooperation with partners.

Please join The Chicago Council and a panel of White House officials and ambassadors from Central and Eastern European countries for a briefing on the outcomes of the April 18-19 meeting of NATO Foreign and Defense Ministers, a discussion of the issues on the NATO Summit agenda, as well as an assessment of the current trends in U.S.-CEE relations, and the future outlook for the transatlantic alliance.

Ben Rhodes is deputy national security advisor for Strategic Communications, overseeing President Obama's national security communications, speechwriting, and global engagement. Previously, he served as deputy director of White House Speechwriting, and as a senior speechwriter for the Obama campaign. Prior to joining Obama for America, he worked for several years as special assistant to Lee Hamilton at the Wilson Center, where he helped draft the Iraq Study Group Report and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. He is the coauthor, with Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall is special assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and senior director for European Affairs on the National Security Staff. Previously, she was the adjunct senior fellow for Alliance Relations at the Council on Foreign Relations, a senior research scholar at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation, and founding senior adviser to the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Project. She previously served as deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia in the first Clinton Administration and as chief foreign affairs and defense policy advisor to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
His Excellency Petr Gandalovič has been ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States since May 2011. From 2006 to 2011, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies in the parliament of the Czech Republic and served on both the Foreign Committee and the Agricultural Committee. From 1997 to 2002, he served as the consul general of the Czech Republic in New York. Prior to this, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as director general of the Economic and Information Section and as an advisor to the foreign minister.

His Excellency Žygimantas Pavilionis has been ambassador of Lithuania to the United States since August 2010. Previously, he acted as ambassador-at-large and chief coordinator for Lithuania's presidency of the Community of Democracies and chief coordinator for transatlantic relations. From 2002 to 2004 he served as the head of the European Integration and Political Cooperation department. From 1999 to 2002 he worked in Brussels at the Lithuanian Permanent Mission.
His Excellency Adrian Cosmin Vieriţa is the ambassador of Romania to the United States. From 2006 to 2008, he served as state secretary for European Affairs at the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 2002 and 2006, he was ambassador of Romania to the Federal Republic of Germany. He has also held various other positions with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

InterContinental Hotel
505 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611


5:00 p.m.
Registration and cash bar reception
5:30 p.m.
Presentation and discussion

7:00 p.m.
Members $10
Nonmembers $20
President's Circle, Corporate, Sponsor, Donor, and Student Members complimentary

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