Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Longest-Serving Federal Prosecutor Honored for Six Decades of Service

By Tracy Russo

On March 19, 1951, a young attorney and World War II veteran arrived at
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.
, for his first day of work at the Department of Justice.

John “Jack” C. Keeney wasn’t sure what to expect, though he never imagined that he was at the beginning a term of service to the Department that would span nearly six decades. Nor could he have predicted that his retirement celebration would double as the largest-known gathering of attorneys general and deputy attorneys general in Department history.

But on a day that will long live on in Justice Department lore, that’s exactly what happened minutes ago, as hundreds of Keeney’s colleagues packed into the Great Hall to honor, celebrate and send off the longest-serving federal prosecutor in American history.

When Keeney, 88, walked on stage at 3:09 p.m., the sea of Justice Department employees past and present leapt to their feet and did not stop applauding for a full minute. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer set the tone for what he called a “remarkable” day and an historic Justice Department “homecoming.”

“It looks like we have a standing room only crowd today,” he said. “And that is exactly as it should be, as we gather to celebrate a man who has spent his entire career standing up – standing up for justice, standing up for integrity, and standing up for his country.”

In addition to Breuer, Keeney was joined on stage by Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and David Margolis, another Department legend and Keeney’s close friend. He smiled throughout the ceremony, tearing up on occasion and laughing at his own expense more than once.

“It’s been a fascinating career,” Keeney said. “I really felt privileged to work in this great Department. I really felt privileged to work with great people. All I can say to you is, ‘Thank you for everything.’”

But for the full hour, it was everyone else who seemed to be saying, “Thank you for everything” to Jack Keeney.

“As those of you who’ve worked closely with Mr. Keeney know, he is quick to share credit. And he has never sought the spotlight,” Attorney General Holder said. “Yet, he has stood out. For decades, his talents and achievements have been well known and highly regarded across the Department, and in legal circles throughout – and far beyond – the country.”

Keeney began his remarkable career in 1951 as an attorney in the Internal Security unit of the Criminal Division, prosecuting conspiracy cases under the Smith Act. In 1960, he joined the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, ultimately becoming Deputy Chief and developing a close relationship with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. In 1969, he became Fraud Section Chief, where he emphasized white-collar criminal prosecutions. And in 1973, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General, a position he has held since, responsible for overseeing countless prosecutions of organized crime, racketeering and public corruption.

He has been honored with the nation’s highest meritorious service awards – and a building in Washington, D.C. is named in his honor. But the full measure of Keeney’s influence, Holder argued, cannot be so easily expressed. “No words and no award,” he said, “can do justice to the countless ways that Mr. Keeney has delivered justice.”

During the ceremony, Keeney was flourished with a commemorative plaque; a service award; a letter from President Obama, who said “a grateful nation thanks you for your service;” and a portrait that will be displayed in the Criminal Division. When it was unveiled, Keeney shook his head, visibly overwhelmed – rare for the unflappable Justice Department legend who has been authorizing wiretaps and signing indictments of America’s most notorious criminals for nearly half a century.

Mueller described the famous Keeney brand of quiet resilience, wisdom, and utter persistence using the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Men are wise in proportion not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.” For years, Mueller said, “Mr. Keeney has shown a tremendous capacity for experience. He is a true wise man.”
Margolis added that Keeney is a true kind man, too. When Margolis suffered a massive heart attack, he said, he opened his eyes on his hospital bed to find a familiar face starring back. “When I woke up, who was standing there, but Jack Keeney!” he said. “And I knew everything would be all right.”

Following a video tracing Keeney’s roots from a coal-mining town in rural Pennsylvania during the Great Depression to the halls of the nation’s Department of Justice, where he became known as the “oracle,” Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler turned to the future, promising that public servants at the Department would “carry forward the Jack Keeney standard and the Jack Keeney story for generations to come.”

But as one employee standing in the back of the room remarked, as the audience leapt to its feet for another standing ovation at the ceremony’s end, “This is going to be a big change.” It was the thought on everyone’s mind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guardian of the Week – AMT3 Kelly Dunn

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

In air station hangars across the country, hidden below a C-130 aircraft servicing the break system, or high above the fuselage of a helicopter repairing rotor blades, you will find an aviation maintenance technician (AMT).

AMTs, or flight mechanics, are responsible for maintaining and repairing the Coast Guard fleet of aircraft. To perfect their work on complicated aircraft systems, AMTs receive months of classroom and on-the-job training.

Formal training for AMTs starts at AMT “A” school at the Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) in Elizabeth City, N.C. ATTC serves as the conduit for the Coast Guard’s training of enlisted aviation forces and will graduate approximately 120 AMTs a year.

One of the Coast Guard’s newest AMTs is Petty Officer Third Class Kelly Dunn. Graduates from AMT “A” school have proven their understanding of complex aviation systems. Dunn, however, demonstrated her mastery on the subject further, as she graduated as class leader, honor graduate and with the academic achievement award.

“Receiving all three awards is quite an accomplishment and doesn’t happen very often,” said Senior Chief Lance Hendrix, AMT “A” school branch chief.

Dunn had dreamed of a career in aviation, but was unsure if she could pass the physical requirements due to a prior motorcycle injury. After some time as a machinery technician, she arrived at AMT “A” school with a Bachelor’s degree in aviation management, as well as a private pilot’s license.

“I enjoyed being an MK, but aviation is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Dunn. “It was exciting to go to ‘A’ school because I felt like I was finally getting back to my desired career path.”

Over the five-month course, Dunn consistently proved her grasp of difficult topics such as aircraft maintenance fundamentals, aircraft systems and hands-on troubleshooting skills.

“During phase one, my instructor, Chief Barr, said he had never worked with another female class leader,” said Dunn. “That was motivation for me to represent myself and the other females in the Coast Guard.”

While she was at “A” school Dunn continued to pursue a Master’s degree in aeronautical science by taking classes with Embry Riddle University. You might think that taking college classes on top of already studying a difficult curriculum at “A” school would prove detrimental, but Dunn graduated with a 98.71% – three percent higher than the number two AMT in the class.

As a graduate of “A” school, and an AMT in the fleet, Dunn is responsible for servicing aircraft and conducting routine aircraft inspections. While her work before an aircraft takes flight is fundamental, she also plays a vital role for the crew once airborne, and can fill aircrew positions such as flight engineer, flight mechanic, loadmaster, dropmaster, sensor-systems operator and basic aircrewman.

“The knowledge gained at ‘A’ school was merely a door opening to all of the skills needed on the hangar deck,” said Dunn. “I look forward to learning even more and getting qualified at my new unit.”

Members of an air station depend on each other to fulfill their specific roles in flight, and on the ground, with unsurpassed commitment. Dunn, and her mastery of aviation maintenance, attest to her endless support for mission success. Bravo Zulu to Aviation Maintenance Technician Third Class Kelly Dunn!

Surface Warrior Week 2010 Gets Sailors to Take Command of Careers

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elena Pence, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) and Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) hosted a Career Sailor Expo during San Diego Surface Warrior Week on board NBSD Sept. 22.

Surface Warrior Week is comprised of a week of career enhancement activities on the San Diego waterfront and includes detailer visits to ships and area shore commands, the Career Sailor Expo and the first-ever Surface Warfare Officer Career Enhancement Seminar.

"It is important to bring career enhancement information directly to Sailors to provide a better understanding of what the Navy is doing and how new programs and resources can affect their careers," said Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) Jayne Epaloose, of Cruiser Class Squadron and coordinator of the expo event. "I want Sailors to understand the different programs and resources of the Navy, so that they take charge of their own careers."

The Expo included briefs on Navy advancement, Perform-to-Serve (PTS) and changes to off-duty educational programs. Attendees also had the opportunity to speak to career counselors and civilian experts about a broad range of career management topics. Fleet and Family Support Center, Veterans Affairs, college representatives and enlisted detailers staffed informational booths.

"Today, I came for information. I wanted to learn more about the PTS program, the detailing system and college options so that I can spread that information to my command," said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Andrea O'Keith, of Personnel Support Detachment West. "I work at a customer service command where I get Sailors that ask me questions on these topics every day. After today, I can give these Sailors an answer, point them in the right direction, and even give them resources to help with their career."

Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class (SW) Michael Minnis, a divisional career counselor for USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), also attended the briefs in order to pass on information to his fellow Sailors.

"I came with the intentions of just gathering information for other people, but as the event went on, I noticed how much I was learning and what I could use for myself," said Minnis. "I really enjoyed this event, and I liked how it was on base in a central location for the Sailors."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Women’s Lives Under Medieval Islam Is Subject of Oct. 25 Lecture

A treasure trove of primary sources containing some 280,000 Jewish manuscript fragments was discovered in the geniza (storage room) of a synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, during the late-19th century. Known as the Cairo geniza, the material—dating from about A.D. 870—is now housed in libraries throughout Europe and the United States.

Sara Reguer, head of the Department of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, has used the documents to explore various aspects of women’s lives under medieval Islam, with a special focus on their professions, their charitable activities and their education. She will deliver a lecture titled "The Cairo Geniza—the World of Jewish Women" at the Library of Congress at noon on Monday, Oct. 25 in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, Room 220 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, the event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Reguer holds a bachelor’s degree in religious education from Yeshiva University Teachers Institute for Women and a doctorate in history from Columbia University, where she specialized in Middle East history and Jewish history. In addition to Brooklyn College, she has taught at Hofstra University, Yeshiva University and the University of Naples, Italy. She is the editor of "The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times" (2003).

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

The African and Middle Eastern Division furthers the Library’s mission by serving as the center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit www.loc.gov/rr/amed/.

Face of Defense: Marine Emerges as Leader

By Marine Corps Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso
Marine Forces Pacific

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii, Sept. 23, 2010 – Marine Corps Sgt. Kevin A. Aguilar has wanted to be a Marine almost for as long as he can remember.

“I used to watch war movies instead of cartoons when I was a kid,” the California native said. “When I was 7 years old, I saw a Marine color guard for the first time. They all looked so proud in their uniforms. Since then, my dream has always been to be a Marine.”

He planned to enlist after high school, he said, but life threw him a curve ball. At 18, with a child on the way, Aguilar decided being a father was more important than following his dream. But five years later, his family rewarded him for his dedication by bringing the Corps to him.

“It was my wife who called the recruiter,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t know they accepted anyone who wasn’t 18. I honestly thought I was too old to join. But my wife pushed me to follow my dream, and I signed up to be an infantryman.”

But the infantry was full at the time, and there was a nine-month wait before it would open again. Aguilar had to find an alternative. His recruiter suggested motor transportation, and Aguilar seized the opportunity to become a Marine.

In January 2005, he shipped to basic training in San Diego, and then he attended Marine combat training.

But once he arrived at his motor transportation school, Aguilar said, he was disappointed.

“I thought I was going to be rolling around in … Humvees with .50 [caliber machine guns],” he said. “When I found out I was going to be driving [5-ton trucks], I was not too happy.”

But Aguilar never forgot why he joined; he wanted to fight for his country. He graduated from his school and finally received the break he’d been waiting for. He was assigned to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

“They assigned me to 1st Tank Battalion,” he said. “It was a combat unit. I automatically took a lot of pride in that. It was what I joined for. I was overjoyed my dream was coming true.”

Aguilar deployed to Iraq in 2007, but in the interim, he said, he needed to challenge himself. During a time when many Marines weren’t interested in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, Aguilar took it upon himself to become a martial arts instructor in 2006.

“I have a saying: ‘Do something challenging at least once a year,’” he said. “In 2005, that was boot camp. I deployed to Iraq in 2007. So in 2006, I saw that the battalion only had one [martial arts] instructor. So I chose to become one myself. It challenged me to be physically fit. I became more confident, and I trained dozens of Marines. I loved it.”

During his time in Iraq, Aguilar and his platoon conducted dozens of combat missions, and the young Marine and earned a reputation for being trustworthy and dependable. His reputation followed him back to Twentynine Palms. In October 2008, Aguilar was promoted to his current rank and was made a convoy leader for an exercise.

Challenged with a position typically reserved for staff noncommissioned officers and senior sergeants, Aguilar proved his worth by conducting the 30-day exercise with zero incidents while in charge of more than 80 Marines.

Two months later, he was transferred to Hawaii and assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific, to work as the dispatching and licensing noncommissioned officer in charge. Aguilar said he realized he was being sent to a nondeployable unit, but that he took the assignment to give back to those who gave up so much for his dream.

“I look at it as a little payback to my family,” Aguilar said. “They gave up a lot so I could be a Marine. They put up with me being gone for training, a combat tour, exercises, you name it. I got to bring them out to Hawaii for everything they’ve done for me.”

Despite his “desk job,” Aguilar is far from complacent. He mentors his Marines, is active in their lives and continues to serve as a martial arts instructor.

“He’s a stellar sergeant of Marines,” said Cpl. James Moore, a motor transportation Marine. “I’ve been in for almost five and a half years. I’ve seen my fair share of sergeants who just go through the motions, but I know that I can take a problem to Sergeant Aguilar and guarantee that it gets done.”.

Moore recalled an example of Aguilar’s leadership. “I had to go on emergency leave once, and I couldn’t find the number to the Red Cross,” he said. “Five seconds after I told him, he had the number for me. That’s the kind of sergeant he is.”.

Aguilar’s dependability has been noticed throughout the command. In addition to his job and the time he puts in as an instructor, the command has given him additional duties reserved for only the most mature and dependable Marines: suicide prevention instructor trainer and Mentors in Violence Prevention instructor..

“He’s an extremely dependable sergeant,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Trinity A. Lizalde, battalion embark chief. “It’s just Aguilar. If you work with him, you know things are going to get done. He’s exactly what a sergeant of Marines should be.”.

Aguilar and his family are scheduled to leave Hawaii in December. He hopes to become a drill instructor..

“The next couple of years aren’t going to be a vacation,” he said. “But it’s time I give back to the Marine Corps for what it’s given me.”

Guard leaders thank Stevens Point officials for hosting Red Arrow homecoming

By Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue
Wisconsin National Guard

Wisconsin National Guard leaders expressed gratitude to Stevens Point officials and other Wisconsin Army Guard supporters before a packed City Council meeting Monday (Sept. 20) for the city's role in the "Back from The Sand" celebration held in downtown Stevens Point in July.

The homecoming event featured more than 3,200 Soldiers marching through Stevens Point, down streets lined with community and family members, to a staging area that included static equipment, food, entertainment - including two national-level country artists - and no shortage of patriotic fans.

Every aspect of the event took a lot of planning, approval, coordination and execution. For that, Brig. Gen. Donald Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, Wisconsin Army National Guard commander, and leaders of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team presented awards to many of the event's key players - including Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson.

"Our citizens were honored to have been the host community for the welcoming," Halverson said. "It was a complete success and made the citizens feel so proud to have such wonderful Soldiers serving and sacrificing for them. It was the citizen's way of saying thank you."

Anderson acknowledged the significance of the city's willingness to open its gates for such a large and prestigious event.

"It really did make our job a lot easier," Anderson said. "The city of Stevens Point absolutely came through and I want to say thank you for that."

Halverson admits the two-way relationship has blossomed throughout the entire process.

"Our relationship has become one of complete friendship and complete support of one another," Halverson said. "Communities need to be there for the Wisconsin National Guard, just as much as the Wisconsin National Guard needs to be there for the communities. It is truly a complete partnership."

Dunbar presented the Wisconsin Meritorious Service Medal to Halverson and Larry Frostman, honorary chairman of the Point Committee, for their integral roles in seeing the event through fruition.

"I have never been more proud or more humbled, as a non-military person, then to have the adjutant general of Wisconsin pin that medal on my chest," Halverson said. "I, in fact, told my wife that evening that should I pass away, I want that medal in my casket with me. That medal meant more to me than any award or recognition I have ever received."

Frostman, a Vietnam veteran, came up with the idea for a homecoming event. He proposed the idea to Halverson, who endorsed it. Halverson created a committee to coordinate the event.

Other key players recognized for their contributions were Tom Schrader, director of parks and recreation; Tom Barrett and Sara Brish of the planning committee; four members of the Stevens Point Police Department; the Civil Air Patrol Stevens Point Composite Squadron; Stevens Point Convention and Visitor's Bureau; American Red Cross of North Central Wisconsin; Portage County Veteran's Services, and Sentry Insurance.

Dunbar said everyone, from the volunteers and committee members to the citizens of Stevens Point, really made this event possible. To have a welcome home like that is uniquely American, Dunbar said.

"We will always be thankful for what you did," Dunbar said at the meeting.

Col. Martin Sieffer, 32nd Brigade commander, also gave his appreciation to the council.

"It was a special moment for the Brigade and it was a special moment for us," Sieffer said.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meet the Authors Discussion and Booksigning—Sept. 23, 2010

Six women authors, five of whom are graduates of the nation’s prestigious military academies, will participate in a discussion and booksigning at the Women’s Memorial on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 23. The program, which is free and open to the public, is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of women graduating from the Academies.

Authors include Coast Guard Reserve CDR Martha LaGuardia-Kotite (USCG Academy 1989); retired Navy CDR Darlene M. Iskra; Sharon Hanley Disher (US Naval Academy 1980); Gail O’Sullivan Dwyer (West Point 1981); Donna McAleer (West Point 1987); and Amy Efaw (West Point 1989). The authors will discuss their books as well as offer their first-hand perspective of the young women who have come of age over the past 30 years at the Service Academies—their contributions to the military and to today’s combat team. The event is co-hosted by the Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI). To reserve a seat, RSVP by calling 703-533-1155 or email hq@womensmemorial.org. Please include the number attending.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Common Misunderstandings May Harm Disaster Survivors

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- In the first few weeks following a disaster, residents may be confused or misled by rumors and half-truths about how to get help from the various assistance programs that are available.

While state and federal programs are not intended to make storm survivors whole, they can provide the kinds of assistance that helps those affected by the summer storms to begin the recovery process.

Officials of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) point to two easy ways to begin the recovery process:

•Go to www.disasterassistance.gov to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA, or
•Call 1 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1 800-462-7585. Phone lines are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
Following are clarifications of some common misunderstandings about disaster assistance and answers to some frequently asked questions:

I got help from the American Red Cross, but I still need to apply to FEMA if I need assistance.
TRUE. FEMA programs are different from the emergency food, clothing and shelter initially provided by the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other voluntary agencies. Registration with the Red Cross or other voluntary agency is not the same as applying with FEMA.

I have insurance. I hear there may be other help available to me.
TRUE. Insurance is your main source to cover emergencies or to put your life back in order after a disaster. But there are some things that insurance may not cover. That is where federal disaster programs may be able to help.

I have to wait for my insurance adjuster before I apply for disaster assistance.
FALSE. You do not have to wait for an agent or adjuster's inspection before applying for assistance or beginning repairs needed to make your house safe, sanitary and functional. If you wait, you could miss the deadline to apply to FEMA. However, if you have insurance, you must file an insurance claim, find out what your policy covers, and be sure to keep papers and receipts for any work done. If you still have unmet disaster-related needs, you may be considered for FEMA assistance. To avoid a duplication of benefits, please submit your insurance settlement or denial documents to FEMA along with an appeal letter.

I already repaired my home, so it is too late to apply.
FALSE. You may be eligible for FEMA assistance for expenses not covered by your insurance.

I have to make a reservation and go to a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to apply for assistance.
FALSE. There are two ways to apply for assistance. Individuals with Internet access can apply on the agency's website at www.disasterassistance.gov. You may apply by calling FEMA's toll-free number at 1 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. DRCs are designed to provide additional information or assistance. No appointment is necessary and you may visit any DRC even if it is not located in your town or county.

I have already applied to FEMA for assistance; there’s no reason for me to go to a DRC.
FALSE.  You can meet face-to-face with FEMA disaster recovery specialists. Other federal and state disaster recovery information is available in the centers. SBA customer service representatives are available to answer questions about the SBA low-interest disaster loan program and assist with the completion of loan applications that are essential to the FEMA application process.

I have to be poor to qualify for disaster assistance.
FALSE. Federal and state disaster assistance programs may be available to those who suffered damage, regardless of income. The programs are not "welfare." The kinds of help provided depend on the applicant's circumstances and unmet disaster-related needs.

I can apply for a loan from the SBA even if I'm not a business owner.
TRUE. Renters, homeowners and private nonprofit organizations—as well as businesses—may be eligible for low-interest loans for disaster-related losses. Homeowners may be eligible for damages to real estate. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for personal property damages, including automobiles. Don't let the name fool you. In a Major Presidential Disaster Declaration, the SBA is the primary source of federal financial assistance.

I have to be turned down by my bank before I can apply for a disaster loan.
FALSE. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) handles low-interest disaster loans and has its own criteria for determining each loan applicant's eligibility. If you, as a homeowner or renter, do not qualify for an SBA loan, you may be eligible for referral to FEMA for other assistance. It is necessary for homeowners and renters to return the SBA application, if one was received, to be eligible for referral back to FEMA.

I don't really want a loan, but I've heard I need to fill out the SBA loan application.
TRUE. If you do not qualify for a loan, you may be considered for other forms of assistance from FEMA designed to help meet serious, disaster-related needs. However, you must complete and return the SBA loan application, even if you don’t want a loan. If the loan application is not returned you may not be eligible for further disaster assistance.

I rent an apartment, so I can't get help to replace my damaged personal property.
FALSE. A renter may also qualify for a grant from FEMA or an SBA low-interest disaster loan to replace personal property. One type of grant may cover temporary housing needs. Another type of grant may be available to an eligible individual or families with serious disaster-related needs and expenses that are not covered by insurance or other disaster assistance programs.

I have to be a legal U.S. resident to receive Individual Assistance.
TRUE. To be considered for federal assistance from FEMA, you must be a U.S. citizen, a qualified alien or a non-citizen national. A qualified alien generally includes individuals who are lawful permanent residents (possessing an alien registration receipt card) or those with legal status due to asylum, refugee, parole (admission into the U.S. for humanitarian purposes), withholding of deportation, or domestic violence. Check with an immigration expert if you have questions about your legal status.

I am an undocumented immigrant, is there any assistance available?
POSSIBLY. You may apply for Individual Assistance on behalf of your child who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien. Or another adult household member may qualify for household assistance if he or she is a documented immigrant. You may also be eligible under many different programs run by state and local agencies and voluntary agencies for various types of cash assistance. An undocumented immigrant may be eligible for short-term, non-cash emergency aid provided by FEMA.

I have applied, what happens next?
After you apply, FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and "Help After a Disaster: Applicant's Guide to the Individuals and Households Program," a useful booklet that will answer many of your questions. This publication explains how FEMA's disaster assistance program works; and describes additional kinds of help you may qualify for from other federal, state and voluntary agencies.

If your home or its contents are damaged and you are uninsured or underinsured, an inspector may contact you within 10 days after you apply to schedule a time to meet you at your damaged home. All inspectors carry a photo ID that shows they are affiliated with the U.S. government. If you receive an SBA Disaster Loan application in the mail, you must complete and return the application to the SBA to be considered for a loan and to continue the referral and eligibility process.

I need to check the status of my case.
Go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621- FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Face of Defense: Couple Gives Soldier New Family

By Army Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger
U.S. Division Center

BAGHDAD, Sept. 20, 2010 – When Army Spc. Christopher Sandri travels home for leave this month, he plans on enjoying home-cooked meals and fishing for bass.

Sandri, an infantryman serving in U.S. Division Center with the 3rd Infantry Division’s Company A, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, said the best moments of leave, however, will be those spent with his parents, John and Dorean Sandri of Green Bay, Wis.

Sandri didn’t have parents to visit while on leave or to send him care packages while he was deployed to Iraq’s Anbar province from October 2007 to April 2008. When his unit returned to Fort Stewart, Ga., he stood alone on the parade field while other soldiers went home with their families.

“I pretty much sucked it up and went to the barracks,” he said.

The Laurel, Md., native was born Christopher Kroll on Oct. 14, 1983. He was practically raised by his grandparents, because his biological mother was unable to do so.

He maintained a strained relationship with his mother after joining the military and leaving Maryland, he said, but the relationship worsened after he left the United States for an assignment in Germany.

“She wasn’t happy I couldn’t contact her all the time,” Sandri said. “The longer and longer I was over in Germany, the more and more she just grew away from me.”

After three years and a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, Chris moved to Fort Stewart. It was then, over a phone call, that his biological mother ended all contact.

“Her exact words that day when I called her were, ‘I have no son anymore,’” he said. “At the time, it didn’t bother me, because we were in the middle of training. It didn’t click.”

Two “rough” years later, he said, he met his future adoptive mother through an online chat server.

Dorean Sandri, an executive secretary for the not-for-profit organization “Adopt a U.S. Soldier,” read the soldier’s profile and suggested he meet her husband, a Vietnam War veteran. The three adults became very close and talked frequently.

Through months of communication, the Sandris heard about Chris’ family history. Knowing he had nowhere to go over the holidays, the couple invited him to spend Christmas of 2008 with them in Green Bay.

One evening during the visit, John Sandri asked the soldier if he would consider becoming his and Dorean’s son. The question caught Chris off guard at first, he said, and he told them he needed to think about it. It took him only two days to decide.

“It was like, ‘All right, I’m going to do it, I don’t have anybody else to trace back to,’” he said. Finding out the couple couldn’t have children, he said, contributed to his decision.

Chris Kroll and his soon-to-be parents submitted the necessary paperwork to the courthouse, and in early 2009, the soldier officially became known as Christopher Sandri.

Since the adoption, Chris said, it has been easy fitting in with his new family.

“Their whole family — every last one of them — is nuts,” he said with a laugh.

Chris said he especially has appreciated being able to talk to his adoptive father about things that have happened during his deployments. On the soldier’s last visit to the Sandri household before his current deployment, he said, his adoptive father broke down into tears when sharing some of his memories from the Vietnam War, in which he served as a medical evacuation pilot.

“It brought me to tears,” Chris said. “He sat down and he looked at me, and figured it’s only fair that if he spilled it all out to me, then it won’t make me feel awkward if, for some reason during my career, I need to talk to somebody.”

Chris said Dorean always lets him know he’s wanted and that she loves him completely.

“It makes a difference knowing that if I have a hard day at work, I can get online and gripe to my parents,” he said. “My father will take it like a champ and find a way to make me laugh, and my mother will be not too far behind with a promise of fresh-made cookies coming in the mail.

“All in all,” he added, “John and Dorean are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

2009 Defense Message System (DMS) Service/Agency Excellence Award

By DCMS Log -- Guest Post by Mr. Steven Wolf, Chief, Coast Guard Telecommunications Systems Infrastructure Division Commandant (CG-642)

Communications Area Master Station Pacific (CAMSPAC) was the Coast Guard recipient of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) 2009 Defense Message System (DMS) Service/Agency Excellence Award. The award was scheduled to be presented at the 2010 DISA Customer Partnership Conference in Nashville on 3 May, but major flooding of the Cumberland River resulted in the cancellation of the conference. Instead, Mr. Steve Wolf (CG-642), DMS Program Manager, presented the award plaque to the station and crew of CAMSPAC on 26 August 2010.

The award citation reads: The DMS Award of Excellence is presented to the U.S. Coast Guard Communications Area Master Station (CAMS) Pacific for exemplifying professionalism, dedication, diligence and a high degree of technical competence as they accomplished essential mission critical goals on the path to fully implement DMS in the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. Their work as one of the Coast Guard's premiere service providers for DMS services, most especially as a key node in providing key intelligence data to the Intelligence Coordination Center via DMS, was key to the Coast Guard's ability to effectively and agilely perform its missions. CAMSPAC maintained a better than 99% Coast Guard DMS Component Site Availability rating for 2009 while maintaining a consistently low Non-Delivery Notice (NDN) percentage.

Congratulations to the station and crew of CAMSPAC for a job well done. Bravo Zulu!

Photo: LCDR Dan Connolly, CAMSPAC XO & Mr. Steven Wolf.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Acting Out: Outlining Specific Behaviors and Actions for Effective Leadership

The author of Acting Out: Outlining Specific Behaviors and Actions for Effective Leadership, Michell P. Weinzetl has the best mix of academic credentials and real-world leadership experience. The book reflects his strong academic command of the subject matter as well as his practical work-a-day experience. Moreover, the book his well-written, cited and edited.

The thrust of book can be summed up on page 13 were Weinzetl tells the reader that “leadership is what we do. It is action-based.” He follows up with this by providing a strong academic foundation for recommended leadership actions. Unlike some text which may only provide theory or those that center solely on practice, Weinzetl provides the leader with information (such as theory and research) on why certain actions are necessary.

The first part of the book is about leadership communication. He succulently brings us 50 years of research and advice on communication and also brings it into the 21st century with discussions on the use of modern communication tools (such as email). In my opinion, the two pages on “contrastive stress” are worth more to a leader than the price of the book. I am convinced if a leader reads and heeds those two pages, alone, they will be prevent a major headache in the future.

In the second part of the book, Mitchel P. Weinzetl launches into leadership as “action based.” He begins this section with a relevant discussion on vision and direction. What struck me is how extraordinarily relevant the information is to leaders at all stations within organizations. This middle section of the book is the meat for leaders – it includes many specific recommendations for positive action all designed to support the organizational vision.

The last section of the book is about Weinzetl entitles the “Leadership Replication Cycle.” This is an original creation by the author and a stellar way to think about all sorts of organizational activities from grooming new leaders to creating an institutional knowledge base.

Mitchell P. Weinzetl, a long-time law enforcement executive avoids the pitfall of writing to his law enforcement colleagues alone. The information is presented so that a leader in any organization would find the information valuable as well as intelligible – there is no secret jargon!

Lastly, one of the best features of the book the “Weinzetl’s Perspectives.” The book is laced with these personal experiences that help to understand, digest and place in context the information. A well deserved five star recommendation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guardian of the Week – ME2 Nick Antis

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

Post co-authored by LT Bryan Burkhalter, executive officer of Marine Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles/Long Beach

Executing missions in the Coast Guard requires extensive teamwork and partnership, and for Petty Officer Second Class Nick Antis his partnership comes in the form of Ryder, a 60-pound Belgian Malinois.

ME2 Antis his partner Ryder, a Belgian Malinois. Together they completed the TSA National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
On September 3, Antis, a maritime enforcement specialist, was designated the honor graduate upon his completion of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program.

“For me to receive the distinguished honor graduate award was a huge honor,” said Antis. “I feel privileged to be one of the first of three Coast Guard members to attend the class and have an opportunity to further put our service’s name out there as one that is dedicated to doing our part to protect our country.”

The 10-week program, located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, led Antis and his canine Ryder through a rigorous curriculum that included canine handler and explosive detection skills in a myriad of training and real-world environments.

The graduating class was the first to include prospective canine handlers from the Coast Guard, and Antis was selected as honor graduate due to his performance on practical and written exams, as well as his demonstrated knowledge of law enforcement policy.

ME2 Antis was designated the honor graduate of his class upon completion of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Together the handlers and their canine partners trained in active transportation warehouses, realistic mock-ups of airport terminals, rail transportation and other scenarios.

The training and curriculum is vital for Antis and Ryder, as they will serve together in a Coast Guard Canine Explosive Detection Team (CEDT) for the service life of the dog.

Antis and his canine Ryder will be one of two teams at MSST Los Angeles/Long Beach charged with explosive detection missions in the maritime environment and partnering with federal, state and local agencies.

“Petty Officer Antis & Ryder’s teamwork and the outstanding training they received will be a critical part of the Deployable Operations Group’s adaptive force packages,” said LT Bryan Burkhalter, executive officer of MSST Los Angeles/Long Beach. “I am extremely proud of how Petty Officer Antis represented the Coast Guard, the ME rating and himself by his outstanding performance in this highly challenging training environment.”

As a deployable asset, Antis and Ryder are capable of operating in a variety of geographic locations and environments with the ability to work ashore or aboard vessels, and deploy from helicopters by vertical delivery. Recently, canine teams from MSST Los Angeles/Long Beach provided support to the commissioning of the CGC Waesche, the Super Bowl, and the Rose Bowl, among other events.

Bravo Zulu to Petty Officer Second Class Nick Antis, and his canine Ryder. We look forward to hearing about your operational achievements in the future!

Face of Defense: Airman Gives Boy Bike, Hope

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Hubby
436th Airlift Wing

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del., Sept. 17, 2010 – When Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Meinhold heard about a boy known as L.J. who might benefit from a bone marrow transplant, he set up a donor registry drive in the hope of finding a match for the boy.

But Meinhold didn't stop there in his efforts to help L.J.

The boy was suffering from erythroblastic leukemia, which is very rare in children. But in addition, his bicycle had been stolen. Riding his bike had been one of L.J.’s favorite activities before his cancer had rendered him unable to play outdoors.

Meinhold, who is assigned to the 9th Airlift Squadron here, posted the child’s story on Facebook and raised enough money to add to his own contribution to get a new bike that L.J. could ride when he gets better.

But an ordinary bike wouldn't do.

Meinhold contacted Frank Russo, 436th Force Support Squadron community activity center director, to see if he could get the bicycle signed by a few NASCAR drivers.

Russo arranged to ship the bike to Richmond, Va., to be signed by NASCAR drivers Jimmy Johnson and Denny Hamlin. Also included with the bike were the photos of the drivers who signed it.

"Kids are resilient, but having something to look forward to when they get better helps," Meinhold said. "This is the fifth time I've run into a story like this, and I really couldn't get it done without Mr. Russo. The first time I spoke with him, I didn't have a clue how to get these things done."

Getting the bike to and from Richmond was no small endeavor. It had to be taken apart for shipment and reassembled so it would be ready for the drivers to sign.

"Whatever Sergeant Meinhold asks me to do, I get it done," Russo said. "I have a lot of respect for Sergeant Meinhold. He not only works his job and takes care of his family, but he also takes the time to help out those who need his help with the bone marrow drives. You can't say no to a guy who puts that much effort into helping others.

"This entire project has been Air Force all the way," Russo added. "I would love to see Dover Air Force Base help be a part of this great humanitarian story."

The leukemia L.J. suffers from causes his body's immune system to destroy all the cells it can find. It cannot differentiate between noncancer cells and cancer cells, Meinhold said.

Meinhold said he’s happy to do anything he can to help. "It makes living with what they are going through a little easier,” he said. “L.J. is definitely in for a long fight. He's gone through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and they caught it pretty early. However, most children who have this form of leukemia rarely make it to adulthood.

"Right now, our hope is to find L.J. a matching donor,” Meinhold continued, “and also get the word out about being a bone marrow donor to those who might have the wrong information. There are two drives that I am working with: the Department of Defense program, and a civilian program. I highly encourage all [Defense Department] card holders to register when the next drive starts."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

EPA Honors Awardees for Preserving the Ozone Layer

WASHINGTON – Scientists, federal investigators, international government officials, and a pop music artist are among the recipients of the 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Montreal Protocol Awards. Honorees are being announced today to commemorate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

"Recognizing these accomplishments is important to foster innovation and inspire others to make a difference in protecting the environment," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. "Today's awards prove again that the Montreal Protocol has been instrumental in accelerating international commitments that will leave our planet a healthier, safer place for our children and grandchildren."

This year’s winners have made outstanding contributions in protecting the ozone layer, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public awareness about environmental issues. In addition, they have established successful cancer prevention programs and helped countries develop effective strategies to comply with the Montreal Protocol.  

Several awardees are being honored for lifetime achievements, including the team of scientists who documented the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole 25 years ago: Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin.

The Montreal Protocol, signed by 196 countries, was designed to reduce and eventually eliminate ozone-depleting substances.  The phase-out of ozone-depleting substances, including hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, necessitates a long-term commitment from all developed and developing countries alike. HCFCs and some of the alternatives, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are global warming gases, and their continued production contributes to climate change.

Earlier this year, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico jointly submitted a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs globally, with the potential of reducing 88,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, the equivalent of removing 420 million passenger cars each year through 2050. This proposal will be considered at the November Meeting of the Parties in Uganda.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Face of Defense: Air Guard Exterminator Handles Pests

By Army Sgt. Mike Getten
Nevada National Guard

RENO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Nev., Sept. 15, 2010 – “Pest” is a four-letter word to Air Force Staff Sgt. Damien Falconer of the Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Civil Engineering Squadron.

As the lone pest management specialist in the Nevada Air Guard, it’s his job to eliminate all of the creepy-crawly nuisances here.

Falconer continually works to get rid of insects, rodents, weeds and an occasional bird from the base’s environment to prevent the pests from calling base equipment and facilities their permanent home.

“A pest is a plant or animal that’s out of place,” Falconer said. “We currently don’t have a lot of problems with pests on base. My biggest problem here is wasps, which can build a new home overnight. But those are even a small issue.”

Falconer spent 10 years in food service before cross-training into pest management last year.

“When I first joined, I just wanted a quick school and to enlist,” Falconer said. “About a year ago, I found I wasn’t having much fun in food service anymore and just wanted a change. I began looking for something else and discovered the pest control job and decided it could be interesting. Pest control is a big piece of food service, so I thought this would be a good fit.”

During his initial training period, Falconer received classroom and field instruction in how to conduct surveys for and identify pests and how to select and apply proper management techniques to control or eliminate infestations.

“We always look for the least impact on the environment,” Falconer said. “If a frightening device or other nonpollutant can be used, it is the preferred method.”

Working with pesticides can be dangerous to the environment as well as individuals. Falconer is required to obtain a state hazardous materials handling certification. The Air Force also requires Falconer to attend regular military certification training at various air bases throughout the United States.

“Most people don’t realize the stuff you buy at the hardware store can pollute the environment if used improperly,” he said. “We are trained to properly mix the chemicals as well as properly apply the soup.”

Air Force Master Sgt. Pat Speth, one of squadron’s supervisors, said Falconer must stay on his toes even when there are no pest invasions on base.

“Falconer has one of those jobs where he must keep his skills sharp at all times,” Speth said. “Then, when [he] deploys, he is the subject matter expert and must be ready to deal with any type of situation.”

Falconer is at the apprentice level in the pest control management specialty, and he said he expects to attend his next school late this year to become a journeyman.

Like many other airmen in the squadron’s utilities section, Falconer performs other utility-related jobs and spends a significant part of each drill working on tasks besides pest control.

“I spend most drills helping the utilities airmen wherever I can,” he said. “But there are those times during drill I receive the call to take care of a wasp infestation or something.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Library of Congress Provides Online Content For Scholastic’s Re-Launch of Dear America Series

The Library of Congress is providing historical content from its vast and unparalleled collections to enhance a new interactive website for Scholastic’s Dear America historical fiction book series.

Scholastic, the children’s publishing, education and media company, will re-launch the acclaimed and bestselling Dear America historical fiction series this fall with a combination of all-new publishing and re-issues of the classic Dear America titles plus the new website with content provided by the Library.

"The Library of Congress is excited about this opportunity to collaborate with Scholastic on the re-release of the classic Dear America series," said Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian of Strategic Initiatives. "Combining these compelling stories with the Library’s extraordinary primary source collections will help make history more accessible and engaging for teachers and students alike."

Originally launched in 1996, the Dear America series for readers ages 8-14 was written by an array of award-winning band bestselling writers. The books are presented in diary format from the perspective of girls living at different times in American history. Publication of the series ended in 2004, but fans, booksellers, educators and parents have requested that the series be brought back into print. The series will re-launch in September 2010 with "The Fences Between us," an all-new story set in the Pacific Northwest during World War II by Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson. Also, two classics in the series will be reissued in the fall: "A Journey to the New World" and "The Winter of Red Snow."

In cooperation with the Library, Scholastic will further expand the series with two new dedicated "Dear America" websites: one for fans and one for educators, both launching in September 2010. The website for fans, www.scholastic.com/teachdearamerica, will be a fully interactive online community. The site will feature interactive scrapbooks for each Dear America character with online fashion galleries, crafts, recipes and fun downloads. In addition to games, quizzes, book excerpts and author interviews, there will be a moderated "living diary" blog and message board for fans.

Simultaneously, Scholastic and the Library of Congress will offer teachers and librarians a wealth of lesson plans, historical documents and archival photos and other teaching resources at the educator site, www.scholastic.com/teachdearamerica.   The site also features timelines, author videos, discussion guides and more, bringing the history in each book to life.

"We are pleased to reintroduce this beloved book series with the added dimension of a rich online experience through our relationship with the Library of Congress," said Ellie Berger, president of the Trade Publishing division of Scholastic.

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools and libraries, on-air and online at www.scholastic.com. 

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 145 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

Roger White to Discuss Policy Analysis and Public Policy, Sept. 23

Roger S. White, in a lecture at the Library of Congress, will discuss how the field of policy analysis informs policymaking.

White, a scholar in residence in the John W. Kluge Center, will present "Professional Help for Public Policy: Policy Analysis as a Field of Intellectual Inquiry and Practice" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building,
10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Kluge Center, the lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.

According to White, policy analysis, which has emerged over the past half-century as a field of intellectual inquiry and practice, is one of a number of sources that inform the public and policymakers about policy needs, options and operations. Special interests, scholars from other fields, the courts, the media, the public and policymakers themselves also play important roles.

White will discuss the nature of distinctive contributions from the field of policy analysis. He will explore key research approaches and researcher attributes that can make contributions from policy analysts not only distinctive but particularly valuable. His presentation offers a framework for assessing and enhancing effectiveness in policymaking.

White has devoted most of his professional life to supporting public policy work of the U.S. Congress as a policy analyst and research manager in the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a department of the Library of Congress. He has served as a senior research manager for nearly 30 years, most recently as associate director for research. He also served as assistant chief of the economics division of CRS.

White has developed and administered approaches for managing public policy research that anticipate and meet critical policymaking needs of Congress. White’s extensive experience includes conceptualizing immediate and continuing policy research needs stemming from significant unanticipated events, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, to ensure timely, relevant and continuing support for Congress.

White holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois and was a member of the faculty at the University of Connecticut and consultant to the First National Bank of Boston before joining CRS in 1975.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

“Three Presidents, Three Policies: Nixon, Bush, Obama and Europe”

Lecture by Klaus Larres

Distinguished scholar Klaus Larres will analyze the approach taken by Presidents Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Barack Obama in managing and exploiting relations with Washington’s European allies at crucial points in world affairs.

Larres will present the lecture "Three Presidents, Three Policies: Nixon, Bush, Obama and Europe" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Library of Congress in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.

According to Larres, the continuing importance of America’s relations with Europe has been demonstrated again by transatlantic cooperation in the Great Recession, the Greek crisis and the war in Afghanistan, to name a few. Presidents Nixon, G.W. Bush and Obama have used very distinct approaches in dealing with the increasingly self-confident and independently minded Europeans. Although U.S. policy makers publicly have approved of the development of an ever-more-united Europe, privately the White House in particular has had a significantly more ambiguous and skeptical view.

A former holder of the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Kluge Center, Larres has returned to the center as a distinguished visiting scholar. Larres is also a visiting professor at The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a senior research fellow at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.

Larres, a professor of history and international affairs at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, is frequently called upon as a speaker, panelist and commentator on both current and past European-American relations and the history of the Cold War. Previously, he was a professor in international relations at the University of London and the Jean Monnet Professor at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Larres has published widely on transatlantic relations and European and American foreign policies during the Cold War and the post-Cold-War years. At present he is completing a book titled "Enlightened Self-Interest: The United States and the Unity of Europe from Truman to Obama."

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.