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NATO in the Wake of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: Is the Alliance Still Relevant?

Join Business Executives for National Security and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library as we consider, NATO in the Wake of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Is the Alliance Still Relevant? 

We welcome special guests, General Breedlove, the 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations, and Ambassador Hutchison, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO during the Trump administration to Chicago for a fireside chat on the new age of NATO. The moderator for the evening will be General Joseph Votel (Ret.), Commander of US Central Command from March 2016 to March 2019.

General Joseph L. Votel is a retired U.S. Army Four-Star officer and most recently the Commander of the U.S. Central Command – responsible for U.S. and coalition military operations in the Middle East, Levant and Central and South Asia. During his 39 years in the military, he commanded special operations and conventional military forces at every level. His career included combat in Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq. Notably, he led a 79-member coalition that successfully liberated Iraq and Syria from the Islamic State Caliphate. He preceded his assignment at CENTCOM with service as the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Joint Special Operations Command. Votel was recognized with the Distinguished Military Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council, the U.S. – Arab Defense Leadership Award from the National Council on U.S. - Arab Relations, the Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the SGT James T. Regan Lifetime Achievement Award from the “Lead the Way” Foundation and the Freedom Award from the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. In January of 2020, General Votel became President & CEO of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). He is a Strategic Advisor for Sierra Nevada Corporation as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Noblis Corporation. Votel is a non-resident Distinguished Fellow at the Middle East Institute and the Belfer Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and advises the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He sits on the Executive Board of Freedom House and the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL). He serves on the Board of Directors for Service to School, Minnesota Wire, Digital Force Technologies and Owl Cyber Defense. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Votel is a 1980 graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned master’s degrees from the U.S. Army Command and Staff College and the Army War College. He is married to Michele; and they have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. The Votels reside in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

General Philip M. Breedlove, 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations, from May 2013 until May 4, 2016. Philip Breedlove is retired General of the United States Air Force. Highly decorated, he reached the pinnacle of the United States Military as one of six geographic Combatant Commanders and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. During 39 years of service, he held a variety of demanding command and staff positions: Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), Commander of US European Command; Commander, US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa; Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Air Operations, Plans and Requirements.

Gen. Breedlove is a proven strategic planner, a motivational leader and talented communicator. He currently serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, serves as a Distinguished Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, as CEO of Emerald Coast Strategic Solutions, and is on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO - 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.