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Speakers will explore COVID-19's impact on national security

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The speakers for the 2021 Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies Symposium are Laura J. Lane, chief corporate affairs, communication and sustainability officer for UPS; Matthew Kralovec, director of HawkEye 360 ISR Solutions; and Lindy Heinecken, chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The theme of the symposium is "Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on National Security."

Experts from across the world will discuss cybersecurity, supply chain, health, civil-military relations, intelligence and the effect of COVID-19 on each at the 2021 Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies (ILSS) Symposium.

UNG, in partnership with the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute and the Army Strategist Association, will host the fifth ILSS Symposium, "Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on National Security," as a hybrid event April 7-8.

"With any international crisis, nation-states are concerned with the impact on the security of their nations, which ultimately translates to the security and well-being of their people," Keith Antonia, associate vice president of military programs, said. "The pandemic has been presenting highly complex problems for leaders in the private and public sectors to identify and resolve within the interconnected realms of geopolitics, health, economics, technology, and human security. This symposium is designed to contribute to the discussion relating to these problems."

Registration is open on the ILSS Symposium webpage. Participants may either attend the free symposium in-person or online via Zoom. The in-person option will accommodate 50 people with COVID-19 risk-mitigation measures in place.

The main speakers for the event are:

  • Jason Schuette, founder of Spectrum Advocates LLC. His topic is "Cybercriminal exploitation in the COVID-19 environment."
  • Laura J. Lane, chief corporate affairs, communications and sustainability officer for UPS. Her topic is "Implications of the pandemic on the global supply chain."
  • Lindy Heinecken, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Her topic is "The paradox of framing COVID-19 as a national security threat."
  • Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity and Australian government National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow at the Kirby Institute at the University of South Wales and adjunct professor at Arizona State University.
  • Matthew Kralovec, director of Hawkeye360 ISR solutions. His topic is "Protecting the Galapagos in your PJs: impact and opportunity from COVID-19."

"We are honored to host experts with deep knowledge in these fields," Dr. Edward Mienie, executive director of UNG's strategic and security studies program and partnerships and associate professor of strategic and security studies, said.

Panel presentations, which will be a maximum of 20 minutes each, are also part of the symposium. They will be selected from abstracts, which should be submitted by March 1. Those interested in serving as a panelists should email 500-word abstracts and 150-word short biographies to keith.antonia@ung.edu. International and U.S. faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate, may submit.

A fiction and creative nonfiction story contest tying in with the symposium theme will be judged by UNG faculty members Dr. Renée Bricker, Dr. Bibek Chand and Dr. Donna Gessell. Cash prizes will be given to the winning author and two runners-up. The winner will have travel and lodging costs covered to attend the symposium.

For more details on the writing contest, visit the ILSS Symposium webpage.

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Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

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