MRE’s agenda for the 10th annual conference

10Th Annual Conference of Military Reporters and Editors Association, Oct. 18-19, 2012, Washington, D.C.

Twitter Hashtag #MRE2012

Thursday, Oct.18, 2012, Northwestern University’s Medill News Service, 1325 G St. N.W.

2:00-5:30: Professional Development Seminar: Defense Budget 101

  • Pat Towell, defense budget specialist, Congressional Research Service
  • Todd Harrison, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and author of “The Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget: Continuity or Change?”
  • Sharon Pickup, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Winslow Wheeler, Director, Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information, and editor of The Pentagon Labyrinth
  • Moderator: Otto Kreisher, AOL Defense, MRE Treasurer

6:30-8:30:  The Road to the White House: A Debate

  • Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for policy, and senior adviser to Obama-Biden 2012
  • Dov Zakheim, former Undersecretary of Defense (comptroller), and adviser to Romney-Ryan 2012
  • Moderator: Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, President, MRE

Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room, 43 Independence Ave., S.W.

8:00-9:00:  Registration and Coffee

Session One: Two Views From Inside the Military Services

9:00-10:00: Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, assistant vice chief of staff, U.S. Air Force
10:00-11:00 Lt. Gen. John Wissler, Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources, U.S. Marine Corps

Session Two: The National Guard: Prospects and Politics

11:10-12:10 Panel discussion with

  • Heather Hogsett, director of health and homeland security, National Governors Association
  • Will Goodman, chief military policy advisor, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus
  • Albert A. Robbert III, senior policy researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard
  • Moderator: Amy McCullough, Air Force Magazine

12:10-12:30 MRE Awards/Lunch

12:30-1:30: Keynote Address: Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff, United States Army

1:30-1:35 BREAK

Session Three: A New Generation of Veterans: Costs and Consequences

1:35-2:45: Panel discussion with

  • Danny Pummill of Department of Veterans Affairs 
  • Dr. Susan S. Kelly, Principal Director, DoD Transition to Veterans Program Office

2:50-4:10 Panel discussion with

  • Linda J. Bilmes, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and member of U.S. Department of Labor Advisory Board on Veterans Employment
  • Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Kevin M. Schmiegel, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Congress, Executive Director, Hiring Our Heroes
  • Moderator: Otto Kreisher, AOL Defense

4:15-4:20 Break

SESSION THREE: The War in Afghanistan: The Second Decade

4:20 – 5:30 Panel Discussion:

  • Robert A. Pape, professor of political science at University of Chicago and author of Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It
  • Jeffrey Dressler, senior researcher on Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Institute for the Study of War, and author of The Haqqani Network: A Strategic Threat
  • Mahtab Farid, public diplomacy officer for Afghanistan, U.S. Department of State, 2009-2012, serving in Ghazni and Bagram provinces
  • Moderator: Don North, MRE Board Member


To join the 10th Annual MRE Conference, visit: