Distinguished Speakers Program

We learn best by looking outside our boundaries.


The LMI Research Institute’s Distinguished Speakers program brings senior government, industry, and academic experts to LMI to share their experiences and knowledge with our staff. These LMI-only events provide our staff a unique opportunity to engage subject matter experts on the most pressing issues facing our clients today and tomorrow.

Each year, a theme is selected for our speaker program. In FY15, we focused on national security and hosted the following experts.

Norton “Norty” Schwartz

The president and CEO of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and formerly the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Norton "Norty" Schwartz was the final speaker in our FY15 series. General Schwartz provided a unique perspective on DoD business practices from both his personal experience and the lens of BENS members. He also gave his thoughts on leadership challenges and emerging national security threats.

Eric Edelman

Ambassador Eric Edelman retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009, where he served in many posts, including as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland. He also served as Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. During his visit to LMI, Ambassador Edelman addressed questions on the role of bureaucracy in governments, how think tanks can incubate and develop new ideas, and the shift in a new global security order.

John Hamre

Dr. Hamre was elected president and CEO of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in January 2000 and named Pritzker Chair in December 2012. Before joining CSIS, he served as the 26th U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense. Dr. Hamre provided LMI staff with key insight regarding the interaction between think tanks, industry organizations, and academic institutions and how they can work together to better government management and policy development.

Michael O’Hanlon

The senior fellow and co-director with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, was the second speaker in our Distinguished Speaker series. He specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American foreign policy. Among other topics, Mr. O’Hanlon provided LMI staff members his perspective on U.S.-China relations, acquisition reform and budget cuts, and the current state of affairs with foreign entities such as ISIS.

Paul and David Ignatius

We kicked off the FY15 Distinguished Speaker series with Paul and David Ignatius. It is a rare opportunity to work at an organization where you hear directly from the founder, and the former chair of the board of directors, about the history of the company. Paul Ignatius provided great perspective on the history of LMI—why and how we were founded and what he sees our opportunities to be in the future. Paul’s son, David, an accomplished foreign affairs columnist for the Washington Post and an award-winning novelist, provided unique insights in the foreign policy landscape.