ACIR 2016 Programming

December 22, 2012

FEBRUARY 10, 2016

Topic: “Veiled Threats: Women and the Islamic State”

Speaker: Mr.Charlie Winters,Senior Research Associate, ​Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative, Georgia State University

Charlie Winter is a Senior Research Associate at Georgia State University’s Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative, where his research focuses on transnational jihadist movements and insurgency. As well as managing a Department of Defence Minerva Research Initiative Project, “Preventing the next generation: mapping the pathways of child mobilization into Violent Extremist Organizations”, he is quantitatively and qualitatively assessing Islamic State’s outreach strategy, and specializing in the sourcing, translation, and analysis of Arabic-language documents circulated online by jihadists.

 Among other things, he has recently translated a 10,000 word manifesto on women from Islamic State’s Al-Khansaa’ Brigade, a theological treatise on female suicide bombing, a personal account of life for women in the caliphate, and an essay on the strategic importance of the Libyan jihad.

 Mr Winter regularly consults with governments on policy options/alternatives vis á vis Islamist militant groups in the Middle East/North Africa region. His work has been published by, among others, the Legatum Institute, Brookings Institution, Jamestown Terrorism Monitor, Philosophia Journal, and Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, as well as Jihadology, War on the Rocks, CNN, BBC News, and The Daily Beast.

He holds a degree in Arabic from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Middle East & Mediterranean Studies from King’s College, University of London,​ and​ for both he graduated summa cum laude. He also attended the Higher Language Institute in Damascus, where he lived for a year in 2010-11.



MARCH 18, 2016 

Topic: A Panel Discussion on “Human Trafficking”

Speakers:    Susan Coppedge, Ambassador-at Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Deptment of State;
Camila Wright, Human Trafficking Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General, State of Georgia; and
David Perdue (invited), U.S, Senator from State of Georgia

Panel Moderator: Laura Dean, Professor, Clayton State University

Susan Coppedge

Susan Coppedge is the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State. She was confirmed by the Senate and appointed by President Obama in October 2015 to lead the United States’ global engagement against human trafficking. Ambassador Coppedge directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which assesses global trends, provides strategic foreign assistance funding, and engages foreign governments, civil society, other federal agencies and key stakeholders in the fight against modern slavery.

Ambassador Coppedge previously served for 15 years as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. She prosecuted more than 45 human traffickers in federal cases involving transnational and domestic sex trafficking of adults and children, and labor trafficking. These prosecutions brought perpetrators to justice and assisted more than 90 victims of trafficking. Ambassador Coppedge carries with her the stories of these survivors, many of whom thought the system would never stand up for them. She has also worked closely with nongovernmental organizations in conducting community outreach and providing vital services for victims.

In recognition of her achievements, Ambassador Coppedge received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney and two United States Attorney’s Awards. Ambassador Coppedge has trained international, national, and local law enforcement and represented the United States on a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Expert Working Group developing an international reporting system for human trafficking. She was also awarded a Fulbright/Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, through which she spent six months with New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice researching, evaluating, and reporting on New Zealand’s human trafficking laws and prosecutions.

Ambassador Coppedge entered her service with the Department of Justice through the Honors Program, working in the Environmental Enforcement Section and earning the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, Outstanding Legal Achievement for Support of Litigation, for United States v. Koch. Ambassador Coppedge clerked for United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley in the Northern District of Georgia. She received her law degree from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Camila Wright

Camila Wright  is a licensed attorney with an L.L.M in International Law and a strong criminal law background and substantial court room experience. Her specialties include International law, criminal defense law, criminal prosecution, corporate law, construction law, immigration law, real estate law and regulatory law.

In November 2014, she was appointed by Georgia State Attorney General Sam Olens as human trafficking prosecutor focusing on assisting law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state to identify, investigate, and prosecute cases of human trafficking, as well as to speak and conduct trainings at various state and national venues and  coordinate efforts of governmental and non-profit actors.

 Ms. Wright established the Fulton County Human Trafficking Unit within the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. She has developed protocols for investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases, and has worked extensively with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and local law enforcement. During her tenure in Fulton County, Ms. Wright secured convictions and guilty pleas for 19 traffickers, including two life sentences. Additionally, she was one of the first prosecutors in the state to successfully convict a buyer, who was sentenced to five years in prison.

David Perdue

David Perdue is the junior Senator from Georgia. David has over 40 years of business experience as the former CEO of Reebok athletic brand and Dollar General stores, where he created thousands of quality jobs and helped working families make it from payday to payday.

David was born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Warner Robins where he grew up working on his family farm. Both of David’s parents were school teachers, and from an early age David was taught the importance of hard work and a good education.At Georgia Tech, David earned a degree in Industrial Engineering and a master’s in Operations Research while working warehouse and construction jobs. After graduating, he married his wife Bonnie, whom he had met in the first grade and they have been married for 43 years.

David’s interest in public service was sparked when he realized that today’s America is at risk of being worse off than previous generations. In 2014, David won a decisive victory to the U.S. Senate, despite having never before been elected to office, on the promise that he will fight for term limits for politicians, help rein in out-of-control spending, grow the economy, create jobs, and tackle our nation’s debt crisis.

For the 114th Congress, David serves on the Agriculture Committee; Budget Committee; Foreign Relations Committee; Judiciary Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging. David was also tapped to lead two important subcommittees and serves as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the State Department and USAID Management as well as the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources.

David and Bonnie live in Glynn County, Georgia and attend Wesley United Methodist Church. They have two sons and three grandsons, who are their inspiration for coming to the U.S. Senate.

Laura Dean

Laura A. Dean is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clayton State University. She started researching human trafficking in 2007-2008 with a Fulbright research grant to Latvia where she conducted research at the Resource Centre for Women Marta, the leading women’s non-governmental organization and rehabilitation center for trafficking victims in that country. She has a certificate in “Human Trafficking Victim Rehabilitation and Reintegration Institutional Cooperation” from the Latvian Interior Ministry and represented ‘Marta’ at the United Nations General Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN GIFT) Vienna Forum.

Laura worked as a Human Trafficking Research Assistant at the Institute for Policy and Social Research, has given numerous guest lectures on this topic around the world, and consulted for the BBC World Service and Dutch Radio on human trafficking and sex tourism in Eastern Europe. In 2012-2013 she spent 15 months conducting fieldwork in Ukraine, Latvia, and Russia on human trafficking for her dissertation research which examined policy approaches aimed at addressing human trafficking in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

She currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation entitled “Beyond the Natasha Effect: Determinants of Human Trafficking Policy Variation in the Post-Soviet Region.” In 2015, she was appointed to the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. Laura Dean received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Kansas in 2014. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, an M.A. in Political Science and from the University of Kansas as well as an M.A. in International Studies focusing on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Program, Rotary Foundation, and published in Human Rights Review and Femina Politica, the Feminist Journal of Political Science.

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