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Alumni-Faculty Forum: Defending the Nation: Balancing National Security and Resource Allocation

May 26 @ 8:45 am - 10:00 am

Defending the Nation Balancing National Security and Resource Allocation

Location:  McCosh Hall, Room 50



Ethan B. Kapstein
Acting Director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs



Margaret Mullins *18
National Security and Defense Policy Expert

Dallas Brown ’78
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ryan Shadrick Wilson ’98
Founder, Boardwalk Collective LLC; Executive Chair, Territory Foods

Elizabeth Horner ’08
Republican Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works



Ethan B. Kapstein

Ethan B. Kapstein is Acting Director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs (esoc.princeton.edu).  Kapstein’s research and teaching focus on the political economy of development, especially in conflict-affected countries. At Princeton he has supervised MPA policy workshops on such topics as the Civilian Surge to Afghanistan and Preventing Violent Extremism in Kenya, and he offers a regular undergraduate course on “Insurgency and Counterinsurgency.” He has also taught a PhD course on “Climate and Conflict.” Kapstein’s most recent book, Exporting Capitalism: Private Enterprise and US Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press 2022) traces American efforts to promote private sector development across the developing world. An earlier book (with Josh Busby), AIDS Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations (Cambridge University Press 2013), won the Don K. Price Award for best book from the American Political Science Association’s section on Science, Technology and Environmental Studies. Kapstein is a retired US naval officer and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has previously taught at such institutions as Harvard, INSEAD, and Arizona State, and outside the academy has served as a Principal Administrator at the OECD in Paris and as a US government economist.



Margaret Mullins *18
Margaret Mullins serves as the senior advisor for national security at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. She previously served four years in the U.S. Senate as national security advisor to U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (Georgia), defense policy advisor to Senator Michael Bennet (Colorado), and legislative aide to Senator Patty Murray (Washington). Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, she served as an active-duty intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and later served at U.S. Army Europe headquarters as an aide-de-camp to the deputy commanding general and as a senior intelligence analyst. Mullins has a B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member and a Defense Council member of the Truman National Security Project. She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.

Dallas Brown ’78
Dallas Brown is a career member of the Federal Senior Executive Service in Washington. A former Army Colonel and proud “Soldier for Life,” he served in troop-leading positions with infantry, armor and mechanized units in the U.S., Europe and Persian Gulf region. He also served on the National Security Council Staff at the White House; with the Joint Staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon; and with U.S. Central Command, home-based at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and forward in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned Paratroop, Ranger and Distinguished Tank Crew qualifications as a young officer, and later the Army’s 6Z (Strategist) skill identifier. He studied history, politics and economics at Princeton, and holds graduate degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Army War College. Affiliations include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 10th Cavalry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers) and NAACP.

Ryan Shadrick Wilson ’98
Ryan has been called the “good food whisperer” for the quiet yet significant role she plays in launching many innovative ideas and companies. She founded venture catalyst Boardwalk Collective, serves as Chairperson of Territory Foods, Chairperson of Questlove’s Future of Food Entrepreneurship Program, Advisor to Acon Investments, and Chairperson of Benson Hill’s Advisory Council.  She advises numerous companies, including Apeel, Brightseed, Upside Foods, Perfect Day, and Instacart. She also serves numerous nonprofits, including Pharrell Williams’ foundation. Previously, Ryan was Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel of Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America, and she founded Feeding Change—a global effort with Michael Milken to catalyze investors. Earlier, Ryan practiced law at Hogan Lovells, where she counseled food and agriculture companies around the globe, while maintaining a robust pro bono practice, handling civil rights, death penalty, and political asylum cases. Ryan graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Elizabeth Horner ’08
Elizabeth Horner serves as the Republican Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), a role she has held since January 2021. During that time, the committee developed bipartisan legislation that was signed into law as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. From 2017 to 2021, she served as counsel and senior counsel to the EPW Committee on Air, Climate, and Water Issues. Elizabeth graduated from Princeton in 2008 with an A.B. in Public and International Affairs and received the Donald E. Stokes Dean’s Prize from the School of Public and International Affairs. In 2011, she graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a notes editor for the Virginia Law Review. Immediately after law school, she practiced environmental law at Hunton & Williams LLP and worked as director and assistant counsel for government affairs at the Portland Cement Association.


May 26
8:45 am - 10:00 am
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McCosh 50
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States
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(609) 258 - 3000