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Civil-Military Leadership Dialogue and Discussion program, Washington, D.C., April 8, 2019: (left to right) Anne Reid, Mike Kuiken, Kathleen C. Dawe, Jonathan Davidson, General Joe Lengyel, Michelle Richardson, Joe Hack, Chuck Kieffer, and Jonathan Stahler.

In April, the Stennis Center for Public Service conducted a Civil-Military Leadership Dialogue and Discussion program in Washington, D.C., which brings together top leaders from the military and U.S. Congress. Last month, the program brought together senior level staff members from the U.S. Senate and General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. This is the first time the head of the U.S. National Guard has participated in a Civil-Military Leadership Dialogue and Discussion program.

Joe Hack, Chief of Staff to Senator Deb Fisher (NE), and Jonathan Davidson, Chief of Staff to Senator Michael Bennet (CO) co-led the program. Others in attendance included Kathleen Connery Dawe, Chief of Staff to Senator Angus King (ME); Chuck Kieffer, Democratic Staff Director, Senate Appropriations Committee; Mike Kuiken, National Security Advisor to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (NY); Anne Reid, Chief of Staff to Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA); Michelle Richardson, Chief of Staff to Senator Roger Wicker (MS), and; Jonathan Stahler, Chief of Staff to Senator Chris Coons (DE).

Historically, military participants have included the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy and numerous Flag Officers. U.S. Senators and Representatives, cabinet secretaries and distinguished writers have also participated in the program throughout the years as well as more than 100 senior level congressional staff members.

The purpose of the Stennis Center’s Civil-Military programs is to connect U.S. Senators and Representatives to military leaders and enable them to learn more about military life, values, institutions, and culture. These programs provide meaningful opportunities for military and civilian leaders to engage in dialogue and build relationships that increase awareness and understanding between the military and civilian spheres of responsibility.