President Obama goes to Moscow – Implications for the Baltic-Black-Caspian Region

The Aha! Network’s Inaugural webcast from June 16, 2009, featuring David Kramer and Damon Wilson of the German Marshall Fund and Atlantic Council, respectively as well as Melana Zyla Vickers.

Damon Wilson

Damon WilsonDamon Wilson is Director of the International Security Program at the Atlantic Council of the United States.  Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council.  His other government positions have included Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; Director for Central, Eastern and Northern European Affairs at the National Security Council; Deputy Director of the Private Office of NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson; and various positions at the Department of State dealing with European security and China.  Mr. Wilson completed his graduate studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs during which he worked in the African Affairs Directorate at the National Security Council.  Following his undergraduate studies at Duke University and the University of Grenoble, France, Mr. Wilson served in Rwanda with Save the Children’s Children and War Program.

David Kramer

David KramerDavid J. Kramer joined GMF in May 2009 as a Senior Transatlantic Fellow and works on issues related to Russia/Eurasia and Wider Europe as well as democracy and human rights.  He came to GMF after more than eight years at the State Department in various capacities, most recently as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.  Before that, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus affairs, as well as regional nonproliferation issues. He also served in the Office of Policy Planning and as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. He also was Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington.

Before joining the government, David was a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century, Associate Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Assistant Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, all in Washington. Prior to moving to Washington, he was a Lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University.  He also taught for five years in the Urban Scholars Program at UMASS/Boston.


Melana Zyla Vickers is a former member of the USA TODAY and Globe and Mail editorial boards, and a national security columnist for the popular website She continues to write editorials for USA TODAY part-time. She has also served on the editorial boards of the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and in her career has covered subjects ranging from business and defense to popular culture, education and foreign affairs. She is a former senior fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum, where she wrote a number of publications including Death of the Liberal Arts? and Special Report: Women and Islam. She is a regular contributor to magazines such as The Weekly Standard and NRO, and has appeared on the PBS Newshour, CNN, FOX, and other news channels. She has a Master’s degree, focused on strategic studies and economics, from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and she speaks five languages. Vickers is married and has two daughters and three stepdaughters.

Explore posts in the same categories: Inside the Region, Inside Ukraine, U.S.-Russia Relations

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