January 12, 2007

HARRISONBURG—Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, will be a speaker on the featured panel at the Tuesday, January 16, 2007, annual membership meeting of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP).

Dr. Pham will join Ambassador Herman J. Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Mr. William Brencick, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations, to discuss “ Africa from the Perspective of U.S. Global Strategic Interests” in a plenary panel to be moderated by Ms. Mora McLean, President and Chief Executive Office of the Africa-America Institute.

The NCAFP, a research organization founded in 1974 by the late Dr. Hans J. Morgenthau, is dedicated to identifying, articulating, and helping advance American foreign policy interests from a nonpartisan perspective within the framework of political realism. The Committee offers educational programs that address security challenges facing the United States and publishes a variety of publications, including a bimonthly journal, American Foreign Policy Interests, which analyzes all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The group has been led since 1993 by Dr. George D. Schwab. Last year Dr. Pham was elected to the NCAFP’s Board of Advisors in succession to one of his college professors, the late Saul Bellow of the University of Chicago, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Within policy circles, the NCAFP is best known for its reliance on the “Track II approach” of bringing together government officials, academics, and think tank experts to discuss current security challenges in an informal atmosphere where, free from official constraints, they can engage in frank discussions away from the glare of publicity and build trust and mutual confidence—something that is not always possible in official meetings. The group was responsible for hosting a conference in New York under the chairmanship of former U.S. secretary of state Dr. Henry A. Kissinger that facilitated a behind-the-scenes encounter between U.S., Chinese, and North Korean officials leading to a resumption of the stalled six-party talks on nuclear issues in the Korean peninsula. The NCAFP currently has ongoing projects in Northeast Asia, the Middle East (Islamic law and peace), Russia and Central Asia, Western Europe (transatlantic relations), Northern Ireland, and Cyprus.