Dear NSF Friends, Members, and Participants,

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to support NSF by becoming a member or a Friend of the Forum. Your ongoing support is critical for us to be able to keep our programs going virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us at NSF are committed to providing programs to our community with outstanding speakers with opportunities for NSF members to engage with our speakers and panelists, asking questions and following up directly with the presenters after the event.

All of our events are recorded and posted on our website for everyone to watch after the fact. Registration for our “live” events and presenter follow-up is available to all NSF members. If you want to be part of our interactive programs, join NSF and watch for announcements from Randi to register for the Zoom events. Another perk of participating in our events “live” is the opportunity to have follow-up discussions with the speakers off-line after the event. Zoom allows me to collect questions entered into the Chat or Q&A box and send them to our presenters after the event. Our speakers have been quite accommodating and enthusiastic to engage in email dialogue with participants to address unanswered questions and provide additional information. 

An exciting development for our upcoming programs is a new collaboration NSF is building with the University of Maryland, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (UMD-START). The UMD-START Center is the premier organization in the United States conducting research on the drivers for terrorist activities and tracking the rise, decline and change in tactics for terrorist and transnational extremist groups, nationally and globally. You can learn more about START at: https://www.start.umd.edu

William Braniff, Director of START and UMD Professor of Practice, along with leading researchers will be presenting at our NSF programs in July and Sep. We will also be creating a page on the NSF website with links to current and upcoming START products, reports, and infographics. I strongly encourage you to check out their excellent work to learn more about critical national security issues regarding terrorism and transnational criminal organizations.

And just in case you thought you haven’t heard enough about the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, we have Jonathan (“Jono”) Quick, MD, MPH, presenting in August about the future of pandemics. You may have seen Jono speaking on one of many news programs recently. He is the Author of the 2018 book, “The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop it.” As the former director of essential medicines at the World Health Organization, he does know a few things about epidemics and what we need to do about them now and in the future.

Upcoming programs are listed below. I hope this list wets your appetite and further encourages you to join NSF as member.

23 July – “Changing Dynamics of Mexican Cartel Activity and Violence”

Panel: UMD-START Director Bill Braniff and Drs. Marcus Boyd and Sam Henkin

06 Aug – “The End of Pandemics…Or Maybe Not”

Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Quick (Rockefeller Foundation, Managing Director, Pandemic Response, Preparedness and Prevention Health Initiative)

15 Sep – “Radicalization and Extremism in the United States”

Panelist: UMD-START Drs. Liz Yates, Mike Jensen, Sheehan Kane

TBD OCT – Expert Panel Discussion on the Future of Afghanistan

This will be a longer program (2 hours) to allow for more in-depth discussion of this complex topic.


Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions, requests, or comments about NSF Programs.

I wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful Independence Day weekend. Look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming programs.

Stay safe and healthy!

Maureen I. McCarthy, PhD
Director, Programs & Commentary