About the Lecture
“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be. That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make.”
President Donald J. Trump
April 27, 2016
President Trump came into office in January, 2017 vowing to adopt an “America First” approach to U.S. foreign policy. How has the Trump administration’s foreign policy actually played out in practice? And what are the implications for the United States, for its allies, and for others over time? Reflecting on more than two decades in national security and having been deeply involved in the U.S. Government’s national security and homeland security transformation of the past decade, David Heyman will assess the President’s foreign policy to date, highlight key challenges and opportunities, and explore the longer-term implications of this administration’s foreign policy for global affairs and for U.S. interests, values, and standing in the world.
About the Speaker
David F. Heyman is co-founder of Smart City Works, a next-generation business accelerator focused exclusively on innovation and commercialization of infrastructure technologies that improve the livability, operations, security, and resilience of cities. He is a commissioner on the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security Commission; a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Strategy Group; the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue; the US Government’s Track 1.5 Cyber Dialogue; GW’s Task Force on Active Cyber Defense; and the President of Tektonics Global, LLC, a management consultancy firm working with businesses and governments to build smarter, safer, and more resilient cities.
Heyman has over two decades of executive experience serving at the highest levels of government and the private sector. He is a nationally recognized strategist, thought leader, and expert in national security and international affairs, and has held senior positions at the White House, US Department of Energy, and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). From 2009-14, he served as Assistant Secretary for Policy at DHS, a senate-confirmed position where, as a member of the Department’s management team, he led global efforts in counterterrorism, countering violent extremism, cybersecurity, building resilience, and critical-infrastructure protection.
Heyman’s accomplishments at DHS spanned all areas of homeland security. He was the chief architect of the nation’s first and second Quadrennial Homeland Security Reviews; he developed and led five White House Initiatives; he served as thought leader for establishing cyber security and building national resilience as homeland security missions; as founding Vice-Chair of DHS’ Counterterrorism Advisory Board, he supported day-to-day threat evaluation and pursuit and resolution of numerous threats; and he oversaw the Department’s largest international expansion in global engagement. He also led efforts to build novel strategic partnerships, including with the World Customs Organization, the World Economic Forum, and some of the most consequential and complicated geopolitical relationships facing the United States today, including China, India, the European Union, and others.
Previously, Heyman founded and directed the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), one of the nation’s leading and most influential think tanks in international security, and taught security studies and science and technology policy as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Prior to that, Heyman served as a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and the Department’s lead for technology commercialization. He oversaw development and implementation of a number of energy, infrastructure, high-performance computing, and technology initiatives, including leading and establishing a new portfolio approach to manage DOE’s $7 billion in research and development (R&D) investments. Earlier in his career, Heyman was a senior policy advisor in national security and international affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), responsible for providing science, technology, and foreign policy advice to the President’s Science Advisor and the Vice President’s National Security Advisor.
Before entering government, Heyman worked for nearly a decade as a computer systems software engineer, and head of international operations for a firm specializing in industrial automation, robotics, and supply-chain management systems for Fortune 100 companies. He was instrumental in growing the 12-person IT company into a 100-person firm with global operations in Europe, Russia, and the Middle-east.
Heyman has commented about terrorism, technology, and other international security-related matters in open and closed Congressional testimony, and has been featured in the media by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, BBC, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Brandeis University and a Master’s in international relations and economics from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated with the highest level of distinction.