Great Decisions | Red Sea Security


January 26


06:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Event Category:

Great Decisions

The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?

Payton Knopf is a senior advisor to the Africa program at United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where his work focuses on the intersecting political, economic and security dynamics in the Red Sea. He is concurrently an advisor to the European Institute of Peace.

Knopf is a former U.S. diplomat with expertise in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. Immediately prior to joining USIP, Knopf was the first coordinator the United Nations Panel of Experts on South Sudan, from its inception in 2015 until April 2017. He was also formerly a senior advisor at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)/Martti Ahtisaari Centre and the PeaceWorks Foundation.

Read more about Payton Knopf here.

Dr. Karen E. Young is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she studies the political economy of the Middle East, with a special focus on the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. She regularly teaches at the Foreign Service Institute at the US Department of State, and has taught at George Washington University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Before joining AEI, she served as senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, a research and visiting fellow at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an assistant professor of political science at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Read more about Dr. Karen Young here.

Ambassador Robert Loftis is a retired Foreign Service Officer who served in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Oceania. Over the course of his 32-year career he worked on political military affairs, the United Nations, human rights and democracy promotion, international health, flood and other emergency relief, and conflict resolution and stabilization efforts. His last overseas posting was as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho: other recent assignments include Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements (where he negotiated the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq), Senior Advisor for Avian and Pandemic Influenza, Deputy Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (National Defense University), and Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. He taught International Negotiations, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Diplomatic Practice at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University from 2013-2020 and was Associate Dean for Studies. Loftis earned his B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University.


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