A surge of insurgent activity from ISIS Mozambique had the potential to deepen famine conditions in the country, hurt investment in a burgeoning natural gas sector, and destabilize the region. The United States sent in special forces to help support the military in Mozambique and the terrorist designation has drawn increasing interest from national security leaders on Capitol Hill. In order to better understand the conflict and determine whether and how the United States should get involved, we brought together a group of experts who have worked on this issues in both the Obama and Trump administrations and in Congress to discuss.
Lester Munson is an NSI Senior Fellow and former Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is Vice President, International at BGR Group, a leading government relations firm in Washington, DC, where he consults with foreign governments, corporations, and advocacy groups. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and as a principal on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. He speaks regularly on the foreign policy role of Congress and on U.S. foreign assistance issues.
Morgan Viña is an NSI Visiting Fellow and former Chief of Staff at the Department of Defense where she serves as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of International Security Affairs. Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Morgan served as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley. As Chief of Staff, Morgan advised Ambassador Haley and senior mission management on executing program and policy goals.
Nicole Wilett is chief of staff at the Open Society Foundations. Before joining Open Society, she worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she served as deputy director for program advocacy and communications, leading global strategies on gender equality and family planning. Prior to this, Wilett was senior vice president for Africa at the Albright Stonebridge Group and a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She served twice as director for African affairs at the National Security Council during the Obama Administration, and was senior advisor and chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa as part of her long tenure at the U.S. Department of State.