The 2018 William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium 

The Colby Symposium attracts world-class thought leaders and nationally-acclaimed authors to Norwich University for two days each April to engage with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Featured guests:

  • Saifaldin D. Abdul-Rahman

Saifaldin Abdul-Rahman is Vice President of IWG, a U.S. / Iraqi firm providing consulting, logistics, and construction work in Iraq. He is also a partner in the Taj Al-Khairat Group for Investment. He has held senior posts in the Iraqi government, including as Advisor to the Vice President of Iraq (2009), Chief of Staff to the Speaker of Parliament (2005), and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry & Minerals (2004).

  • Andrew Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins.

Bacevich is the author of Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (2013); Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010); The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008); The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). Bacevich has been a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin; the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; the John F. Kennedy School of Government; and the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • R. Alan King

R. Alan King is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former leader of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. Under his command, the unit became the most decorated civil affairs battalion in the history of the U.S. Army. King served as a Civil Affairs battalion commander, then later as a deputy director of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He was the top civil-military adviser in Baghdad when the Iraqi regime fell in 2003. He is credited with leading the coalition’s tribal affairs and Sunni outreach programs and served as a senior member of the April 2004 ceasefire talks in Fallujah. During his 16-month tour of duty, King met with approximately 3,500 sheiks, clerics and other local Iraqi leaders and was made a sheik himself.

King is the author of Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds, winner of the 2008 Colby Award. He is a graduate of Webster University, East Tennessee State University, and the U.S. Air Force Air War College.

  • Emma Sky

Emma Sky is Director of Yale World Fellows and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. She is the author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, which was one of the New York Times 100 notable books of 2015, and Shortlisted for the 2016 Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize, the 2016 Orwell Prize and the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction. She is widely published in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politico, the Atlantic, Survival, US Institute of Peace, Army Magazine.

Sky served as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010; as advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2006; as advisor to the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in 2005; and as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004.

Prior to that, she worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade, managing projects to develop Palestinian institutions; and to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, Emma has provided technical assistance on poverty elimination, human rights, justice public administration reform, security sector reform, and conflict resolution in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Sky was educated at Oxford (UK), Alexandria (Egypt), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and Liverpool (UK). Sky is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.