From September 20-21, IGE partnered with Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA to co-host IGE’s annual Global Leadership Forum. Old Dominion University is the only American university to have an academic partnership with NATO. Titled “Religious Engagement in the 21st Century,” this year’s Forum featured the first Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a comparative analysis of NATO’s religious engagement in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and an off-the-record discussion among command chaplains from the U.S. combatant commands worldwide about religious engagement needs and priorities.

The Forum began with an evening keynote conversation in “fire-side chat” style, bringing together the first members of the first International Religious Freedom Office at the U.S. State Department (i.e., Ambassador Robert Seiple, Dr. Tom Farr, and Dr. Milan Sturgis). The next day featured a series of in-depth panels that included academic experts and civilian and military practitioners. The presentations, as well as lively audience participation through multiple Q&A sessions, encouraged academics, military leaders, students, and members of the greater Norfolk community to reflect on religious freedom as proud history that is more relevant than ever to U.S. foreign policy and global security. By facilitating intentional conversations among the academy, allies, and the U.S. government about religious engagement from scholarly, policy, and practical perspectives, the Forum identified key themes and practical applications. The Forum focused especially on the military chaplaincy—a critical center point for engagement of religious leaders in conflict environments—identifying and naming the key areas in need of further research and training amidst today’s complex global security environment.

To view photos from the conference please visit our Facebook page.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

6:00 p.m. – Reception

Hampton Newport News Room, Webb University Center

7:00 p.m. – Keynote Address

North Cafeteria, Webb University Center

Welcome and introduce President Broderick

Capt Dick Whalen, USN (Ret), Director of Military Activities


John R. Broderick, President, Old Dominion University

Introduce Dr. Chris Seiple (President of Institute for Global Engagement) for Introduction of

Keynote Speakers and Conversations

Capt Dick Whalen, USN (Ret), Director of Military Activities

Keynote Conversations

“What We Wished We Knew Then & Where We Need to Go Now: Reflections on Religion, Religious Freedom, and U.S. Foreign Policy” Three Virginians who helped establish the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department reflect on how religious freedom is in keeping with Virginian and American identity, as well as U.S. national security

    The Honorable Robert A. Seiple, Former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
    Dr. Thomas F. Farr, Former Director of the Office for International Religious Freedom
    Dr. Milan Sturgis, Former Navy Chaplain

Question and Answer Session

Moderator: Dr. Chris Seiple

Wednesday, 21 September, 2011 (Ted Constant Convocation Center)

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (Breakfast)

ODU’s Dr. Regina Karp and IGE’s Dr. Chris Seiple provide a recap of the previous evening while detailing the morning’s events

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

“Lessons from the Balkans: What is it that we should already know?”

    Brigadier General Roy Hunstok, Army
    Dr. E. Germain, Policy Advisor, French MOD
    Chaplain (LTC) Tim K. Bedsole, U.S. Army

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

“Lessons from Afghanistan: What are we learning?”

    Brigadier General Peter Bartram, DNK, Army
    David Hunsicker, Conflict Specialist, Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation International Development USAID
    Major Dave Fielder, British Royal Marines
    Chaplain David West, retired U.S. Army Chaplain

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m. (Lunch)

“Reflections on the Future of the Chaplaincy”

    Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, U.S. Navy Chief of Chaplains

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

“Religious Engagement Needs & Priorities in Theater”

    Chaplain (COL) Conrado Navarro, Northern Command Chaplain
    Chaplain (COL) Brian R. Van Sickle, European Command Chaplain
    Chaplain (CAPT) Ronnie C. King, Southern Command Chaplain

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

“Religious Engagement Needs & Priorities in Theater”

    Chaplain (CAPT) Phillip E. Gwaltney, Pacific Command Chaplain
    Chaplain (CAPT) William M. Kennedy, Central Command Chaplain
    Chaplain (COL) Jerry Lewis, Africa Command Chaplain

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

“Religious Engagement Needs & Priorities in Theater”

    Chaplain (CAPT) Jon Cutler, Horn of Africa Command Chaplain
    Chaplain (COL) Tom Solhjem, Special Operations Command Chaplain

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wrap-Up/Next Steps

Conference Moderators: Dr. Chris Seiple & Dr. Regina Karp