Featured Speakers: Dr. Dania Thafer and General Joseph Votel.
Gen. Votel first served as a general officer during the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq war as the director of the Army and Joint IED Defeat Task Force, and later as the Deputy Director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization. Gen. Votel served as Deputy Commanding General for Operations of CJTF-82 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Gen. Votel was subsequently made the Deputy Commanding General of JSOC, Fort Bragg; and then Commanding General of the JSOC.
After the conclusion of the Iraq War, President Barack Obama nominated Gen. Votel to serve as the commander of US SOCOM, where Gen. Votel assumed command in August 2014, and remained until his appointment as the commander of US CENTCOM in March 2016. As Commander of US CENTCOM, Gen. Votel oversaw the United States’ operations through the Middle East as part of the War on Terrorism, including Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, to combat the Islamic State. Gen. Votel was the leader of the U.S. led the international task force to defeat the Islamic State, and retired on March 28, 2019; five days after the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, which led to the territorial collapse of the Islamic State.