GMF convenes Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs in Los Angeles
From September 18 to 21, the German Marshall Fund, in partnership with the Los Angeles-based MMF alumni planning committee, hosted the first Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs of 2008 in Los Angeles, drawing largely upon local and regional government officials, NGO leaders, and upon issues important both locally and internationally. The main themes of the conference included immigration, the environment and climate change, the entertainment industry, and sustainable agriculture.
In addition to a panel discussion on immigrants and immigration, the conference featured breakout sessions focusing on black and brown relations in an immigration context and on enforcement and repercussions of U.S. immigration policy. Similarly, following a keynote speech by Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, on environmental initiatives and challenges in California, participants engaged in small-group dialogue focused on comparative approaches to combating climate change and on the environmental implications energy policy.
The conference was opened by William Fujioka, CEO of Los Angeles County, and closing remarks were delivered by Congressman Ed Royce (R - CA), who spoke about financial crisis; nonproliferation vis-à-vis North Korea, Iran, and India; and Georgia. Other keynote speakers included The Hon. Edit Herczog, member of the European Parliament and MMF alumna from 1999; travel writer and TV host Rick Steves, who addressed citizen diplomacy; and LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who outlined the successes and challenges of international extradition.
The conference was supported through donations from the Southern California Edison, the Southern California Leadership Network, Southern California Gas Company, and the Wine Institute, in addition to individual donations from alumni of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program.