LIVESTREAM | A Discussion with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is honored to host President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and his visiting delegation.
President Niinistö will deliver remarks on the war in Ukraine, Finland's bid for NATO membership, and strategic cooperation between the U.S. and Finland.
A discussion with a panel of scholars and security experts from the university's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution will follow the president's remarks. Michael McFaul, the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute and former U.S. ambassador to Russia, will moderate the discussion.
President Niinistö will be accompanied by a business delegation with representatives from a wide range of industries.
A question-and-answer session for invited guests, Stanford students, and the business delegation will follow the discussion.
This event is available to the public via the livestream below.
Meet the Panelists
Anna Grzymala-Busse is the director of The Europe Center, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. She is also a senior fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution. Her research interests include political parties, state development and transformation, informal political institutions, religion and politics, and post-communist politics. Her most recent book is "Sacred Foundations: The Religious and Medieval Roots of the European State."
Oriana Skylar Mastro is a center fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies where she works primarily in the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Center for International Security and Cooperation. She is an international security expert with a focus on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination and coercive diplomacy. Her research addresses critical questions at the intersection of interstate conflict, great power relations and the challenge of rising powers. She also serves in the United States Air Force Reserve as a strategic planner.
Michael McFaul is director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in the Department of Political Science, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He served for five years in the Obama administration, first as special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.”
H.R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is also a former Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army for thirty-four years. He retired as a lieutenant general in June 2018 after serving as the twenty-sixth assistant to the U.S. president for the Department of National Security Affairs.
Steven Pifer is an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation and The Europe Center, both at the Freeman Spogli Institute, and a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. He served for more than twenty-five years as a Foreign Service officer, including as a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, an ambassador to Ukraine, and as a senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. His research focuses on nuclear arms control, Ukraine, Russia and European security.
Risto Siilasmaa is the founder of F-Secure and WithSecure Corporations and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of WithSecure, having served as President and CEO of the company in 1988-2006. He is also an active venture capital investor with over 30 active investments via First Fellow Partners, a fund management company where he is both a general partner and the only limited partner.
In addition, Mr. Siilasmaa is the Chairman of the Technology Advisory Board appointed by the Finnish Government in 2020 and a Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group. Since 2017 he has served also as a Finnish Chairman of the China-Finland Committee for Innovative Business Cooperation. Mr. Siilasmaa is simultaneously a member of the Global Tech Panel, an initiative of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and he was a member of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) in 2012–2020.
Alex Stamos is director of the Stanford Internet Observatory at the Cyber Policy Center. He is a cybersecurity expert, business leader, and entrepreneur working to improve the security and safety of the Internet through his teaching and research. Alex previously served as the chief security officer of Facebook, where he led the company’s investigation into manipulation of the 2016 U.S. election and helped pioneer new several protections against this abuse.
Kathryn Stoner is the Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. She is also a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution. In addition to her extensive research and writing on contemporary Russia, she also studies democracy, autocracy, and the conditions that lead to transitions from one to the other. She is the author of many books, including the recent "Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order.”
Michael A. McFaul
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055
Michael McFaul is Director at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in the Department of Political Science, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995.
Dr. McFaul also is as an International Affairs Analyst for NBC News and a columnist for The Washington Post. He served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).
He has authored several books, most recently the New York Times bestseller From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. Earlier books include Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective (eds. with Kathryn Stoner); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin.
His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development. Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University in 1991. He is currently writing a book on great power relations in the 21st century.
International Working Group on Russian Sanctions
H. R. McMaster was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. He served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.
From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. His extensive experience leading soldiers and organizations in wartime includes commander of the Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Commander of Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
McMaster led or col-ed important strategic assessments including the revision of Iraq strategy during the “surge” of 2007 and efforts to develop security forces and governmental institutions in post-war Iraq. In 2009–2010, he co-led an assessment and planning effort to develop a comprehensive strategy for the greater Middle East.
McMaster was an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996 where he taught undergraduate courses in military history and history of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also taught a graduate course on the history of military leadership for officers enrolled in the Columbia University MBA program.
He is author of the award-winning book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. He has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He was a contributing editor for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy from 2010 to 2017.
McMaster was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Steven Pifer is an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation as well as a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. He was a William J. Perry Fellow at the center from 2018-2022 and a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin from January-May 2021.
Pifer’s research focuses on nuclear arms control, Ukraine, Russia and European security. He has offered commentary on these issues on National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, CNN and BBC, and his articles have been published in a wide variety of outlets. He is the author of The Eagle and the Trident: U.S.-Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), and co-author of The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms (Brookings Institution Press, 2012).
A retired Foreign Service officer, Pifer’s more than 25 years with the State Department focused on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine, ambassador to Ukraine, and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. In addition to Ukraine, he served at the U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Moscow and London as well as with the U.S. delegation to the negotiation on intermediate-range nuclear forces in Geneva. From 2000 to 2001, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies, and he was a resident scholar at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2017.
Pifer is a 1976 graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s in economics.
Oriana Skylar Mastro
Stanford, CA 94305-6055
Oriana Skylar Mastro is a Center Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, nuclear dynamics, and coercive diplomacy. She is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and continues to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she works as a strategic planner at INDOPACOM.
She has received numerous awards for her military service and contributions to U.S. strategy in Asia, including the 2020 and 2018 Meritorious Service Medal, the 2017 Air Force recognition Ribbon, and the 2016 Individual Reservist of the Year Award. She has won a number of other prestigious awards, including the 2016-2017 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship at the Council of Foreign Relations.
She has published widely, including in International Security, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, International Studies Review, Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Survival, and Asian Security. Her book, The Costs of Conversation: Obstacles to Peace Talks in Wartime, (Cornell University Press, 2019), won the 2020 American Political Science Association International Security Section Best Book by an Untenured Faculty Member.
Prior to her appointment at Stanford in August 2020, Mastro was an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.
Her publications and commentary can be found at orianaskylarmastro.com and on Twitter @osmastro.
Alex Stamos is a cybersecurity expert, business leader and entrepreneur working to improve the security and safety of the Internet through his teaching and research at Stanford University. Stamos is the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory at the Cyber Policy Center, a part of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he is also a research scholar.
Prior to joining Stanford, Alex served as the Chief Security Officer of Facebook. In this role, Stamos led a team of engineers, researchers, investigators and analysts charged with understanding and mitigating information security risks to the company and safety risks to the 2.5 billion people on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. During his time at Facebook, he led the company’s investigation into manipulation of the 2016 US election and helped pioneer several successful protections against these new classes of abuse. As a senior executive, Alex represented Facebook and Silicon Valley to regulators, lawmakers and civil society on six continents, and has served as a bridge between the interests of the Internet policy community and the complicated reality of platforms operating at billion-user scale. In April 2017, he co-authored “Information Operations and Facebook”, a highly cited examination of the influence campaign against the US election, which still stands as the most thorough description of the issue by a major technology company.
Before joining Facebook, Alex was the Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo, rebuilding a storied security team while dealing with multiple assaults by nation-state actors. While at Yahoo, he led the company’s response to the Snowden disclosures by implementing massive cryptographic improvements in his first months. He also represented the company in an open hearing of the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
In 2004, Alex co-founded iSEC Partners, an elite security consultancy known for groundbreaking work in secure software development, embedded and mobile security. As a trusted partner to world’s largest technology firms, Alex coordinated the response to the “Aurora” attacks by the People’s Liberation Army at multiple Silicon Valley firms and led groundbreaking work securing the world’s largest desktop and mobile platforms. During this time, he also served as an expert witness in several notable civil and criminal cases, such as the Google Street View incident and pro bono work for the defendants in Sony vs George Hotz and US vs Aaron Swartz. After the 2010 acquisition of iSEC Partners by NCC Group, Alex formed an experimental R&D division at the combined company, producing five patents.
A noted speaker and writer, he has appeared at the Munich Security Conference, NATO CyCon, Web Summit, DEF CON, CanSecWest and numerous other events. His 2017 keynote at Black Hat was noted for its call for a security industry more representative of the diverse people it serves and the actual risks they face. Throughout his career, Alex has worked toward making security a more representative field and has highlighted the work of diverse technologists as an organizer of the Trustworthy Technology Conference and OURSA.
Alex has been involved with securing the US election system as a contributor to Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project and involved in the academic community as an advisor to Stanford’s Cybersecurity Policy Program and UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. He is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Security Task Force, the Bay Area CSO Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Alex also serves on the advisory board to NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.
Stamos worked under Prof. David Patterson while earning a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and three children.