Arena Stage's Arena Forum: Civil Dialogues Series Starts March 2018

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will host three community conversations as a part of the launch of Arena Forum: Civil Dialogues this spring. The conversations seek to provide an opportunity for members of the Washington, D.C. community to engage in civil discourse about social and political issues, and will demonstrate-with the goal-that people of diverse viewpoints can have fruitful dialogues with one another. Each Arena Forum will have a group of prominent Dialogue Starters and will be moderated by Amitai Etzioni, a University Professor at The George Washington University and author. The conversations with be dedicated to discussion among participants about topics related to current events. Arena Forum: Civil Dialogues will be held in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater from 6:30-8 p.m. on March 26, April 23 and May 29, 2018.

Arena Forum: Civil Dialogues will bring together Dialogue Starters with an expertise on the evening's topic. The first Arena Forum on March 26 will tackle 'exploring the thesis that surveillance is excessive and privacy is endangered by both the government and by private corporations.' The Dialogue Starters that evening will include Julie Brill, ?Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft and former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Matthew Olsen, Harvard Law School and former General Counsel for the National Security Agency?; Jeffrey Rosen?, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center and former legal editor the New Republic; Gabe Rottman, Washington director for PEN America and former Legislative Counsel and Policy Advisor at the American Civil Liberties Union; and Peter Swire?, Professor of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business and former White House coordinator.

There will be an Arena Forum reception before each discussion, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Lobby. Due to space limitations, registration is required but attendance is free and open to the public.

For more information and to register for an Arena Forum event, visit:

Monday, March 26 - Exploring the thesis that surveillance is excessive and privacy is endangered by both the government and by private corporations

Dialogue Starters: Julie Brill, Matthew Olsen, Jeffery Rosen, Gabe Rottman and Peter Swire

Monday, April 23 - Exploring what we owe other people

Dialogue Starters to be announced at a later date.

Tuesday, May 29 - Exploring the future of race relations in America

Dialogue Starters to be announced at a later date.

Dialogue Starter Biographies
Amitai Etzioni is a University Professor and Professor of International Relations at The George Washington University. He served as a Senior Advisor at the Carter White House; taught at Columbia University, Harvard University, and University of California at Berkeley; and served as president of the American Sociological Association (ASA). A study by Richard Posner ranked him among the top 100 American intellectuals. Etzioni is the author of many books, including The Limits of Privacy (1999) and Privacy in a Cyber Age (2015). His most recent book, Happiness is the Wrong Metric: A Liberal Communitarian Response to Populism, was published by Springer in January 2018.

Julie Brill, former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has joined Microsoft to lead privacy, data protection and other regulatory issues as head of its Privacy and Regulatory Affairs Group. Brill serves as corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Privacy and Regulatory Affairs. Recognized in the United States and around the world as one of the foremost leaders on privacy, data protection and cybersecurity law and policy, Brill will lead the team responsible for shaping the company's global legal, regulatory and public policy response on some of the most critical issues facing the technology sector today. In 2010, then-President Barack Obama nominated Brill to serve as Commissioner on the FTC. After unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Brill served as a commissioner for nearly six years. She stepped down in early 2016 to co-lead the Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group at Hogan Lovells, a leading global law firm. Before being appointed to the FTC, Brill spent more than two decades in public service at the state level. She served as senior deputy attorney general and chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the state of North Carolina, and before that as assistant attorney general for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the state of Vermont.

Matthew Olsen has worked for over two decades as a leading government official on national security, intelligence and law enforcement issues. He is the co-founder of IronNet Cybersecurity, a technology firm based in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Mr. Olsen served for three years as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Created by Congress in response to the attacks of September 11, NCTC is responsible for the integration and analysis of terrorism information and strategic operational planning of counterterrorism activities. Prior to joining NCTC, Mr. Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency, serving as NSA's chief legal officer and focusing on surveillance law and cyber operations. Olsen also served in leadership positions at the Department of Justice, where he managed national security and criminal cases and helped establish the National Security Division. Olsen also was Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For over a decade, Olsen worked as a federal prosecutor, and he began his public service career as a trial attorney in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. In addition to his work with IronNet Cybersecurity, Olsen teaches at Harvard Law School and is a national security analyst for ABC News. He is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and serves on the board of Human Rights First and several government advisory boards. He also is affiliated with the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard, where he helps lead a project on cybersecurity. Mr. Olsen graduated from Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia.

Jeffrey Rosen is the author of five books, most recently, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. His new biography of William Howard Taft will be published in March. He is the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a law professor at George Washington University, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He was previously the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and a staff writer for The New Yorker. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and Yale Law School.

Gabe Rottman is the director of the Technology and Press Freedom Project at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, where he works on an array of issues at the intersection of the First Amendment and emerging technology, including anonymous source protection, cybersecurity and the challenges to press freedom posed by new surveillance powers. Prior to joining RCFP, Gabe served in various positions at PEN America, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and was the lead First Amendment legislative and regulatory counsel for the ACLU. He has a B.A. in political science and history from McGill University, and a law degree from Georgetown.

Peter Swire is the Holder Chair of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. He is Senior Fellow with the Future of Privacy Forum, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Forum on Cyber-Resiliency, and Senior Counsel with Alston & Bird, LLP. In 2015, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, among its over 20,000 members, awarded him its Privacy Leadership Award. In 2013, he served as one of five members of President Obama's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology. Under President Clinton, Swire was Chief Counselor for Privacy in the Clinton Administration, the first person to have U.S. government-wide responsibility for privacy policy. His activities in that role included being White House coordinator for the HIPAA Privacy Rule, chairing a White House Working Group on encryption, and helping negotiate the Safe Harbor agreement with the E.U.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.

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