Drone Summit Program & Speakers

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Location: Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
900 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

8:00am-9:00am- Registration and Breakfast

9:00am-9:50am- Opening Session

  • Medea Benjamin (CODEPINK) @medeabenjamin
    Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange and the peace group CODEPINK, is author of the new book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (OR Books, 2012).

  • Clive Stafford Smith (Reprieve) @CliveSSmith
    Clive Stafford Smith is the founder and Director of Reprieve. He has helped secure the release of 65 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and in 2010 received the International Bar Association's Human Rights Award.

  • Shahzad Akbar (Foundation for Fundamental Rights) @ShazadAkbar
    Shahzad Akbar is the co-founder and Legal Director of Foundation for Fundamental Rights. He has been litigating on behalf of drone-strike victims from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Ethical and Political Issues of Drone Use and Targeted Killings



  • Jimmy Johnson
    Jimmy Johnson is the founder of Neged Neshek, a project documenting and analyzing Israeli militarism and the arms industry. He is a featured writer for Electronic Intifada and a former International Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
  • Sheila Carapico
    Sheila Carapico is a contributing editor of Middle East Report and a professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond.

  • Madiha Tahir @Madi_Hatter
    Madiha Tahir is an independent journalist reporting on conflict, culture and politics in Pakistan. Her work has appeared in several media outlets including Foreign Affairs, The Columbia Journalism Review, Wall Street Journal, BBC and PRI's The World, Global Post, The National, Caravan and Democracy Now!

  • Sadia Ali Aden @SadiaAden
    Dr. Sadia Aden is a human rights advocate and a freelance writer. Many of her articles on Somalia, Islam, and human rights have been published by media groups around the world (Huffington Post, Middle East On-Line, Islam On-line, Global Politician, Aljazeera Magazine, News Blaze and Scoop).

  • Leili Kashani (CCR), Moderator
    Leili Kashani is Advocacy Program Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights and works on the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative. She advocates for an end to all unjust U.S. detentions and against expanding U.S. wars.

Legality and Transparency of Drones and Targeted Killings



  • Hina Shamsi (ACLU)
    Hina Shamsi Director of the ACLU's National Security Project and her focus is on the intersection of national security and counter terrorism policies and international human rights and humanitarian law. She has also served as Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.

  • Maria LaHood (CCR)
    Maria LaHood is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She specializes in international human rights litigation, seeking to hold government officials and corporations accountable for torture, extrajudicial killings and war crimes abroad. Her cases have included Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, to prevent the “targeted killing” of a U.S. citizen in violation of constitutional and international law.

  • David Glazier 
    David Glazier is a professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He served 21 years as a US Navy surface warfare officer. In that capacity, he commanded the USS George Philip, served as the Seventh Fleet staff officer responsible for the US Navy-Japan relationship, the Pacific Fleet officer responsible for the US Navy-PRC relationship, and participated in UN sanctions enforcement against Yugoslavia and Haiti.

  • Shahzad Akbar (Foundation for Fundamental Rights) @ShazadAkbar
    Shahzad Akbar is the co-founder and Legal Director of Foundation for Fundamental Rights. He has been litigating on behalf of drone-strike victims from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

  • James Cavallaro, Moderator
    Jame Cavallaro is the founding director of Stanford Law School's International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. He has extensive expertise in international human rights law and the human rights movement; human rights issues in Latin America and the developing world; and international human rights litigation.

Victims, Compensation and Accountability



  • Sarah Holewinski (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict) @SarahAtCIVIC
    Sarah Holewinski is the Executive Director of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC). She has traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and other places to lobby for smarter, more compassionate policies for war victims. She is a team member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Rafia Zakaria (DAWN) @rafiazakaria
    Rafia Zakaria is a Pakistani-American lawyer and journalist. She co-founded the Muslim Women's Legal Fund, which provides legal representation to Muslim women facing domestic abuse in family and immigration law cases. She writes a weekly column for DAWN Pakistan's largest English newspaper and is author of the forthcoming book Silence in Karachi: An intimate History of Pakistan.
  • Chris Woods (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) @chrisjwoods
    Chris Woods is a senior reporter at the Bureau where he leads a dedicated team examining the US covert war on terror in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Despite continuing CIA claims that it is not killing civilians in Pakistan, Chris's recent investigations have proved otherwise. Most recently, he exposed CIA attacks on rescuers and funeral-goers.

  • Amna Buttar
    Dr. Amna Buttar is a member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in Pakistan and a human rights activist.

  • David Cortright, Moderator
    David Cortright teaches peace studies and nonviolent social change at the University of Notre Dame and is the Director of Policy Studies at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He has written widely about nonviolent social change and nuclear disarmament.

Domestic Drones, Surveillance and Privacy Concerns



  • Jay Stanley (ACLU) @JayCStanley
    Jay Stanley is Senior Policy Analyst with ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project and co-authored the recent ACLU report “Protecting Privacy from Aerial Surveillance: Recommendations for Government Use of Drone Aircraft.”

  • Amie Stepanovich (Electronic Privacy Information Center) @astepanovich
    Amie Stepanovich is legal counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). Her work includes issues of national security, government surveillance, digital security, and open government.

  • Tom Barry (Center for International Policy) @transbordertom
    Tom Barry, senior analyst at the Center for International Policy, directs the institute's TransBorder Project. He has authored numerous books about U.S. foreign policy and Latin America. Barry produces the Border Lines Blog. His investigative article on immigrant imprisonment in the Boston Review, “A Death in Texas,” was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2009.

  • Trevor Timm (Electronic Frontier Foundation) @WLLegal
    Trevor Timm is an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He specializes in free speech issues and government transparency.

  • Shahid Buttar (BORDC), Moderator
    Shahid Buttar is Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He works to defend civil liberties, constitutional rights and rule of law principles threatened in the United States by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

International Convention on Drone Use



  • Noel Sharkey (ICRAC)
    Noel Sharkey is a professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield and co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC).

  • Peter Asaro (ICRAC)
    Peter Asaro is an assistant professor at the New School in New York and co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC).

  • Mark Gubrud (ICRAC)
    Mark Gubrud is Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of North Carolina. He proposed a ban on autonomous lethal robots as early as 1988. He writes and speaks in support of arms control for space weapons and military robots, and against the cult of technology.

  • Sarah Knuckey
    Sarah Knuckey is Director of the Project on Extrajudicial Executions at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law and is an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law (NYU). She was previously Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.

  • Lucy Suchman, Moderator
    Lucy Suchman is a Professor of the Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University in the UK, and Co-Director of Lancaster's Centre for Science Studies.

7:30pm-9:00pm- Closing Session

  • Jeremy Scahill
    Jeremy Scahill is an award-winning investigative journalist and author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He recently published a piece on how U.S. counterterrorism operations in Yemen, including the use of drones, has backfired.

  • Nancy Mancias (CODEPINK) @nancymancias
    Nancy L. Mancias is the coordinator for CODEPINK's War Criminals and Ground the Drones campaigns.She is a key organizer in the San Francisco anti-war community and supports war resisters in the United States and Canada.

  • Nick Mottern (KnowDrones)
    Nick Mottern has worked as a reporter, researcher, writer and political organizer over the last 30 years. While in the US Navy he was in Vietnam in 1962-63. He is the author of Suffering Strong, recounting experiences of his first trip to Africa. He has also been involved in grassroots action in the Lower Hudson Valley. He is director of the 2012 national Know Drones Tour.