Coudert Institute Speakers

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Civil-Military Relations; and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly. Between 2002 and 2004, Rubin worked as a staff advisor for Iran and Iraq in OSD/ISA/NESA at the Pentagon, in which capacity he was seconded to Iraq.

A native of Philadelphia, Rubin received a B.S. degree inbiology from Yale University in 1994, and a Ph.D. inhistory from the same institution in 1999. He has previouslyworked as a lecturer in history at Yale University, HebrewUniversity in Jerusalem, and at three different universities innorthern Iraq. Rubin currently provides academicinstruction on regional issues for senior U.S. Army and Marine officers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute, 2001), co- author of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave, 2005), and co-editor of Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008). Rubin was primary drafter of the Bipartisan Policy Center's 2008 taskforce report, Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy toward Iranian Nuclear Development.

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Rosenthal was born and raised in South Africa and did his medical training at the University of Witwatersrand, where he graduated with high honors. He immigrated to the US and did his psychiatric residency at Columbia in NYC before going to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he began his research career in earnest. His first major research contribution was to describe and name Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and to develop light therapy as a treatment for this novel condition. SAD – and its milder variant, the Winter Blues – are now known to affect millions of people worldwide, many of whom have benefited from the light therapy that Dr. Rosenthal pioneered.

Dr. Rosenthal is a highly cited researcher who has written over 200 scholarly articles, and authored or co-authored eight popular books. These include Winter Blues, the New York Times bestseller Transcendence, and the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Gift of Adversity. Rosenthal has conducted numerous clinical trials of medications and alternative treatments, such as Transcendental Meditation for psychiatric disorders, and the treatment of depression with Botox. He and his work have been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR and other national media.


Clark Randt, Jr., Former U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, President of Randt & Co. LLC

Clark "Sandy" Randt currently is the President of Randt & Co. LLC, a company that advises firms with interests in China. He is a former U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China, where he served from 2001 until 2009 under the administration of President George W. Bush. Sandy is recognized as one of America's foremost authorities on China, is a diplomat, attorney and businessman with more than 30 years of direct experience in Asia.  

From 1968 to 1972, Sandy served in the U.S. Air Force Security Service. In 1974, he was the China representative of the National Council for United States-China Trade. From 1982 through 1984, Sandy served as First Secretary and Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. And from 1994 through 2002, he was a partner resident in the Hong Kong office of Shearman & Sterling, where he headed the firm's substantial China practice.

Sandy serves on the boards of Valmont Industries, Inc., Qualcomm Incorporated and Wynn Resorts, Ltd. He is a member of the New York bar, and is a former governor and first vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Sandy joined the UPS Board of Directors in 2010, and serves on the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees. 

Sandy graduated from Yale University with a B.A., and received his law degree from the University of Michigan. He attended Harvard Law School where he was awarded the East Asia Legal Studies Traveling Fellowship to China. 


PANELIST: Michael Franc
Michael Franc is the Hoover Institution’s director of DC programs, where he oversees research and outreach initiatives to promote ideas and scholarship in our nation’s capital. He holds a dual appointment as a research fellow. Mike Franc is a longtime veteran of Washington, DC policymaking. 

Prior to joining Hoover, Franc served as policy director and counsel for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He also served as the Vice President of government relations for the Heritage Foundation from 1997-2013. During this time he managed all the think tank’s outreach with Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch. 

He also completed a tour of duty as communications director for former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and worked for the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been quoted widely in the print and broadcast media, and was a regular contributor to The National Review Online and other publications.

Franc has a BA from Yale University and a JD from Georgetown University.


PANELIST: Ramesh Ponnuru

Ramesh Ponnuru (/rəˈmɛʃ pəˈnʊəruː/; born August 16, 1974) is an American columnist and a senior editor for National Review magazine, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a columnist for Bloomberg View, and a contributing editor to the domestic policy journal National Affairs.

A conservative pundit, Ponnuru has written widely on a range of political and policy topics, appeared on many public affairs and news interview programs, and is a widely respected voice on conservative policy.

Since 1999, Ponnuru has been a senior editor at National Review, where he writes on politics, policy, and the law.[5] In its pages, he has called for a revival of Republican policy thinking by applying conservative ideals to contemporary problems and emphasizing the concerns of the middle class. He has frequently made the case for increasing the child tax credit to properly compensate parents for the cost of raising children, and has been a regular co-author with economist David Beckworth on the topic of monetary policy and market monetarism.[7][8]

He appears frequently on television programs about public affairs, including Meet the Press[9] and Face the Nation. Ponnuru is a regular guest speaker on policy, politics, and constitutionalism at college campuses and law schools across the country, and in 2013 he was a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

In 2006, Ponnuru wrote The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, which Peggy Noonan called "the most significant statement of the need to protect human life in America since Ronald Reagan’s Abortion and the Conscience of America." He is also the author of a monograph on Japanese industrial policy.

Ponnuru is a past contributor to Time and and has written for The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, Financial TimesNewsdayNew York PostThe Weekly StandardPolicy ReviewThe New Republic, and First Things.

Ponnuru is a sought-after thinker on conservative policy and its political implications, and has regularly been a guest at retreats for congressional Republicans. In 2015, Politico Magazine featured him and his wife, April Ponnuru, as two of the "Politico 50" influential leaders in American politics.

He has been identified as a leader of the "reform conservative" movement, and was featured in a 2014 New York Times Magazine cover story about the conservative intellectuals who comprise it.

In 2014, Ponnuru co-edited, with Yuval LevinRoom to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class, a reform conservative manifesto and policy agenda. (Ponnuru also contributed the book’s concluding chapter, on constitutionalism. The book was widely praised, with New York Times columnist David Brooks calling it "the most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century."

PANELIST: April Ponnuru is a senior advisor at the Conservative Reform Network, where she focuses on developing and promoting conservative policy reforms. She is also a regular contributor to the Washington Examiner. Previously she was an advisor to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. 


PANELIST: April Ponnuru is a senior advisor at the Conservative Reform Network, where she focuses on developing and promoting conservative policy reforms. She is also a regular contributor to the Washington Examiner. Previously she was an advisor to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Shortly after joining CRN (then YG Network), Ponnuru directed the publication of Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class, which David Brooks has called “the most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century.” Her work as a promoter of cutting-edge conservative ideas and their authors was profiled in The New York Times Magazine’s cover story, “Can the G.O.P. be a Party of Ideas?” In the fall of 2015, Ponnuru was included in the prestigious Politico 50, a list of the top thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics. The Independent Women’s Forum also profiled her as part of their “Modern Feminist” series. She speaks frequently about a conservative reform agenda, participating in panel discussions at venues including Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, and National Public Radio. Her essays have been published by National ReviewThe Weekly Standard, The Federalist, Forbes, and The Hill, among other publications.

Ponnuru has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, where she has served in House and Senate leadership offices as a senior advisor to Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), and as a senior policy advisor to Blunt in his previous capacity as House Majority Whip. Ponnuru is the former Executive Director of the non-profit National Review Institute, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., and was National Review magazine’s Vice President. She has been awarded a number of professional fellowships, including serving as a member of the inaugural class of the Leadership Network at the American Enterprise Institute, a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute, and a Madison Fellowship at the Heritage Foundation. Ponnuru holds a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory from the University of London (UCL), grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and lives with her husband and their two daughters in Alexandria, Virginia.


Daniel Quinn Mills consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics.   He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles.  His most recent article is “Asian and American Leadership Styles:  How They Differ,” published in the Peking University Business Review, August, 2007.  An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.


Gillian Tett serves as US managing editor. She writes weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues.

In 2014, she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards and was the first recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award. In June 2009 her book Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the inaugural Spear’s Book Awards.

Tett’s past roles at the FT have included US managing editor (2010-2012), assistant editor, capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.

Norman E. Rosenthal is a world-renowned psychiatrist, public speaker, and best-selling author who is known for his innovative research and inspirational writings. He is currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and is listed as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Rosenthal has practiced psychiatry for over three decades, treating people with all manner of psychiatric and emotional health issues. He is also a motivational speaker and a personal and professional coach, working with people from all walks of life including CEOs, top athletes, and performing artists.