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SAIS Partners with NATO for 2024 Youth Summit

NATO 2024 Youth Summit

Johns Hopkins SAIS was an institutional partner for the 2024 NATO Youth Summit held in Miami, Florida on May 13, 2024. In collaboration with the Aspen Institute and other organizations, the Youth Summit fostered critical discussions on pressing security challenges across the globe.

The summit provided a platform to engage youth, build connections, enhance understanding, exchange perspectives, and explore how the transatlantic alliance addresses current and future threats.

SAIS faculty and students actively participated in and led panel discussions throughout the summit. Olga Belogolova, a SAIS professor and director of the Emerging Technologies Initiative, and Marie-Doha Besancenot, NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, took part in a panel discussion focused on the security challenges of disinformation and influence operations. Professor Belogolova also participated in a "fishbowl" question and answer session, which brought young audience members on stage to discuss the issue with representatives from OpenAI and NATO's Climate and Energy Security Section.

SAIS 2025 MAIR candidate Stavros Piperidis moderated the "Defending Forward: NATO Priorities and Youth Perspectives" panel, joined by experts including NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Javier Colomina, NATO Parliamentary Assembly Delegation and Romanian Parliament member Ana-Maria Cătăuță, a U.S. State Department military advisor Simone Askew, and digital content creator Preston Stewart. This panel explored NATO's defense and security priorities from the perspectives of young leaders.

Five SAIS students, including Zélie Petit Degos, Martin Makaryan, Kateryna Halstead, Alexander Giordano, and Josh Curtis also traveled from Washington D.C. to Miami to attend the Youth Summit, gaining insights into ongoing and emerging threats facing the alliance and how best to address them. The students, hailing from all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, France, Greece, Ukraine, and Armenia, networked with panelists and peers committed to strengthening the transatlantic alliance.

Concurrently, SAIS hosted a Youth Summit watch party at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center in Washington D.C., organized by the Public Service Fellows and Scholars Program, the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, and in partnership with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. This event brought together students and young professionals in the D.C. area to watch a livestream of the summit and fostered networking and in-person discussions. Alissa Pavia, an Atlantic Council expert and SAIS alumna, joined the watch party to provide an analysis of NATO's evolving role.

Through this partnership, SAIS reinforced its mission of educating future policy leaders while elevating youth voices on the world stage. The collaboration united SAIS' academic expertise with NATO's preeminent role in transatlantic security to enrich the dialogue on collective defense in the 21st century.

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