CNA Talks

Our podcast, CNA Talks, covers the topics of today from foreign policy and defense to policing, education and more. Each episode features a discussion on current affairs led by our in-house experts. CNA is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance.

The views expressed here are those of the commentators and do not necessarily reflect the views of CNA or any of its sponsors.

Episode 3

for Episode 3 overview, biographies and related materials.


In episode 3, Dr. Dov Zakheim sits down with three CNA experts to discuss maritime issues in Asia. Bringing together a wealth of research knowledge and real-world experience in the region, Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, U.S. Navy (ret), Mark Rosen and Catherine Lea discuss China’s maritime capabilities, the South and East China Seas, relations between the Philippines, China and the United States, Russia’s role in Asia, the relationship between the Indian Navy and the U.S. Navy and much more.


Dr. Dov Zakheim, host of the episode, is a senior fellow at CNA. Previously, he served as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, U.S. Navy (ret) is a senior fellow at CNA. He is an expert on maritime security issues along the Indo-Pacific littoral and the maritime dimension of China’s national strategy. During his navy career, Rear Admiral McDevitt spent his operational time in the Pacific and held four at-sea commands including an aircraft carrier battle-group. He was the Director of the East Asia Policy office for the Secretary of Defense during the George H.W. Bush Administration.

Mark Rosen, an international and national security lawyer, is senior vice president, general counsel and board secretary at CNA. He has authored numerous international and operational law studies and is an expert on maritime disputes, law of the sea, law of armed conflict, international agreements and arms control.

Catherine Lea is a senior research scientist at CNA. She directs studies focused on Asian maritime security, U.S. basing posture in Asia and gaming future operations in the Asia-Pacific for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Her expertise includes the U.S.-Japan alliance, Marine Corps Pacific posture and future operations in anti-access, area-denial environments.

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Episode 2

for Episode 2 overview, biographies and related materials.


To recognize National Career and Technical Education Month 2017, CNA Education experts discuss the importance of CTE and its role in workforce development.

Podcast topics included:

  • Promising trends in CTE and innovative, successful practices in CTE classrooms
  • Successful industry-CTE partnerships and the next frontier for CTE
  • The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and legislative reforms at the federal, state and/or local levels that support improvements in CTE
  • CNA Education work related to high-wage, high demand jobs and the gaps within the CTE research realm


Liza Cordeiro, host of this episode, is CNA Education’s senior advisor for marketing. She leads all public relations, marketing, advertising, and new media strategies, with a focus on increasing national awareness of research, technical assistance, and other products developed by CNA Education.

Lul Tesfai is a senior policy director of CNA’s Education division. Her expertise includes policy and strategy development for adult career and technical education (CTE) programs. Lul most recently served as director of policy for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education.

Kevin Oshinskie is a project associate at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). He facilitates projects and activities that help ACTE build stronger strategic partnerships with other organizations and companies, including public awareness activities such as CTE Month.

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Episode 1

for Episode 1 overview, biographies and related materials.


In light of this month’s presidential transition, six CNA analysts sat down to discuss foreign policy advice for the next administration. From Asia to Europe to the Middle East, the commentators covered some of the key areas of concern for the upcoming year and beyond. Topics included:

  • North Korea’s nuclear capabilities
  • Russia’s relationships with NATO, Syria and Turkey
  • The Iran nuclear deal
  • Chinese national interests
  • The South China Sea
  • Cyber threats

Listen in for informed analysis on China, North Korea, Russia and more.


Dr. Dov Zakheim, host of the episode, is a senior fellow at CNA. Previously, he served as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Dr. Michael Connell is a Middle East specialist and the director of CNA’s Adversary Analytics Program.

Dr. David Finkelstein is the vice president and director of CNA's China Studies division and an expert on Chinese and Asian affairs.

Ken Gause is the director of CNA's International Affairs Group. He is CNA's senior foreign leadership analyst and has spent the last 20 years developing methodologies for examining leadership dynamics of hard target regimes.

Michael Kofman, a CNA analyst, has extensive experience analyzing Russia’s military and foreign policy and is an expert on security issues in the former Soviet Union.

Alexander Alden, a CNA analyst, is an expert in strategic planning, defense policy, deterrence and assurance, military modernization, arms transfers, security cooperation, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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