Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Murray Bessette is the director of academic programs at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, where he leads its educational and scholarly activities. Before joining the Foundation, Bessette was an associate professor of government at Morehead State University, specializing in political philosophy, national security, intelligence studies, and counter-terrorism. He is the editor of two books and author of numerous articles and book chapters.
Jonathan Brent is the director of the Annals of Communism series, which he founded in 1992. He is currently the Visiting Alger Hiss Professor of History and Literature at Bard College and is also the CEO and executive director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City.
Frank Dikötter is the author of "The People's Trilogy," a series of books that document the impact of communism on the lives of ordinary people in China on the basis of new archival material. He has published a dozen books that have changed the ways historians view modern China. Dikötter has been Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong since 2006 and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky is a Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee, US Water Partnership. She has received many high-level international awards including the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland, Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, National Order "Star of Romania", Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit, and Ukraine’s Order of Merit. Dobriansky serves on the Board of Trustees of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Lee Edwards, PhD
Lee Edwards is co-founder and Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He is a Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, and an adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America. His many awards include the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, the Millennium Star of Lithuania, the Cross of Terra Mariana of Estonia, and the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. A prolific writer specializing in finance, economics, and international history, he is the author of many best-selling and acclaimed books, including Civilization: The West and the Rest and, most recently, the first volume of the authorized biography of Henry Kissinger entitled Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist.
Jeremy Friedman is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit of Harvard Business School. Friedman studies the history of communism, socialism, and revolution in Russia, China, and the developing world.
Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague, where he coordinates the Centre for European Security, and is also the director of the consultancy firm Mayak Intelligence. An expert in transnational organized crime, security affairs and modern Russia, Galeotti founded the interdisciplinary journal Global Crime and wrote a monthly column on post-Soviet affairs in Jane’s Intelligence Review from 1991 to 2007. He has published widely, with 12 authored and edited books to his name.
Paul A. Goble is a former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. He has edited five volumes on ethnicity and religion in the former Soviet space, and was decorated by the governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for his work in promoting Baltic independence and the withdrawal of Russian forces from those formerly occupied lands. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and is a Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom Laureate.
Paul R. Gregory is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, holds an endowed professorship in the Department of Economics at the University of Houston, Texas, is a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, and is emeritus chair of the International Advisory Board of the Kiev School of Economics. Gregory is working with director Marianna Yarovskaya to produce the documentary film Women of the Gulag.
John Earl Haynes is a prolific author and scholar on the subjects of communism and communist organizations in America. He spent most of his career as a specialist in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Haynes and his research partner, Harvey Klehr, were the first historians to gain access to several major long-closed archives. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Paul Hollander is a preeminent American political sociologist and scholar of communism. A professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a center associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, he is author or editor of 15 books on the subject of socialism. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. 
Vladimir Kara-Murza is the coordinator of Open Russia, a platform for civil society and pro-democracy activists launched in 2014 by former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He is a member of the federal council of the People’s Freedom Party and a senior adviser at the Institute of Modern Russia.
Harvey Klehr, who recently retired as Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History at Emory University, is a leading expert and author or co-author of thirteen books on the subjects of American communism, Soviet espionage in America, and the treatment of communism within the discipline of history.
Alan Charles Kors is Henry Charles Lea Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Pennsylvania. A former member of the National Council for the Humanities and a 2005 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Kors was described by presidential citation as “a widely respected teacher [and] champion of academic freedom.” He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Mark Kramer is director of the Cold War Studies program at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He is an expert on the history of the Cold War, the Soviet Union, and political and economic change in post-Communist Eastern Europe. Kramer is the author or editor of several books and is editor of the Journal of Cold War Studies, which features peer-reviewed articles based on archival research in the former Communist world and in Western countries.
Senator Jaroslav Kubera is the Vice-Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Kubera joined the liberal-conservative Civic Democratic Party ODS in 1992. In 1994, he was elected mayor of the city of Teplice, a position which he continues to hold today.
A. James McAdams is the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs, Professor of History, and Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has written widely on European affairs, especially concerning Central Europe, and is an internationally recognized scholar of the two-state period in modern German history (1949-1989) and its aftermath. His latest book, Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party is considered the first comprehensive history of the communist party.
Arkady Ostrovsky is Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist. Prior to this role, he was the Moscow Bureau Chief for The Economist reporting on the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine among many other subjects. He is the author of The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War, which won the Orwell Prize in 2016, and is a regular contributor to radio and television programs around the world, including the BBC and NPR.
Ambassador Martin Palouš was the Czech Ambassador to the United States prior to taking office as the Czech Republic’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. One of the first signatories of Charter 77, he was a founding member of the Civic Forum and was elected in 1990 to the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly. Ambassador Palouš is currently director of the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy at Florida International University and is also a member of the Prague Society for International Cooperation.
Peter Pomerantsev is a Soviet-born British journalist, author, and TV producer. In 2011, Pomerantsev began to write on the worrying political and societal trends Russia was undergoing. His work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, Newsweek, Politico, and many other media outlets.
Russell Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Roberts hosts the podcast EconTalk—hour-long conversations with authors, economists, and business leaders. His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than seven million views on YouTube, been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution specializing in business and politics, where he edits the Hoover Digest and hosts a current affairs television program called Uncommon Knowledge. Robinson has also written three books, including an autobiographical account of his time in the Reagan administration entitled How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life.
Joshua Rubenstein has been professionally involved with human rights and international affairs for over forty years as an activist and independent scholar with particular expertise in Russian affairs. He was on the staff of Amnesty International USA from 1975 to 2012 as the Northeast Regional Director and is a recognized scholar of literature, dissent, and politics in the former Soviet Union. He is now Associate Director for Major Gifts at Harvard Law School.
David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent, is a long-time observer of Russia and the former Soviet Union. He worked in Moscow for six years, from 1976 to 1982, during which time he sought out Soviet citizens with the intention of preserving their accounts of the Soviet totalitarian system for posterity. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Natan Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident, political prisoner, and lifelong champion of freedom and democracy. After nine years in prison, his release came as a result of intense pressure from an international campaign organized by his wife. He immigrated to Israel where he founded a political party to support Soviet Jews. He served in multiple governments, including as Deputy Prime Minister. He is the author of Fear No Evil and The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny & Terror.
F. Flagg Taylor, IV is an associate professor of government at Skidmore College. Taylor’s specialty is in the history of political thought and American government, especially the question of executive power. He is the co-author of The Contested Removal Power, 1789-2010, author of numerous articles, and editor of The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism and The Long Night of the Watchman: Essays by Václav Benda, 1977-1989.
Marianna Yarovskaya is the director of the film Women of the Gulag, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures Through Film program. Yarovskaya directed and produced Undesirables, which won a Student Academy Award (Student Oscar), a College Emmy Award, and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Her film Holy Warriors, about a sniper turned priest, played in 35 countries and won numerous awards.
Elena Zhemkova is the Executive Director of the Russian human rights NGO Memorial Society. She is curator of Memorial’s projects concerning the legacy of World War II in Russia. Additionally, she has been a member of the Council of the Moscow Scientific Informational and Educational Center.