Future Security Forum

Rethinking global security

The Future Security Forum is the Center’s premier event, held each year in Washington, D.C. (and managed virtually from 2020-2022 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). The Forum is jointly organized by ASU and New America and brings together thought leaders from academia, the military, government, the media, industry, and civil society to address pressing global security issues. We began organizing the forum in 2015 and the event is now an institutionalized part of the Washington, DC national security calendar, elevating ASU’s profile as a major university contributor to debates on future security issues. Our annual forums have included over 2,000 in-person attendees and over 23,000 viewers via livestream. We have featured over 250 speakers, with thought leaders from various fields. Co-sponsors of the event have included Joint Special Operations University and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. And, we have had CNN and Defense One as media co-sponsors. The forum has received coverage from CNN, Defense One, Politico, The Hill, Military Times, New Yorker, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Fox News, Army Times, and Stars and Stripes among others.

Over 2,000 in-person attendees

Over 20,000 viewers via livestream

225 speakers with thought leaders from various fields

The Forum is opened each year by ASU and New America leadership, including Michael Crow, ASU President, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, New America CEO, as well as James O’Brien, Senior Vice President of University Affairs and Chief of Staff to President Crow, Pardis Mahdavi, Dean of Social Sciences, and Paul E. Butler, President & Chief Transformation Officer at New America. It is MCed by Peter Bergen and Daniel Rothenberg, co-directors of the Center, with support from multiple ASU and New America colleagues. When the Forum is held in-person, the Center and New America support several ASU undergraduates to travel to DC to participate in the event.

The forum receives widespread media coverage. For example, our 2019 event saw more than 6 million accounts leaving more than 67 million “impressions” on Twitter using the #FutureSecurityForum hashtag. The forum has received coverage from CNN, Defense One, Politico, The Hill, Military Times, New Yorker, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Fox News, Army Times, and Stars and Stripes, among others.

Future Security Forum speakers have included:

Military – Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; Adm. Michelle Howard, Vice Chief, U.S. Navy; Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army; Gen. John M. Murray, Army Futures Command; Gen. Robert B. Neller, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; Gen. John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force; Adm. John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy.

Civilian Security – Evelyn Farkas Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Arati Prabhakar, Director, DARPA; Heather Wilson, Secretary, U.S. Air Force.

U.S. Government –  Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Department of State; Harold Koh, Legal Advisor, Department of State; Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State; Sen. John McCain; Kiron Skinner, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State.

Universities – Sèverine Autesserre, Columbia University; Erica Chenoweth, University of Denver; Christian Davenport, University of Michigan; Sir Lawrence Freedman, King’s College London; Oona A. Hathaway, Yale Law School; Rob Johnson, Oxford University; Daniela Lamas, Harvard Medical School; Naz K. Modirzadeh, Harvard Law School; Ian Morris, Stanford University; Steven Pinker, Harvard University; Michael T. Osterholm, University of Minnesota.

Civil Society – Abdalaziz Alhamza, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently; Fatima Gailani, Afghan Red Crescent Society; Jonathan Horowitz, International Committee of the Red Cross; Bonnie Jenkins, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation, Kori Schake International Institute for Strategic Studies; Sue Mi Terry, Center for Strategic and International Studies Nick Waters, Bellingcat; Rebecca J. Wolfe, Mercy Corps.

Media – Rania Abouzeid; Wolf Blitzer, CNN; Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist; Masha Gessen, New Yorker; Eric Schmitt, New York Times; Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post; Mara Hvistendahl, The Intercept; John Micklethwait, Editor-in-chief, Bloomberg News; Adrian Wooldridge, Political Editor, The Economist.

Industry –  Susie Adams, Microsoft; Jen Easterly, Morgan Stanley; Yasmin Green, Jigsaw; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet, Inc., and former CEO of Google; Adam Sharp, Twitter; Erin Simpson, Northrop Grumman; Nicola Johnson, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

Foreign Governments – Jorge Castañeda Gutman, former Mexican Secretary of State; Hamdullah Mohib, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the U.S.; Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia; Roya Rahmani, former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S.; Fareed Yasseen, Ambassador of Iraq to the U.S.

Forum programs

Understanding Security In an Era of Change

2023 | Online

Arizona State University and New America invite you to join us at the 2023 Future Security Forum, held online on September 13, 2023 from 10:00 am - 6:30 pm ET. 

The Forum is the premier annual event of New America and Arizona State…

Securing Democracies

2022 | Online

New America and Arizona State University are pleased to invite you to the 2022 Future Security Forum, which will be held online September 13, 2022.

The Forum is the premier annual event of New America and Arizona…

20x20: Redefining National Security for 2040

2021 | Online

New America and Arizona State University are pleased to invite you to the 2021 Future Security Forum, which will be held online September 13-14, 2021. This year’s Forum marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Forum sessions will reflect…

Reimagining National Security in the Age of COVID-19

2020 | Online

New America and Arizona State University invite you to join an online Future Security Forum, focused on reimagining national security in the age of COVID-19. Top policymakers, practitioners from government, the private sector, and academia will…

2019 Future Security Forum

2019 | Washington, DC

New America and Arizona State University invite you to the fifth annual Future Security Forum (formerly the Future of War Conference) on April 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C. At this conference, leaders from government, academia, journalism, the…

Future of War Conference 2018

2018 | Washington, DC

The Center on the Future of War held  the Future of War Conference 2018 on April 9 in Washington, D.C. The event featured leaders from government, military, journalism, academia, and the private sector who explored pressing issues in…

Future of War Conference 2017

2017 | Washington, DC

The Future of War Conference 2017 was held in Washington, DC on March 21, 2017. The event links ASU and New America and has been co-sponsored by CNN. It features major thought leaders on various issues of domestic and global security…

Future of War Conference 2016

2016 | Washington, DC

The Future of War Conference brings together a collection of experts to address key issues and challenges arising from the changing nature of conflict and war. The conference is part of an initiative linking New America, a nonpartisan research…

How is Warfare Changing?

2015 | Washington, DC

The conference served as the public launch of the Future of War project, bringing together leading experts, scholars and policy makers to discuss developments in the fields of international and national security. There were over 400 attendees and…