29 July 2020, 1000-1100 (EDT)
Virtual Keynote

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The National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) invites you to join us on 29 July 2020, from 1000 to 1100 Eastern time for the virtual Keynote Address featuring General John E. Hyten, USAF, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen Hyten will discuss strategic security issues related to nuclear weapons, WMD, and advanced technology. He will also speak about his work as Co-Chair of the DoD COVID-19 Task Force.

General Hyten remains committed to speaking to the WMD Center's virtual Annual Symposium, and we continue to work with his office to accommodate his busy schedule.

The symposium, “WMD 2020: Great Power Competition and Technology Challenges,” takes stock of the new imperatives driving defense planning. The emergence of great power competition comes at a time of rapid and globally-distributed technological innovation that increasingly shapes the strategic and operational threat environment. For those in the security community focused on WMD threats, the nexus of great power competition and dynamic new technologies is generating a shifting landscape of risk. The symposium seeks to promote a better understanding of this landscape by bringing together the perspectives of policy, operational, and technology experts, as well as senior leaders from the United States and its allies and partners.

All online symposium content will be UNCLASSIFIED.

While COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures will preclude execution of this year’s event on the National Defense University campus, portions of the planned 2020 symposium agenda have been adapted to a webinar format accessible online to the government and non-government counter WMD community. (Message from the Center Director)


In order to ensure maximum capacity for each virtual speaker it is necessary to register INDIVIDUALLY for each presentation. Please see the link below for registration on the EventBrite site. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.


Symposium Details

Login Guidance
Everyone who has registered for access to a virtual symposium event (or events) will receive a message containing a hyperlink to a Blackboard Collaborate virtual meeting room. Note that if you have signed up for multiple events, you will receive a separate hyperlink for each. You do not need to have a Blackboard Collaborate account or have the software installed on your computer to access the event via the provided link.

Users can access Blackboard Collaborate through a web browser. However, do not access Blackboard Collaborate using Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge as we have observed significant connection issues with users attempting access using these web browsers. If available, we recommend using Chrome or FireFox when joining Blackboard Collaborate events.

Link to Blackboard Collaborate Instructions

If you will be joining the event through a government computer, we recommend avoiding the use of your VPN service. While it is possible to connect, we have observed that VPN users often lose connectivity and experience poor video and audio quality.

After Registration for Virtual Speakers:

  • Participants will receive a confirmation email from EventBrite.

  • FOR 29 JULY KEYNOTE: On 27 July, participants will receive an email for the registered presentation containing the unique hyperlink required for access. A reminder email will be sent the morning of the presentation in question.

  • Registrants do not need to download Blackboard Collaborate software to gain access to and participate in the virtual event.

Please do not forward hyperlinks for accessing Symposium events to those who have not registered via our website.

Discussion Policy

All online symposium content will be UNCLASSIFIED.

The National Defense University maintains a strict policy of non-attribution. Participation will strictly follow Chatham House Rule, which is "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed." (Full Chatham House Rule). For the full NDU non-attribution policy, click here. We understand that registrants will access the event from distributed locations and we ask all participants to exercise best judgement in helping to maintain National Defense University’s non-attribution policy.

Virtual Event Participant Protocols
As with our on-campus events, we encourage audience engagement with our panelists and speakers through moderated questions and answers following formal remarks. Blackboard Collaborate offers two tools for asking questions.

  • First, using the hand-raise feature, participants may wait to be called upon by a facilitator or moderator. Once called upon, the participant will unmute their speaker and ask their question.

  • Second, participants may type their question using Blackboard Collaborate’s chat feature. A moderator will collate questions provided in chat and read them aloud to the group for panelist responses.

Do not use the chat feature as a conversation tool with other participants or with the moderators. The chat feature may be used to ask technical support questions during the event or to ask substantive questions of panelists following the conclusion of formal remarks.

Note that moderators will have the ability to enable and disable certain user tools (e.g., video conferencing, mute functions) inside Blackboard Collaborate, which they may do to improve the overall user experience for the group.

Symposium Agenda   print friendly

Wednesday, 29 July
1000–1100 (EDT)

  • General John E. Hyten, USAF, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
    General Hyten will discuss a number of strategic security issues related to nuclear weapons, WMD, and advanced technology, as well as his work as Co-Chair of the DoD COVID-19 Task Force.