Hollywood on the Potomac

By the Numbers!

August 7, 2017

“It’s a tiny investment for Americans that can help prevent conflicts, prevent state failure, help stabilize countries coming out of war – a tiny investment for big strategic impacts. I think tonight’s about making that case.” Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) and former Joint Chief of Staff told Hollywood on the Potomac at a dinner in his and Michèle Flournoy’s (CARE) honor at the home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter. The cause? CARE.  Both are concerned about the possibility of fund cutting.


“It’s really about trying to make a strategic case for why development assistance is in United States’ strategic interest. We both served in the Pentagon and there is a national security case to be made for smart, effective development assistance. It’s less than one penny on the dollar,” he added.


Considered one of the most influential CJS as the top military advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Mullen is widely recognized as an “honest broker” by policymakers, Members of Congress and senior military officers with emphasis on strengthening the U.S. military and advocating for those who serve. “I think the whole issue of USAID, foreign assistance has been highly politicized in recent years, and there is a strong desire to pull back on that; and thus they’ve chosen to do that. The military can’t do this stuff alone. I’ve been there. It doesn’t work, it won’t work in the future. The more we bleed this area the military is going to bleed in the future in conflicts around the world.”  Most recently, he is considered a hero in the LGBT community for telling Congress to allow medical care for transgender troops.

Michèle is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a non-partisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies and joined the Board of CARE in 2014.

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Making Washington Work!

July 31, 2017

In light of the recent turmoil over Chief of Staff and other White House appointments, we thought this article would be relevant today and worthy of a second read.  It was first posted on March 23rd, 2015.


James Addison Baker III defines charisma – a personal magic of leadership. The former Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan who accidentally worked his way up the political food chain is the subject of a PBS documentary that airs on March 24th: James Baker: The Man Who Made Washington Work narrated by Tom Brokaw. It explores his life and long political career; a remarkably savvy power player, deal-maker and diplomat respected on both sides of the aisle for his ability to get things done.


Hollywood on the Potomac sat down with film-makers John Hesse and Eric Stange for insight into how this unlikely politician became one of the most influential politicians of all time.


We asked each if they could define Baker in one word, neither could.  So, we went for two words. “Consummate statesman,” said Hesse.  “Supremely competent,” said Stange.


So what makes a person supremely competent we asked Stange: “He did come from a family with great expectations for him although I don’t know how these things work. I think part of it was that. He grew up in a family that obviously prepared him very well for taking on important roles and having a kind of self-confidence and a kind of cool, intellectual approach to problems. That certainly helps. Then I think law school and being a lawyer, just being a workaday lawyer doing business deals seems to have helped him quite a bit. That’s where he says he learned his negotiating skills. That’s where he really came to understand what it takes to get a deal done.”

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July 26, 2017

“Long before the ocean became an international issue, Jacques Cousteau, his family and his team were fantastic pilgrims,” said Patrick Lachaussée, Senior Counselor of the French Embassy, at the Residence of Gérard Araud, The Ambassador of France.  “By exploring the oceans, Jacques Cousteau and his family brought our two nations closer together.”


The reception was preceded by The US premiere of the film L’Odyssée as part of the French-American Climate Talks on Ocean (FACT-O) at The Carnegie Institution for Science which included a discussion panel with marine biologist Dr. Rebecca Albright, Philippe Cousteau and Jan Cousteau.  L’Odyssée (The Odyssey) follows Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the great French ocean-going adventurer, biologist, and filmmaker and stars Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, and Audrey Tautou. “He brought the marine world into homes across the globe—including my own—and helped people understand what made these ecosystems so special and worthy of protection,” said Carnegie President Matthew Scott at the start of the evening.”

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