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How to Succeed in National Security

Thu, Sep 7, 2023, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Featuring: Elias Stamatiades, Christine Balling, Gavin

You are cordially invited to attend a discussion on the topic of

How to Succeed in National Security


Elias Stamatiades (’15) 
IWP Board of Advisors
Senior Procurement Officer at the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command

Christine Balling (’16) 
IWP Senior Vice President for Professional Affiliations
Founder of Colombian nonprofit organization Fundación ECCO

IWP Alumnus
Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as a Team Lead in the Chairman’s Action Group


Thursday, September 7, 2023
5:00-6:00 PM ET


The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20036Commodore Barry Room – Marlatt MansionGetting to campus


About the Speakers

Elias Stamatiades is a 2015 graduate of IWP’s M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs and a member of the IWP Board of Advisors. He was inspired by the Institute’s unique mission to cultivate an integrated approach to U.S. national security policy and the ethical conduct of statecraft. Elias is a Senior Procurement Officer at the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. He is currently transitioning to Naples, Italy, to assume the duties of the Supervisory Contracting Officer, NAVSUP Ship Repair Division, in support of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet.

Commencing his career in Washington D.C. think tanks, his profession was built predominantly with the U.S. Navy as a Contracting Officer with supervisory and team leader experience in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Pearl Harbor, HI. He has also served as the Section Chief, Procurement, Policy, and Oversight for the U.S. Coast Guard. His overseas experience includes assignments in Italy, as the Team Leader for the Navy offices in Spain, Italy, and Greece, and as the Acquisition Branch Head at Naval Station Rota, Spain. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) with substantial Navy contract audit experience. Elias is fluent in Greek and has received the Department of the Navy Civilian Service Commendation Medal.

Christine Balling is the founder of Colombian nonprofit organization Fundación ECCO to promote democracy and youth leadership in areas of conflict. She has also served as a subject matter expert to the U.S. Special Operations South commander on demobilization and counter-recruitment issues, partnered with U.S. Army Civil Affairs teams, worked with the Colombian military’s demobilization group, and in collaboration with the Colombian Army, Air Force, and National Police, she led counter-recruitment projects in areas where the FARC insurgency operated. The Colombian Army incorporated her counter-recruitment model into the non-kinetic component of its mission.

Ms. Balling has performed extensive fieldwork in conflict areas and interviewed female demobilized members of the FARC, ELN fighters, and female Yazidi peshmerga fighters in Iraq. From 2015 to 2020, she was the Senior Fellow for Latin American Affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council. Her articles have been published in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, the Small Wars Journal, and at In 2016, Ms. Balling worked with the USMC Small Wars Center in Quantico, VA to co-author a section for upcoming revisions of NATO military doctrine and the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Field counterinsurgency doctrine (FM-34 MC 3-35.5) regarding female insurgents. She has lectured at the Escuela Superior de Guerra (ESDEGUE) in Bogotá, the National Defense University’s William J. Perry Center, Harvard Summer School, The #NatSecGirlsSquad conference, and The Institute of World Politics. In 2019, she testified as an expert witness at a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on U.S./Colombia relations.

Ms. Balling serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Universidad El Bosque in Bogotá, Colombia. She received the Colombian Armed Forces’ Medal of Distinguished Service from the Colombian Minister of Defense in recognition of her work in Colombia and received the 2020 Phillips Academy Andover Alumni Award of Distinction. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University’s Barnard College and an M.A. in National Security Affairs from The Institute of World Politics.

Gavin is a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as a Team Lead in the Chairman’s Action Group. Some of his duties include authoring policy papers, congressional testimony, and talking points for the White House and cabinet-level meetings. He prepares material for Battle Rhythm meetings, multi-lateral events, and foreign conferences. He assists with managing the Chairman’s long-range calendar of events and staff initiatives, producing independent and innovative analyses to help the Chairman’s decision-making concerning his strategic engagements.

Before this assignment, Gavin was the Chief of the Strategic Planning Division at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Liberty, North Carolina. He served as the Senior Strategist in a 3-star institutional command, responsible for creating the Commander’s Strategy and Support plans with a team of skilled professionals through planning efforts with Joint Headquarters, the Department of the Army, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Gavin has a Master of Arts in Strategic and International Studies from The Institute of World Politics and a Master of Operational Studies degree from the Marine Corps University. He is a doctorate student at the Institute for World Politics studying Statecraft and Nation Security.

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