A panel of activists, community leaders, and political advisers discuss the growing importance of energy independence, both in terms of rising gas prices and the ever-present threat of global warming.
They also focus on the national security aspect, specifically with regard to the State of Israel and the growing wealth and power of its unfriendly neighbors.
Brian H. Davis
Brian H. Davis, J.D., M.A., created Environmental Advantage Law, LLPC with 30 years in environmental law with the U.S. EPA, 3M, and Ecolab.
His environmental law practice, teaching and community service promote harmonizing business and environment. Davis is appointed by Governor Pawlenty to the Minnesota Clean Water Council, holds an emergency management planning committee position and is adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School.
Davis founded the Jewish Energy Project, is a Minnesota Environmental Initiative Board Member, and is Minnesota Coordinator of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
Richard T. Foltin is legislative director and counsel in AJC's Office of Government and International Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for the development, promotion and execution of AJC's legislative agenda, which includes church-state, civil rights, immigration, social policy, hate crimes and terrorism, and foreign affairs issues.
Before moving to Washington, Foltin served in AJC's New York headquarters as director of governmental affairs and house counsel. Prior to that, he was an associate with the litigation department of a major New York law firm.
Among other accomplishments, Foltin has worked to promote passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Religious Violence Act, the Hate Crime Statistics Act, and the International Religious Freedom Act. Most recently he testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about religious discrimination in government-funded programs.
Foltin serves as a member of the National Immigration Forum's board of directors; co-chairs a coalition to promote passage of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act; serves as co-chair of the First Amendment Rights Committee of the ABA Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities; and is a member of the National Council of Churches' Committee on Religious Liberty. In 1999, he was named a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School.
A native of New York City and a child of Holocaust survivors, Foltin received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in political science from New York University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. In the 1980s, Foltin attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a year in order to study Jewish philosophy and history, during which period he also took classes in Talmud and Jewish thought at a Jerusalem yeshiva.
He lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, with his wife and two children, and serves on the board of directors of a local synagogue.
Kathleen Troia McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations.
Her government career began while a freshman at George Washington University, working part-time in the White House Situation Room typing the President's Daily Brief. She spent seven years at the White House, working her way up to become a key member of Dr. Henry Kissinger's National Security Council Staff.
After the Ford Administration, McFarland studied at Oxford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with concentrations on nuclear weapons, China and the Soviet Union. After President Reagan's election, she returned to Washington as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee staff. In 1982 McFarland became the speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Cap Weinberger, and the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
McFarland is now a national security commentator and columnist and appears frequently on television and radio news shows.
Rebecca Jensen Talent
Rebecca Jensen Talent currently divides her time between her duties as legislative assistant for John McCain's Senate office, and serving as policy advisor for the McCain 2008 campaign.
Her primary areas of responsibility include resource and energy issues, in addition to immigration policy and border security. She is a graduate of Coughlin College. Since 2001, she has worked on both sides of the Capitol, beginning and currently with Senator McCain's staff, and with Arizona Congressman Jim Colby in the interim.