An Introduction to the National Museum of Language

When the National Museum of Language (NML) opened to the public in 2008, it was a one-of-its-kind museum—dedicated entirely to languages in all ways, shapes and forms.  It featured numerous exhibits and created the world’s only International Flag of Language.  Although the Museum is now entirely virtual (since 2012), it is very much alive and kicking, with an attractive webpage and an aggressive outreach program.   Yet many have still not heard of it.  Come and hear NML President Gregory J. Nedved introduce this Museum and it’s various wonders 🙂


Gregory J. Nedved has been the president of the National Museum of Language in College Park, MD since 2018.  He has served at the Museum  in numerous capacities since 2008.  He has over 30 years of experience as a Mandarin Chinese instructor, translator and interpreter for the Department of Defense.   He is the author of the 2016 book, Presidential Foreign Language Trivia.


Lived Experience Monologues: A Playwright’s Approach to Telling Your Story

Far too often, individuals with exceptional experiences struggle to articulate their stories in ways that maintain engender listeners’ maximum attention and respect. Theatrical monologues provide an excellent frame through which people can articulate their stories powerfully and memorably without distancing themselves from their audiences. Attendees at this session will hear an array of prepared monologues, they will dissect monologues to understand a monologue’s inherent structure, and they will use the frame of the dramatic monologue (typically a 60- to 90-second memorized recitation) to craft powerful stories of their own lived experience.

Headshot - Matthew Ratz.jpg

Matthew Ratz is currently the Executive Director of On Our Own of Prince George’s County, a peer-focused wellness and recovery center in Hyattsville, MD. In his spare time, Matt is also an actor, speaker, and creative writer. He has performed in musical theater, dramatic plays, and short films. Most recently, Matt starred as Donald Trump in Hexagon’s 2019 production “Romp in the Swamp” and he played Jamie Wellerstein in the 2018 community theater production of “The Last Five Years.”

With Us and Against Us: How America’s Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush drew a line in the sand, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Since 9/11, many counterterrorism partners have been both “with” and “against” the United States, helping it in some areas and hindering it in others. Because so many aspects of U.S. counterterrorism strategy are dependent on international cooperation, the United States has little choice but to work with other countries. Making the most of these partnerships is fundamental to keeping the United States safe from terrorism, even more so as it pivots to great power competition and relies more heavily on other countries to achieve its counterterrorism objectives. Stephen Tankel provides a theoretically rich and policy-relevant toolkit for assessing and improving counterterrorism cooperation, devising strategies for mitigating risks, and getting the most out of difficult partnerships.


Stephen Tankel is an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. An expert on terrorism and counterterrorism, Dr. Tankel has conducted field research in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Balkans. He is the author of numerous works, including With Us And Against Us: How America’s Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror (2018) and Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba (2011). From 2014-2015, Dr. Tankel served as a Senior Advisor for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Department of Defense


Inside Interviewing!

Even spies have to worry about interviewing for a new job.  But inside the spy world, they have to kill you if they reveal their secrets.  Instead, learn secrets and stay alive!  Come to Inside Interviewing, where you’ll learn all the secrets (tips, tactics, and techniques) to help ace your job interview.  We will talk about pre-interview planning; what employers are looking for; types of interviews; interview questions and how best to answer them; and what to do before, during, and after the interview.  We’ll even let you keep the Top Secret handouts…no security clearance needed!


As a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Jennifer Gittins-Harfst draws on her experience as an HR interviewer for a D.C. bank and interviewing candidates with a Fortune 100 IT company, to emphasize the entire interview process, extending beyond just question-and-response practice and critique to result in a well-prepared job candidate.

Space Age Intelligence…Cold War to Hot War

Well here’s a fun one for you history and space buffs (a fusion we may not have expected, but are super excited about!)

Dr. John O’Hara will describe how the US was limited as to what we could intercept from the USSR due to the Iron Curtain and how that drove us into space.  He’ll give details re: the politicians and military leaders involved and discuss how and why they made their decisions on particular satellite programs. He will also discuss how important our intelligence from space is to our military combat operations.


Dr. O’Hara has held many significant positions at the National Security Agency (NSA), including design engineer for special purpose systems, Chief of a major satellite program, Chief of all worldwide ELINT (electronic intelligence) programs, Chief of NSA Advanced Research, and NSA Deputy Chief Scientist. He is the person who processed the signals received from the Soviet Luna 9 mission that made the first soft landing on the moon. He has received many awards from NSA and from the AOC, the major professional organization of those engaged in electronic intelligence and electronic warfare. His Air Force service was in the Strategic Air Command. Dr. O’Hara has a BSEE from the University of Arizona, a MS in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Pd.D. in Electronic Engineering is from the Catholic University of America. He is a member of the Elizabeth Forward High School Hall of Fame and the AOC Technology Hall of Fame.