Monday, September 23, 2019, 11:30 AM

COFFE luncheons are on a summer break until September. 

The luncheons will resume on September 23, 2019, with Bill Corr, former Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Corr will discuss issues related to the high cost of prescription drugs.  Our October speaker will be Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD 8th District).  Please check back in late August when detailed information about the speaker and the topic for September’s luncheon will be available.

The luncheons during the September 2018 to May 2019 period were topical and very informative.  Our September speaker was Ambassador Robert M. Beecroft, former Head of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and former Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College.  His topic was “Tribalism, Diplomacy, and American Foreign Policy.” 

In October, Max Stier, President, and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service spoke on the topic of “Fighting for Our Civil Service”. 

The November speaker was Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  Dr. Fauci spoke to the attendees about “Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases: From AIDS to Zika”.

With Russia constantly in the news for various reasons, the January luncheon speaker Gregory Feifer, journalist, Russian scholar, and Executive Director of the Institute of Current World Affairs provided insight to our current Russians dilemmas based on historical and personal experiences.

With the term “fake news” being talked about daily, our February speaker, Mark Shields of PBS and syndicated columnist talked about “The State of the United States”.  Mr. Shields drew our largest audience of the season delighted the attendees with his insightful observations about the current US political climate which he tingled with humor.  

John Berry, former OPM Director and former Ambassador to Australia was the speaker in March.  Ambassador Berry gave a very interesting presentation on “What Can the U. S. Learn from the Australian Democratic System?”.  He also included some astute observations on the current federal work environment based on his many and varied years of public service.

The timing for our April speaker, Robert Dohner, Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council and his topic, “U.S./China/Asia Trade and Technology Policies”, was perfect. Shortly after the April lunch, the trade tariffs with China expanded and restrictions were placed on selected Chinese companies and technology products.

Our May speaker, the last one before our summer hiatus, was Will Carter of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).  He discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cyber Security.  Mr. Carter’s presentation ignited our imagination with his descriptions the potential for artificial intelligence to impact us in positive and negative ways.  He then left us with things to ponder in talking about cybersecurity and the types of threats posed by technological advances.

Luncheons are held at the Holiday Inn, Westpark, in Rosslyn, VA. The luncheon begins at 11:30 with a social period followed by lunch, the presentation, and a question and answer session and ends by 1:30 PM.  The cost of the luncheon is $25 for COFFE members and $30 for non-members.

We urge non-members who attend luncheons to help support COFFE by joining.   The annual dues are $30.  The dues help support  the COFFE Scholarship and our alliance with the Arlington County, VA school system to promote public sevvice by sponsoring a teacher’s attendance at our luncheons.  The recent increase in the luncheon price is intended as an incentive to increase our membership and thereby make COFFE a more forceful voice in the growing movement to protect civil servants.

We wish to thank our partner organizations, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association (FEIAA), the Senior Executive Association (SEA), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), and the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (NCAC) for helping to spread the word about COFFE”s luncheons.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cyber Security

Will Carter of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cyber Security.  Mr. Carter’s presentation highlighted some of the ways that AI is being used.  He also identified and addressed some of the cybersecurity threats and challenges facing individuals, corporations, and governmental organizations at the local, state and federal levels.

A full review of Mr. Carter’s presentation is included in the COFFE News which is distributed to COFFE members.  Join COFFE and stay informed even on those occasions when you cannot attend the monthly luncheon.


In collaboration with the Arlington Public School System and to promote interest in public service, COFFE has initiated a program where one teacher each month is able to attend our luncheon, as our guest. Both teachers and students benefit from this collaboration.


Michael Lawliss, a MPA candidate in the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration was selected, from 31 applicants, to receive the 2018 Council of Former Federal Executives Public Service Scholarship in the amount of $2000.

Michael is a 2014 graduate of the University of Vermont in Burlington.  He holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration.  After graduating from the University of Vermont, Michael began working in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders as a Legislative Intern before becoming a Staff Assistant and then Legislative Correspondent.  Michael’s ultimate goal is to work at the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer so that he can have a role in shaping our foreign policy goals.

In his scholarship application, Michael wrote:  “As someone who has been interested in politics my entire life, I believe public service is the best way I can make a real difference in the lives of the American people.”

With young people like Michael pursuing careers in government, there is a reason for optimism about the future of public service!


Founded in 1988, COFFE’s objectives are to support public service and to enable current and former federal and local government executives and all other members of the public who are interested, to keep abreast of major government policy and operations issues.  COFFE is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  COFFE and Associates welcome all who are interested in promoting public service and learning about major policy issues to attend our luncheons and to become a member.  Read More