Conference Agenda


The Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP) and the Terrorism Studies Club are pleased to announce a topical conference for multi-disciplinary panelists with expertise in the following fields: cultural heritage and the illicit antiquities trade, anti-money laundering and counter threat finance, military and counterterrorism, as well as policy and diplomacy. The goal of the conference is to discuss policy solutions to the trafficking and destruction of cultural heritage at the global level. In addition to panelists, this conference is open to professional delegates, students, and the public in order to provide for a wide-reaching and educational forum. Panelists will present papers, research projects, or their hands-on experience pertaining to these topics as a member of one of the conference panels.

Location: Irvine Auditorium, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey




Conference Kick-off


Keynote Speaker:

Col. Matthew Bogdanos, Keynote speaker, USMC (ret), Lead investigator of the looting of the Baghdad Museum in 2003


5 Minute Break


Panel One: “Antiquities trafficking and destruction in the Middle East”

This panel will examine the long standing tradition of antiquities trafficking throughout the Middle East, as well as the regional and global implications of the Syrian and Iraqi wars.


Dino Pick, Chairman of DLI Foundation


  • David Karg, Fellow at Ridgway Center, University of Pittsburgh
  • Amr Al-Azm, Archaeologist, Shawnee State University

  • Allison Cuneo, Project Manager for ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives

  • Katie Paul, Chief of Staff, Antiquities Coalition

  • Mahmoud Abdalla, Director of MIIS Arabic program and Middlebury Summer Arabic program


Film Screening: The Quake

The Quake (2015) is a musical and video collaboration between Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone and filmmaker Matteo Barzini. It was produced by Feel Film and Francesco Rutelli. The film narrates the tragedies of the Syrian war creating an analogy between the destruction of human life and cultural heritage. Images of prewar Syria alternate to the devastation of minarets, mosques, temples, towns and human life in a modern day war opera through the syncopated notes of Morricone's musical themes.




Panel Two: “A Global Survey of Cultural Heritage Under Threat”

This panel will move beyond the Middle East and examine the greater threats posed to the world’s cultural heritage in the 21st century. The focus will not be limited solely to areas experiencing armed conflict, but also regions with significant cultural heritages that are vulnerable to exploitation in the forms of trafficking and destruction.


Brigadier General (Ret.) Russell D. Howard, MonTREP Director


  • Tess Davis, Executive Director, Antiquities Coalition
  • Phil Williams, Director of Ridgway Center, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jason Felch, Author of Chasing Aphrodite




Panel Three: “Conceptualizing New Public-Private Policy Directions”

This panel will address potential policy solutions to the supply and demand sides of the global antiquities trade, as well as new approaches to prevent and mitigate the destruction of irreplaceable cultural heritage. It will also examine the role that private sector antiquities stakeholders play in preventing trafficked items from entering legitimate markets and posing a liability to dealers, museums, and collectors.


Brigadier General (Ret.) Russell D. Howard, MonTREP Director


  • Prof. Mark V. Vlasic, Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University Law Center 

  • Erik Nemeth, Researcher, RAND Corporation

  • Colette Loll, Founder and Director, Art Fraud Insights


Closing Comments


Social Time with Speakers


MIIS Logo The Bradley Foundation
Art Fraud Logo TSC Logo
MONTrep Logo Antiquities Coalition Logo