Video On Demand

Why Sustainable Public Utilities Are a Security Issue

June 23, 2021 • 1:30 – 3:00 pm EDT

with Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie

Sustainable public utilities and effective governance are vital to security in the Middle East. Please join the CSIS Middle East Program for a conversation on the link between sustainable utilities and regional security with the commander of United States Central Command, General Kenneth F. McKenzie. General McKenzie will highlight how non-military factors, such as environmentally sustainable public utilities, advance U.S. security interests in the Middle East.

General McKenzie's speech will be followed by a panel discussion with Melani Cammett, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the Department of Government at Harvard University; Franck Bousquet, Deputy Director of the IMF Institute for Capacity Development; and Tessa Terpstra, Former Regional Envoy for Water and Energy Security in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This event helps mark the publication of  the Middle East Program's most recent report, "Sustainable States: Environment, Governance, and the Future of the Middle East." This report was made possible by a donation from the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, D.C. The shape of the report, as well as the opinions, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in its findings, are those of the authors and do not represent the view of the embassy or the government of Qatar, which did not review the project’s findings before publication.

General Kenneth F. McKenzie is the commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). General McKenzie was commissioned into the Marine Corps and trained as an infantry officer, and he has commanded at the platoon, company, battalion, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and component levels. From 2017 to 2019, he served as the director of the Joint Staff, where he was assigned as director of strategic plans and policy (J-5) from 2015 to 2017. In 2014, he assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. From 2012 to 2014, General McKenzie served as the Marine Corps representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review. In 2010, he was assigned as the director for strategy, plans, and policy (J-5) for CENTCOM. He served as the deputy to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deputy chief of staff for stability in Kabul from 2009 to 2010, and he was the director of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s new administration transition team in 2008. In 2007, he served as the deputy director of operations within the National Military Command Center. General McKenzie also led combat deployments to Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2005­–2006 as the commanding officer of the 22d MEU (SOC). In 1999, he was selected as a CMC fellow and served as a senior military fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. General McKenzie received his master's degree from the National Defense University and his bachelor's degree from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.

Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program