Event Details

Come join us for a reception and program with the honorable Elbridge Colby as he discusses his book, "The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict," the U.S. National Defense Strategy, national security issues and answers questions from Brett Johnson, Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP and PCFR Co-Chair.

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy in a generation. In his most recent book, "The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict," he lays out how America's defense must change to address China's growing power and ambition. Based firmly on the realist tradition but deeply engaged in current policy, he offers a clear framework for what America's goals in confronting China must be, how its military strategy must change, and how it must prioritize these goals over its lesser interests.

February 2, 2023

5:00 pm Reception • 6:00 pm Program

The Camby Hotel, Phoenix

Beverages and Hors D'oeuvres will be served

Members $35 • General Public $50


  • Elbridge Colby (Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development)

    Elbridge Colby

    Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development

    Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. He is the author of 'The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict' (Yale University Press), which The Wall Street Journal selected as one of the top ten books of 2021.

    Previously, Colby was from 2018-2019 the Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security, where he led the Center’s work on defense issues.

    Before that, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development from 2017-2018. In that role, he served as the lead official in the development and rollout of the Department’s preeminent strategic planning guidance, the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). The NDS shifted the Department of Defense’s focus to the challenges to U.S. military superiority and interests posed by China in particular followed by Russia, prioritizing restoring the Joint Force’s warfighting edge against these major power competitors. He also served as the primary Defense Department representative in the development of the 2017 National Security Strategy.

    Prior to this, Colby was from 2014 to 2017 the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. From 2010 to 2013 he was principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at CNA. Earlier in his career he served for over five years in the U.S. Government working on a range of strategic forces, arms control, WMD, and intelligence reform matters, including service with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during its stand-up in 2005-2006. Colby has also served on the staff of a number of government commissions, including the 2014 National Defense Panel, the 2008-2009 Strategic Posture Commission, and the 2004-2005 President’s WMD Commission.

    Colby’s work has appeared in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, TIME, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest as well as in international outlets such as Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nikkei Asia, The Hindustan Times, The Australian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Internationale Politik, Die Zeit, Le Figaro, The Spectator, Survival, The National Post, La Stampa, The Taipei Times, Hankook Ilbo, The New Straits Times, and The Manila Standard. Colby has testified a number of times before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a recipient of the Distinguished and Exceptional Public Service Awards from the Department of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

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  • Brett Johnson (Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP)

    Brett Johnson

    Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP

    Brett Johnson represents businesses and individuals in government relations matters. His practice includes State and federal Constitutional law, government regulatory compliance, export, government contracting, political and election law, and health care matters, including professional liability defense and commercial litigation. Brett regularly represents parties and witnesses involved with governmental investigations, including election law, governmental ethics, export control, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and government procurement compliance laws and regulations. He has experience handling internal investigations and compliance audits for clients on a wide range of matters. Brett also provides training to businesses and governmental agencies concerning compliance matters and the drafting of related corporate policies.

    In addition to representing large and small businesses, individuals and pro bono clients, he is the co-chair of the firm's International Industry Group and one of the editors of the firm's International Industry Group's Global Connection newsletter. Brett also serves on the firm's Hiring Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Brett was a judge advocate with the United States Navy, regularly appearing in state and federal courts throughout the nation on behalf of the Department of the Navy. Brett also was assigned as the Civil Law Attorney to the Commander, Navy Region Southwest, handling civil law matters for the Department of the Navy in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Brett received his J.D. in 1999 from the Santa Clara University School of Law.

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The Camby

2401 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, Arizona

If you have any questions please contact Samuel Richardson

Contact Organizer

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