Tag Archives: Australia

American Australian Leadership Dialogue In Honolulu

Former Congressman Marty Russo attends the Honolulu Leadership Dialogue for the American Australian Leadership Education Foundation.

It was a very interesting experience to travel to Oahu to join in the high level discussions about defense related issues that jointly face Australia and the United States.

The meetings included a full day off site at PACOM and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field where we received briefings on defense and national security activity and plans as well as a tour of the many impressive features of the base.

I was deeply impressed by the professionalism of our military and civilian leaders.  Here’s a photo gallery and commentary on some of the highlights.

  • The PACAF Luncheon and Briefing was held in the Courtyard of Heroes where you can still see the bullet holes from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  I’m told that all throughout the base, they have kept the bullet holes intact as a reminder to be ever vigilent.
  • We toured a C-17 and it was fascinating to check out the cargo area and sit in the cockpit.  It was a nice memory of my time 20 years ago at Cassidy & Associates when we ran the campaign to save the C-17 from budget cuts.  It’s nice to see that they are still in use!
  • For me, the most heartfelt moments of the day were when we toured the USS Michael Murphy, guided missile destroyer that is among the most advanced, state of the art war ships in the fleet.  It is named for the 28 year old Michael Murphy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in June 2005. He was the first sailor awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.  As we toured this ship which cost well over a billion dollars you could feel the pride that its young sailors felt about serving on a ship named after “one of them.”
  • It was a pleasure to see my good friend, Governor Neil Abercrombie and tell stories of our days in Congress.

Australian American Leadership Dialogue Honolulu 2014

[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-1.jpg]Hall of Heroes, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-2.jpg]Bullet holes from strafing on December 7, 1941
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2176.jpg]Original flag that flew over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2177.jpg]Former Congressman Marty Russo and General Hawk Carlisle
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-4.jpg]C-17 on display at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-8.jpg]Marty Russo in the cockpit of a C-17 at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-7.jpg]Marty Russo in the cargo hold of a C-17 at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-6.jpg]USS Michael Murphy - a proud ship
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2220.jpg]Portrait of Michael Murphy on board the destroyer named after him
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_hawaii_air-force-5.jpg]Marty Russo and the USS Michael Murphy
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2259.jpg]The big guns
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2231.jpg]View of Pearl Harbor from the deck of USS Michael Murphy
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2258.jpg]
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2277.jpg]Leadership
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2226.jpg]Military briefing on the guided missile destroyer Michael Murphy
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2247.jpg]The powerful guns of the USS Michael Murphy
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/australian-american-leadership-dialogue-honolulu-2014/thumbs/thumbs_img_2140.jpg]American-Australian Leadership Dialogue in Honolulu 2014
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Australian American Leadership Dialogue Gala Dinner

Former Congressman Marty Russo emcees the Gala Dinner for the American-Australian Leadership Dialogue.

American-Australian Leadership Dialogue Gala Dinner

American-Australian Leadership Dialogue Gala Dinner

One of my favorite Board memberships is to serve alongside some very talented colleagues on the American Australian Leadership Education Foundation.  This July, we held the bi-annual Leadership Dialogue here in Washington D.C. with an impressive array of meetings and events that brought together the best and brightest from Australia and America.

Some of the highlights included a welcome reception at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building and a series of substantive dialogue sessions on an array of important issues such as energy, education, defense, economic and trade.  It was particularly meaningful to join Robert “Bob” Walker and Robert “Bud” Cramer  — our two Board Members who are Former Members of Congress — on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to speak to a group of young leaders.  I think between Bob, Bud and I that we had all points of the compass covered in terms of political beliefs.  We spoke in turn about how political leaders can work together for the common good.

Emcee for American-Australian Leadership Dialogue Gala

Emcee for American-Australian Leadership Dialogue Gala

The feedback from these young Australian and American leaders was interesting.  They had many questions about “how” we were able to work together to get so much done for the country despite our differences.  They also questioned why today’s political leaders can’t do the same.  I wish I knew the answer!

Our big crowning glory to cap these three days of intense dialogue was to have a gala of 300+ attendees at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  Wow, that was a beautiful setting to celebrate the strong relationship between American and Australia.  It was particularly fitting that the event took place on the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s famous walk on the moon.  We took care to remind the room that it the TV signal to broadcast that iconic moment to the world was routed from space through Australia.

It was a thrill to serve as Master of Ceremonies with a podium right in front of that famous Apollo capsule.

Australian American Leadership Dialogue Gala Dinner

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The Mobile Moment in Technology

I just returned from Stanford University where I attended the West-Coast Leadership Dialogue as part of my role as a Director of the American-Australian Leadership Dialogue.

It’s a true privilege to sit and hear from the best and brightest from both Australia and America, especially when it comes to the latest and greatest in technological innovation.

This year’s conference was all about mobile technology.  Many speakers alluded to the “mobile moment” when more than 50% of technology users will originate from a mobile device.

Australian-American Flags

I admit that my iPhone and new iPad mini are indispensable to my daily work life.  It’s amazing that I could sit on a shuttle bus between Palo Alto and Mountain View CA and in between talking to my Australian colleagues, I booked two trips on line on a United Airlines app.

At Stanford, the speakers gave us insight on how mobile technology is revolutionizing industries like health care, security and defense, food and agriculture, and education.

We made a field trip to a top Silicon Valley company where the head data scientist explained the huge magnitude of data that is collected and and managed.  What surprised me the most was when this scientist — a former brain surgeon no less! — stated emphatically that “relationships matter.”  It is the complex and connecting relationships between internet users that generates the most data — not facts and figures.  Even though I do not take part in social media (other than this blog), the idea of relationships being very important certainly fits in with my view of the world.

I especially enjoyed all the great dinners and conversing with my Australian friends.   Looking forward to July when the Australians come to Washington DC!