MSC Program + Themes

Speakers, topics, and themes of discussion for
Maritime Security Challenges.

About the MSC Conference Series

Information about the past biennial MSC Conferences

Info for Sponsors + Exhibitors

Information on how you can be a part of MSC20.

MSC Speaker and Panelist Profiles

Information on speakers and panelists taking part in
Maritime Security Challenges.

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Maritime Security Challenges Virtual Sessions

The Maritime Security Challenges Virtual Sessions will debut on 20 and 22 October 2020, as it focuses on Great Power competition in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

MSC Virtual Session 1: Tuesday, 20 October, 16h00 (4:00pm) Pacific Daylight Time

“China’s Vision for World Order and its Belt and Road Initiative” – Ms. Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs, National Bureau of Asian Research

While Chinese leaders since Deng Xiaoping worked hard to bring China into the modern area, arguably none has been more active in reshaping the regional and global orders to suit China’s interests than Xi Jinping. One of the key components of Xi’s campaign is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an umbrella of infrastructure and trade projects which stretches from Asia to Europe and seeks to extend Chinese influence along the way. Ms. Nadège Rolland, a Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and long-time China expert, will discuss China’s ambitions and the role BRI plays in achieving Xi’s “China Dream”, and what this might mean for Asia and the world.

Video of MSC Virtual Presentation 1

MSC Virtual Session 2: Thursday, 22 October, 15h30 (3:30pm) Pacific Daylight Time

“An Update on the South China Sea” – Mr. Greg Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia and Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

The South China Sea is arguably the most important maritime region for the modern world. It is the crossroads for resources and goods flowing between Africa, Europe, and North American to Asia, is itself home to important offshore resources such as seafood and energy, and is the centre for legal and geopolitical disputes between both littoral countries and those with interests in the region. Mr. Greg Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia and Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Security and International Studies think tank, is one of the foremost South China Sea experts in the US – if not the world – and he will speak on the latest developments in this critical region, and the likely future of the South China Sea.

Video of MSC Virtual Presentation 2

The Maritime Security Challenges Sessions continue on Wednesday 2 December 2020 with a focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting the world’s navies and the maritime industry:

MSC Virtual Session 3: Wednesday, 2 December, 16h00 (4:00 pm) Pacific Standard Time

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for people on land – extended quarantines, greatly curbed economic activity, and new health measures, to name a few – are plainly visible, but the effects of the coronavirus at sea are much less apparent. While there have been some high-profile examples, such as the COVID-19 outbreak on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in late March, what has been remarkable, since about 90% of all goods travel the seas at some point, is that civilian and naval ships have not been as badly struck. However, this is not to say that navies, naval budgets and programs, and merchant ships have escaped unscathed. Dr Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and a keen observer of Asian naval affairs, and Dr Sal Mercogliano, a naval historian at Campbell University and a noted commentator of the civilian maritime sector, will offer their insights on how the pandemic is playing out on the world’s oceans and ports. 

COVID-19 and the Pacific Navies” – Dr. Collin Koh, Research Fellow, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore



COVID-19 and the civilian maritime sector” Dr. Salvatore R. Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History, Campbell University


REGISTER for MSC Virtual Session 3

*Please note that response to your registration will not be immediate as all registrations are subject to review.

And Mark Your Calendars:

MSC22, the next in-person MSC meeting, will take place in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, on 22-24 March 2022.