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Conversations

A Conversation on American Opportunity: Where Do We Go From Here?

November 9, 2021

On November 9th, 2021 FOLCS hosted a conversation on the forces dividing America, creating greater access to opportunity, and how we can empower future generations with historian, policymaker and former National Security Council official, Fiona Hill and Dan Osborn, the President of BCTGM Local 50G who is leading the union strike against Kellogg.

America nowadays is a land of upheavals: The fraying of our social, economic, and healthcare systems during a global pandemic, a racial justice reckoning, climate anxiety, and ever-expanding political division, all while being told that it is “time to get back to work.”  That work includes lower wages, longer hours, and grueling conditions, all for the patronizing title “essential worker.”  Where do we go from here?

In There Is Nothing For You Here, Fiona Hill, discusses how declining opportunities in America have set us on a dangerous course.  She draws on her personal journey out of poverty and offers suggestions on how we can return hope to our forgotten places.

You can learn more and purchase Fiona’s book here.

Fiona Hill
Foreign Policy Expert, Academic, Author

Fiona Hill is the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She recently served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. From 2006 to 2009, she served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council. She is co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).

Prior to joining Brookings, Hill was director of strategic planning at The Eurasia Foundation in Washington, D.C. From 1991 to 1999, she held a number of positions directing technical assistance and research projects at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, including associate director of the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, director of the Project on Ethnic Conflict in the Former Soviet Union, and coordinator of the Trilateral Study on Japanese-Russian-U.S. Relations.

Hill has researched and published extensively on issues related to Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, regional conflicts, energy, and strategic issues. Her book with Brookings Senior Fellow Clifford Gaddy, The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold, was published by Brookings Institution Press in December 2003, and her monograph, Energy Empire: Oil, Gas and Russia’s Revival, was published by the London Foreign Policy Centre in 2004. The first edition of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin was published by Brookings Institution Press in December 2013, also with Clifford Gaddy.

Hill holds a master’s in Soviet studies and a doctorate in history from Harvard University where she was a Frank Knox Fellow. She also holds a master’s in Russian and modern history from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and has pursued studies at Moscow’s Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages. Hill is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dan Osborn
Maintenance Planner Tech at Kellogg, President of BCTGM Local 50G

Upon completion of Roncalli high school in 1994, Dan joined the United States Navy and served for 4 years aboard the USS Constellation CV-64 as an SK. He worked on the flight deck attached to the air transfer office where he completed two Western Pacific cruises and two Rimpac cruises. Dan then joined the Nebraska Army National Guard. He attended the 19K (Tanker) school in Boise Idaho. He moved to Knoxville TN and served time in the Tennessee Nation Guard where he volunteered to go to Fort Knox, KY to qualify the M1-A2 Abhram’s battle tanks for battle readiness.

Dan then attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha for three years when his wife, Megan, became pregnant. He chose to go into the working sector, as to gain insurance and stability for his family. Dan began working full time at Kellogg company in 2004 where he utilized his skills as an industrial mechanic. He has been with the company for 18 years.

He decided to get involved in the local union, BCTGM 50G. Dan got elected as Vice President in 2020 where he quickly moved into the role as President. He has been instrumental in organizing the 2021 strike on the local level, creating the picket duties and taking the primary role as liaison to the media. In that role Dan has done live shows, as well as many interviews and podcasts with many mainstream media outlets including NBC, Linkd In, and Rolling Stone Magazine.

He is currently striving to take a larger role within the labor movement. The strike at Kellogg Company and the current climate of our Nation, has awoken a passion within him for wanting to help people through contracted labor and workers’ rights.