HFX Conversations is HFX’s online publication. HFX Conversations is dedicated to bringing ideas and opinions from democratic leaders to the wider public and will publish essays and interviews when they need to be published.

October 4, 2022


HFX today announced the hiring of two outstanding individuals to its leadership team.  Susan Markham, a co-founder of Smash Strategies, will serve as Director of the Peace With Women Fellowship, and Michael Svetlik, most recently with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, will serve as HFX Chief Operating Officer.

Together, they join HFX’s already exceptional staff, all of whom are committed to its vital mission to advance strategic cooperation among the world’s democracies.  HFX will build upon Susan and Michael’s decades of international experience and expertise to expand its global programming.

“Susan and Michael are the best in their fields,” said HFX President Peter Van Praagh.  “As we expand our programming, we’re proud to be an employer of choice that attracts the most talented and dedicated people.”

Robin Shepherd, the Forum’s former Vice President, is no longer with the Forum.  The Forum wishes him every success in his future endeavors.

HFX is an independent, non-partisan organization.  Its annual Halifax International Security Forum is widely recognized as the leading security conference for democracies.

The Peace With Women Fellowship brings together senior female military officers from NATO and partner countries for a three-week executive tour of the political and technological capitals of the United States and Canada.

Susan Markham biography
Michael Svetlik biography

Thank you for your steadfast support of HFX’s endeavor to make the world a safer, more just place for democracy to thrive.


About HFX

HFX is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC.  Its annual Halifax International Security Forum in the Nova Scotia capital is recognized as the leading foreign affairs and defense conference for democracies.  It attracts senior leaders, including a significant delegation from the United States Congress, military commanders, strategists, thinkers, influential journalists, and business leaders from across the democratic world.  The 2022 Forum will be held November 18-20.  The John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service is bestowed annually at the Halifax International Security Forum to individuals and organizations from any country who have demonstrated uncommon leadership in the pursuit of human justice.  HFX is also known for its Peace With Women Fellowship that brings together senior, active-duty, female military officers from NATO member and partner countries for a 3-week executive tour of the political and technological capitals of the United States and Canada.

For more information, please contact: info@halifaxtheforum.org