The CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center initiated the Des Moines National Security Forum (DMNSF) May 25, 2023, with a luncheon event featuring a presentation by retired Colonel Matt Dimmick on the Ukraine-Russian War at the Des Moines Embassy Club in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Simons Center Director Col. (Ret.) Bob Ulin welcomed more than 70 attendees from the Des Moines area business community and introduced Dimmick who just returned from his sixth visit to Ukraine. Dimmick is the European Regional Program Manager for Spirit of America, a nonprofit that works alongside U.S. troops and diplomats to provide critical assistance where freedom and democracy are threatened. He provided a unique “boots on the ground” perspective describing how Spirit of America supports U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives in Ukraine, Poland, and Moldova.
According to Ulin, the Simons Center designed the DMNSF in the mold of its Arter-Rowland National
Security Forum in Kansas City wherein members of the forum meet periodically at guest speaker events to learn about issues related to national security. To help facilitate the new program, Brownells in Grinnell, Iowa has come on board as a local partner. Brownells Chairman Pete Brownell is also the Vice Chair for the Central Region for the CGSC Foundation. The Simons Center and Brownells plan to present at least four programs each year by subject matter experts on national security issues that impact the business community.
Sponsors for this inaugural event included the American Enterprise Group, Casey’s General Stores, MercyOne, Terry and Joyce Lillis, and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert J. Myers, Chairman/CEO (Ret.) of Casey’s General Stores, Inc.
Prior to becoming the European Regional Program Manager for Spirit of America, Col. (Ret.) Matt Dimmick served 29 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2021. He most recently served as Director for Russia and Eastern Europe on the National Security Council Staff during the Trump and Biden administrations. Previously, he was the Russia Director for the Secretary of Defense from 2016 to 2019. He also held the positions as Defense Attaché in Tbilisi, Georgia, Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor for the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Assistant Army Attaché in Moscow. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, holds a Master of Arts in National Strategy from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, and a Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Kansas.