conferences and topics (2024)

Universidad de León

War has changed in transatlantic strategic terms in recent years. The traditional dividing lines between Europeanists and Atlanticists are being redrawn, creating a new division of labor between NATO and the European Union, and the balance of power between allies is shifting. Two years after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a new order for transatlantic security cooperation is emerging. During these sessions, the diplomat Jon E. Piechowski and the Colonel Ignacio Fuente Cobo will discuss the new international threats present today and the global strategy needed for the defense of the European Union and its allies.


Joe E. Piechowski
Counselor for Public Diplomacy of the U.S. Embassy in Spain

Jon Piechowski is the Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Spain since August 2022. Previously, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and served as Director in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where his team developed U.S. policies on democracy and human rights for Latin American and Caribbean countries. A career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Jon Piechowski has also served as Deputy Director for Communications at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York; spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti; and a member of the support teams for Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has also been stationed at the U.S. Embassies in France and Egypt. Jon Piechowski speaks Spanish and French, as well as some Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Arabic. A native of Chicago, he holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Public Policy from Princeton University.

José Ignacio Castro Torres
Colonel of the Spanish Army (General Staff)

Ignacio Fuente Cobo, born in Santander in 1961, is an artillery colonel with a vast experience and an outstanding academic background. He graduated from the XXXIX promotion of the General Military Academy. He has continued his training with a wide range of specialized courses, including diplomas in Mountain Troops Command and General Staff, as well as graduations from prestigious international institutions such as the U.S. Army Air Defense School and the NATO Defense College in Rome. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of assignments, from commanding artillery units to teaching and strategic analysis roles on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His international experience includes assignments in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the European Union, in addition to his work as a senior analyst at the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies. He is a prolific author and lecturer, with contributions to numerous publications and academic events, and co-author of the book “The Western Sahara Conflict”, supported by the Spanish Ministry of Defense. In addition, he teaches at multiple national and international academic institutions, consolidating his reputation as a recognized security and defense expert both in Spain and internationally.

Nuria González Rabanal
Universidad de León

Ms. Nuria González Rabanal holds a degree in Economics from the University of Valladolid and a PhD in Economics from the UNED. For several years she taught at the UNED, the European University of Madrid and the University of Toulouse in Madrid until she moved to the University of León in 2003. For years she has combined her academic activity with management work in other professional institutions. At the University of León she has taught Spanish Economics and European Economics and managed regional and European projects in fields such as energy, digitalization, circular economy and cybersecurity. A strong advocate of internationalization in every sense, she collaborates and participates in several European projects, as well as academic debate forums on the future of constitutionalism in Europe. Since 2008, she has directed the Almirante Bonifaz Chair of Security and Defense at the ULE in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Defense.