Thursday, December 3

Fitts Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Law School
3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Keynote SpeechZainab Hawa BanguraSpecial Representative to the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict 

Free and Open to the Public

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Cocktail Reception


Friday, December 4

Singh Center for Nanotechnology
3205 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Registration & Breakfast

9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Session 1: The Nature of Combat Injury and Its Social Implications

Moderator: Professor Claire Finkelstein

What is the nature of psychological combat injury? What are the financial and social costs of PTSD to society ? What is the impact of these mental health injuries on family members and future generations? 

11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Session 2: Understanding Trauma

Moderator: Dr. Steve Xenakis

The mental health profession has taken an increased interest in trauma in various settings in recent years. What are the recent developments in our understanding of the concept of trauma?  Does gender play a role in the processing of traumatic events? How does combat trauma relate to other forms of trauma such as sexual assault?

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. 


2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session 3: Combat Trauma As Moral Injury

Moderator: Professor Nancy Sherman

Experts in the study of PTSD sometimes distinguish combat trauma from moral injury. Should moral injury be recognized as a distinct mental health concern separate from PTSD? Are soldiers particularly vulnerable to moral injury while confronting non-state actors, particularly those embedded in civilian populations? Is the conduct of senior military leaders particularly significant in contributing to moral injury?

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Session 4:  Keynote Panel — Mental Health Injury as a Cost of War

Panel Discussion: Dr. Edna Foa, Dr. Charles HogeMr. Eric Newhouse, 

Moderator: Dr. Steve Xenakis

Free and Open to the Public - Fitts Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Should mental health costs to service members and civilians in areas of conflict be included in the calculations of governments contemplating whether to engage in an armed conflict? Should battlefield commanders assess potential mental harms to civilians as part of the proportionality analysis of “collateral damage” conducted prior to each military engagement? Are mental harms commensurate with physical damage? By what metric they be included in an assessment of the costs of war? 

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Participant Dinner

Introductory Remarks: Captain Robert G. Fuller Jr.  

Presentation: Mr. Eric A. Banrevy Guerra, Former Corporal, United States Marine Corps


Saturday, December 5

Singh Center for Nanotechnology
3205 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Session 5: Ethical Dilemmas in the Treatment and Prevention of PTSD

Moderator: Professor Connie Rosati

There is a movement within the military community to combat PTSD with therapy and medication, both after its onset and even before the soldier goes into combat. What are the current efforts being made toward treatment and prevention of psychological injuries? What potential ethical dilemmas do these various treatments present?

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Session 6: Psychological Injury and Legal Responsibility

Moderator: Professor Stephen Morse

Combat induced PTSD and psychological injury have yet to be adequately addressed by the criminal justice system. Should war-inflicted mental harms be taken into account in criminal trials? If so, should they constitute an affirmative defense, a basis for mitigation in sentencing, or simply a consideration to be weighed in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion? 

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Lunch: Keynote Speaker - Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Neuroscience Research Clarifies the Nature of Traumatic Stress: Implications for Treatment and Intervention

This event has been moved to the Levy Conference Room at Penn Law School, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session 7: Post Bellum Obligations and The Duties We Owe to Soldiers  

This event has been moved to the Levy Conference Room at Penn Law School, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Moderator: Professor Jens Ohlin 

Psychological trauma does not end on the battlefield and its effects last long after soldiers return to civilian life. Do the mental harms our soldiers suffer impose an expanded set of duties on the nation as a whole? What are the societal responsibilities (both civilian and governmental) we owe to soldiers as they return to civilian life? What are the jus post-bellum considerations related to the mental harms inflicted on the populations in which war was conducted?