Biden’s Foreign Policy Challenge: Change or Continuity – Session 1 of 2 China, Arab World, “Endless Wars”

february, 2021

23feb11:00 am12:00 pmVirtual EventBiden's Foreign Policy Challenge: Change or Continuity - Session 1 of 2 China, Arab World, "Endless Wars"


(Tuesday) 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Event Video

Event Details

A live panel discussion goes in depth on foreign policy transitions with China, Asia, Israel, Iraq, the Arab World and America’s “Endless Wars” with moderation by William Jordan.

The Biden administration has taken office with the intention of reversing or marking sharp changes from the foreign policy of its predecessor.  Yet, how likely or even possible will that be?

In many respects, the world changed over the last four years just as the Trump administration imposed its different approach to American foreign policy.  Some situations changed so radically that returning to previous policies may not work any more.  In others, the different approach brought in by the Trump administration may be better suited to the challenge, even if the brusque manner in which it was introduced may have struck many as offensive or a gratuitous break with previous administrations.

The U.S. has also changed, and the domestic political landscape on which the Biden administration must operate imposes likely constraints on current and future policy.  Abroad, friends and rivals must ask how durable the more traditional style of operation the Biden administration follows will be and what are the implications during and beyond this administration given the deep political divide in the U.S.  As the shadow of Donald Trump looms large over America for the foreseeable future, even America’s allies must ask whether they can trust Washington as they once did.

Two separate panels will discuss what they expect to change and what they expect to stay the same, perhaps for rather surprising reasons.

The panelists will all bring insights, in some cases as former U.S. government insiders, to explore these questions.

In this first of two panels, speakers will discuss China, Asia, and the Pacific region; America’s “endless wars” and military/security alliances in remote war zones; Israel, Iran, and the Arab world; and Europe, including in the context of the ongoing challenge posed by Russia.


Speakers for this event

  • Charles Dunne

    Charles Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne is an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Relations at George Washington University. He is affiliated with the Arab Center Washington D.C. as a non-resident fellow and is a scholar with the Middle East Institute. From 2011-2015, he was Freedom House’s Director of Middle East and North Africa programs, where he focused on human rights and democracy promotion in the region. Before joining Freedom House, he spent 24 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, with overseas tours in Cairo, Jerusalem, and Madras (Chennai), India. He was Foreign Policy Adviser to the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy at the Joint Staff in the Pentagon (2007-2008), and Director for Iraq at the National Security Council from 2005-2007. He served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he contributed to the development of presidential initiatives to advance political reform and democracy in the Broader Middle East and North Africa. He is a member of the Democracy and Human Rights Working Group of the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

  • Christopher Hill

    Christopher Hill

    Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is currently at the School of International Public Policy at Columbia University’s faculty as the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for spring 2021. He was the Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver until July 2020. Prior to this position, he was the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University, a position he held from September 2010 to December 2017. Ambassador Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, whose last post was as Ambassador to Iraq, April 2009 until August 2010. Prior to Iraq, Hill served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009 during which he was also the head of the US delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Earlier, He was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Previously he served as U.S. Ambassador to Poland (2000-2004), Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-1999), and Special Envoy to Kosovo (1998-1999). He also served as a Special Assistant to the President and a Senior Director on the staff of the National Security Council, 1999-2000. Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana, and on the Department of State's Policy Planning staff, and in the Department’s Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the Department of State's Senior Country Officer for Poland. Ambassador Hill received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer where he supervised credit unions in rural Cameroon, West Africa. Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a B.A. in Economics. He received a master’s degree from the Naval War College in 1994. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, and Macedonian.

  • Douglas Herbert

    Douglas Herbert

    Douglas Herbert, a New York-born, Paris-based TV commentator with France 24, parlayed his early love for languages, literature, and travel into a journalism career that has taken him from New York and Philadelphia to Estonia, Russia, the UK and, for the past 17 years, France. Douglas's first "posting" was his childhood bedroom on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where he edited a hand-scribbled Sunday newspaper - "House News" - for a readership of two: his mom and dad. Over a decade later, as a rookie reporter in Moscow following the Soviet collapse, Douglas scored his first big news scoop by revealing the source of the sesame seeds on the Big Mac buns at Russia's first McDonald's. (Spoiler alert: Finland.) As a freelance writer in the Moscow Bureau of The New York Times in the mid-90s, Douglas reported on a catastrophic oil spill in Russia's frigid Far North, near the Arctic Circle. Back in the US, he segued from Kremlin covering a county courthouse, and a swathe of working-class industrial towns, as a suburban reporter for a large metropolitan daily, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Douglas subsequently moved to CNN, covering business and markets for the network's financial news website in New York City, before crossing the Pond to work at CNN International, in London, as a multimedia feature reporter specializing in EU issues. At France 24, a Paris-based news channel that he joined at its launch in 2006, Douglas offers his perspective on international affairs, working in both English and French. He has covered numerous G7 and G20 summits, from Mexico to Québec to Northern Ireland, along with four US presidential elections. Last month, Douglas helped lead France 24's coverage of the Biden-Harris inauguration, from Washington, DC. Douglas received his Master’s Degree in Russian Studies from Harvard University, having studied at the Moscow Energy Institute in the late 1980s, in the heyday of Mikhail Gorbachev's 'perestroika' and 'glasnost' reforms. He is a regular conference speaker on US politics and French and Russian society. In recent years, Douglas has also taught a graduate-level fact-checking course at Paris's Sciences Po journalism school.

  • Michele Dunne

    Michele Dunne

    Michele Dunne directs the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC, where her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries as well as U.S. policies in the region. A career-long Middle East specialist, she spent nearly 20 years at the U.S. Department of State, including assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, and on the National Security Council staff. She holds a Ph.D. in Arabic language from Georgetown University.

  • William Jordan

    William Jordan

    Retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Independent Analyst William Jordan served for 30 years (1981-2011) as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service specializing in the Arab world and France.  His overseas assignments included Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Tunis, Tunisia; Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan; Paris, France; and Algiers, Algeria, where he served in his final posting as Deputy Chief of Mission. Mr. Jordan’s responsibilities in the Arab world included reporting and analyzing foreign policy trends, especially as they related to the United States, as well as internal politics, human rights conditions, and the rise of radical Islam as a political force.  From 1997-2001, Mr. Jordan was the reporting officer in Paris for labor issues and internal politics.  He returned to Paris in 2007-2009 to work on the Near East and North Africa as well as Russia (including during and after the 2008 Georgia crisis).  From 2002-2007, Mr. Jordan focused his attention on North Africa, notably as Director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, Mr. Jordan has lived in Paris, where, in addition to his work as an independent analyst and consultant, he occasionally comments on the Arab world, northwest Africa, France, and U.S. national security policy for France24, RFI, and the BBC.  He is a board member of and has participated in the annual Saint Petersburg, FL, Conference on World Affairs in addition to lecturing frequently to numerous audiences, including the French Ecole militaire and at the Paris campus of New York University. From May 2020-December 2021, Mr. Jordan served as president of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO).  

We'll be back in a bit!

The system is currently undergoing routine maintenance to ensure you get the best experience. 

Thank you for your understanding!