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In Association with UpState International World Affaris Council, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Belmont University and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce present
America’s Place in the World
- Chair: Professor Thomas Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
- General John Allen, President, Brookings; former Commander NATO International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan
- Dr. Jessica Tuchman Matthews, Ph.D., Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years.
TNWAC is launching our Election 2020 global awareness series as we prepare for the Presidential Debate hosted by our partner Belmont University on October 22nd.
TNWAC presents interviews and panels with distinguished specialists in international affairs to prepare voters with background and context on the critical issues they should know about the world.
TNWAC is a nonpartisan educational organization that seeks to educate the community on global affairs.
America’s Place in the World
These questions may be among those to start things off, plus your questions.
- The U.S. relationship with China has emerged as one of the most prominent issues in the current presidential campaign. What are your thoughts on how American policy toward China should evolve over the next five to ten years? Are we competitors, rivals, or enemies?
- The next administration will almost certainly face the question of the future of US policy toward Iran. Do you favor returning to the JCPOA, or should a new agreement be negotiated?
- If Biden wins the election, can the United States resume its role in international organizations like the WHO and return to agreements like the Paris climate accords, or has there been significant change in how the United States is perceived that would preclude such a restoration?
- In the wake of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and continued interference in the American elections, is there a way forward for the US relationship with Russia under a Biden Administration? What should US policy toward Russia seek to accomplish?
- If, as Richard Haass has remarked, that foreign policy begins at home, how can or should a new presidential administration seek to rebuild the basis of domestic support for an engaged and active American foreign policy?
- In what ways will advances in technology – AI, quantum computing, etc. – affect 21st century diplomacy and international engagement?
- Given the various disputes between the United States and its European allies, most notably over the Nord Stream pipeline and policy toward Iran and China, is there a future for the NATO alliance?
- What are the greatest challenges that America faces in its foreign policy over the next five to ten years?
Send your questions in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Alan Schwartz is a historian of the foreign relations of the United States, with related interests in American politics, the history of international relations, Modern European history, and biography. His most recent book is “Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography” (Hill and Wang, 2020). The book has received considerable notice and acclaim. Harvard’s University’s Charles Maier has written: “Thomas Schwartz’s superbly researched political biography reveals the brilliance, self-serving ego, and vulnerability of America’s most remarkable diplomat in the twentieth century, even as it provides a history of U.S. engagement in global politics as it moved beyond bipolarity.” Earlier in his career, Schwartz was the author of America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Harvard, 1991), which was translated into German, Die Atlantik Brücke (Ullstein, 1992). This book received the Stuart Bernath Book Prize of the Society of American Foreign Relations, and the Harry S. Truman Book Award, given by the Truman Presidential Library. He is also the author of Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (Harvard, 2003), which examined the Johnson Administration’s policy toward Europe and assessed the impact of the war in Vietnam on its other foreign policy objectives. He is the co-editor with Matthias Schulz of The Strained Alliance: U.S.-European Relations from Nixon to Carter, (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Professor Schwartz has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the German Historical Society, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Center for the Study of European Integration. He has served as President of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations. He served on the United States Department of State’s Historical Advisory Committee as the representative of the Organization of American Historians from 2005-2008. Professor Schwartz received The Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching on April 3, 2013 at the Spring Faculty Assembly, Vanderbilt University. In 2008 Professor Schwartz received the Annual Alumni Education Award from the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. Schwartz is the recipient of the 2008 Book Award by Chi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. This award is given to a faculty member who has been particularly influential in the lives and education of members of KAO. Professor Schwartz presented, “The Arab Spring: Revolution in the Middle East,” on April 19, 2011, as part of the Samuel L. Shannon Distinguished Lecture Series at Tennessee State University. Professor Schwartz has also presented lectures for the OAH Distinguished Lecturers Program.
John Rutherford Allen assumed the presidency of the Brookings Institution in November 2017, having most recently served as chair of security and strategy and a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings. Allen is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. He is the co-author of the book “Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence” alongside co-author Darrell M. West (Brookings Press, 2020)”
Allen served in two senior diplomatic roles following his retirement from the Marine Corps. First, for 15 months as senior advisor to the secretary of defense on Middle East Security, during which he led the security dialogue for the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. President Barack Obama then appointed Allen as special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, a position he held for 15 months. Allen’s diplomatic efforts grew the coalition to 65 members, effectively halting the expansion of ISIL. In recognition of this work, he was presented the Department of State Distinguished Honor Award by Secretary John Kerry and the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Award by Director James Clapper.
During his nearly four-decade military career, Allen served in a variety of command and staff positions in the Marine Corps and the Joint Force. He commanded 150,000 U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2013. Allen is the first Marine to command a theater of war. During his tenure as ISAF commander, he recovered the 33,000 U.S. surge forces, moved the Afghan National Security Forces into the lead for combat operations, and pivoted NATO forces from being a conventional combat force into an advisory command.
Allen’s first tour as a general officer was as the principal director of Asia-Pacific policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a position he held for nearly three years. In this assignment, he was involved extensively with policy initiatives involving China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Southeast Asia. Allen also participated in the Six Party Talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and played a major role in organizing the relief effort during the South Asian tsunami from 2004 to 2005.
Beyond his operational and diplomatic credentials, Allen has led professional military educational programs, including as director of the Marine Infantry Officer Program and commanding officer of the Marine Corps Basic School. He twice served at the United States Naval Academy, first as a military instructor, where he was named instructor of the year in 1990, and later as commandant of midshipmen; the first Marine Corps officer to hold this position. Allen was the Marine Corps fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the first Marine officer to serve as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where today he is a permanent member.
Among his other affiliations, Allen is a senior fellow at the Merrill Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He is an “Ancien” of the NATO Defense College in Rome, and a frequent lecturer there. Allen is the recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign awards.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in operations analysis from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Arts in national security studies from Georgetown University, a Master of Science in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College, and a Master of Science in national security strategy from the National Defense University.
Jessica Tuchman Matthews
Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years.
Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy.
She was director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program and a senior fellow from 1994 to 1997. While there she published her seminal 1997 Foreign Affairs article, “Power Shift,” chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal’s seventy-five years.
From 1982 to 1993, she was founding vice president and director of research of the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on environmental and natural resource management issues.
She served on the Editorial Board of the Washington Post from 1980 to 1982, covering arms control, energy, environment, science, and technology. Later, Mathews wrote a popular weekly column for the Washington Post that appeared nationwide and in the International Herald Tribune.
From 1977 to 1979, she was director of the Office of Global Issues at the National Security Council, covering nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales, and human rights. In 1993, she returned to government as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs. Earlier, she served on the staff of the Committee on Energy and the Environment of the Interior Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mathews is a member of the Harvard Corporation, the senior governing board of Harvard University. She has served as a trustee of leading national and international nonprofits, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Radcliffe College, the Inter-American Dialogue (co-vice chair), four foundations (the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Century Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation), and the Brookings Institution. She co-founded the Surface Transportation Policy Project, has served on study groups at the National Academy of Sciences, and is an elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Since 2001 she has served as a director of SomaLogic, a leading biotech firm in the breakthrough field of proteomics. She is also a director of HanesBrands Inc. and a member of the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Mathews has published widely in newspapers and in foreign policy and scientific journals, and has co-authored and co-edited three books. She holds a PhD in molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College.
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THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.
THE VISION of the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.