Revitalizing American Diplomacy

Foreign Policy for America's First Annual Conference

January 28th, 2020

On Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, Foreign Policy for America hosted its First Annual Conference, Revitalizing American Diplomacy. The day featured conversations on topics such as rebuilding the State Department, the politics of foreign policy, and the power of inclusion in foreign policy decision making.

The conference kicked off with a conversation with Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03), during which we talked about making foreign policy an important issue for voters on the campaign trail.

Our first panel, “The Power of Inclusion: Diversity and Foreign Policy Decision Making,” was moderated by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins and brought together Jamal Abdi, Wardah Khalid, and Lauren Herzer Risi for a conversation. We drilled down on the issues most likely to have adverse effects on communities typically left out of foreign policy conversations.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined us for keynote remarks, and spoke about the January strike that killed IRGC Commander Qasem Soleimani and how Iran is using the current lack of American leadership in the world to its advantage. He also spoke about the critical importance of using non-military tools in the toolbox to improve our diplomatic capabilities.

Our second panel, “Rebuilding the State Department,” moderated by Sarah Margon, featured U.S. General (ret.) Barry R. McCaffrey, Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Panelists discussed what diplomacy looks like in the 21st century and the changes that are needed to meet the challenges at the State Department today.

We concluded the day with our keynote conversation with Ambassador Susan Rice, moderated by Heather Hurlburt. Ambassador Rice spoke about her book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For and her time serving as the National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, and she shared a number of personal stories that shaped her career.

Thank you to everyone who came out to be a part of this inaugural event! We are proud to have brought together an amazing group of people who care deeply about the future of American foreign policy. We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s conference!