Foreign Policy Blogs

Discussing Foreign Policy at the Conventions

While most of the media's attention was turned to the speeches given at the recent Republican and Democratic national conventions, meanwhile, many of the nation's think tanks and non-profit organizations organized sidebar discussions about critical policy issues facing the country.

Two excellent examples of such events were both sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, one each at the DNC and RNC. The panel discussion held during the DNC, about “Enhancing the U.S. Role in the World,” gathered a distinguished panel of more of the democratic-leaning foreign policy practitioners and thinkers.

These included: Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Geoffrey Garin, President, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations, Richard C. Holbrooke, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Vin Weber, Chair, National Endowment for Democracy, and Timothy E. Wirth, Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation.

Tom Brokaw, who served as moderator, thoroughly questioned the panel about some of the most pressing issues in US Foreign policy. I particularly enjoyed that last section in which he asked each panelist to confess what US foreign policy issue keeps them up at night. The answers were quite diverse.

It's definitely worth a listen.

The next week at the RNC in Minneapolis, CFR gave the Republican-leaning foreign policy practitioners’ a turn to discuss the pressing foreign policy issues at hand.

This time CFR's President Richard Haass was in the moderator's seat, questioning a panel comprised of: Kim Holmes, Vice President, of the Heritage Foundation, and two other CFR Fellows, Edward Alden, and Benn Steil. In this wide-ranging discussion, panelists touched on the role of the U.S. economy in world stability, recent aggressive moves by Russia, the evolving role of international organizations such as the UN, Iranian ascendancy, and the prospects for curbing global climate change.

It is also definitely worth watching, click here to do so.



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.