Foreign Policy Blogs

Stanley Foundation: Multilateralism as Problem Solving


Vladimir Sambaiew, President of the Stanley Foundation, recently had an op-ed in the Des Moines Register that very neatly sums up the argument on how multilateralism can work to address (if not always solve) global problems. Sambaiew’s focus is on the G-20 and “responsible stakeholdership.”

Two phrases help explain today’s leadership context: the “G-20” and “responsible stakeholdership.” Nations that make up the G-20 represent more than 80 percent of the world’s population and economic output. Since the first summit in November 2008 hosted by then-President George Bush in Washington, the leaders of 19 nations plus the European Union have met four times to deal with the world’s continuing economic and financial difficulties. The early November Seoul G-20 summit was the first time the group met outside North America and Europe.

As the crisis phase of the global economic downturn passes, the G-20 grouping faces questions about its longer-term role – not just for its mandate of economic diplomacy, but for international cooperation more broadly. The strength of the G-20 is that it represents a solid cross section of today’s leading nations. Unlike the U.N. Security Council, the G-20 includes six representatives from Asia alone (Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea) and includes leading nations from all world regions.

Sambaiew’s op-ed draws on the overall mission of the Stanley Foundation that, in their own words,  is focused on promoting and building support for principled multilateralism in addressing international issues.”

They are focused on four initiatives at the moment:

  • Human Protection
  • Evolving Global System
  • Nuclear Security
  • Community Partnerships

Their website and publications offer a wealth of policy analysis and timely information that is both accessible and detailed.   I participated in one of their events  –  on UNSCR 1540 and WMD – and was impressed.  The Stanley Foundation does excellent work and they also serve as a reminder that Washington does not have a monopoly on good ideas about international relations (they are based in Muscatine, Iowa).



James Ketterer

James Ketterer is Dean of International Studies at Bard College and Director of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program. He previously served as Egypt Country Director for AMIDEAST, based in Cairo and before that as Vice Chancellor for Policy & Planning and Deputy Provost at the State University of New York (SUNY). In 2007-2008 he served on the staff of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education. He previously served as Director of the SUNY Center for International Development.

Ketterer has extensive experience in technical assistance for democratization projects, international education, legislative development, elections, and policy analysis – with a focus on Africa and the Middle East. He has won and overseen projects funded by USAID, the Department for International Development (UK), the World Bank and the US State Department. He served on the National Security Council staff at the White House, as a policy analyst at the New York State Senate, a project officer with the Center for Legislative Development at the University at Albany, and as an international election specialist for the United Nations, the African-American Institute, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is currently a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association and has also held teaching positions in international politics at the New School for Social Research, Bard College, State University of New York at New Paltz, the University at Albany, Russell Sage College, and the College of Saint Rose.

Ketterer has lectured and written extensively on various issues for publications including the Washington Post, Middle East Report, the Washington Times, the Albany Times Union, and the Journal of Legislative Studies. He was a Boren National Security Educational Program Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and in Morocco, an International Graduate Rotary Scholar at the Bourguiba School of Languages in Tunisia, and studied Arabic at the King Fahd Advanced School of Translation in Morocco. He received his education at Johns Hopkins University, New York University and Fordham University.

Areas of focus: Public Diplomacy; Middle East; Africa; US Foreign Policy

Contributor to: Global Engagement