As a nation, we are facing a number of significant global challenges that threaten the very foundations of our political and economic systems. These challenges, such as competition from China, Russian aggression, climate change, economic insecurity, and the need for free and open markets, require our diplomats to be at the top of their game.
Other countries, like China, are investing heavily in their diplomatic efforts and expanding their reach on the global stage. It is more important now than ever that the United States maintains a modern, efficient diplomatic service to effectively promote and protect American interests in this increasingly complex and dangerous world.
Join us for dinner and a conversation with experienced diplomat Ambassador Marc Grossman as he discusses the "American Diplomacy Project." This effort was co-authored by Grossman, in partnership with Harvard University and Arizona State University, to reimagine and revamp the U.S. State Department and Foreign Service for the myriad of unprecedented challenges in the 21st century. Ambassador Barbara Barrett, the 25th Secretary of the Air Force and former U.S. Ambassador to Finland will moderate the discussion.
Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at U.S. Department of State
Ambassador Marc Grossman served as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the State Department's third ranking official, until his retirement in 2005 after 29 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. As Under Secretary, he helped marshal diplomatic support for the international response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. He also managed U.S. policies in the Balkans and Colombia and promoted a key expansion of the NATO alliance. As Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, he helped direct NATO's military campaign in Kosovo and an earlier round of NATO expansion. Ambassador Grossman was the US Ambassador to Turkey 1994 – 1997.
Ambassador Grossman was a Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group from July 2005 to February 2011.
In February, 2011 President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton called Ambassador Grossman back to service as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Grossman promoted the international effort to support Afghanistan by shaping major international meetings in Istanbul, Bonn, Chicago and Tokyo. He provided U.S. backing for an Afghan peace process designed to end thirty years of conflict and played an important part in restoring US ties with Pakistan. He returned to The Cohen Group in February, 2013.
Ambassador Grossman is Chairman of the Board of the Senior Living Foundation of the Foreign Service. He is a Trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, and Robert College of Istanbul. Ambassador Grossman is Vice Chair of the American Academy of Diplomacy. In 2013, Ambassador Grossman was Kissinger Senior Fellow at the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy at Yale University.
Raised in Los Angeles, California, Ambassador Grossman has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
25th Secretary of the Air Force and former U.S. Ambassador to Finland
Barbara Barrett was the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, leading the US Air Force and standing up the Space Force. She is a Regent of the Smithsonian and vice chair of California Institute of Technology, which operates the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Previously, Barbara was Chairman of the Boards of The Aerospace Corporation and Valley Bank of Arizona. She was CEO of the American Management Association and an executive of two global Fortune 500 companies. Her board service included RAND, Exponent Corporation, Raytheon, Mayo Clinic, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the Space Foundation. In addition to the Air Force, Barbara served her country as US Ambassador to Finland (George W. Bush Administration), Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (Reagan Administration), and Vice Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board (Reagan Administration). She was a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and the Defense Business Board. Barbara chaired the President’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the US Commerce Secretary's biennial Export Conference, and the State Department's Women's Economic Empowerment Working Group. She was a Senior Advisor to the US Mission to the United Nations and a member of the US-Afghan Women's Council. She taught leadership as a Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School and was interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management. She was global President of the International Women's Forum. She received the Bernard Schriever, Stuart Symington and Horatio Alger Awards. Barbara earned her BS, MA, and JD at Arizona State University. She is an instrument-rated pilot and qualified for space flight to the International Space Station. Barbara and her husband, Craig Barrett, own a small Montana guest ranch (Triple Creek Ranch) and raise cattle and bison.
The American Diplomacy Project – Phase II, in collaboration with the Una Chapman Cox Foundation and ASU, will build on the original report published in 2020 by Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs entitled The American Diplomacy Project: A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century. Read more here!
A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century
The United States Foreign Service is confronting one of the most profound crises in its long and proud history. Read the report, "A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century" here!