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As a senior national security advisor and the nation’s number two diplomat, Antony Blinken had a voice in every national security and foreign policy debate of President Obama’s administration. He’s been a frequent guest on cable and network television and spoken to audiences around the world. Drawing on his experiences in two administrations and two branches of government over three decades in public service, Blinken takes you behind the scenes in the Oval Office and the Situation Room and offers a uniquely informed look into U.S. leadership at a time of accelerating change and growing complexity in the world.
For six years, Antony Blinken started his day in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Biden, helping lead the national security briefing. He was in the Situation Room when Osama bin Laden was brought to justice. As Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken brought a combination of policy expertise, inclusive leadership and diplomatic finesse that made progress possible on some of our nation’s toughest foreign policy priorities—leading diplomacy in the fight against ISIL/Daesh, giving substance to our rebalance to Asia (from China to Vietnam), reenergizing our partnerships with powerhouses Nigeria and India, and mobilizing a response to the global refugee crisis.
Recognizing that today’s challenges are beyond the capacity of any one country to solve, Blinken made partnerships a hallmark of his tenure. He created new diplomatic geometry with nations like Korea and Japan, sought to include new communities of young people, entrepreneurs and civil society in decision-making, and built bridges to the innovation community, opening the State Department’s first-ever office in Silicon Valley. An advocate of confident, open engagement, Blinken defends the value of an interconnected world while arguing the need to adapt our national and international policies so that progress is more broadly shared. He makes a compassionate, compelling case for an open America to lead in an open world.
What Makes America, America
The Future of America’s ‘Pivot to Asia’
India, and U.S. Migration Relations
America’s Asia Pacific Future
Nowhere in the world are our economic and strategic opportunities clearer or more compelling than in the Asia-Pacific. The region is home to four of our top ten trading partners, five of our seven treaty allies, the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies—representing 40 percent of global growth and nearly two-thirds of the world’s middle class—and some of the most wired and innovative people in the world.
The rise of Asia, which has already lifted millions out of poverty, will help define this new century. But by what rules, by which means, to what ends—those are the questions that the United States has a profound self-interest in answering. Over the course of ten trips in two years, Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken regularly met not only with the region’s most senior leaders but also corporate executives, innovators, civil society activists and young people.
Hear a candid and forthright assessment of the strategic and economic risks and opportunities for the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific, and how U.S. businesses, organizations, associations, and start-ups should position themselves in the years to come.
Globalization, Populism and American Engagement Abroad
How do we make sense of the world today and America’s role in addressing complex global challenges? This question has created a new divide, but not along established lines—Democrat versus Republican, liberal versus conservative. Rather, the chasm is between those with very different ideas about how to manage the forces of change. Increasing numbers of Americans question the merits of being open to the world. They worry that refugees pose a threat to their physical security and immigrants to their identity, free trade comes at their expense, and global engagement is more a burden than a benefit. The argument that we’re better off pulling up the drawbridge is understandable.
But it misses the reality that an increasing number of challenges—from epidemics to climate change, violent extremism to cyber terrorism—are beyond the capacity of any one nation to address. It denies the importance of a U.S.-led global order that keeps people, products, ideas, and capital flowing with common rules, norms, and institutions. Go inside senior national security and foreign policy deliberations to learn how this debate over America’s role in the world impacts our daily lives.
Hear from one of our nation’s top diplomats why U.S. global engagement matters for every American and what we need to do to ensure its benefits reach more of our citizens.
Innovation and Technology in National Security and Foreign Policy
Every day, members of the President’s national security team gather in the White House Situation Room. Armed with the latest policy and intelligence reports, they debate options and make recommendations to the President for navigating a world more fluid and fraught with complexity than ever before.
For eight years, Antony Blinken was privileged to sit at this table, where he saw how some of our toughest, most urgent global challenges and goals reside squarely at the intersection of foreign policy and technology. What does the revolution in robotics mean for warfighting, or advances in artificial intelligence for labor markets, the advent of digital currencies for our sanctions regime, breakthroughs in genome editing for food security, or developments in distance learning for refugee children?
Yet, many of those grappling with these challenges at the highest levels of government are not necessarily technical experts. Learn how the country’s senior national security leaders sought to bridge the divide between policy and practice, innovators and diplomats, Silicon Valley and Washington, computers and humans—ultimately inspiring a new generation of problem-solvers to join the call to public service.
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Director, Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University; Under Secretary for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2011–2015); Founding Partner and Senior Counselor, The Albright Stonebridge Group; Author