President, Council on Foreign Relations
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Described as "someone who sees the world as it really is" and who speaks "with moral clarity," former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton provides us with an unparalleled perspective on world events.
One of America’s most prominent policy voices, John Bolton is a lawyer and diplomat who has spent his career fighting to protect American national interests.
As National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump, Ambassador Bolton championed a strong and resolute U.S. foreign and defense policy – recognized for his powerful national-security influence and past administrative experience, having served in the Reagan administration and under former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Ambassador Bolton scored key policy victories during his recent White House tenure, such as overseeing President Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, reached under former President Obama. He also served as a crucial force in strategic conversations with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, seeking broad concessions from Kim about his weapons of mass destruction. He participated in key policy formulation on issues related to Russia, including on strategic arms control, and on China.
As the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton strongly defended American economic and security interests, as he did throughout his time at the State and Justice Departments. During his tenure, he was a leading voice on the need for the Security Council to take strong and meaningful action against international proliferation and terrorism.
Along with France’s ambassador, Ambassador Bolton led the Security Council to approve a unanimous resolution to end the summer 2006 Hezbollah war on Israel, to authorize UN peacekeepers and to create an arms embargo against Hezbollah. He also assembled an international coalition that blocked the bid of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s Marxist strongman, to join the Security Council.
Throughout his distinguished career, Ambassador Bolton has been a staunch defender of American interests. While Under Secretary of State, he repeatedly advocated tough measures against the nuclear weapons programs of both Iran and North Korea, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction worldwide. He led negotiations for America to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so that the Bush Administration could proceed with a national missile-defense program.
Ambassador Bolton is also an advocate for human rights. While serving at the UN, he arranged the Security Council’s first deliberations on Burma’s human rights abuses. He invited actor George Clooney and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel to brief the Security Council in September 2006 on the Khartoum regime’s mass murder of non-Arabs in Darfur, Sudan. “Every day we delay only adds to the suffering of the Sudanese people and extends the genocide,” Ambassador Bolton says.
His op-ed articles have also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other periodicals.
A man of principle and conviction, Bolton provided a forward-thinking vision on international economic and political issues vital to the U.S. and its allies. He shares with audiences his views on how the global economy is affected by the international geopolitical environment and foreign government policies, and how business, investors, and government need to respond. Leaning on his international and diplomatic experience under four presidential administrations, he explores populism, national security, and U.S. foreign policy in uncertain times.
John Bolton is currently a Senior Advisor at Rhône Group.
John Bolton's Speech Topics
Global Business Challenges and Opportunities During the Trump Administration
Donald Trump’s inauguration as President heralds the possibility of dramatic changes in the global business environment. Ambassador John Bolton shares his unique understanding of President Trump’s agenda and policies, as well as what businesses should expect from his administration. Will President Trump reverse most Obama Administration policies, or will we see more continuity than the pundits and analysts have been predicting?
Based on his international and diplomatic experience under four presidential administrations, Ambassador Bolton discusses:
- What to expect from President Trump’s security policy, which could have far-reaching implications on financial and economic stability, particularly in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East
- The impact of U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements on international partnerships and the global business environment
- The current political risk assessment of any given market or markets, grounded in history and projected forward for business-planning purposes
- Key insight into trends to consider over the next several months, and future business outlook during the Trump Administration
Populism, National Security, and U.S. Foreign Policy in Uncertain Times
As populist political movements spread throughout the international community, is the U.S. experiencing a similar movement away from a more globalist approach? Ambassador John Bolton, himself a prominent face of the U.S. movement to raise the profile of national security in federal elections, shares his unique perspective on the current political environment, including:
- His assessment of President Trump’s foreign policy agenda, and what businesses in the U.S. and around the globe should expect
- How a political shift away from globalism emerged in the U.S., and what implications it will have for the future of trade, business, and the economy
- How the Trump Administration and Congress should react to the rapidly growing cyber threat, including strengthening our defenses and building a robust offensive capability
Foreign Challenges Facing the Trump Administration
Drawing from his decades of political and diplomatic experience, Ambassador John Bolton examines the threats and challenges facing America and its allies, including:
- China’s pursuit of an aggressive strategy in the South China Sea and an unprecedented buildup in cyberwarfare, nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and naval capabilities
- Russia’s efforts to meddle in foreign elections, including our own, dramatically increased influence in the troubled Middle East, and growing pressure on neighboring countries in eastern Europe and the former USSR
- The Middle East’s continued descent into chaos, with Israel threatened by terrorists, and Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, with ISIS and al Qaeda still menacing America and Europe
Ambassador Bolton will cover these or other topics of particular interest to your group, either in a stand-alone speech or as part of a debate or panel discussion. He shares with audiences:
- Insight into the likely contrasts and continuities between Presidents Trump and Obama
- Recommendations for dealing with strategic threats from Russia and China, and the longer-term threats of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation
- Provocative thoughts on how to protect Israel’s security and that of other U.S. friends in the region, while bringing lasting peace to the Middle East