The Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy Priorities
December 15, 2020,
As the new Biden administration enters Washington, the President-elect is poised to employ a different tone toward the rest of the world. The Trump administration has defined its foreign policy in “America First” terms, but Joe Biden has made it clear that he will work to foster relationships with allies and bring the US back to a leading role in global affairs. Biden’s cabinet nominees are looking to strengthen multilateral alliances while championing democracy and human rights around the world. Many expect him to take a drastic turn from his predecessor’s foreign policy strategy by bolstering bureaucracies like the State Department and the Intelligence Community to advance US interests abroad. Biden has made it clear that he will look to reenter multilateral agreements like the Paris Climate Accord, revamp the Iran nuclear deal, and rebuild trust with European allies. With China looming as the greatest challenge for the US foreign policy, will Biden choose to embrace punitive policies or reset relations? Are there elements of Trump’s foreign policy that Biden should maintain? How has Biden’s extensive foreign policy experience in Congress and in the White House prepared him for the foreign policy challenges in a pandemic-ridden world?
The SETA Foundation at Washington DC is pleased to host an expert panel discussion on the Foreign Policy Priorities of the coming Biden administration.
Charles Kupchan, Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
Kilic Kanat, Research Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington, DC
Charles Kupchan is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and professor of international affairs at Georgetown University in the Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government. From 2014 to 2017, Kupchan served as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) in the Barack Obama administration. He was also director for European affairs on the NSC during the first Bill Clinton administration. Before joining the Clinton NSC, he worked in the U.S. Department of State on the policy planning staff. Previously, he was an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.
Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy and the author of “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World”; (St. Martin’s Press), which was shortlisted for the 2017 Lionel Gelber Prize. He is also co-editor with Will McCants of “Rethinking Political Islam” (Oxford University Press) and co-author of “Militants, Criminals, and Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder” (Brookings Institution Press). His first book “Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East” (Oxford University Press) was named a Foreign Affairs “Best Book of 2014.” Hamid served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. Hamid is also a contributing writer at The Atlantic and vice-chair of the Project on Middle East Democracy’s board of directors.
Kilic Bugra Kanat is the Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington DC. He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Penn State University, Erie where he was awarded the Outstanding Research Award and Council of Fellows Faculty Research Award. Dr. Kanat received his PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University; a Master’s in Political Science from Syracuse University; a Master’s in International Affairs from Marquette University. He participated in Future Leaders Program of Foreign Policy Initiative. Dr. Kanat’s writings have appeared in Foreign Policy, Insight Turkey, The Diplomat, Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, Mediterranean Quarterly, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. He is a columnist at Daily Sabah & author of A Tale of Four Augusts: Obama’s Syria Policy.