Foreign Policy Under the Kennedys: Lessons for President Biden

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Foreign Policy Under the Kennedys: Lessons for President Biden

16th March 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In the foreign policy they pursued for more than 60 years, Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy offer valuable lessons for President Biden. Throughout their lives, the Kennedy brothers believed that America must play a prominent role on the world stage, and that it could serve as a beacon for others to emulate. They feared war, favoured diplomacy, and sought to control the world’s deadliest weapons. They were deeply interested in the developing world and worked hard to shape America’s role in it. Through Jack’s life, they thought the developing world was central to America’s prospects in the Cold War. After Jack’s death, Bobby and Ted worked to promote human rights and improve the living standards of hundreds of millions of people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


For more than six decades after World War II, the brothers shaped broad issues of war and peace as well as the U.S. response to almost every major global challenge of their times: the Soviet Union and China, the Cold War and Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Chile, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Korea and Vietnam, South Africa and Northern Ireland, and Iraq (twice). As the brothers remade America’s empire, they invariably changed the world.


The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to host this timely discussion, where we will explore how President Biden can apply the lessons that the Kennedys learned as he seeks to restore America’s global leadership role.


Lawrence J. Haas, a former senior White House official and award-winning journalist, is Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. Haas writes widely on foreign affairs, is quoted often in newspapers and magazines, appears frequently on TV and radio, and testifies before Congress. At the White House, he was Communications Director for Vice President Gore and, before that, for the Office of Management and Budget. Haas writes a column on foreign affairs for a variety of outlets. Over the years, his writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and scores of other newspapers as well as in a variety of magazines. He has appeared on national and international TV and radio, and he has lectured at universities, embassies, think tanks, and other outlets. Currently, he serves as a commentator on foreign affairs every Tuesday night on CTV. Haas is the author of six books, including The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire, which was released on March 1st. His previous book (of 2016), Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World, was named a “Book of the Year” by the Wall Street Journal.


Prof. Richard Aldous is a historian of transatlantic politics, diplomacy and business. His eleven books as author and editor include Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian, Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship, and a bestselling life of Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair. He is writing a book on Douglas Dillon, treasury secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Richard lives in the Hudson Valley, New York, and teaches at Bard College, where he holds the Eugene Meyer Chair. He is a founding member of the editorial team at American Purpose magazine and presents its weekly ‘Bookstack” podcast. He was a British Academy Scholar at Cambridge and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. (Picture credit: Sean Hemmerle)


Amb. Nancy Soderberg has served on four presidential campaigns, in the United States Senate, in the White House and at the United Nations. Ambassador Soderberg achieved international recognition for her efforts to promote peace in Northern Ireland and also advised President Clinton on policies toward China, Russia, the Balkans as well as on a variety of conflicts in Africa. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as Alternate Representative to the United Nations as a Presidential Appointee, with the rank of Ambassador. From 1993-97, she served as the third ranking official of the National Security Council at the White House, including as the first woman Deputy National Security Advisor. Ambassador Soderberg served as the Foreign Policy Director for the Clinton/Gore 1992 Campaign and worked as the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She is President and CEO of Soderberg Global Solutions, an international consulting firm. She is the Director of the Public Service Leadership Program at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed her as Chair of the Public Interest Declassification Board, an advisory committee established by Congress to promote public access to U.S. national security decisions.


Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading thinktank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera. Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines. Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.


You can RSVP for your tickets HERE



16th March 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


United Kingdom


Henry Jackson Society
+44 (0) 20 7340 4520


Lawrence Haas, Richard Aldous, Nancy Soderberg, Dr Alan Mendoza


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