International Affairs Events

November 18th – November 22nd

One of the greatest advantages of living in Washington, DC is having unparalleled access to high-quality events hosted by the nation’s leading public, private, and non-profit organizations. In today’s changed world, these organizations have pivoted to hosting high-quality virtual events, accessible to all.

The “Getting Downtown” newsletter is a curated list of events that might be of interest for international affairs-focused students and young professionals living in DC.  Please, feel free to share this list of events with anyone that may be interested and subscribe here to continue getting weekly lists of events!

I encourage all of you to get downtown or virtually attend these events and panel discussions as much as you can. These events are thought-provoking and also provide great opportunities to connect with senior and mid-level professionals.

All the best,
Dr. Paul R. Williams
Rebecca I. Grazier Professor of Law and International Relations
American University

Monday, November 29th

Exploring the Black Box of North Korea in a Globalized Context

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies virtual event
Information: Please join the CSIS Korea Chair for a discussion on the results of a multi-year project dedicated to unpacking the multifaceted layers of the North Korean state and its regional relationships. Members of the Washington Research Consortium on Korea will gather to discuss different methodological approaches to exploring understudied issues related to North Korean society, markets, and ideology.
RSVP: Click Here

Understanding Wolf Warrior Diplomacy with Peter Martin

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Hudson Institute virtual event
Information: In recent years, Chinese diplomats have adopted an increasingly aggressive posture toward the United States and its democratic partners, known as “wolf warrior diplomacy.” However, as Bloomberg journalist and China expert Peter Martin discusses in his new book, “China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy,” neither this style of diplomacy nor the strategic considerations behind it are new to China’s approach to foreign policy. Join Senior Fellow Nury Turkel for a discussion with Peter Martin on the motivations behind China’s escalation of aggressive diplomatic tactics and its implications for U.S.-China relations.
RSVP: Click Here

The state of Africa’s free trade agreement and strategies for greater integration

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Brookings Institute virtual event
Information: Given the promise of the AfCFTA and the lingering obstacles, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative will host a discussion on the state of play and the future of the AfCFTA. What challenges to ratification and implementation persist? What are areas or strategies policymakers—regionally and nationally—should prioritize to both maintain momentum toward integration and realize its economic promise?
RSVP: Click Here

Tuesday, November 30th

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing: U.S. Policy on Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: U.S. Senate SD-106 and video conference
Information: Attend this full committee hearing on U.S.-Latin American relations presided over by Senator Menendez. 
RSVP: Click Here

The Future of US Climate Policy with Representative John Curtis

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Hudson Institute virtual event
Information: How should the United States proceed to tackle climate change, both domestically and on the global stage? Join Hudson Institute for a conversation with Representative John Curtis, Chairman of the Conservative Climate Caucus, and Research Fellow Nate Sibley.
RSVP: Click Here

Super Grids and Power Reforms: Unlocking China’s Clean Energy Transition

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Wilson Center & China Environment Forum virtual event
Information: China’s development has long relied upon cheap coal, but over the past decade environmental concerns have led the government to install record-breaking amounts of wind and solar energy capacity. Deploying renewable energy where it is needed and integrating it into the grid is a major challenge. Critical reforms to drive this power sector transition are still ongoing to address trading energy between provinces, market reforms, renewables integration, and energy efficiency. We welcome you to join this China Environment Forum event, where our speakers will discuss how China is grappling with power sector reforms and how they could enable the nation to meet its goal of net zero carbon by 2060. They will also look at the implications of Chinese visions of a “new energy cloud” and a “supergrid” of ultra high voltage power lines.
RSVP: Click Here

Wednesday, December 1st

China’s Power: Up for Debate 2021 – Keynote Remarks by U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies virtual event
Information: Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine Wormuth will deliver keynote remarks on the challenges posed by China’s growing power and the view from the United States Army. Her remarks will be followed by a Q&A session hosted by Bonny Lin, director of the China Power Project and senior fellow for Asian security at CSIS.
RSVP: Click Here

Achievements of State Building in Ukraine

Time: 10:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Location: Wilson Center & Kennan Institute virtual event
Information: Ukraine emerged in 1991 as the second largest post-Soviet nation. Several steps were critical in realizing this final break from Russia and the Soviet Union, none more important than the December 1, 1991 referendum.  The population voted overwhelming for independence, thus providing the political foundation for this new country. The Belovezha Accords soon followed and with it, the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Thirty years later after this consequential vote, we will gather four distinguished scholars from various disciplines – law, history, political science, and philosophy – to discuss Ukraine’s three decades of independence, its achievements in state-building, and what must still be achieved in the coming decade.
RSVP: Click Here

The Climate Footprint of Plastics: Search for Solutions in Asia, Europe, and the United States

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Wilson Center virtual event
Information: At this China Environment Forum, speakers will delve into market changes, policies, lawsuits and technologies critical to reducing virgin plastic resin and plastic waste. Starting with Carroll Muffett (CIEL) who will outline the often hidden sources of carbon emissions along the plastic lifecycle. Next, Von Hernandez (BFFP) will highlight the climate-plastic nexus in Asia and the efforts of groups on the ground to counter the false solutions being promoted by corporate polluters to justify the continuing production and use of throwaway plastic. Alice Mah (University of Warwick) will share her research into the environmental and social impact of the growing petrochemical pollution in China’s Yangtze River Basin. Rosa Pritchard (Client Earth) will report on her organization’s work pushing for new laws that limit unnecessary single-use plastics and bringing legal cases in Europe that make plastic producers responsible for the environmental costs of dealing with plastic waste.
RSVP: Click Here

Thursday, December 2nd

Launch of the UN Global Humanitarian Overview 2022

Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies virtual event
Information: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will co-host the Washington DC launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022—one of six sequential global launches centered around climate change and humanitarian action. The opening session will include keynote remarks by Ms. Samantha Power, Administrator, USAID; a video message by UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres and remarks by Mr. Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator who will present the latest trends, analysis, challenges and opportunities in humanitarian action, as well as an overview of the coordinated plans for humanitarian response in 2022.
RSVP: Click Here

The EU’s New Strategic Compass

Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies virtual event
Information: Please join CSIS for a conversation with Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, Director General of the EU Military Staff. As the European Union prepares to release a new Strategic Compass outlining the bloc’s future strategy on security and defense, Vice Admiral Bléjean will discuss the EU’s current military operations and missions under the banner of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific, and how the Strategic Compass could reinforce the EU’s ability to act. He will also reflect on the state of EU-NATO cooperation and expectations for the future of the relationship. Please join the Vice Admiral in a conversation with Rachel Ellehuus, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS.
RSVP: Click Here

Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited: Capital and State Building in the West Bank

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: George Washington University Elliott School virtual event
Information: In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. As Fayyad described the conference, Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.” In this book Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad’s rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine’s subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel.
RSVP: Click Here


Friday, December 3rd

Ultimate Political Authority: The Struggle for Power in 21st Century Egypt

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual event
Information: Join us for a special conversation on the evolution of Egyptian politics, revolution, and counter-revolution, marking the launch of two books, Mona El Ghobashy’s Bread and Freedom and Nathan J. Brown, Shimaa Hatab, and Amr Adly’s Lumbering State, Restless Society. Ghobashy, Adly, and Brown will present the books’ main themes, followed by comments from Yasmine Rashidi and Hisham Hellyer. Michele Dunne will moderate.
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U.S.-China Hostility: 14th Annual China Conference

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: George Washington University Elliott School virtual event
Information: Since 1949, US–China relations have evolved from tense standoffs to a complex mix of intensifying diplomacy, growing international rivalry, and increasingly intertwined economies. Continued escalation of trade disputes and blame over the spread of the coronavirus are emblematic of a significant hardening of positions that extends well beyond these two issues. The importance of US–China tension in shaping either macroeconomic outcomes or firm-level decisions over a long time span has not been studied empirically, mainly for lack of an indicator that can quantify these tensions. We measure the intensity of public concerns over US–China tension and show that there are adverse economic consequences for both countries due to heightened tensions.
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Democracy Support in Hard Places: Can we do better?

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual event
Information: By hosting the forthcoming Summit for Democracy, the Biden administration has underscored its commitment to reinforcing democracy, human rights, and governance around the world and at home. Yet the challenges to this lofty objective are steep, and recent events in Afghanistan, Sudan, and beyond have laid bare the difficulty of building up democratic societies in conflict-affected states in particular. While the U.S. government often approaches democracy support as a separate initiative from efforts to mitigate and stabilize conflicts, these two goals often overlap on the ground. What have we learned from these experiences? How should the United States approach issues of democracy in its implementation of the Global Fragility Act? Join us as we take stock of lessons learned on international democracy support in conflict-affected contexts and discuss how to formulate a new playbook to assist democracies in fragile settings. 
RSVP: Click Here