International Affairs Events

September 20th – September 24th

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.  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 to 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, September 20th

Humanity in Motion and Colombia: A Conversation with President Iván Duque

Time: 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Location: Wilson Center 
Information: Throughout its history, Colombians have been displaced or have migrated to neighboring countries to escape the country’s own internal armed conflict. Today, Colombia hosts the largest number of Venezuelans of any country in the world— over 2 million out of a total of more than 6 million who have fled Venezuela’s authoritarian rule and economic and humanitarian collapse. In February 2021, President Ivan Duque decided to grant temporary protected status for Venezuelans. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi described the bold move as “historic,” “a humanitarian gesture of an unprecedented scale.” Last month, Colombia also agreed to shelter 4,000 refugees from Afghanistan to respond to the humanitarian situation in that country.

What can the international community learn from Colombia with respect to the treatment of migrants? Is the international community doing enough to support Colombia and other Latin American countries with large populations of Venezuelans? How can the United States and Colombia deepen their collaboration in addressing the needs of displaced people?

Please join the Wilson Center for a discussion with Colombian President Iván Duque on the lessons learned from Colombia’s history with displacement as well as to discuss the current humanitarian and development challenges facing Colombia.
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Green Trade under the AfCFTA: The role of AU-EU Partnership

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Brookings Institute
Information: Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) began earlier this year, with massive potential to boost inclusive economic growth and reduce inequality and poverty in Africa. The Brookings Africa Growth Initiative will co-host a virtual event with the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in which panelists will explore opportunities for green trade with Europe in the context of the AfCFTA and the new European Green Deal. The discussion will delve into contentious issues around the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) tax and trade laws, while looking at ways in which partnership with Europe can support green value chain development, green technology, and green investment in Africa toward green transformation.
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Transatlantic Relations under Biden: Opportunities and Challenges

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Information: Ambassador Veronica Wand-Danielsson, Americas Department, Swedish Foreign Ministry, will deliver a virtual seminar in the Bologna Institute for Policy Research Europe after the Pandemic Series. The event is hosted by Michael Leigh, Academic Director, Master of Arts in European Public Policy; Senior Adjunct Professor of European Studies.
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Tuesday, September 21st

The Nuclear Policy Trilemma

Time: Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – Wednesday 12:30 p.m.
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Information: United States nuclear policy faces a trilemma. In an increasingly tight fiscal environment, policymakers are seeking to repair and rebuild alliance relationships with vital allies, modernize crucial aspects of the nuclear arsenal, and revitalize a crumbling bilateral and multilateral arms control infrastructure – all in a context of deep ideological polarization and politicization across the nuclear policy landscape. Pursuit of any one of these three goals may have reverberating impacts across the others. For instance, prioritizing certain types of arms control could undermine U.S. nuclear modernization and strain U.S. extended deterrence commitments. This virtual conference will examine different aspects of these priorities and tensions and explore how to weigh and address these seemingly competing policy priorities. The conference will seek to disentangle this nuclear triangle, offering paths forward for policymakers to balance these three policy goals.
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Hearing: An International Response to Ortega’s Destruction of Democracy in Nicaragua

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
Information: This hearing will be presented before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy. Attendance may be in-person at 2172 Rayburn House Office Building or virtually via Cisco WebEx. 
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Israel After the Abraham Accords: Changing Regional Dynamics

Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Hudson Institute
Information: The one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the subsequent normalization of relations with other Arab states has highlighted the changing dynamics between Israel and its neighbors in the region. Join Hudson Adjunct Fellow Josh Block for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing Israel with the co-chairs of the Israeli Knesset’s Abraham Accords Caucus, Ruth Wasserman Lande and Ofir Akunis.
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Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Future: What’s Next?

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: German Marshall Fund (GMF)
Information: Even prior to the U.S. departure, Afghanistan struggled with a myriad of humanitarian crises, such as widespread forced displacement, food insecurity, increased violence, and a third wave of the COVID-19. The takeover of the Taliban further endangers Afghanistan’s already precarious humanitarian situation. Recent developments have restricted Afghans’ access to basic services and commodities, increased insecurity, and jeopardized women’s position in society. As a result, a new refugee crisis is anticipated in Europe as well as in Afghanistan’s neighbors. What kind of future awaits Afghan society? How can others help and how can the refugee flow from Afghanistan be managed? Please join us for a virtual conversation on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the humanitarian consequences of this withdrawal.
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Wednesday, September 22nd

Russia’s Strategic Role in Afghanistan and Central Asia

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Information: Last month’s rapid withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and the collapse of the Afghan government have sent geopolitical shockwaves throughout Eurasia. Although the Taliban leadership has provided assurances that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used to launch attacks against Russia or neighboring countries, concerns about their ability to fulfill their promises remain. As Taliban assumes de facto control of the government, what role will Russia play in shaping Afghanistan’s security and its future? What is the state of Russia’s military and counterterrorism capability in the broader region and how may its strategy and tactics change in the future? How will Russia mitigate the increased risk of crossborder terrorism, migration flows, and drug trafficking entering Central Asia and Russia? Will Central Asian states seek additional Russian bases or peacekeeping forces to maintain stability?

Please join CSIS for a livestreamed discussion on Russia’s strategic and military role in Afghanistan and Central Asia post-U.S. and NATO withdrawal with Dr. Pavel Baev, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Dr. Erica Marat, Associate Professor and Chair of the Regional and Analytical Studies Department at the National Defense University (NDU). Heather A. Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program will moderate. 
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To Rule the Waves: How Control of the World’s Oceans Shapes the Fate of the Superpowers

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Brookings Institute
Information: In this virtual event, author Bruce Jones illustrates how global commerce works, that we are amidst a global naval arms race, and why the oceans are so crucial to America’s standing going forward.
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The Frontlines of Peace: A Discussion with author Séverine Autesserre

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, City View Room (7th Floor)
Information: Join George Washington University’s Security Policy Studies (SPS) Program, Humanitarian Action Initiative (HAI), Institute for Security and Conflict Studies (ISCS), and Leadership, Ethics, and Practice (LEAP) Initiative, for an in-person presentation and discussion with Dr. Séverine Autesserre on her new book, The Frontlines of Peace. Dr. Autesserre is an award-winning author, peacebuilder, and researcher, as well as a Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. This event will be moderated by Dr. Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University.
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CSINT Conversations: Killing Strangers with Tim Wilson

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: American University School of International Service (SIS)
Information: Join American University’s SIS for a virtual dialogue between Tim Wilson, historian and author of Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern, and SIS distinguished professor Audrey Kurth Cronin, director of American University’s Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology (CSINT) and a leading expert on security and terrorism. This engaging conversation will address the development of political violence, techniques, and forms of contemporary political violence, and the changing roles of technology and communication. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions during this live session.
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Combating Racism, Promoting Equality in European Organizations

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service
Information: The Black Lives Matter movement has prompted many Europeans to stand in solidarity with antiracist protesters in the USA and confront Europe’s own histories of racist violence, from colonial conquest and genocide to the structural discrimination of immigrants and minorities. How does this reckoning rhyme with Europe’s postwar self-image of a continent committed to peace and social justice? For its inaugural panel in its annual events series on Race and Antiracism in Europe, Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service has invited representatives of three European organizations to virtually discuss the objectives and challenges of antiracist work with Masters students in German and European Studies.
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Thursday, September 23rd

Hearing: Scenarios in a Cross-Strait Conflict

Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
Information: This hearing will be presented before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation.
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Hearing: Transatlantic Cooperation on Countering Global Violent Extremism

Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
Information: This hearing will be presented before the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber and the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism.
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How Should the United States Deter China?

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Brookings Institute
Information: The 2018 National Defense Strategy was the first time the Pentagon identified China as the organizing focus of U.S. defense policy. Elbridge Colby, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, was a key architect of that document. In a new book, he now lays out a vision for how the United States should approach China in the coming years, with special consideration for how the U.S. military might win a war with China in order to deter such a war from ever taking place. The Brookings Institute will host Colby for a virtual event to discuss his approach to the long-term challenge of deterring China.
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Upcoming Special Announcement

World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Launch

Time: October 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
Location: World Justice Project (WJP)
Information: The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and reinforced longstanding structural inequalities and governance weaknesses. Join us to explore the rule of law dimensions of the pandemic at the launch of the 2021 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index®, the world’s leading source for original rule of law data. The 2021 Index is the first in this annual series to capture rule of law changes during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2009, WJP has documented rule of law trends in its annual WJP Rule of Law Index®, expanded this year to cover 139 countries and jurisdictions. The Index relies on survey responses gathered from more than 138,000 households and 4,200 experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived in practical, everyday situations. The Index covers such rule of law factors as constraints on government power, fundamental rights, corruption, discrimination, security, and the functioning of regulatory, criminal, and civil justice systems. This quantitative tool provides citizens, governments, policymakers, donors, businesses, media, academics, and civil society organizations around the world with a comprehensive comparative analysis of countries’ adherence to universal rule of law principles.  
RSVP: Click Here