Jake Sullivan

Senior Fellow, Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Former National Security Adviser to VP Biden

American Foreign Policy in the Age of Trump: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going?

About the Topic

After World War II, a group of sovereign states led by the U.S. built alliances and institutions for economic and financial purposes to rebuild countries that were destroyed during the war, to manage disputes, mobilize cooperation, meet challenges and set standards for mutual security. During the past 70 years, nations worked together, for the most part, in a unified way to build and maintain world order. 

Today, that traditional world order is in disarray. China is asserting itself as a power under Xi Jinping; Russia annexed the Crimea and made incursions into the Ukraine, the Middle East remains in turmoil, immigration problems loom in Europe, and Brexit issues have destabilized the UK. The U.S. has left the Trans-Pacific Partnership; withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement; abandoned the Iran nuclear deal; and imposed punitive tariffs on its allies.  

What are the challenges that lie ahead for the United States in this divisive and complex world? Can the U.S., despite having acted unilaterally while alienating some allies, still play a leading role in stabilizing global affairs? Will the results of the November midterm elections likely have any effect on U.S. foreign policy in the next year or two? What are the vexing challenges and potential crises that need Washington’s focus? 

About the Speaker

Jake Sullivan is a nonresident senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace and a Martin R. Flug visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School.

Mr. Sullivan served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the senior policy adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and previously served as deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign.

Mr. Sullivan clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U. S. Supreme Court. He holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University and a master’s degree from Oxford University.