2020-2021 LECTURE DATES AND CONFIRMED SPEAKERS >

Virginia Bennett

Senior Director, International Programs, CNA, A Nonprofit Research & Analysis Organization

YOUNG PATRON EVENT: U.S. Foreign Policy: What Role For Human Rights?

About the Topic

The new administration's foreign policy agenda is crowded: foremost is the global pandemic, but also an emboldened China, continued nuclear threats posed by North Korea and Iran, and a significant renewed focus on climate change. Given these extraordinary challenges, will American diplomats find a place on their agendas for promoting human rights? Speaker Virginia Bennett confronts these issues and asks, “Can the U.S. push a global human rights agenda against a backdrop of national disarray and civilian insecurity in our own democracy?"

About the Speaker

Virginia Bennett is the Senior Director, International Programs for CNA’s Institute for Public Research. A veteran State Department diplomat, she served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State and Principal Deputy for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2014-2017. Of this meeting with the Young Patrons, she writes,” I am really hoping that we can have a discussion . . . (I am) neither a historian nor an academic expert, but a practically-minded former practitioner of diplomacy who defended America's human rights agenda with pride -- and realized how distant I was from the realities of the U.S. in the process.”