First full day down. We enjoyed our morning panel on pertinent concern facing the U.S. in both the development and security fields, China. “Scramble for Influence: Economic and Security Policy for the U.S. and China” brought an incredible discussion from Scott Morris (Center for Global Development), Lindsey Ford (Asia Society Policy Institute), and Sabrina Tsai (Staffer, Congressional-Executive Commission on China).
It’s important to note that we are observing “Chatham House Rule” this week, which is a system of having debates on sensitive issues that ensures anonymity. CHR is based off of the United Kingdom Royal Institute of International Affairs (in Chatham House, London), where the system was created in 1927. With this, our daily speakers and panelists can speak freely on controversial topics without worry of finding quotes, later, on Twitter.
We ate a tasty lunch in the Brookings Institute cafeteria and returned to hear from President Obama’s former Communications Director, Tribe alumni Jen Psaki. She spoke towards the importance of communication for a complicated town like Washington and how it differs from campaigns to the White House to the State Department to think thanks. It was fascinating to learn how media and comms has changed over the years.
Later in the day, our “Influencing from the Outside” panel discussed the role of lobbyists and think tanks as influencers of policy. Will Ruger (Charles Koch Institute), Jim Goldgeier (Council on Foreign Relations), John Glenn (US Global Leadership Council) and Kirsten Fontenrose (Sonoran Policy Group) described their jobs, organizations, and methods of affect.
We concluded with an “interview” from Professor Custer to Aria Grabowski with Oxfam America. They closed by exploring the role of U.S. development over the years.
I wonder if the expression “when there’s blood on the streets, buy property” pertains to trash, as well. I took a walk after class to the WW2 Memorial, down 17th and past the White House, to find most trash bins beginning to overflow. On day 13 of the government shutdown, our program has not been heavily affected besides one cancelled tour. Washington is certainly quieter, though, and I hope it will be able to liven again soon.
Caleb T. Rogers ’20