2016: Diplomatic Challenges for the Next Administration

The American Academy of DiplomacyThe American Academy of Diplomacy
The Robert H. Smith International Center
for Jefferson Studies at MonticelloMonticello


“Diplomatic Challenges for the Next Administration.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016
9:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
The Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto
Charlottesville, Virginia

"Diplomatic Challenges for the Next Administration" was this year's conference topic

The next US administration will confront a tumultuous world full of formidable diplomatic challenges. Any American response is complicated by the differing interests of parties and states whose cooperation is essential to finding solutions. Defending and further promoting our interests while also promoting our values-which sustain our country as well as our allies and friends-will be the core diplomatic challenge for the new president.

The event featured three speakers who highlighted different perspectives on this issue. Ambassador Charles Ries focused on the controversial topic of multilateral trade deals and the possibility of restructuring the global economic order to better fit the 21st century. Diplomatic and military affairs traditionally have been separated, but Ambassador Ronald Neumann challenged this rule as a solution to modern and unconventional challenges in the field. Transnational issues have also influenced American diplomacy in recent years, and Ambassador Eric Schwartz argued for increased input and assistance from world powers and institutions to respond to these issues.

The keynote address was delivered by Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and concurrent Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown University, she taught on US diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region, including Iraq and Yemen, for seven years at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Speakers (left to right): Frank Cogliano, Charles Ries, Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Barbara Bodine, Ronald Neumann, Eric Schwartz, Robert Beecroft
Speakers (left to right): Frank Cogliano, Charles Ries, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Barbara Bodine, Ronald Neumann, Eric Schwartz, Robert Beecroft.


Diplomatic Challenges for the Next Administration:
A Discussion of American Diplomacy
October 22, 2016


9:30 AM               Registration at Monticello prior to bus boarding for Montalto

Guests arrive at the beautiful conference site at Montalto
Guests arrive at the beautiful conference site at Montalto

9:45 AM               Coffee at Repose House, Montalto

10:15 AM             Welcome and Introductions

Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Vice President and Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann (ret.), President, American Academy of Diplomacy

10:30 AM             Historical Perspective

New Administrations — New Diplomatic Challenges; the historic parallels from Jefferson on.

Professor Frank Cogliano

11:15 AM             Introduction to the Theme

Ambassador Robert M. Beecroft

11:30 AM             Panel Discussion

The panel will look at the broad issues of policy and diplomacy in the context of three examples:

The Diplomacy of a Strategic Economic Policy. Trade agreements such as TTP and TTIP are not about car parts and GMOs. They are strategic answers to some of the most profound challenges we face. Who will write the rules of international trade for the
future? How can the economic institutions of the post-WWII period be reformed to return the world to sustainable growth? What choices does the US have and how can we orchestrate our diplomacy to elaborate and then implement its policies?

Ambassador Charles Ries

Political-Military Challenges. Many modern conflicts, from the Islamic State presence in Syria to challenges in Ukraine, involve situations that are less than total war and far more than traditional politics. The normal US separation between politics and military operations is increasingly problematic for the conduct of affairs. How should we balance values, our interests, and the interests of other states? How should diplomatic and military operations be connected in
concept and in the field? How must the need for partners take into consideration the concerns of others states?

Ambassador Ronald Neumann

Diplomacy and the Supranational Issues. From climate change to trafficking in persons, the world confronts the need for rule-based solutions. These can no longer be dominated solely by the United States. Policy must meld US values and interests with the views of other stakeholders, both governmental and nongovernmental; it must do so in ways acceptable without our own body politic.

The Honorable Eric Schwartz

The conference guests have lunch out in the sun
Guests have lunch out in the sun


12:30 PM             Q & A

1:00 PM               Break for Lunch

2:00 PM               Keynote

Diplomacy for a Values-Based Policy: The worldwide economic and financial structures established to guide the world after WWII are being challenged from finance to development. How can the US respond to those challenges in ways that maintain our leadership and our values in a world where we no longer dominate, even though few problems can be solved without us?

Ambassador Barbara Bodine

2:30 PM               Q & A

3:00 PM               Closing Remarks

Ambassador Ronald Neumann and Andrew O’Shaughnessy 

3:15 PM               Conference adjourns



Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). His most recent book, The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) received eight national awards, including the New York Historical Society American History Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Society of Military History Book Prize. He is a co-editor of Old World, New World: America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010) and of the Jeffersonian America series published by the University of Virginia Press. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is an editor of the Journal of American History and the Journal of the Early Republic


Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s political/military liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions.

Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs. Ambassador Neumann is the author of The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to expand State and USAID personnel and upgrade their professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Committee of a non-profit working in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council.

Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.


Frank Cogliano is the Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh, where he also serves as Dean International.

He is a specialist on the history of revolutionary and early national America, particularly Thomas Jefferson, and is the author or editor of eight books. His most recent book, Emperor of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Foreign Policy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014) is the first study of Jefferson’s statecraft in a generation. He has lectured on Jefferson and his time around the world. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the Early Republic and is a member of the advisory board at Monticello’s Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. He is a Fell
ow of the Royal Historical Society. As Dean International, Professor Cogliano represents the University of Edinburgh by meeting prospective students, alumni, academic partners, and governmental organizations around the world.


Robert Mason Beecroft retired from the Department of State in 2006 with the rank of Career Minister-Counselor after a 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer. He now serves on a parttime basis as a supervisory senior inspector, leading inspections of US diplomatic operations in Kuwait, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Department of State. He has conducted recent studies for the American Academy of Diplomacy and the US Institute of Peace on the professional education and training of American diplomats and the use of special envoys in conflict diplomacy. From 2006 to 2009, he was Vice President for Diplomacy and Development at MPRI, Inc., a division of the L-3 Corporation. From 2004 to 2006, he was a professor of national security strategy at the US National War College. From 2001 to 2004, following his ambassadorial confirmation by the Senate, Ambassador Beecroft led the Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with a staff of 800 people from thirty countries. He was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997, following an earlier assignment to Bosnia as Special Envoy for the Bosnian Federation and Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy Sarajevo. As a junior and mid-grade Foreign Service Officer, he served as deputy chief of mission at the US Embassies in Amman and Ouagadougou; counselor for political/economic affairs at the US Mission to NATO (Brussels); political officer at Embassies Cairo, Bonn and Paris; State Department advisor-expert on the SALT TWO strategic nuclear negotiations in Geneva; special assistant to the US Ambassador to France; and deputy political advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO military headquarters (SHAPE) in Belgium. In Washington, he has been Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs; Senior Coordinator for Bosnian Implementation; special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State; officer-in-charge of Federal German Affairs; and a nuclear arms control specialist in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Ambassador Beecroft is the recipient of two personal Superior Honor Awards, four group Superior Honor Awards, and numerous Performance Awards and Meritorious Step Increases. He is a 1988 graduate of the US National War College, and was a member of the Fortieth Senior Seminar at the Foreign Service Institute (1997-98).

Ambassador Beecroft is fluent in French, German, Norwegian, and Danish, and conversant in several other languages. His hobbies include music (listening and performing), archaeology, snorkeling, tennis, hiking, and US Civil War history. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the American Foreign Service Association, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Council on Germany, the Association of the United States Army, the Army Civil Affairs Association, the Army and Navy Club of Washington, and the Union League of Philadelphia. He is a board member of the Alliance Française of Washington and the Senior Seminar Alumni Association. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1940, Ambassador Beecroft completed secondary education at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. and M.A. in French. He studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, in Munich at the Goethe-Institut, and on the postgraduate level at the University of Strasbourg. Before joining the Foreign Service, he taught American civilization and English language at the Lycée d’État Fustel de Coulanges in Strasbourg, and French and German at the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s University, and Germantown Academy in Philadelphia. He served in the US Army Reserve as a medical corpsman (1965-68) and civil affairs officer (1968-71).

Ambassador Beecroft is married to the former Mette Louise Ording Ottesen, Ph.D., a senior consultant at the State Department. They have two grown children, Christopher and Pamela.


Ambassador Charles Ries is Vice President, International at the RAND Corporation. He oversees RAND’s international offices and international research client relationships. He joined RAND in 2009 as a Senior Fellow. Ambassador Ries’ research at RAND has focused on the economics of development, the Middle East, and Europe. He is co-author of RAND studies on the Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Improving National Security Decision-making, Building a More Resilient Haitian State, the US in Iraq, and energy efficiency in buildings.

At the State Department, his last assignment was as the Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq at the US Embassy in Baghdad, where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of assistance and economic policy initiatives. Between December 2004 and June 2007, Ries served as US Ambassador to Greece. Ries was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs between April 2000 and June 2004.

In earlier assignments, Ries was the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in London (1996-2000) and Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Mission to the European Union (1992-96). He served as Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for North American Affairs (1990-92) and as a member of the NAFTA negotiating team. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, he also served as a special assistant and executive assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, in the Energy Policy Office, in the Office of the Counselor of the Department, and at US embassies in Ankara and Santo Domingo.
Ries is the recipient of the State Department’s Cordell Hull Award for Senior Economic Officers, the Distinguished Honor Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, and several Superior Honor Awards. For his service in Iraq, he was also awarded the Department of Army’s Outstanding Civil Service Medal. Ries earned his M.A. and B.A. in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University.


Eric Schwartz became Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in October 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Before that appointment, he directed the Connect US Fund, a multi-foundation NGO collaborative that promoted responsible US engagement overseas and was supported by the Hewlett Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation, among others.

From August 2005 through January 2007, Mr. Schwartz served as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery and, before that, as a lead expert for the congressionally mandated Mitchell-Gingrich Task Force on UN Reform. In 2003 and 2004, he served in Geneva as Chief of the Executive Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Schwartz served at the National Security Council, ultimately as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral & Humanitarian Affairs. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to his work on the subcommittee, he was Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now Human Rights Watch-Asia).

He has also held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the US Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations, and served as a visiting lecturer of public and international affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.


Ambassador (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and concurrent Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she taught and directed policy task forces and policy workshops on US diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region, including Iraq and Yemen for seven years at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and served as Director of the School’s Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative, a fellowship program for students pursuing careers in federal service.

Ms. Bodine’s over 30 years in the US Foreign Service were spent primarily on Arabian Peninsula and greater Persian Gulf issues, specifically US bilateral and regional policy, strategic security issues, counterterrorism, and governance and reform. Her tour as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen, 1997-2001, saw enhanced support for democratization and increased security and counterterrorism cooperation. Ms. Bodine also served in Baghdad as Deputy Principal Officer during the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait as Deputy Chief of Mission during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-91, and again, seconded to the Department of Defense in Iraq in 2003 as the senior State Department official and the first coalition coordinator for reconstruction in Baghdad and the central governorates. Her first assignment in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs was as Country Officer for the two Yemens and security assistance coordinator for the peninsula. She later returned to that office as Deputy Director.

In addition to several other assignments in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, she was Deputy for Operations, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and subsequently acting overall Coordinator for Counterterrorism; Director of East African Affairs; Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the Foreign Service Institute; and Senior Advisor for International Security Negotiations and Agreements in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Ambassador Bodine is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Secretary’s Award for Valor for her work in Occupied Kuwait. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of American Diplomacy, co-chair of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training, an associate fellow of The Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

Since leaving the government, Ambassador Bodine has been founding Director of the Governance Initiative in the Middle East, Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and the Robert Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies. She is past president of the Mine Awareness Group, America, a global NGO that provides technical expertise for the removal of remnants of conflict worldwide.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Bodine is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science and East Asian Studies and earned her Master’s degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both UC Santa Barbara and the Fletcher School, she is a Regent Emerita of the University of California. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia.