2022 – “Great Power Competition in the Polycentric World”

This year’s Sisco Forum took place at the Fletcher School at Tufts University on September 15, 2022 and explored the subject “Great Power Competition in the Polycentric World.” Moderated by Ambassador Ronald Neumann, the panel was completed by Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal, Ambassador Kathleen Doherty, and Admiral James Foggo.

This programming was organized by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with support from the Sisco Family Charitable Fund. The forum is part of a larger partnership between Fletcher and AAD, which includes collaboration on the production of the podcast series The General and the Ambassador, as well as additional programming to be considered for the 2022-23 academic year designed to support Diplomacy at Fletcher.

The forum took place in person at the ASEAN Auditorium at Tufts University.



Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal

Ambassador Aurelia (Rea) Brazeal retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2008, with the rank of Career Minister, after a distinguished 40 year career. She is an expert in leadership, management, strategic planning, crisis management, economic and trade negotiations and is adept at engaging constructively with disparate audiences and resolving complex problems. She was a pioneer in being the first to serve in newly created positions and is the first African American woman career Foreign Service officer to be promoted into the Senior Foreign Service and the first to be nominated as an Ambassador.

She served most recently as Ambassador to Ethiopia, previously to Kenya and initially to The Federated States of Micronesia. She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific with policy responsibility for 22 countries. This position included policy responsibility for the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an organization and the ASEAN Regional Forum, the premier security/political body for the region. Some additional assignments included being the first Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute as well as Dean of the Senior Seminar, Minister-Counselor for Economics at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, the first Deputy Director for Economics in the State Department Japan office, a detail to the U.S. Treasury Department, tours in the Economic Bureau and the State Department Secretariat. During her career Ms. Brazeal received several awards including Presidential Performance and Superior Honor awards.

Ambassador Brazeal is from Atlanta, Georgia and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Spelman College and her Master’s Degree from Columbia University. She undertook additional postgraduate study at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She served five terms on the Spelman College Board of Trustees. She works with the Charles B. Rangel fellowship program that brings diversity to the Foreign Service. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, The Far East Luncheon Group, the American Foreign Service Association, and The Senior Seminar Alumni Association. She is the immediate past President of the Association of Black American Ambassadors. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Morehouse College Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and The Encampment for Citizenship.

Ambassador Kathleen Doherty 

Kathleen Doherty joined the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands’ senior leadership team in February 2020 as Chief Strategy and Retreats Officer.

She comes to Sunnylands after a distinguished career with the U.S. Department of State, leaving the agency as a dean of the Foreign Service Institute, the State Department’s premier training facility for U.S. diplomats. From September 2015 to February 2019, she was the U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus.

Ambassador Doherty has served in senior leadership positions in the U.S. Embassies in Rome, Moscow, and London, and in Washington, DC. Earlier in her career, she served in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. In her career, she has promoted democratic and economic reform, the empowerment of women, and engagement with youth; built strategic partnerships; negotiated international agreements, and led teams in times of major change. When serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, she received one of the State Department’s highest awards for her work on relations between the United States and the European Union, and has received more than a dozen other State Department awards.

Ambassador Doherty has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she speaks nearly fluent Italian, and some Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. Prior to joining the State Department, she worked as a journalist.

Admiral James Foggo

Admiral James Foggo is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is also an Olmsted Scholar and Moreau Scholar, earning a Master of Public Administration at Harvard University and a Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies in Defense and Strategic Studies from the University of Strasbourg, France.

He commanded the attack submarine, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) in 1998, which was awarded the Submarine Squadron 8 Battle Efficiency “E” award and the Admiral Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy, for being the most improved ship in the Atlantic Fleet.

Following command of USS OKLAHOMA CITY, he would go on to command eight more times to include: Submarine Squadron 6 in Norfolk, VA; Submarine Group 8; Allied Submarines SOUTH; the United States SIXTH Fleet; Allied Striking and Support Forces NATO; Naval Forces Europe, Naval Forces Africa, and Allied Joint Forces Command (NATO), all headquartered in Naples, Italy.

During these command tours, he participated in combat operations as the Operations Officer for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn (Libya) in 2011 and Commander Naval Forces Europe for strike operations against Syrian chemical weapons sites in April 2018.

Throughout his career, Admiral Foggo has been a champion of the Navy as an extended arm of diplomacy. He maintained close relationships with the U.S. Ambassadors in his area of responsibility from Europe to Africa and into the Middle East. He sponsored numerous Regional Ambassadors Conferences at his headquarters in Naples, Italy to address security challenges in the Balkans, Mediterranean, and the Black Sea Regions. In 2020, he taught a seminar at the Foreign Service Institute on Civil-Military relations.

Foggo is currently the Dean of the Center for Maritime Strategy of the Navy League of the United States. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Center for European Policy Analysis and a Distinguished Fellow of the Council on Competitiveness. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Olmsted Foundation and the Naval Historical Foundation. He occupies a seat on the Editorial Board of the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Explorer’s Club of New York.

Foggo’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and NATO Meritorious Service Medal. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous foreign awards to include: the French Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Merité and the Legion d’Honneur; the Cross of Saint George (Portugal); the White Cross of the Naval Order of the Spanish Armada; the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada; the rank of Commendatore from the President of Italy; and Knight of the Grand Cross of Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

Ambassador Ronald Neumann

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 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 a memoir, Three Embassies, Four Wars: a personal memoir (2017) and 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 maintain adequate State and USAID budgets and staffing and upgrade professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Board of a non-profit girls’ school in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Advisory Board of Spirit of America. He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council and the Advisory Council of the World Affairs Councils of America.

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 and is a graduate of the National War College. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.