Can Democracies Develop Sound Foreign Policies

Can Democracies Develop Sound Foreign Policies? Diplomacy and the 2016 Presidential Election

Globe with lights
The LMU Global Policy Institute's inaugural event

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 | 5 - 7 p.m.
Ahmanson Auditorium, University Hall
Loyola Marymount University

Event Details

The inaugural event of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount featured a distinguished panel discussion with four former U.S. ambassadors: Ambassador Alan Blinken, Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill, Ambassador Rockwell Schnabel, and Ambassador Derek Shearer.

The event was moderated by Fernando Guerra, Ph.D., Director of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.

Opening Remarks were provided by: President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., Loyola Marymount University; Robbin D. Crabtree, Ph.D., Dean of Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts; and Joseph A. Cari, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Global Policy Institute.

Speaker Biographies

Alan Blinken

Ambassador Alan Blinken served as Ambassador of the United States to the Kingdom of Belgium from 1993 to 1998. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Campaign 2000, and chairman and president of the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit Host Committee from 1998 to 1999.

Ambassador Blinken is currently Chairman of The Washington Center, which services colleges and university students in America and abroad with internships, seminars, and partnerships that enable students to learn in Washington, D.C. while earning academic credit. He previously served as Senior Advisor to Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, and before joining the Foreign Service was Partner and Managing Director of Wertheim & Co. For nearly 25 years prior, he was at Model Roland & Co., where he served as President from 1973 to 1974. Ambassador Blinken is a graduate of Harvard College.

Ambassador Blinken serves on a number of boards, including the National Wildlife Federation C4, King Baudouin Foundation, Living With Wolves, and the World Policy Institute, and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ambassador Hill

Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at The University of Denver, a position he has held since September 2010. In addition to overseeing the Josef Korbel School, Ambassador Hill is author of Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir, a monthly columnist for Project Syndicate, and a highly sought public speaker and voice in the media on international affairs.

Ambassador Hill is a former career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, whose last post was as Ambassador to Iraq, April 2009 until August 2010. Prior to Iraq, Hill served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009 during which he was also the head of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Earlier, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Previously he served as U.S. Ambassador to Poland (2000-04), Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-99), and Special Envoy to Kosovo (1998-99). He also served as a Special Assistant to the President and a Senior Director on the staff of the National Security Council (1999-2000).

Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana, and on the Department of State's Policy Planning staff and in the Department’s Operation Center. Ambassador Hill received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement, and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis.

Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a B.A. in Economics. He earned a Master's degree from the Naval War College in 1994.


Ambassador Rockwell Schnabel is a founder and Chairman of The Sage Group. He also co-founded Trident Capital, a Palo Alto based venture capital firm. He was also the former President of Bateman, Eichler, Hills, Richards, Inc. (Wells Fargo Bank).

Ambassador Schnabel has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government, serving as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, U.S. Ambassador to Finland, and Acting Secretary of Commerce. He is a Board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. He has also served on the board of numerous public and private companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Ambassador Schnabel was a member of the Los Angeles Olympic Committee, Chairman of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and President of the Fire and Police Pension Fund. Ambassador Schnabel attended Trinity College.

Ambassador Derek Shearer

Ambassador Derek Shearer is the Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College where he directs the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs. A graduate of Yale University, Derek Shearer served as U.S. Ambassador to Finland in the Clinton administration. He has served as a public diplomat for the U.S. State Department in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, and as an adviser to the head of the U.S. military's Central and Pacific Commands. He was a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential campaign, and to Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008. He has lectured at leading universities including Harvard, Cambridge, and Melbourne. His articles on politics, economics, and diplomacy have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many professional journals. He frequently writes on current events for the Huffington Post.

About the Global Policy Institute

The Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University is an interdisciplinary think tank in Los Angeles that applies academic research to help solve global policy challenges. GPI and its Fellows are developing a scholarly policy network in Los Angeles to address emerging issues in global affairs.