Assessing "A New Way Forward": One Year of the Obama Administration in the Middle East

On the one-year anniversary of President Obama's inauguration, USIP and POMED invited a public audience to assess the Obama administration's first year and to examine the administration's oppurtunities to implement its vision of a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim world.

In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama declared, "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect." This vision of a "new way forward" became a theme of the Obama administration's interactions with the Arab and Muslim world during its first year. President Obama further articulated this vision in his major speech in Cairo, in which he identified seven major challenges that the U.S. and the Muslim world must confront together: violent extremism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, nuclear nonproliferation, democracy, women's rights, religious freedom, and economic development. On the one-year anniversary of President Obama's inauguration, we gathered to assess the Obama administration's first year and examined opportunities for the administration to implement its vision of a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim world.

The January 20th meeting, co-sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Project on Middle East Democracy marked the end of the Emerging Leaders Conference Series, a series of meetings which convened civic leaders from Amman, Beirut and Cairo, respectively, to give recommendations on how the U.S. could best follow through on the President's remarks to the Muslim World in Cairo.     

Agenda: 

       

8:30-9:00

 

Registration, Coffee

9:00-9:15

 

Welcome, Andrew Albertson, Project on Middle East Democracy Keynote Remarks: Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr (D-PA)

9:15-10:15

 

Panel Discussion I: Emerging Leaders on Translating President Obama's Vision of Human Dignity into Action
Mohammad Azraq, 2010 Leaders for Democracy Fellow, Jordan Karim Bayoud, Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections Cole Bockenfeld, International Foundation for Electoral Systems David Linfield, Fulbright Fellow in Jordan Bassem Samir, Egyptian Democratic Academy Jessica O'Higgins, International Student Exchange Programs
*Moderated by Daniel Brumberg, United States Institute of Peace

10:15-11:15

 

Panel Discussion II: Assessing the Obama Administration's "New Way Forward" in the Middle East
Adel Abdellatif, Arab States Bureau, UN Development Programme Michele Dunne, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Steven Kull, Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA)
*Moderated by Andrew Albertson, POMED

11:15-11:30

 

Closing Remarks: Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA)

Experts: