For the past 20 years, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has convened national security leaders after every change in administration to affirm the peaceful transfer of power and the bipartisan character of American foreign policy through its signature Passing the Baton event.

In 2021, USIP and its partners believe that this event is more important now than ever.

Read the full event transcript

On January 29, USIP brought together Jake Sullivan, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s national security advisor, and Ambassador Robert O’Brien, President Donald J. Trump’s former national security advisor, for a conversation on the most critical foreign policy challenges facing the nation. Secretary Condoleezza Rice, the 66th Secretary of State and former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, moderated the conversation.

Passing the Baton: Securing America’s Future Together provided an opportunity to assert and reflect on the importance of standing united against threats to global peace and security, which is rooted in the American commitment to the peaceful transition of power.

USIP was pleased to host this bipartisan event with the American Enterprise Institute, Atlantic Council, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for American Progress, The Heritage Foundation, and Hudson Institute.

Agenda

Opening Remarks

  • Stephen J. Hadley
    Chair, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Lise Grande
    President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

Top National Security Threats Facing the Nation

  • Admiral Michelle Howard
    USN Retired                       

Securing America’s Future Together

  • Jake Sullivan
    National Security Advisor to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Ambassador Robert O’Brien
    Former National Security Advisor to President Donald J. Trump
  • Secretary Condoleezza Rice, moderator
    66th Secretary of State and Former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush

Meeting the Moment: Reflections from Partners  

  • Frederick Kempe
    President and CEO, Atlantic Council
  • Kenneth Weinstein
    President Emeritus and Walter P. Stern Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Thomas Carothers
    Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • James Jay Carafano
    Vice President of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
  • Ambassador Gordon Gray
    Chief Operating Officer, Center for American Progress
  • Kori Schake
    Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Closing Remarks

  • Ambassador George Moose
    Vice Chair, U.S. Institute of Peace

Speaker Bios

co host logos

Latest Publications

Where Is Iraq a Year After Prime Minister Kadhimi Took Office?

Where Is Iraq a Year After Prime Minister Kadhimi Took Office?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Sarhang Hamasaeed

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power a year ago today after a protest movement toppled the previous government and successive attempts to establish a new one failed. Inheriting a country deep in the midst of political and economic crises, Kadhimi has spent the last year trying to put Iraq back on the path toward stability all while navigating U.S.-Iran tensions playing out on Iraqi soil. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun and Sarhang Hamasaeed look at what Kadhimi has done to attempt to placate protesters, the importance of Iraq’s October national elections and how the prime minister has dealt with U.S.-Iran tensions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Swahili)

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (Swahili)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Danielle Robertson

Mwongozo wa Nadharia na Mfumo wa Kujumuisha Jinsia Zote (GIFT) ni njia rahisi na zana ya kina inayowezesha kujumuisha uchambuzi wa kijinsia katika uundaji wa mradi. Kwa sababu kazi ya kudumisha amani inategemea muktadha, GIFT inaweka mbele njia tatu za uchambuzi wa kijinsia-mtazamo wa Wanawake, Amani na Usalama; mtazamo wa Uume wenye Amani; na mtazamo wa Utambulisho Ingiliani-ambazo zote zinaangizia mabadiliko ya kijinsia katika mazingira fulani ili kutengeneza vyema miradi ya kudumisha amani.

Type: Tools for Peacebuilding

Gender

Border Clash Between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Risks Spinning Out of Control

Border Clash Between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Risks Spinning Out of Control

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

By: Gavin Helf, Ph.D.

A dispute over irrigation water triggered a clash between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan last week that quickly spread along the border, resulting in the death of more than 40 people and displacing 30,000 on the Kyrgyz side — the worst such incident in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While such flare-ups, albeit less deadly, are a regular occurrence in the region, this time the situation could get out of hand as the leaders of both countries are incentivized to stoke a crisis that distracts from the domestic unrest caused by their mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Can India Escape its Devastating Second COVID Wave?

Monday, May 3, 2021

By: Tamanna Salikuddin; Vikram J. Singh

India’s second wave of COVID has quickly turned into one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Since early March, official cases and deaths have skyrocketed, recently breaking world records on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, Indian officials are warning the country’s health care system cannot keep up with the deluge of patients as supplies run thin, exposing India’s ailing health infrastructure. USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram Singh look at the origins of India’s second wave, its far-reaching consequences in the global fight against COVID and what the international community can and should do to help India weather the storm.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health

View All Publications