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.


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

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