Biden’s Foreign Policy for the Middle Class

Biden’s Foreign Policy for the Middle Class

Virtual Briefing Series

Friday, March 24 , 2023 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET


In 2020, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report called “Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class,” using interviews from middle-income people in Colorado, Ohio, and Nebraska to gauge what the American middle class wants to see from foreign policy. Securing a “foreign policy for the middle class” went on to become a major talking point in Biden’s 2020 campaign and into his presidency. Having passed the mid-way mark in President Biden’s term, how can we evaluate this idea? Does America need a foreign policy for the middle class? Who exactly is this American middle class and does traditional foreign policy not align with their interests? Please join us on Friday, March 24 from 12 PM to 1 PM ET for a discussion with senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Zack Cooper, political scientist Jonathan Kirshner of Boston College, and finance executive Tom Wyler, co-author of the original report, “Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class.”

COULDN’T ATTEND OUR EVENT? Don’t worry. You can watch it below

“Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class”, Report, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 23, 2020

“Middle Class Foreign Policy”, Zack Cooper, Melanie Marlowe, & Christopher Preble, War on the Rocks, May 27, 2021

“The Home Front: Why an Internationalist Foreign Policy Needs a Stronger Domestic Foundation”, Charles A. Kupchan and Peter L. Trubowitz, Foreign Affairs, April 20, 2021

“Gone But Not Forgotten: Trump’s Long Shadow and the End of American Credibility”, Jonathan Kirshner, Foreign Affairs, January 29, 2021


Zack Cooper

Zack Cooper is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies U.S. strategy in Asia. He also teaches at Princeton University, is a partner with Armitage International, and co-hosts the Net Assessment podcast for War on the Rocks. He previously served on staff at the Pentagon and White House. Dr. Cooper received a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.P.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.


Jonathan Kirshner

Jonathan Kirshner is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Boston College, and the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Professor of International Political Economy Emeritus at Cornell University. He is the author, most recently, of An Unwritten Future: Uncertainty and Realism in World Politics, and co-editor (with Peter Katzenstein) of Downfall of the American Order? Kirshner served as director of Cornell University’s Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies from 2007 to 2015, and previously chaired the Economics and National Security Program at the Olin Institute of Strategic Studies at Harvard. His research and teaching interests focus on international relations, political economy (especially macroeconomics and money), and film studies. His numerous books include American Power after the Financial Crisis, as well as Hollywood’s Last Golden Age: Politics, Society and the Seventies Film in America, and Appeasing Bankers: Financial Caution on the Road to War, which won the best book award from the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association. From Cornell University, Kirshner is a recipient of the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship, and the Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award.


Tom Wyler

Tom Wyler joined Hakluyt & Co. in 2021 to build the company’s Midwest business. Prior to Hakluyt, he was senior vice president for global strategy at PSP Capital, a Chicago based investment firm. At PSP, he was responsible for sourcing opportunities, evaluating acquisition targets, and executing transactions in the United States and around the world.

Prior to joining PSP, Tom spent several years serving in the Obama administration as counselor and senior advisor at the Department of Commerce, where he was the secretary’s chief international economic and foreign policy advisor and responsible for coordinating the Department’s international economic agenda. He was also responsible for representing Commerce in numerous White House-led interagency processes, including on trade negotiations, economic sanctions, the U.S.-China relationship, technology & competitiveness, and emerging national security threats.

Tom is a member of the board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and was previously a Non-Resident Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has authored pieces for Foreign Affairs, CNN, and a number of other media outlets.

Before his time in the Obama administration, Tom was an attorney with Debevoise & Plimpton, an aide to a U.S. senator, and on the staff of then-Senator Kerry’s presidential campaign. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, both in 2008. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.





Photo credit: Adam Schultz, Schultz Media

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