Is America in Decline? Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century

Panel Discussion

Is America in Decline? Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century

Zoom Webinar

Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET


Following WWII, the United States created a world order that catapulted it to preeminent global power status at the end of the Cold War. Yet, events of the past few years have signaled that U.S. relative power is declining. From the rise of a multipolar world to domestic divisions at home, the future of the U.S. is uncertain. By what measures should we be assessing global power and how does the U.S. fare? And what should be the main priorities for the U.S. in this changing international scene? Join us Thursday, December 9th at 12 PM ET to answer these questions with our guest speakers, Prof. Paul Kennedy, Director of International Security Studies at Yale University & Distinguished Fellow of the Brady-Johnson Program; & Dr. Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Professor Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy is the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, Director of International Security Studies at Yale, and Distinguished Fellow of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, coordinates the ISS programs funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation. He is internationally known for his writings and commentaries on global political, economic, and strategic issues.
Born in June 1945 in the northern English town of Wallsend, Northumberland, he obtained his BA at Newcastle University and his DPhil at the University of Oxford. He is a former Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University, and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn. He holds many honorary degrees, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 2000 for services to History and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in June 2003.
Prof. Kennedy’s monthly column on current global issues is distributed worldwide by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media Services. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, The War Plans of the Great Powers, The Realities Behind Diplomacy, and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. His best-known work is The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which provoked an intense debate on its publication in 1988 and has been translated into over twenty languages.
In 1991, he edited a collection entitled Grand Strategies in War and Peace. He helped draft the Ford Foundation-sponsored report issued in 1995, The United Nations in Its Second Half-Century, which was prepared for the fiftieth anniversary of the UN. His 2006 book The Parliament of Men contemplates the past and future of the United Nations. Prof. Kennedy’s most recent book Engineers of Victory, history through the eyes of problem-solvers during the Second World War, was published in 2013. He is currently writing a book about seapower and global transformations during World War Two.

Dr. Jessica Tuchman Mathews/span>

Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She served as Carnegie’s president for 18 years. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy.
She was director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program and a senior fellow from 1994 to 1997. While there she published her seminal 1997 Foreign Affairs article, “Power Shift,” chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal’s seventy-five years.
From 1982 to 1993, she was founding vice president and director of research of the World Resources Institute, an internationally known center for policy research on environmental and natural resource management issues.
She served on the Editorial Board of the Washington Post from 1980 to 1982, covering arms control, energy, environment, science, and technology. Later, Mathews wrote a popular weekly column for the Washington Post that appeared nationwide and in the International Herald Tribune.
From 1977 to 1979, she was director of the Office of Global Issues at the National Security Council, covering nuclear proliferation, conventional arms sales, and human rights. In 1993, she returned to government as deputy to the undersecretary of state for global affairs. Earlier, she served on the staff of the Committee on Energy and the Environment of the Interior Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mathews is a member of the Harvard Corporation, the senior governing board of Harvard University. She has served as a trustee of leading national and international nonprofits, including the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Radcliffe College, the Inter-American Dialogue (co-vice chair), four foundations (the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Century Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation), and the Brookings Institution. She co-founded the Surface Transportation Policy Project, has served on study groups at the National Academy of Sciences, and is an elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Since 2001 she has served as a director of SomaLogic, a leading biotech firm in the breakthrough field of proteomics. She is also a director of HanesBrands Inc. and a member of the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Mathews has published widely in newspapers and in foreign policy and scientific journals, and has co-authored and co-edited three books. She holds a PhD in molecular biology from the California Institute of Technology and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College.


Joanna M. Gwozdziowski

Joanna M. Gwozdziowski, PhD is a nonprofit management consultant with experience in both domestic and international affairs. She has held positions in a variety of sectors, including federal and municipal governments, academia, think tanks, NGOs, and political campaigns. She has served as a foreign policy advisor to congressional candidates, including Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy. Most recently, she has been researching global macro trends for several nonprofits, including the international humanitarian relief organization, Americares. She has also served on the selection committee for various global educational programs, including the US State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

For the past 13 years, Dr. Gwozdziowski has served on the board of the World Affairs Forum, an affiliate of the World Affairs Councils of America, including as Chair of Programs. She is a Charter member of Network 20/20 and participated as a Public Diplomacy Delegate to Poland in 2004; she authored the subsequent report “Poland Beyond Solidarity”. She earned both a Master’s degree and a Doctorate from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA. In addition, she is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, and was an Encore Fellow in Nonprofit Management at the University of Connecticut.



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