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Edward Alden

Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow

Expertise

U.S. economic competitiveness; U.S. trade policy; visa and immigration policy.

Programs

Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies , Renewing America

Featured Publications

Task Force Report No. 63

U.S. Immigration Policy

This Task Force report offers a strategy for maintaining America's political and economic leadership by attracting skilled immigrants, a program of legalization for those living in the United States illegally, and steps for securing the country's borders in an effective and humane way.

See more in Immigration; United States

All Publications

Op-Ed Author: Edward Alden
Atlantic-Community.org

Edward Alden says increased internal and external border enforcement as well as economic crisis has decreased the population of unauthorized immigrants in both Europe and the US. Policies should provide incentives to encourage legal migration rather than just disincentives against illegal migration.

See more in United States; Immigration

Interview Edward Alden interviewed by Brianna Lee

As the Supreme Court prepares to take on Arizona's controversial immigration law and the Obama administration carries out nationwide sweeps, CFR's Edward Alden says that comprehensive reform remains less attainable than narrower, more targeted legislation.

See more in Immigration; United States

Video
Transition 2012

Transition 2012

Video Brief: Immigration

Speaker: Edward Alden

Immigration reform remains a hot topic in the 2012 presidential race, but the winner will have to move beyond an enforcement-only approach in dealing with illegal immigrants, says CFR's Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow Edward Alden, in a video issue brief.

See more in Elections; Immigration

Video

Free Trade Agreements Signal Bipartisan Cooperation

Speaker: Edward Alden

The U.S. ratification of the stalled Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama indicates that "there is a possibility, despite the very great partisan divisions in Congress, of bipartisan cooperation on economic issues," says CFR's Edward Alden. However, Alden emphasizes that "it is important not to overstate the potential job creation benefits" of the agreements.

See more in United States; Colombia; South Korea; Panama; Trade

Testimony
Campaign 2012

Campaign 2012

The Secure Visas Act

Author: Edward Alden

Edward Alden testifies before the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. He warns that unnecessary visa delays damage the United States' reputation as a country that champions fairness and due process.

See more in United States; Immigration

Current Projects

Renewing America Roundtable Series

Directors: Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, and James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair
July 1, 2011—Present

Part of CFR's Renewing America initiative, this roundtable series brings high-level attention to homegrown challenges to U.S. national security. Meetings in this series are led by individual CFR fellows and examine how policies at home will directly influence the economic and military strength of the United States and its ability to act in the world.

High-Level Roundtable Series on American Competitiveness

Director: Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow
April 1, 2006—Present

Part of CFR's Renewing America initiative and made possible by the generosity of the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation, this roundtable series brings high-level attention to issues that affect the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. Meetings have addressed issues such as reform of the U.S. corporate tax system, the effectiveness of the WTO dispute settlement process, and the U.S. approach to inward and outbound foreign investment.

Roundtable Series on U.S. Border, Visa, and Immigration Policies

Director: Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow
March 2007—Present

Made possible by the generosity of the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation, this roundtable series examines the impact of post-9/11 measures on U.S. economic competitiveness and diplomatic relations, and considers possible government responses to address these problems.

Past Projects

Council Special Report on Global Policy Toward Foreign Direct Investment

Director: Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow
Author: David M. Marchick, Managing Director, Carlyle Group, and Matthew J. Slaughter, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Globalization
April 2007—October 2007

In this Council Special Report, David M. Marchick and Matthew J. Slaughter discuss the scope, nature, causes, and consequences of rising restrictions to inward foreign direct investment (FDI) around the world. Just as with trade, calls to restrict investment are growing louder in many countries, with potentially significant adverse political and economic consequences. The authors examine trends in a number of countries, documenting moves toward restricting investment through both legislation and regulation. They also analyze the reasons behind these trends, such as increased concern over investment from "nontraditional" sources, both private and sovereign wealth funds.

Recognizing the weight governments place on national security concerns, the authors lay out clear principles for host countries to follow in regulating foreign investment. The authors recommend actions to be taken by international organizations as well to help foster sound policies in these host countries. The result is a compelling analysis and a strong case for governments everywhere to take steps to maintain openness to investment.

Recent Activity from Renewing America

CFR Events

Academic Conference Call

Immigration Reform

Speaker:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
September 11, 2013 12:00-1:00 p.m.

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

General Meeting

Update on the CFR-Sponsered Independent Task Force Report on U.S. Immigration Policy

Speakers:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Task Force Project Director, Richard D. Land, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention; Task Force Member, Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union; Task Force Member

Presider:

Edward Schumacher-Matos, Ombudsman, NPR
February 14, 2013 8:00-8:30 a.m. - Breakfast Reception
8:30-9:30 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S. Trade and Investment Policy: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force

Speakers:

Andrew H. Card, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University; Member,, Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade Policy, Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Project Codirector, Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade Policy, Matthew J. Slaughter, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Globalization, Council on Foreign Relations; Project Codirector, Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade Policy
October 17, 2011 7:45-8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
8:00-9:00 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ Washington

U.S. Trade and Investment Policy: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force

Speakers:

Andrew H. Card, Acting Dean, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University; Task Force Co-Chair, Thomas A. Daschle, Senior Policy Adviser, DLA Piper US LLC; Task Force Co-Chair, Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Task Force Co-Project Director, Matthew J. Slaughter, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Globalization, Council on Foreign Relations; Task Force Co-Project Director

Presider:

David Wessel, Economics Editor, "Wall Street Journal"
September 19, 2011 8:30-9:00 a.m. - Breakfast Reception
9:00-10:00 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Conference Panel Session

Trade Tensions: Challenges and Opportunities after the Midterm Elections

Discussants:

Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale; former U.S. Trade Representative, Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University; Author, In Defense of Globalization and Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Trade Agreements Undermine Free Trade, Douglas A. Irwin, Robert E. Maxwell 23 Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College; Author, Free Trade Under Fire

Presider:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; former Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times
November 17, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Conference Panel Session

Trade Tensions: Challenges and Opportunities After the Midterm Elections

Speakers:

Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale; Former U.S. Trade Representative, Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University; Author, In Defense of Globalization and Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade, Douglas A. Irwin, Robert E. Maxwell '23 Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College; Author, Free Trade Under Fire

Presider:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times
November 17, 2010 11:15-12:30 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ New York

U.S. Immigration Policy: Report of a CFR Sponsored Independent Task Force Report

Speakers:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Task Force Director, CFR Sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, Thomas F. McClarty III, President, McLarty Associates; former White House Chief of Staff; Task Force Co-Chair, CFR Sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, Frances Fragos Townsend, Partner, Baker Botts, LLP; Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Task Force Member, CFR Sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy

Presider:

Edward Schumacher-Matos, Director, Harvard Immigration and Integration Studies Project, and Adjunct Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
October 22, 2009 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:00-7:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

The Closing of the American Border

Speakers:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, CFR; Author, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
December 4, 2008

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Guest Event ⁄ Washington

The Closing of the American Border

Speaker:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11"

Presider:

Warren Bass, Deputy Editor, Outlook, The Washington Post
September 17, 2008 6:15-6:30 p.m. - Registration and Reception
6:30-7:30 p.m. - Meeting
7:30-8:30 p.m. - Cocktail Reception

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Corporate Meeting

The Closing of the American Border

Speaker:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11"

Presider:

Warren Bass, Deputy Editor, Outlook, The Washington Post
September 17, 2008 6:15-6:30 p.m. - Registration and Reception
6:30-7:30 p.m. - Meeting
7:30-8:30 p.m. - Cocktail Reception

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Symposium

CFR Symposium: The International and the Domestic - Latin America and U.S. Policies and Politics, Session Two

Panelists:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Thomas F. McLarty III, President, McLarty Associates

Moderator:

Hector Tobar, Columnist, Los Angeles Times
September 12, 2008

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Symposium ⁄ Mineapolis

2008 Foreign Policy Symposium: Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Next Administration

Speakers:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Kim R. Holmes, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation, Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations, Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
September 2, 2008

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Symposium ⁄ Denver

2008 Rocky Mountain Roundtable on International Relations: Luncheon Discussion: Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Next Administration

Speakers:

Madeleine K. Albright, Chairman, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; Former U.S. Secretary of State, Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Robert D. Coombe, Chancellor, University of Denver, Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Tom J. Farer, Dean, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, John Hickenlooper, Mayor, City of Denver, Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations, Jim Polsfut, Chairman, 2008 Rocky Mountain Roundtable

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
August 27, 2008

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

General Meeting ⁄ Washington

U.S. Trade Policy at a Crossroads: What the People Really Want

Speakers:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Bruce Stokes, International Economics Columnist, "National Journal"; Journalism Fellow, The German Marshall Fund

Presider:

Nancy E. Roman, Vice President and Director, Washington Program, Council on Foreign Relations
May 22, 2007 6:00-6:30 p.m. - Reception
6:30-7:30 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Press/Panels

Video Interview

Opinion: Rhetoric vs. Reality on Immigration

On the Wall Street Journal's "Market Watch," Edward Alden discusses the gap between rhetoric and reality in the current immigration debate and its role in the 2012 presidential election.

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Panel

Immigration Policy, Deportations, and National Security

At this Princeton University event, "Immigration Policy, Deportations and National Security," Edward Alden discusses the changed relationship between U.S. national and border security after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

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Panel

Panel on Border Security

At this National Journal Conference on Border Security panel, Edward Alden offers commentary on current security and trade issues associated with the U.S.-Canada border.

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Panel

In Search of Secure Borders

Edward Alden offers commentary on the fruitless and potentially harmful quest for a perfectly secure U.S. border as a panelist at the Center for American Progress event, "In Search of Secure Borders."

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Bio

Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness. In addition, Mr. Alden is the director of the CFR Renewing America publication series and co-author of the recent CFR Working Paper Managing Illegal Immigration to the United States. The former Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, his work focuses on immigration and visa policy, and on U.S. trade and international economic policy.

Mr. Alden was the project co-director of the 2011 Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy, which was co-chaired by former White House chief of staff Andrew Card and former Senate majority leader Thomas Daschle. He was also the project director for the 2009 Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy.

Mr. Alden is the author of the book The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11 (HarperCollins), which was named a 2009 finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for nonfiction writing. The judges called it "a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation."

Mr. Alden was previously the Canadian bureau chief for the Financial Times based in Toronto, and before that was a reporter at the Vancouver Sun specializing in labor and employment issues. He also was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as the leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. He has won several national and international awards for his reporting. Mr. Alden has done numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, McLaughlin Group, NPR, the BBC, CNN, and MSNBC. His work has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, the Japan Times, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. He is the coauthor, with Franz Schurmann, of Democratic Politics and World Order, a monograph published by Berkeley's Institute of International Studies in 1990.

Mr. Alden holds a master's degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley, and pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. He also has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of British Columbia. He was the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.