from The Water's Edge

Conference on Diversity in International Affairs

May 05, 2017

Calvin Sims and Mira Patel at the Conference on Diversity in International Affairs’ keynote panel. (Photo: KAVEH SARDARI)
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U.S. Foreign Policy

Last week, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted the fifth annual Conference on Diversity in International Affairs in collaboration with the Global Access Pipeline (GAP) and the International Career Advancement Program (ICAP) and with the generous support of the Robina Foundation. The conference, which is part of CFR's broader and longstanding initiative to help make the American foreign policy community more representative of American society as a whole, aims to connect professionals and students from underrepresented backgrounds with career opportunities in international affairs.

Like in past years, the discussion were lively and informative. The opening discussion featured Calvin Sims, president and chief executive officer of International House and a former reporter for the New York Times. Mira Patel, former senior advisor at the Small Business Administration and former advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Policy Planning Staff, facilitated a great conversation about how the lack of diversity in the news media and in the foreign policy community "means that you're not having a product that is as informative" as it should be.

The conference featured two other on-the-record sessions. The first was a fascinating discussion about the changing role of the media with Margaret Talev, senior White House reporter at Bloomberg News, and Vivian Salama, White House reporter for the Associated Press. You can watch their conversation, which Beverly Kirk moderated below: 

The other on-the-record discussion looked at today's global hotspots. My CFR colleagues Elliott Abrams and Sheila Smith shared their thoughts, as did Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council. Tiffany McGriff, a foreign service officer on leave from the State Department this year at CFR as an International Affairs Fellow, moderated that wide ranging discussion.

I highlight recommend all three videos. And you can find links to videos from past Diversity in International Affairs conferences, which have featured speakers such as Susan Rice and Kalpen Modi, here.

Corey Cooper assisted in the preparation of this post.      

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