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NYC Russia Public Policy Series: Is it Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy?

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar, a forum co-hosted by the Jordan Center and Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation...

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar, a forum co-hosted by the Jordan Center and Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

US-Russia relations continue to deteriorate. Across contentious issues such as Russia’s interventions in Syria and Ukraine, Western sanctions, an arms control agenda on life support, and competing views about global leadership and international order, US and Russian policymakers appear to be fundamentally at odds. Russia’s domestic interference in US elections further heightens anti-Russian sentiments within the American public and constrains US-Russian engagement in other areas.

But given that relations are so poor, what is the best way for US policymakers—and future administrations—to craft policy towards Russia? In August, two groups of distinguished former policymakers, academics and analysts published letters in Politico that outlined dramatically different approaches to dealing with Russia. The first, “It’s Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy," argued that we must deal with Russia “as it is, and not as we want it to be,” recommending that the Untied States adopt a phased framework of cooperation and competition to move the relationship to a more constructive state. In a rebuttal letter published a week later, “No, Now is not the Time for Another Russia Reset," a second group argued that the actions of Russia President Vladimir Putin threaten American interest and values and require “strong pushback.”

In this webinar, a distinguished group of signatories of both letters will debate the current state of US-Russia relations and offer their recommendations for dealing with the Russian government.

Watch the event recording on YouTube.

Read the event recap here


Evelyn N. Farkas, President, Farkas Global Strategies; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

Rose Gottemoeller, Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University; former Deputy Secretary General of NATO

Thomas Graham, Distinguished Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Senior Advisor, Kissinger Associates

David J. Kramer, Senior Fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University

Moderated by:
Alexander Cooley, Director of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University
Joshua Tucker, Director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University



Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas has three decades of experience working on national security and foreign policy in the US executive and legislative branches and private sector, as well as for international organizations overseas. In 2019-2020 she ran to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. She is currently President, Farkas Global Strategies. Prior to that she was Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Atlantic Council and National Security Contributor for NBC/MSNBC. She served from 2012 to 2015 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, Balkans, Caucasus and conventional arms control. From 2010 to 2012 she was Senior Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, Farkas was Executive Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism and senior fellow at the American Security Project.
 From 2001 to 2008, she served as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee responsible for Asia Pacific, Western Hemisphere, Special Operations Command, and policy issues including combatting terrorism, and export control. From 1997-2001 Farkas was a professor of international relations at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. She served 1996-97 in Bosnia with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). She has published numerous journal articles and opinion pieces and Fractured States and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, Ethiopia, and Bosnia in the 1990s (Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press).

Rose Gottemoeller is the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2016 to 2019, where she helped to drive forward NATO’s adaptation to new security challenges in Europe and in the fight against terrorism. Prior to NATO, she served as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. While Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance in 2009 and 2010, she was the chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation. Prior to her government service, she was a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with joint appointments to the Nonproliferation and Russia programs. She served as the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center from 2006 to 2008, and is currently a nonresident fellow in Carnegie's Nuclear Policy Program. She is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Thomas Graham is a distinguished fellow the Council on Foreign Relations, where he focuses on Russian/Eurasian affairs and US-Russian relations. He was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia on the US National Security Council 2004-2007 and Director for Russian Affairs 2002-2004. Earlier, he was a senior associate in the Russia/Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a US diplomat, who served two tours of duty in Moscow, where he worked on political affairs.

David J. Kramer joined Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs as a Senior Fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy in May 2017; he is also Director for European and Eurasian Studies. Before moving to Miami, Kramer worked in Washington, DC for 24 years, most recently with the McCain Institute for International Leadership as Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy. Previously, he served for four years as President of Freedom House. Prior to that, he was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Kramer served eight years in the U.S. Department of State during the administration of President George W. Bush, including as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues); Professional Staff Member in the Secretary’s Office of Policy Planning; and Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Global Affairs. He also was Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington. He is author of the book Back to Containment: Dealing with Putin’s Regime.


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