• 23 Apr 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    PCFR New Member Breakfast

    The much anticipated PCFR "New Member Breakfast" will be held virtually this spring. Join fellow new members and meet PCFR’s leadership for coffee and good conversation on Friday, April 23rd at 8:00 am on Zoom.

    Please RSVP by April 16 with the unique code you were sent to receive your welcome gift in the mail.

    We can’t wait to meet you.



    Free for PCFR Members


    Friday, April 23, 2021

    8:00 am-9:00 am MST


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.

    • 27 Apr 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    International State of the State

    with Governor Doug Ducey

    The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations invites you to join our 16th Annual International State of the State, featuring Governor Doug Ducey. 

    For the first time, the International State of the State will be broadcast live through web-conference, furthering PCFR’s commitment to provide unprecedented access to world leaders, thinkers, and doers. Register to hear Governor Ducey give his annual update followed by a fireside chat moderated by former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

    Join to watch Arizona’s premier international update live on April 27th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm MST. 


    FREE for PCFR Members

    $20 for Non-Members

    Interesting in become a PCFR member? Join before April 26 and receive free admission to ISOS here.



    Tuesday, April 27, 2021

    1:00 pm-2:00 pm MST

    4:00 pm-5:00 pm EST


    Live Broadcast via Zoom

    The link for this virtual event will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    Governor Doug Ducey

    State of Arizona

    Elected in 2014, and re-elected in 2018, Governor Ducey has applied his experience from a successful career in business to bring much-needed change to Arizona government.

    Upon taking office, the governor inherited a $1 billion budget deficit. He quickly took action and balanced the budget in his first year — without raising taxes. Today, the state budget is balanced with a one billion dollar surplus and a record one billion dollars in its Rainy Day Fund. Business is thriving and more people are moving to Arizona than almost anywhere in the country.

    Committed to investing in public education, Governor Ducey led an historic and bipartisan effort to invest $3.5 billion into K-12 schools in his first year, injecting more dollars into Arizona’s classrooms. With a focus on teacher pay, the governor also successfully championed the passage of legislation to increase teacher pay 20 percent by 2020.

    Governor Ducey has cut regulations and simplified taxes every year to stimulate job creation and economic growth. He remains committed to making Arizona a land of “Opportunity for All” and has pledged to work every day to make that vision a reality.

    Governor Ducey was born in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to Arizona in 1982 to attend Arizona State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He and his wife, Angela, live in Paradise Valley with their three sons, Jack, Joe and Sam. He is Arizona’s 23rd governor.


    Senator Jon Kyl

    Former U.S. Senator, State of Arizona

    Jon Kyl currently serves as Senior of Counsel at Covington and Burling. LLP. He is also a Distinguished Fellow in Public Service in Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, a Distinguished Scholar of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and a director of ASU’s Kyl Center for Water Policy.

    Previously, Senator Kyl served eighteen years in the U.S. Senate, and before that, eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected unanimously by his colleagues in 2008 to serve as Republican Whip, the second-highest position in the Senate Republican leadership, a position he held until his retirement in 2013. He was a member of the Judiciary Committee from 1995-2013, and also served on the Finance Committee.

    On September 5, 2018, Senator Kyl was appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to fill the seat of the late Senator John McCain. He served on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He concluded his service in the Senate on December 31, 2018.

    Before his public service, Senator Kyl practiced law at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix. In 1985, he served as chairman of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

    Born in Oakland, Nebraska, Senator Kyl received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Arizona. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was editor-in-chief of the Arizona Law Review. He and his wife Caryll have two children, Kristine Kyl Gavin and John Kyl, and four grandchildren.

    • 30 Apr 2021
    • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online Zoom Meeting

    April Reading Group

    Call Sign Chaos

    by James Mattis


    Friday, April 30, 2021

    7:30 - 9:00 am MST


    Online Zoom Meeting

    Save the Dates

    View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

    • 04 May 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    The Future of the U.S. - Mexico Bilateral Relationship

    In January 2020, the U.S.-Mexico Foundation and the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute brought together 12 former Ambassadors from the bilateral relationship to engage in intensive and strategic dialogue concerning the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. This discussion is reflected in the report titled "Convocation: A Vision for a Stronger U.S.-Mexico Partnership" (read more here).

    Please join the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for a talk on the key findings from the Convocation report with Martha Bárcena Coqui, former Mexico Ambassador to the U.S. (2019-2021), Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez, former Mexico Ambassador to the U.S (2019-2021) and Christpher Landau, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2019-2021). Our presenters will also discuss the implications of the future of the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship for Arizona. Arizona has strong economic and cultural ties with Mexico. Just in 2019, 35% of all Arizona imports came from Mexico, and 34% of all exports went to Mexico. Arizona jobs related to trade connected to Mexico make up 27%. Enrique Perret of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation will moderate the discussion.



    FREE for PCFR Members

    $10 for Non-Members


    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm MST

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    Amb. Martha Bárcena Coqui

    Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States

    Martha Bárcena served ambassador of Mexico to the United States from 2019 to 2021. She joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1979, and has been the Consul in Barcelona (1989-1990); Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, non-resident to the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Iceland from December 2004 to April 2013; Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, non-resident to Georgia and the Republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan from May 2013 to March 2017; and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations Agencies based in Rome from April 2017 to December 2018.

    In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bárcena has been Technical Secretary of the III LAC-EU Summit (2003-2004); Adviser to the Undersecretary for Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United Nations, specialized in international security and peacekeeping operations (2000-2003); Deputy Director of the Planning and Prospective Division (1998-2000) and Advisor to the Executive Director of the Mexican Institute of International Cooperation, as well as the Director in Chief of Multilateral Affairs, and the Director-General of Cultural Affairs and Historical Diplomatic Acquis (1986- 1989). She was also Head of the Department of Migrant Workers and Border Cooperation in the General Directorate for North America.

    Ambassador Bárcena has been Mexico’s delegate to the UN, the OAS, UNESCO, FAO, WFP, IFAD, and ICAO, as well as head of Delegation in sessions of the Forum on Migration and Development. She has participated in multiple international conferences, including the G-20 and the World Humanitarian Summit.

    Ambassador Bárcena has a degree in Communication Sciences, graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, and a degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies (Diplomatic School, Spain) and has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy specializing in Political Philosophy (Universidad Iberoamericana).

    Amb. Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez

    Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States

    Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez was appointed Ambassador of Mexico to the United States from 2017 to 2018. Gutiérrez Fernandez served as Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB) headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, where his professional activity was focused on infrastructure development and financing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    In 2009 and 2010, he served as Deputy Secretary for Governance and Homeland Security. He served as Under Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (State Department) from 2006 to 2009 and as Under Secretary for North America from 2003 to 2006. Gutierrez has also held federal government positions as Under Secretary of Governance in the Secretaría de Gobernación (Interior Ministry), Secretaría de Economía (Commerce Department), Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (Treasury Department), the Office of the President, and Banobras (Mexico’s national public works bank).

    Ambassador Gutiérrez holds both a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

    Amb. Christopher Landau

    Former Ambassador of the United States to Mexico

    Christopher Landau served as United States Ambassador to Mexico from 2019-2021. He was born in Madrid, Spain, and attended the American School of Asunción, Paraguay, for five years. Landau is a Director of the Diplomacy Center Foundation, which supports the United States Diplomacy Center at the United States Department of State.

    Landau earned his Bachelor of Arts in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1985, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year, and received the Sophia Freund Prize for the highest grade point average in his graduating class. He wrote his senior thesis, which was awarded the Hoopes Prize, on United States relations with the leftist government of Venezuela in the mid 1940s. He received his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1989, where he was articles co-chair of the Harvard Law Review and won the Sears Prize for the highest grade point average in his second year.

    After graduating from law school, Landau clerked for then-Judge Clarence Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He later clerked for Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1990 and 1991 terms, respectively.

    In 1993, Landau joined Kirkland & Ellis as an associate, and became a partner in 1995. He was chairman of the firm’s appellate practice until he left after 25 years to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in 2018. He has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including two on behalf of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and has briefed and argued appeals in all of the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

    From 1994-1995, Landau was an adjunct professor of administrative law at the Georgetown University Law Center. In 2017, the Chief Justice of the United States appointed him to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. He is a Trustee of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and Chair of the Society’s Programs Committee.


    Enrique Perret

    Director of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation

    Enrique Perret is the Director of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation (USMF) since December 2018.

    Enrique has a history of deep commitment to the US-Mexico bilateral relationship. He is a former government professional with a strong track record of leading government engagement and business development strategies between Mexico and the U.S. Before joining the USMF, Enrique most recently served as a Director for North America at ProMexico, Mexico's trade promotion agency, where he worked for more than ten years in several positions.

    Enrique also has a strong commitment to civil society endeavors and has served in leadership roles on a number of nonprofit boards including, serving as Chair of the Board of Enseña por Mexico, Teach for All’s Mexican affiliate, an organization dedicated to leadership development and promoting a better education for all.

    Other previous responsibilities in the Mexican government include being the Technical Secretary for Competitiveness, and Chief of Staff to the President of the CNBV (Banking and Securities Commission).

    Enrique holds a Bachelor Degree in International Commerce from Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and a Master Degree in Economics and Government from Universidad Anáhuac. He also has completed executive courses at Harvard University, Wharton School and SMU.

    About the U.S.-Mexico Foundation:

    The U.S.-Mexico Foundation (USMF) is a binational non-profit organization that is dedicated to fostering bilateral cooperation and understanding between the United States and Mexico. We started operations in 2009 with seed funds from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Carnegie Corporation and the Business Foundation in Mexico (Fundemex).

    USMF executes its mission in two different ways: operating programs and promoting constructive dialogue on key topics of binational interest.

    • 13 May 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    Advancing Global Partnerships:

    A Dialogue Between Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib

    The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations and Phoenix Sister Cities are pleased to present a program with the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and Mayor of Phoenix Kate Gallego. Through this global conversation, the Mayors will explore common issues and priorities for their respective cities, including sustainability and Smart Cities, inclusivity and equity, and economic development.

    Mayors Hřib and Gallego lead large and growing cities; one the capital of a nation in the heart of Europe; the other the capital of the fastest growing city in the American West. In 2019, Mayor Hřib was the first member of the Pirate Party in Europe to be elected mayor of a large 1st tier city. Also in 2019, Mayor Gallego was the youngest mayor elected to run a large 1st tier city in the United States.

    The Pirate Party was founded in Sweden in 2006. It spread throughout Europe, coming to the Czech Republic in 2009. There are now 22 members of the Pirate Party in the Czech Chamber of Deputies and 3 members in the Czech Senate. Currently, the Czech Pirate Party – in coalition with The Mayors and Independents Party – is leading in the polls for the upcoming general election which will take place in October this year. 



    FREE for PCFR Members

    $10 for Non-Members


    Thursday, May 13, 2021

    10:00 am - 11:00 am Phoenix

    7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Prague


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    Mayor Kate Gallego

    City of Phoenix

    Kate Gallego has a vision for Phoenix: she sees it as a place that is vibrant and growing, and one where every person is treated with dignity and respect.

    Mayor Gallego is a strong advocate for smart business growth and investment – she recently helped land the city’s largest-ever business development deal, which, at $12 billion, is also the largest foreign direct investment in the state’s history. She is leading the city to global status as a leader in bioscience, scientific research and advanced medical manufacturing. Under her leadership, the city has also made dramatic advances in transit and street transportation; equitable treatment of the city’s residents; and mitigation of the effects of climate change. Throughout 2020 and 2021, an immense amount of her focus has been on leading Phoenix through the COVID-19 crisis. 

    Mayor Gallego is the second elected female Mayor in Phoenix history and one of the youngest big city Mayors in the United States. In November 2020, she was returned to office with the highest number of votes ever cast for a mayoral candidate in Phoenix.

    A graduate of Harvard University, she earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Phoenix City Council in 2013, representing south Phoenix. Prior professional pursuits include strategic planning and economic development for one of Arizona’s largest utility companies and service in state government, including the Office of the Governor.

    Mayor Kate Gallego enjoys a desert hike and a good read. She is Mom to four-year-old Michael.

    Mayor Zdeněk Hřib

    City of Prague

    Zdeněk Hřib has been the Mayor of Prague since 2018, the first Mayor both in the Czech Republic and worldwide to have been nominated by the Pirate Party.

    In 2006, Zdeněk graduated in General Medicine from Charles University. During his studies, he worked as an intern at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. After graduation, Zdeněk worked for several organizations as a healthcare IT specialist and consultant. In 2008, Zdeněk received an internship in the National Patient Safety Agency in London.

    Zdeněk has been active in the Pirate Party since 2013. Zdeněk helped to formulate the Pirates Party position on some healthcare topics, such as mandatory vaccinations, anti-smoking law, ePrescriptions and patient privacy. He was also one of the authors of the Pirate Party´s election program for healthcare for the 2017 Chamber of Deputies elections and provided consultancy to candidates and deputies in the field of healthcare.


    Akram Rosheidat

    Phoenix Sister Cities

    Prague Committee Chair

    Akram Rosheidat completed his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in 2014, and worked as an Associate Faculty teaching at the ASU School of Sustainability from 2015 to 2018. He is a practicing architect and an Owner at MRT Design LLC in Phoenix, Arizona.

    After starting his university studies in Prague, Czech Republic, Akram received his Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Arizona in Tucson. His research focused on outdoor thermal comfort in hot arid environments. In both his practice and academic research, Akram's focus is on sustainable green building design and technology, energy conservation and studying systems for assessing thermal comfort in outdoor spaces. He designed LEED certified sustainable projects, and worked on USAID projects internationally.

    • 18 May 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    Worldly Perspectives: PCFR Members Take Flight

    A Members-Only Program

    May 18, 2021

    5:00pm - 6:15pm MST / 8:00pm - 9:15pm EDT

    Virtual Event

    How many times has your perspective on the world been influenced by fellow members of PCFR? Now is your chance to learn more in the new PCFR Worldly Perspectives Program series — featuring PCFR members who have led fascinating lives working and traveling around the world.

    Each quarter, we will gather featured speakers to share their stories. Following the moderated discussion period, the conversation will continue in smaller groups. Expand your perspective and your network through PCFR Worldly Perspectives — the world’s stories told from our own backyard.


    Featured Storytellers

    Claire Sechler Merkel is the Senior Director, Arizona Programs for the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. She served as director of friends and family and chief of staff to Mrs. Cindy McCain during the 2008 Presidential Election campaign, and worked for McCain for President 2000. Previously, she served as legislative assistant and special assistant to U.S. Senator John McCain and campaign coordinator for John McCain’s first U.S. Senate Campaign. Claire was associate director in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President George H.W. Bush, senior intergovernmental officer at the U.S. Department of Labor and regional director for Eastern and Central Europe at the International Republican Institute. Prior to joining the McCain Institute for International Leadership, she lived for two years in Malmo, Sweden with her husband and children. Claire holds a degree in public policy, with distinction, from Stanford University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She now resides in Phoenix with her husband, David, and their two children.

    Warren Salinger came to the U.S. as a refugee from Nazi Germany in February, 1939, two months shy of his seventh birthday. Warren graduated from Goddard College with a degree in Political Science and spent most of his working life with NGO's on international development issues. As Director of the Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice, Warren worked with former President Jimmy Carter, helping him start the Carter Center's International Negotiation Network. Improving relationships between the U.S. and the Soviet Union took Warren to the USSR and then Russia more than 80 times, including spending the entire week of the August, 1991 coup that toppled 72 years of communism, in Moscow. As a Development Director of the Unitarian Service Committee, Warren spent considerable time in Central America, especially in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, during the wars there. Warren is a seven-year veteran of USAF Intelligence (1951-58), including spending three and a half years in Germany at the height of the Cold War interviewing German POW's from the USSR.

    Bus Obayomi is a digital consultant with a global risk management firm, Willis Towers Watson. He is also the President of New Zeal Consulting. Bus Obayomi has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, a Master's degree in International Affairs from the City University of New York, and a Masters' degree in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Bus has worked as a Council Aide for New York City Council and a legislative aide for New York State legislature. Bus is a world traveler who has studied abroad in Argentina and had lived in both Africa and the U.S. He is currently involved with the local government in the Town of Gilbert, providing input on community issues. 

    Maria Houle is the Program Director of the Thunderbird SHARE Fellowship, a graduate-level scholarship/mentorship program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Maria joined SHARE in 2009 after 20 years' experience in the banking, fashion and non-profit sectors. A fourth-generation Phoenician, she has an MIM from Thunderbird, degrees in Political Science and Italian from the University of Arizona, as well as the CELTA ESL certification. She has worked and studied in eight countries, speaks several European languages at wildly different levels and has been a proud member of the PCFR since 2015.

    Have your own story to share?

    Reach out to Luke, PCFR Program Committee Co-chair and Board Director, to share how your perspective can benefit our membership as a whole.

    • 21 May 2021
    • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online Zoom Meeting

    Book for Discussion

    The Rise of Digital Repression

    by Steven Feldstein


    Friday, May 21, 2021

    7:30 - 9:00 am MST


    Online Zoom Meeting

    About the Book

    The world is undergoing a profound set of digital disruptions that are changing the nature of how governments counter dissent and assert control over their countries. While increasing numbers of people rely primarily or exclusively on online platforms, authoritarian regimes have concurrently developed a formidable array of technological capabilities to constrain and repress their citizens.

    In The Rise of Digital Repression, Steven Feldstein documents how the emergence of advanced digital tools bring new dimensions to political repression. Presenting new field research from Thailand, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, he investigates the goals, motivations, and drivers of these digital tactics. Feldstein further highlights how governments pursue digital strategies based on a range of factors: ongoing levels of repression, political leadership, state capacity, and technological development. The international community, he argues, is already seeing glimpses of what the frontiers of repression look like. For instance, Chinese authorities have brought together mass surveillance, censorship, DNA collection, and artificial intelligence to enforce their directives in Xinjiang. As many of these trends go global, Feldstein shows how this has major implications for democracies and civil society activists around the world.

    A compelling synthesis of how anti-democratic leaders harness powerful technology to advance their political objectives, The Rise of Digital Repression concludes by laying out innovative ideas and strategies for civil society and opposition movements to respond to the digital autocratic wave.

    Save the Dates

    View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

    • 03 Jun 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online

    The Rise of Digital Repression

    The world is undergoing a profound set of digital disruptions that are changing the nature of how governments counter dissent and assert control over their countries. Authoritarian regimes have developed a formidable array of technological capabilities to constrain and repress their citizens. Steven Feldstein will discuss his new book, The Rise of Digital Repression, which describes how the emergence of advanced digital tools is bringing new dimensions to how leaders stay in power. Presenting new field research from Thailand, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, he will talk about goals, motivations, and drivers of these digital tactics, and offer ideas about how democracies and civil society groups can respond.


    The Rise of Digital Repression is also the selected book for PCFR's May Reading Group on May 21, 2021. Learn more here.


    FREE for PCFR Members

    $10 for Non-Members


    Thursday, June 3, 2021

    12:00 pm-1:00 pm MST

    3:00 pm-4:00 pm EDT


    Zoom Meeting

    The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


    Steven Feldstein

    Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance

    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Steven Feldstein is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program where he focuses on issues of technology and democracy, human rights, U.S. foreign policy, and Africa. Previously, he was the holder of the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs and an associate professor at Boise State University. He served in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor with responsibility for Africa policy, international labor affairs, and international religious freedom. He also served as Director of Policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as Counsel on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, maintaining oversight of all foreign assistance agencies, budgets and programs. His articles and commentary have appeared in outlets such as the BBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy, MIT Technology Review, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, War on the Rocks, and The Washington Post. He received his B.A. from Princeton and his J.D. from Berkeley Law. His new book, The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance, comes out in April 2021.


    Luke Wenz

    Deputy National Outreach Director of the Western Region

    U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

    Luke Wenz serves as the Deputy National Outreach Director of the Western Region for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a broad-based coalition of over 500 businesses, NGOs, and faith-based groups that works in Washington, D.C. and around the country to strengthen America’s civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy, alongside defense. Alongside his work with USGLC, Luke is the President of Big Stick Consulting, LLC, a government relations and public relations firm in Arizona. Earlier in his career, Luke spent time working on Capitol Hill, and served as Deputy District Director for U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska and served as his Campaign Manager. Prior to his work on domestic politics, Luke has lived and worked in Amman, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon – working in international development and studying the root causes of religiopolitical radicalization. Luke attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he studied political theory and the philosophy of religion. Though he travels extensively across the United States for work, Luke is based in Phoenix.

    • 25 Jun 2021
    • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM (UTC-07:00)
    • Online Zoom Meeting

    Book for Discussion

    The Inevitability of Tragedy:

    Henry Kissinger and His World

    by Barry Gewen


    Friday, June 25, 2021

    7:30 - 9:00 am MST


    Online Zoom Meeting

    About the Book

    Few public officials have provoked such intense controversy as Henry Kissinger. During his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations, he came to be admired and hated in equal measure. Notoriously, he believed that foreign affairs ought to be based primarily on the power relationships of a situation, not simply on ethics. He went so far as to argue that under certain circumstances America had to protect its national interests even if that meant repressing other countries’ attempts at democracy. For this reason, many today on both the right and left dismiss him as a latter-day Machiavelli, ignoring the breadth and complexity of his thought.

    With The Inevitability of Tragedy, Barry Gewen corrects this shallow view, presenting the fascinating story of Kissinger’s development as both a strategist and an intellectual and examining his unique role in government through his ideas. This book analyzes his contentious policies in Vietnam and Chile, guided by a fresh understanding of his definition of Realism, the belief that world politics is based on an inevitable, tragic competition for power.

    Crucially, Gewen places Kissinger’s pessimistic thought in a European context. He considers how Kissinger was deeply impacted by his experience as a refugee from Nazi Germany, and explores the links between his notions of power and those of his mentor, Hans Morgenthau―the father of Realism―as well as those of two other German-Jewish émigrés who shared his concerns about the weaknesses of democracy: Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt.

    The Inevitability of Tragedy offers a thoughtful perspective on the origins of Kissinger’s sober worldview and argues that a reconsideration of his career is essential at a time when American foreign policy lacks direction.

    Save the Dates

    View Upcoming Reading Group Meetings Here

Past events

08 Apr 2021 The Russia Disruption: Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of Dealing with Putin
01 Apr 2021 The Causes and Consequences of Brexit
25 Mar 2021 A Conversation with General Mattis on U.S. Leadership Going Forward
25 Mar 2021 America’s Global Leadership, COVID-19 & the Impact on Arizona
19 Mar 2021 March Reading Group
18 Mar 2021 The Russia Disruption: Russia and America After Trump
17 Mar 2021 Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army (Ret): A Discussion With ASU's New Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab
09 Mar 2021 It's Not Just Over There: The American Commitment to the Korean Peninsula
25 Feb 2021 Lunar New Year Celebration
24 Feb 2021 The Russia Disruption: Assassination at Home and Abroad
19 Feb 2021 February Reading Group
16 Feb 2021 The Balkans: Where the U.S. and Europe Meet
09 Feb 2021 Worldly Perspectives: PCFR Members Take Flight
27 Jan 2021 America’s International Image at a Moment of Change
22 Jan 2021 January Reading Group
13 Jan 2021 Brexit from the ground up: Ethnographic perspectives from the Northern Ireland borderzone
12 Jan 2021 Fireside Chat with Retired Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor
10 Dec 2020 Angrynomics
04 Dec 2020 December Reading Group
02 Dec 2020 The Global Democratic Recession: How We Can Reverse It
01 Dec 2020 USGLC Tribute Celebration - Member Pre-Party
19 Nov 2020 American Diplomacy in a Disordered World
12 Nov 2020 Confronting Disinformation: Views from the Trenches
30 Oct 2020 October Reading Group
27 Oct 2020 Journey to Self-Reliance: A New Approach
15 Oct 2020 Summer 2020 is Finally Over: PCFR Virtual Mixer
06 Oct 2020 Foreign Policy Priorities of a Biden Administration with Tony Blinken
01 Oct 2020 The U.S. 2020 Election and Germany – Political, Economic and Strategic Implications
25 Sep 2020 September Reading Group
23 Sep 2020 Afghanistan from the ground up: A conversation about war, U.S. partnership and the future of Afghanistan
16 Sep 2020 Tariffs, Trade & the Pandemic Recovery
10 Sep 2020 The World: A Brief Introduction with Richard Haass and David A. Merkel
27 Aug 2020 Globally Conscious Business Communication: Techniques, Tips, and Experience from a 20 Year Adventure Across 4 Continents
18 Aug 2020 Foreign Relations Summer Series: International Career Paths for Young Professionals
30 Jul 2020 July Reading Group
29 Jul 2020 Japan's Strategy to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic
08 Jul 2020 The USMCA Goes Live and What It Means for the US, Canada and Mexico
25 Jun 2020 Foreign Relations Summer Series: Career Lessons from the Great Recession
24 Jun 2020 China: “To trust is good, not to trust is better”
17 Jun 2020 Reflections of a Senior African-American Diplomat on the Global Importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement
11 Jun 2020 COVID19: Experience on the Front Lines Treating COVID19 Patients in New York City
04 Jun 2020 The Global Economic Implications of the Pandemic
28 May 2020 A Diplomat's Perspective on America’s Preparedness and Global Health Security in the Face of COVID-19
21 May 2020 May Reading Group
15 May 2020 China, Coronavirus and the Coming Global Challenges
07 May 2020 The Ultimate Case for American International Leadership – Now What?
23 Apr 2020 April Reading Group
22 Apr 2020 Crisis Abroad! Every Diplomat Becomes a Consular Officer When American Citizens Need Our Help
07 Apr 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic and West Africa Ebola Crisis: Similarities, Differences and Opportunities Missed
24 Mar 2020 [POSTPONED] New and Prospective Member Breakfast
23 Mar 2020 [POSTPONED] Choosing Freedom: America’s Role in the World and Supporting Democracy and Human Rights Abroad
11 Mar 2020 15th Annual International State of the State
04 Mar 2020 The Challenges for U.S. Policy in a Turbulent Middle East
29 Feb 2020 PCFR Field Trip to the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona Museum (Members Only)
25 Feb 2020 Australia’s Burning Bush, Earth’s Emerging Pyrocene?
20 Feb 2020 How America Can Make the World More Peaceful
11 Feb 2020 Vietnam and the United States: Recognizing 25 Years of Comprehensive Partnership, Highlighting Future Opportunities and Saluting Senator John McCain
28 Jan 2020 From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia
22 Jan 2020 US-Iran Conflict: Multi-level, Multi-player Game of Chess (and Other Games)
16 Jan 2020 January Reading Group (Members Only)
10 Dec 2019 An Update on Cross-Border Law Enforcement and Coordination: A Maricopa County Sheriff Perspective
03 Dec 2019 Global Leadership in 4IR
21 Nov 2019 November Reading Group
20 Nov 2019 Japan on the World Stage: Society, Influence, Education
07 Nov 2019 Roads to Revolution: Transformative Social Movements in Iran and their Discontents
23 Oct 2019 Taken Hostage: The Silent Victims of Kidnapping Abroad
22 Oct 2019 New and Prospective Member Breakfast
16 Oct 2019 National Insecurities: America and the World 2020-2050
25 Sep 2019 Status of Arizona’s National Guard’s Global Presence: An Extended Service
19 Sep 2019 The Next Decade of PCFR
19 Sep 2019 September Reading Group
17 Sep 2019 Priorities of Mexican Foreign Policy in the U.S.
12 Aug 2019 Venezuela Kleptocracy: The Ripple Effect of the Venezuelan Revolution
23 Jul 2019 Update on the US-Mexico Relationship
18 Jul 2019 July Reading Group
03 Jun 2019 New Times for the Transatlantic Relations
16 May 2019 May Reading Group
14 May 2019 The Challenges and Rewards of Global Engagement—from Russia to the Poorest Countries on Earth
07 May 2019 Extremism and Terrorism in Our Communities, Across the Nation and Around the World: Understanding Today’s Changing Threat Landscape
23 Apr 2019 14th Annual International State of the State
16 Apr 2019 The Evolution of Security and Privacy in a Shrinking World
03 Apr 2019 Vanishing Frontiers: Why Mexico is Even Closer to US Than We Realize
28 Mar 2019 The World as It Is
21 Mar 2019 Ukraine's Presidential Election - Democracy Being Tested by Russian Aggression
14 Mar 2019 March Reading Group
05 Mar 2019 6th PCFR New and Prospective Member Breakfast
25 Feb 2019 Iran’s and North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Programs: Problems Solved, or Continuing Threats?
21 Feb 2019 Can Sport Save Globalization?
12 Feb 2019 Southeast Asia and the US Strategy for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific
29 Jan 2019 The Democratic Transition in Tunisia
17 Jan 2019 January Reading Group
16 Jan 2019 NORAD at 60: Heritage, Vigilance, and Innovation
12 Dec 2018 The Rule of Law in Hong Kong and Human Rights
04 Dec 2018 Kazakhstan in a Changing Eurasia
28 Nov 2018 Nemtsov: Film Screening and Discussion
15 Nov 2018 November Reading Group
25 Oct 2018 How China’s Exponential Technological Disruption and Infrastructure Investment is Driving a Radical Transformation of the Future
02 Oct 2018 Calculated Risks: Safeguarding the World’s Largest Aerospace Company in a Globalized Business Environment
27 Sep 2018 Understanding International Trade in the Trump Era
20 Sep 2018 September Reading Group
13 Sep 2018 U.S. - Mexico Geopolitical Forecast for 2018 - 2019
19 Jul 2018 July Reading Group
12 Jul 2018 The Future of the Two Koreas and Donald Trump
07 Jul 2018 Young Professionals World Cup Watch Party
26 Jun 2018 Mexico’s Presidential Election Cycle
19 Jun 2018 Young Professionals Foreign Relations Summer Series
17 May 2018 May Reading Group
15 May 2018 US-China Relations in the Age of Trump and Xi
01 May 2018 Maintaining the US Competitive Edge in the Resurgence of Great Power Competition
10 Apr 2018 Inman’s View of the World: A look at overarching threats, challenges, and opportunities facing the U.S. followed by a geographic tour of hot spots.
05 Apr 2018 Recent Trends in African Infrastructure Development
27 Mar 2018 How to Lose Press Freedom in a Democracy: The Experience of an Exiled Journalist
21 Mar 2018 Ethics in the Age of Cyber
15 Mar 2018 March Reading Group
20 Feb 2018 SOLD OUT- 13th Annual International State of the State
18 Jan 2018 January Reading Group
17 Jan 2018 TIME & LOCATION CHANGE - NAFTA and the Future of the World Trading System under President Trump
14 Dec 2017 SOLD OUT - Censorship, Privacy, Retaliation and 'Fake News': The State of Freedom of The Press in the U.S. and Mexico
16 Nov 2017 November Reading Group
01 Nov 2017 Russian Machinations, Political Gridlock and other Challenges to US Democratic Systems
25 Oct 2017 The Impact of Foreign and Cyber Threats on the 2016 and Future Elections: A Discussion with Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan
24 Oct 2017 Challenges for Factual Reporting in the Age of Social Media
11 Oct 2017 A Conversation on the U.S.-Canada trade partnership, Arizona’s relationship with Canada, and the future of NAFTA
28 Sep 2017 September Reading Group
26 Sep 2017 In Commemoration of Finland’s 100th Anniversary of Independence from Russia
12 Sep 2017 China: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom
23 Aug 2017 South China Sea: An update on Diplomacy and Developments
20 Jul 2017 Law of War in the Age of ISIS
12 Jul 2017 Arizona International Business Opportunities in a Changing Global Paradigm
31 May 2017 Foreign Policy in a Time of Transition
04 May 2017 REGISTRATION CLOSED - 12th Annual International State of the State
27 Apr 2017 A Strategic Association for the XXI Century: Peru and the United States of America
21 Apr 2017 April Reading Group
05 Apr 2017 US-Mexico Relations Today: Arizona’s Positive Contribution
28 Mar 2017 Is the World Getting Better or Worse? Health, Human Rights, and Quality of Life Around the Globe
23 Feb 2017 U.S.-Russian Relations: From Rock Bottom to…What Next?
17 Feb 2017 February Reading Group
25 Jan 2017 Korea, What’s Next?
12 Jan 2017 President Obama’s Legal Legacy in War
13 Dec 2016 Quo Vadis? Latin America
30 Nov 2016 Mexico-U.S. Relations Today and Tomorrow: The Case of Arizona
17 Nov 2016 Fall Reading Group - The Unquiet Frontier: Rising Rivals, Vulnerable Allies, and the Crisis of American Power
09 Nov 2016 Freeport in Peru: Twenty Years and Going Strong
18 Oct 2016 SOLD OUT - National Security Challenges for the Incoming Administration
07 Oct 2016 The View From the State Department: Religion, Conflict and Diplomacy
29 Sep 2016 Russia’s War with Ukraine: What is at stake for the West?
19 Sep 2016 America as the World’s Policeman

Contact us to learn more about PCFR Events prior to 2016.

Exploring Leading Foreign Policy Issues


PCFR is dedicated to growing Arizona’s global prominence by providing forums that explore critical foreign policy issues and build enduring international connections.


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