June 23, 2021: Can a Divided America Produce a 21st Century Foreign Policy?


The urgent climate change crisis, a global COVID pandemic, and growing conflict between democracy and authoritarianism pose unprecedented challenges.  Ambassador James F. Collins, one of America’s most respected diplomats, applies his foreign service experience in Russia, the Middle East and Asia to choices facing the Biden administration as it shapes our nation’s foreign policy role in a troubled world.

Ambassador Collins served in numerous diplomatic and policy adviser roles covering Russia, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Jordan, Latin America, the Near East, and South Asia. Notably, he was in Moscow during two historic periods:  as acting Ambassador when an attempted coup led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and as President Clinton’s Ambassador to Russia in 1997-2000, including Vladimir Putin’s first year in office.

A graduate of Harvard and Indiana University, Collins taught Russian and European history, government, and economics at the U.S. Naval Academy. Recipient of the State Department Career Achievement Award and many others, Collins in 2007 was appointed director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He continues to be a Senior Fellow there.