Frederick Kempe

  • On Presidential Leadership

    Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe reflects on President Trump’s Iran decision and the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Awards

    It was a piquant coincidence that we scheduled the Atlantic Council’s annual Distinguished Leadership Awards dinner, saluting former President George W. Bush for his life-saving work against HIV-AIDS, opposite President Trump’s most consequential leadership decision to date, the undoing of the Iran nuclear deal.

    Receiving his award on May 10, the date on which Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940, President Bush spoke with a clarity that ensured his meaning was not missed:

    “Churchill said in his lifetime two world wars had shown that oceans no longer protected the new world from the problems of the old. The only way for peace was through partnership and engagement. If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided, all will fail. That’s why the Atlantic Council is important today. And I appreciate your good works.”

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  • Presentation of 2018 Distinguished Military Leadership Award to General Curtis M. Scaparrotti

    Atlantic Council
    2018 Distinguished Leadership Awards
    Distinguished Military Leadership Award Presentation

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  • Former US President George W. Bush: "People in the United States Cannot Escape World Responsibility"

    Atlantic Council
    2018 Distinguished Leadership Awards
    Distinguished International Leadership Award Presentation

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  • We Are Now in Uncharted Territory

    President Trump’s decision today to leave the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was the most significant foreign policy decision yet for this administration.

    It is no accident that Trump announced it even as he dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. These two engagements will do much to define the Trump administration’s policy toward nuclear proliferators and determine whether Trump’s disruptive approach can produce real results.        

    Whether Trump’s decision today proves to be the right tonic to finally counter Iran’s multiple threats depends on whether the administration can craft a strategy that is as coherent as today’s action was bold. At the moment, that is not the case.

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  • We Are Now in Uncharted Territory

    President Trump’s decision today to leave the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was the most significant foreign policy decision yet for this administration.

    It is no accident that Trump announced it even as he dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. These two engagements will do much to define the Trump administration’s policy toward nuclear proliferators and determine whether Trump’s disruptive approach can produce real results.        

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Korean Summit


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  • Mike Pompeo is the New Secretary of State. Now What?

    The US Senate on April 26 confirmed former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo as the new US Secretary of State.

    US President Donald J. Trump picked Pompeo, a known foreign policy hawk on issues from Russia to Iran to North Korea, to replace Rex Tillerson at the State Department on March 13.

    Tillerson officially stepped down on April 1. Pompeo assumed the post on April 26. This replacement is one of many that have taken place in the first fifteen months of the Trump administration. The White House has now seen two secretaries of state, three national security advisors, and two chiefs of staff. Whether Pompeo can help chart a steady course for US policy remains to be seen.  

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  • Fred Kempe on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

    Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe discusses Saudi Crown Princes Mohammed bin Salman’s March 2018 visit to the United States.

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  • With Democracy in Retreat and Authoritarians Rising, H.R. McMaster Delivered a Historic Call to Action

    Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe reflects on H.R. McMaster’s last public speech as National Security Advisor

    Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s last public speech as President Trump’s national security advisor was more of a warning than a valedictory.

    It was delivered with elegance, passion and power at the Atlantic Council, closing a dinner we hosted to honor the three Baltic States and the 100th anniversary of their first independence, shortly after their presidents’ meeting with President Trump.

    It was simultaneously the celebration of a failure and one of resilience, in that the Baltic States’ initial freedom was short-lived, snuffed out by Soviet occupation after just 20 years, only to be regained 51 years later through the courage of the Baltic peoples and their Western supporters—and with the collapse of the Soviet empire.

    McMaster’s underlying message to an audience that included the Estonian and Latvian presidents, with whom I had moderated a panel that also included the Lithuanian foreign minister just a few minutes earlier, was that history’s outcomes aren’t predestined but are shaped by the most determined actors. Until recently, that has been Putin.

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Free Trade Agreements


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