Event Recap

Elections 2020

Sep 30, 2020

How Pete Buttigieg sees the US restoring its credibility in the world

By David A. Wemer

“America cannot move forward in the way that we need to without cooperation with our partners and allies around the world,” Buttigieg maintained, especially with the pressing challenges of a rising China, climate change, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Climate Change & Climate Action Coronavirus

The Atlantic Council hosted on September 30, 2020, a conversation with Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the future of US global leadership. The United States, along with allies and partners, fashioned an enduring rules-based international system coming out of World War II, but that order is now fraying under the weight of new geopolitical competitors, a faltering global social contract, and novel strategic shocks like COVID-19. How must the United States adapt as the rules-based order is now being challenged by rising powers? How can the US leverage all of its instruments of power and influence, including diplomacy, technology, economic power, and cultural exchange, as well as the US military, in this changing world? What can be done to develop a comprehensive US approach to the world that can command the broad support of the American people? And how can we draw in new and diverse voices, including those of young people, into the wider foreign policy debate?

This live event was part of the Atlantic Council’s #ACFrontPage event series, an ideas platform spotlighting global leaders who are championing constructive solutions to global challenges, as well as Elections 2020: America’s Role in the World, a series of conversations on the top foreign policy priorities for the next four years, featuring the most prominent voices shaping the national dialogue. The event was hosted by the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s New American Engagement Initiative. The initiative aims to facilitate a wide-ranging debate about US foreign policy by drawing together cutting-edge and out-of-the-box thinkers to question key assumptions and challenge conventional approaches. It is committed to building a comprehensive strategy for America’s global engagement that will help policymakers to manage risks, set priorities, and allocate resources wisely and efficiently, as they work to advance American security and prosperity and shape the global future.  

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.

America’s role in the world

Join the Atlantic Council for conversations on the most critical issues at the intersection of domestic and international affairs that will influence this year’s US elections.


Mr. Pete Buttigieg
Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
2020 US Presidential Candidate

In conversation with

Ms. Margaret Brennan
Face the Nation
Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent
CBS News

Introduced by

Mr. Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President
Atlantic Council

Closing remarks by

Mr. Vicente Garcia
Director, Events and Special Initiatives
Atlantic Council