Distinguished scholar will co-direct the New American Engagement Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – June 8, 2020 – The Atlantic Council announced today that Christopher Preble, a distinguished scholar of U.S. foreign policy, will become the co-director of the New American Engagement Initiative, a new, innovative program within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Preble, with co-director Mathew Burrows, will oversee a portfolio that aims to challenge prevailing assumptions governing U.S. foreign policy and provide real world solutions to re-calibrating US foreign policy.

“The New American Engagement Initiative will play a central role in generating out-of-the-box US foreign policy ideas and challenging traditional assumptions, and I am excited that Christopher Preble will be serving alongside Mat Burrows to lead this effort,” said Barry Pavel, senior vice president and director of the Scowcroft Center. “Under Chris’s leadership, we will be addressing urgent trends in the global and domestic landscape and seeking to inject Scowcroftian realism into a revitalized national and international debate on U.S. leadership in the world.”

Preble was previously vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, and before that served as Cato’s director of foreign policy studies. He is the author of four books, including Peace, War and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy (2019), and The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free (2009). His work has appeared in major publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Survival, The National Interest, and Foreign Policy, and he co-hosts “Net Assessment” in the War on the Rocks podcast network. Preble, a former commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, holds a PhD in history from Temple University.

“It is a tremendous honor to join the Atlantic Council, one of the preeminent institutions responsible for shaping America’s role in the world,” said Preble. “I am especially proud to work with Barry Pavel, Mat Burrows, and others within the Scowcroft Center in fashioning a resilient and far-sighted U.S. grand strategy that can command the support of the American people.” He continued, “the United States rose to power by committing itself to peaceful global engagement through diplomacy, trade, and mutually beneficial cultural exchange. Atlantic Council scholars demonstrate the continued value of these core principles every day, and the New American Engagement Initiative is designed to leverage and build on this important work.”

The New American Engagement Initiative, which formally launched this year, will build upon the “realist” foreign policy thinking of Brent Scowcroft, two-time US National Security Advisor and Atlantic Council chairman emeritus, that brought the Cold War to a peaceful end.  It will be designed to methodically question assumptions regarding the use of military power and to design real-world solutions to urgent problems that deploy the full range of American diplomatic economic and other capabilities.

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