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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

William Antholis - Director and CEO of the Miller Center for Public Affairs

“‘America First’ Meets ‘First Year’: President Trump’s Freshman Tour on the World Stage”

Thursday May 10,2018

In anticipation of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, the Miller Center for Public Affairs at UVA, a nonpartisan research organization, undertook study of the experiences presidents in their first year. From this extensive research, the Miller Center provided to both parties briefings on what some of the challenges were likely to be in the new president’s first year and suggestions on how to avoid pitfalls.
President Trump’s first year in office presented more than its share of challenges in foreign policy: North Korean nuclear and missile testing, a recently negotiated Iran nuclear agreement that is viewed by many as imperfect, trade agreements which are judged by some to be unfair to the U.S., alleged Russian meddling in U.S. and other countries’ elections, the ongoing wars in Syria and Afghanistan, continuing aggressiveness by China in the East and South China Seas, and much more.
The foremost principle of President Trump’s leadership is “America First.” As we heard a year ago from Anne Marie Slaughter, “America First” has legitimate historical precedents dating back to Hamilton and Jefferson. What has been unclear is how “America First” would translate into strategy for President Trump’s foreign affairs. Since the end of WW II the U.S. has lead the building of multinational organizations which required compromises. These institutions have formed the backbone of international relations. Will “America First” result in the dismantling of these commitments and alliances?
In addition to the policy questions confronting President Trump, he has struggled to staff his foreign policy team with knowledgeable and experienced leaders. President Trump recently appointed his third National Security Advisor and appeared to be out of sync with his recently terminated Secretary of State. And appointments to second-level staff positions have taken longer than in most recent presidencies. With changing leadership and vacant deputy positions, how is policy being informed and decided - and once decided, who is implementing those policy decisions?
We are very pleased to welcome back to CCFR William Antholis. Since January 2015 Bill has been director and CEO of the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Prior to that he was Managing Director of The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. From 2001  to 2004, he was Director of Studies and Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. Bill’s public service includes Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of State and Director of International Economic Affairs for the National Security Council and National Economic Council from 1997 t0 1998. He has written two books and numerous articles for major news organizations and research journals.
Bill Antholis earned his B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia and his Ph. D. in politics from Yale University.
6:00 Cocktails 6:45 Dinner 7:45 Address and Discussion

Meal A: Pan Roasted Crab Cakes
Meal B: Grilled Filet Mignon
Meal C: Vegetarian Pasta Primavera