The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum aims to broaden and deepen understanding of world affairs through small, interactive, professionally led sessions on international issues for a membership of informed individuals.

Next Program

The View From Washington: Foreign Policy Opportunities and Challenges

September 26, 2017

Kristie Kenney

Ambassador Kristie KennyAmbassador Kenney will review the key foreign policy challenges facing the Trump Administration and discuss policy approaches under consideration. She will also highlight the interagency dynamics in Washington and how they affect policy formulation.

Ambassador Kristie Kenney holds the State Department’s highest diplomatic rank of Career Ambassador. Over her 30 year career, she has represented the United States abroad as Ambassador three times and served in senior positions at the State Department and the White House.

Ambassador Kenney served as the 32nd Counselor of the State Department, the Departments fifth ranking official position and on behalf of Secretary Kerry, led delegations to Latin America and Asia.

As Ambassador to Thailand from 2011-2014, Ambassador Kenney was the first female to head U.S. Embassy Bangkok, one of the United States largest diplomatic missions with over 3,000 staff.

Ambassador Kristie KenneyShe was the Ambassador to the Philippines from 2006-2010, the first woman to hold that post. She coordinated U.S. military and development assistance over multiple natural disasters. During this and subsequent assignments, she pioneered use of social media by U.S. Ambassadors to connect with diverse and dynamic foreign audiences. Earlier, she served as Ambassador to Ecuador where she advanced U.S. business and security interests in Latin America.

Ambassador Kenney holds a Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a Master’s degree from Tulane University. She also attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. She speaks Spanish and French, as well as some Thai and Tagalog. She is married to Ambassador William Brownfield. When not rooting for Washington area sports teams, Ambassador Kenney enjoys travel, skiing, and connecting with social media friends around the world.

Please note: Ambassador Kenney will also be addressing the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque (formerly ACFR) dinner Tuesday, September 26. SFWAF members may attend at AFCR member prices.  For more information please contact ACFR program chair Bob McGuire ( or 505-281-1108.

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

Annual Symposium 2017

[Past Event]

World Order Under Threat: Protectionism, Nationalism and Extremism

April 24 – 25, 2017

Dr. Patricia Kushlis, President, Santa Fe World Affairs Forum; Santa Fe Community College Representative; Javier Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 2014, after serving two terms on the City Council. He was the first Hispanic President of the National Association of Counties; Robin Raphel, US Ambassador (rtd) to Tunisia and former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs; John Herbst, US Ambassador(rtd) (Uzbekistan and Ukraine), and Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council; Dr. Raul Gouvea, Professor, International Business and Latin American Management, Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico; Jerry Pacheco, Executive Director, International Business Accelerator, and international trade columnist & NAFTA specialist, The Albuquerque Journal; Dr. Fernando Lopez-Alves, Professor of Sociology, Global Studies and War & Conflict, University of California at Santa Barbara; Director of Global and International Studies, University of Salamanca; the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Politics, Business and Economics, CEMA, Buenos Aire; Dr. Joe Jupille, Associate Professor of Political Science and Faculty Research Associate of the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder; Mary Minow, Library Law Consultant; Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow, Harvard University; attorney and specialist on disinformation; Ray Rivera, Editor in Chief, Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.


The hope in the West for a peaceful world order following the collapse of the Soviet Union has given way in the last years to a stark new reality. The post-Cold War security order has broken down at the same time that we see the fraying of the internal order of most states worldwide. We are looking at growing fragmentation within both individual states and the global community while inequality, retrenchment, protectionism, nationalism, and ideological extremism are on the rise. Twenty-five years ago, we believed major warfare would be highly unlikely; today it is no longer unthinkable. The consequences of new technologies are unclear, and we already seem to be in the early stages of cyber warfare. Inequality of wealth in the West pales in the face of even greater inequalities in the former Communist states of Russia and China, and where that might lead is hard to gauge. The aging of populations in the developed world will put new strains on economic systems and on the young. Many Arab nations are growingly dysfunctional, while magnet states are erecting ever tougher barriers to immigration and the flow of peoples. The temptation to retrench into tribalistic tendencies like populism, economic protectionism, extreme nationalism and fundamentalist beliefs is hard to counter.

With the help of experts in some of these areas, the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum’s 2017 Symposium will discuss these issues in depth in an effort to explore solutions to this increasingly challenging situation. 

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