November 5, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Vision of the World

by Joseph Murgida

A discussion of President Clinton’s vision of the world and America’s leadership role in the international community, and the foreign policy agenda it inspired.


This event was co-sponsored with the Walsh School of Foreign Service.


The 'Vision of the World' panel of the Clinton 25 symposium was headlined by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, who spoke highly regarding President Clinton's the foreign policy vision.. While foreign policy was never considered to be a significant aspect of the Clinton Administration, all three officials noted that Clinton himself understood the importance of America’s presence and support for international institutions. Touching on prominent international dilemmas, such as working with Boris Yeltsin and the negotiation of NAFTA, the speakers deemed President Clinton’s approach to dealing with all of these issues as embodiments of his strengths as a decision maker, negotiator, and liberator.

Secretary Albright commended Clinton’s willingness to look through the world with multilateral spectacles, a positive trait in the leader of the free world. Specifically focusing on Russian policy, Deputy Secretary Talbott discussed the unique foreign policy position that President Clinton was in as he tried to ensure that the Cold War remained over after having been the primary international crisis for years in America. President Zedillo spoke with a different perspective, having worked with Clinton closely while Mexican Head of State, which allowed him to gain a distinctive respect for Clinton’s vision that believed in diplomacy and respect for others as in the national interest of the United States. Universal praise from three figures who all had different personal experiences with the president display the genuine likeability and natural intelligence from President Clinton.

Much of their praise of President Clinton derived from the education he received at Georgetown University. Secretary Albright particularly stated that Clinton had fully formed perspective on foreign affairs because he studied at Georgetown and was updated with what was going on in world. These leaders acknowledged that emphasis that Clinton placed upon peace and prioritizing strong relations with nations like Mexico likely root from similar teachings that was sprouted at Georgetown. This recognition of Georgetown’s educational influence on President Clinton encapsulated why Georgetown University was the perfect venue to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

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