America's Role in the World

The ninth annual

America's Role in the World Conference

The nonpartisan event convened diplomats, journalists, politicians and scholars to offer expert insight on critical global affairs topics 

April 4-5, 2024
Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies (Shreve Auditorium)
Bloomington, Indiana

The ninth annual conference included discussions on urgent issues facing the next U.S. Presidential administration, AI governance, Indiana’s global economic ties, Africa’s Sahel region, and other key topics in global affairs. The event featured a conversation between Oleksandra Matviichuk, human rights lawyer and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 and Politico Editor at Large, Matthew Kaminski. The Hamilton Lugar School also recognized Matviichuk with the Global Voices for Change Award for her leadership of the Centre for Civil Liberties, a human rights organization based in Kyiv. 

The Importance of Area Studies

Area studies is an established part of American education, but as politics becomes more polarized and the world is increasingly more closed to research, our ways of investigating, teaching, and organizing area studies as a discipline and a curriculum have to change. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Global Change, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute

Thursday, April 4 / 10-11:15 a.m.

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Global Voices for Change Award

Oleksandra Matviichuk, human rights lawyer, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties; Recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Centre for Civil Liberties, Kyiv, Ukraine, jointly with Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned Belarussian human rights activist, and the Russian human rights organization, Memorial.

Remarks will be followed by a moderated conversation with Politico Editor at Large, Matthew Kaminski. 

Thursday, April 4 / 11:30am-12:45 p.m.

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Governing AI

Matching AI’s capabilities with society’s values has been called The Alignment Problem. Globally, the EU and the Biden administration have taken the lead in bringing AI into alignment, but scary challenges remain.

Thursday, April 4 / 2:15-3:30 p.m.

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Economic Fragility, International Lenders, and Negotiating Debt Restructuring for Highly Indebted Countries

Developing countries are buckling under increasingly unsustainable debt burdens, which have ballooned in recent years due to inflation, high U.S. interest rates, and Covid-19. This panel will address the challenges of negotiating debt relief, including how China’s increasingly prominent role as lender has complicated debt restructuring agreements. Sponsored by the Randall L. and Deborah F. Tobias Center for Innovation in International Development.

Thursday, April 4 / 3:50-5:05 p.m.

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Understanding the African Sahel: Past, Present, and Future

As the nations of the African Sahel and the French-speaking African nations prepare for changes in their relations with the world — addressing resource management, leadership changes, and membership in ECOWAS and the AU — this discussion will examine burning questions about the present situation in the Sahel. Sponsored by the African Studies Program.

Friday, April 5 / 9:30-10:45 a.m.

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The President’s Inbox

An expert panel discusses the foreign policy challenges facing the United States in the next four years.

Friday, April 5 / 11:05-12:20 p.m.

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Indiana and the World: Making the Local Global

In every county and town, foreign investment and international markets shape Hoosier livelihoods. This panel will discuss the trends we’re experiencing now. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Global Change.

Friday, April 5 / 12:50-2:05 p.m.

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Conference conveners

Rep. Lee Hamilton

Distinguished Scholar and Namesake, Hamilton Lugar School

Lee Feinstein

Founding Dean and Professor of International Studies, Hamilton Lugar School; former U.S. Ambassador to Poland

John Ciorciari

John Ciorciari

Dean, Hamilton Lugar School

For more information

Media Contact:  Email Sarah DeWeese, Director of Communications & Marketing.

Event Contact:  Email Heather Duemling, Director of Special Projects and Executive Assistant to the Dean

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