Madeleine Albright at CSIS Foreign Policy Forum

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed the North Korea crisis and her experiences as a top U.S. diplomat with Minister Kyung-wha Kang (Republic of Korea) and Victor Cha (Senior Adviser & Korea Chair, CSIS).


Albright on North Korea

Secretary Albright opened with her thoughts on how the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang has evolved in recent years. She emphasized that the relationship between the two countries has never been easy, and described how the U.S. and Kim Jong Il had discussed production of nuclear materials, Japanese and South Korean actions in the region, and whether U.S. was staying true to its promises. When Albright served as US ambassador to the United Nations, North Korea was threatening to pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However,   when she served as Secretary of State, the U.S. and North Korea managed to sign a mutual “no-hostile-intent agreement”, which she believes was a remarkable step forward. According to Secretary Albright, the Washington-Pyongyang relationship took a turn when the Bush administration opted for a more aggressive and unwavering approach towards the North Korean regime.


Hopes for Future Diplomacy

Albright and Minister Kang both agreed on the direction that the U.S. and the international community should pursue when dealing with Kim Jong Un. Both believe that the pursuit of diplomatic strategies should be a top priority; Albright added that the U.S government should aim to “lower the temperature” and calm its rhetoric in order to get a conversation started. Albright is a staunch believer that there is room for peaceful diplomacy, however she acknowledges that time is running out. When asked about whether economic sanctions were working on North Korea, Albright responded by reiterating the need for a concerted effort from the international community to achieve multilateral consensus. The former Secretary of State also believes that the Chinese and Russians should be involved due to their proximity and economic interest in the region. Although the impact of sanctions is not immediately apparent, Albright is optimistic about their potential to pressure the North Korean government holistically.


Secretary of State: The Female Perspective

As the first female Secretary of State, Albright recalls how she managed to overcome the social pressures that came with the position. “I had more problems with the men in our own government”, Albright said jokingly. During discussions at the principals committee, Albright found herself taking over by demanding respect and speaking up. In addition, she assured the public that her gender did not prevent her from dealing with foreign diplomats. She stated, “if they were to have foreign policy discussions with the U.S., they had to go through me.” With Minister Kang present, Secretary Albright took the opportunity to share some advice. She assured her that if she is knowledgeable about the issues, speaks up early in meetings, surrounds herself with the best minds, and listens to outsider opinions, her life as the top South Korean diplomat will be full of successes and accomplishments.

Off-the-Record with former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff

On September 11th, Partnership for a Secure America held an off-the-record dinner for participants in the Congressional Partnership Program with former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. Mr. Chertoff discussed today’s homeland security challenges including the rising threat of cyber warfare and the spread of terrorism post-9/11.

Started in 2009, PSA’s highly selective Congressional staff foreign policy and national security program – the first of its kind – runs two times each year. This opportunity provides professional development and networking to Democratic and Republican staff members on Capitol Hill to advance bipartisanship on national security and foreign policy. Through off-the-record events, policy seminars, and skills training, this unique program aims to equip Congressional foreign policy and security advisers to assess global challenges, build common ground, and achieve U.S. national interests.

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff

Michael ChertoffAs a federal prosecutor Mr. Chertoff investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Mr. Chertoff was one of the chief architects of the USA Patriot Act. In addition, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security . He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines – because the important news is what didn’t happen.
At Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues. In addition to his role at Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff is also senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group.

Mr. Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1975) and Harvard Law School (1978). From 1979-1980 he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr.



 This event was made possible by the generous support of Intel, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, CrowdStrike, and Raytheon

Madeleine Albright at Bipartisan National Security Forum

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed the role of the United States in the world today with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) at the Capitol Hill National Security Forum. Albright discussed bipartisanship, the role of the United States in the world, China, and Russia and NATO.

Albright on Bipartisanship

Madeleine Albright began by emphasizing the importance of bipartisanship in resolving national security threats. She explained that bipartisanship is essential for success, calling it the “hallmark of American foreign policy.” On this point, she acknowledged the important role of congressional staffers in advancing bipartisan solutions. Most of all, Albright recommended staffers form relationships and travel on delegation trips with other staffers in order to advance bipartisan solutions. She pointed towards her own friendship with Senator Jesse Helms, which allowed her to produce agreements on foreign policy. Albright finished her remarks by stating that bipartisan solutions would “make the Senate great again.”

America’s Role in the World

Albright promoted the need for a rule-based world order as it prevents the world from devolving into chaos. She explained the consistent involvement of the United States in creating these rules, but she warned that not following through with our self-created rules can weaken our position and image in the international community. When questioned on the topic of advancing human rights in the world, Albright responded, “Why should we worry about people in far away places?…Because our way of life depends on what happens in these other countries,” expressing the necessity of human rights in global peace and security.


Secretary Albright emphasized the dangers of not following internationally-accepted rules by pointing towards China, whose actions in the South China Sea are eroding the rule-based world order. China’s island-building, which was deemed illegal, has created more instability in the region. She highlighted that the instability caused by China’s actions supports the need for a rule-based order throughout the world.

Russia and NATO

On the topic of Russia, Albright reaffirmed the importance of NATO as leverage against Russia. With the rising threat that Russia poses to liberal alliances and institutions, Albright underscored that NATO is necessary for defending against armed attacks, but also for advancing the common goals of liberal democracies. She pointed towards Ukraine and Georgia,  which have gained confidence in promoting the goals and values of liberal democracies simply by being affiliated with NATO, despite lacking membership.

Paula Dobriansky at Bipartisan National Security Forum

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) Advisory Board member Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State, spoke at the Capitol Hill National Security Forum on June 23rd alongside Kristen Silberberg, Charles Kupchan, and Julianne Smith. They came together to discuss ‘Restoring Transatlantic Alliances.’  The group examined the liberal world order, the EU, and the recent decision of President Trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement.  The panelists often came to agreement, but also expressed many differences in opinions, especially on the Paris Agreement.

Liberal World Order

From the start, the panelists were in consensus that it was not the end of the “post-World War Two world order.” However, they also agreed that this order was indeed being challenged. Dobriansky, specifically, spoke on Russia’s recent aggression, explaining how Putin is challenging liberal values, alliances, institutions, and ideals. On this point, Kupchan argued that external threats have always been present and that the greater threat are new internal weaknesses. The panelists agreed that the system was under a great amount of strain and that the United States should promote dialogue between other states in order to work together on fixing the mounting issues.

The European Union

The panelists all expressed concern over the future of American influence within the European Union, especially due to the instability it is currently facing as a result of Brexit, mass immigration, and terrorism. Brexit was the greatest concern among the panelists, as the United Kingdom had consistently been the biggest champion of American interests. Smith suggested that, following Brexit, the United States should establish trade agreements between the European Union and the United Kingdom. On this point, Silverman expressed the need for trilateral talks until Brexit is officially carried out. Dobriansky acknowledged that the European Union needs reform, pointing to the inflexibility of its regulations as a point of contention between member states.

Dobriansky Disagrees on Paris Climate Agreement

Regarding the Paris Climate Agreement. the panelists were split over the implications of the U.S. withdrawal. Smith expressed concern that the withdrawal of the U.S. from such a popular agreement could cast doubt on our relationship with the European Union. On this point, Kupchan voice his concern over the effect our withdrawal will have on Europe’s willingness to advance the American agenda in the future, since climate change is an area of great concern for the European Union. Dobriansky, however, pointed to the Kyoto Protocol of 1992, which the United States did not accept, explaining that our relationship with Europe was not harmed, especially in matters of security. Despite some disagreement, the panelists agreed that the implications of our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement remain to be seen.

Carnegie Corporation of New York Awards Bipartisan Congressional Education Grant to PSA

Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is pleased to announce a new grant award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to continue its bipartisan congressional education and training program. The two-year grant will support PSA’s Congressional Partnership Program (CPP), providing expert seminars on current national security and foreign affairs issues, formal negotiation training, and bipartisan policy workshops.

“We are pleased to continue PSA’s important efforts on Capitol Hill thanks to the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s generous support. As the United States faces unprecedented challenges from around the globe, we must restore a commitment to bipartisan cooperation beyond ‘the water’s edge’ to protect our nation and the core principles which unite us,” said Nathan Sermonis, PSA Executive Director.

Since 2009, the CPP has convened hundreds of congressional staff members, equipping foreign policy and security advisers to assess global challenges, build common ground across political parties, and achieve U.S. national interests. Carnegie Corporation of New York has provided support since the program’s inception.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is America’s oldest grant making foundation, established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.