Former VP Biden to talk diplomacy for PWH conference


As Perry World House approaches its one-year anniversary, the interdisciplinary policy research center is organizing its first fall global conference, which will feature former Vice President Joe Biden.

The conference, “The Future of the Global Order in an Era of Populism, Nationalism, and Retrenchment,” will be held on Monday, Sept. 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Monday’s programming, a private event open to select faculty and post-doctoral students, features academic conversations, with Penn professors moderating panels of experts on topics including human rights, environmental policies, and international economics and trade.

Tuesday’s events include panels on military security, electoral politics, and global economics. The day will culminate with the inaugural Penn Biden Leaders Dialogue featuring a conversation on diplomacy between Biden and former Mexican President Felipe Calderón. The Dialogue is hosted by the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

“We will be engaging in discussions around the challenges presented by increasing populism and nationalism seen around the world today, as well as the current retrenchment of the United States as it appears to take a less active role in international affairs,” says William Burke-White, director of Perry World House. “What does that mean for the global order?”


Policymakers, scholars, and leaders from around the world will travel to Penn for the conference. The Tuesday speakers include Admiral James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO; Michèle Flournoy, CEO and founder of the Center for New American Security and former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; journalists from The Atlantic, Der Tagesspiegel, Caracas Chronicles, and Le Monde, and Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett speaking with Andrew N. Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical.

Events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. A livestream of the program will be available online.

Opened in September 2016, Perry World House draws on the wide range of expertise found across Penn’s 12 schools. Burke-White said the center met his goals during the first year: to build bridges between global policymakers and Penn faculty and students; to catalyze conversation and research at the University around pressing global challenges; and to provide new opportunities for Penn students to engage with the global policymaking process.

In the coming year, Burke-White says he plans to bring in a variety of international fellows and scholars to engage “even more deeply” with the Penn community. He is anticipating new efforts, such as co-authored and commissioned research papers, and expanded outreach in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

In addition, Perry World House will launch a range of programs for graduate students: one focused on the major research themes and another that more broadly engages the policy community internationally.

“I am looking for the right secret recipe for Penn to engage with the national and global policy community in more ways,” Burke-White says. “Penn has all the right ingredients to make that engagement happen, and I look forward to Perry World House helping make Penn a key global agenda-setter.”

Joe Biden