Held in June 2018 in at the Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C., the second Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Seminar was a “deep dive” into foreign and national security policy in both the United States and China. Drawing from the breadth and depth of China and foreign policy expertise localized in Washington, the seminar began with a keynote conversation with John Podesta, and continued with lectures by Matt Sheehan as well as National Committee Directors Amy Celico and Robert Daly, among others. The agenda focused on both traditional and non-traditional security issues; topics of discussion included maritime disputes, U.S.-China military balance, the escalating trade war, technology, and soft power.

Alum Stephanie Burrell reflects on the seminar:

Washington, D.C., provided the backdrop for the second Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Seminar, a fitting location to discuss U.S.-China security relations. We heard from experts on a wide range of topics, including military strategy, climate change, and emerging technologies, which made for many interesting and heated discussions.


The academic exchanges and intense debates were offset with laughter and sharing of stories as old friends reunited, the ease of which highlighted the strong bonds between the scholars. In China, sports brought the scholars together so it was apt that we relaxed in the summer heat by kayaking on the Potomac River. Time spent with fellow scholars is always inspiring and I feel incredibly grateful for each friendship. It was amazing to hear how the time we spent in China has shaped each of our lives: some now work in China, some work on China-related topics in think tanks, and others are working to bring international companies to China.

Schwarzman Scholars Partnership

Schwarzman Scholars Partnership

Established in 2017, a new partnership between the National Committee and the Schwarzman Scholars program engages Schwarzman Scholars at all stages, helping further prepare them for leadership roles in the U.S.-China relationship. Through the partnership, current Schwarzman Scholars, recent graduates, and alumni have opportunities to learn from and engage with policymakers, policy influencers, and leading China experts in the National Committee’s network.

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