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Expert Panel: COVID-19 & Geopolitics

February 26, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents:

Expert Panel: COVID-19 & Geopolitics: The Pandemic’s Impact on Global Relations


Danielle Pletka, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown

Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University; Director, Center for Sustainable Development

Andrew Scobell, Senior Political Scientist, RAND

Moderated by Stuart Gottlieb, Adjunct Professor, SIPA; Member, Saltzman Institute of War & Peace Studies

Advance registration required. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link prior to the event. 

Friday, February 26, 2021
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Via Zoom
Registration via the Columbia/SIPA calendars
Registrants will be sent a link the day prior to the event


Even before the pandemic struck, international politics were being tested by a rising China, a retrenching America, a revanchist Russia, and a strained European Union, along with corresponding challenges to global institutions like the United Nations. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these trends. This panel will explore the ways in which the pandemic, and the varied responses to it, has altered – perhaps permanently – relations amongst the world’s great powers, and the operations of global institutions like the UN and World Health Organization.


Stuart Gottlieb is Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Public Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. Gottlieb teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy, counterterrorism, and international security. He also serves as Faculty Director for SIPA’s certificate program in International Relations. Prior to joining SIPA in 2003, Gottlieb worked for five years in the United States Senate, first as senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York and subsequently as policy adviser and chief speechwriter for Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut. He has also worked on several political campaigns, including New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s reelection campaign in 1997 and presidential campaign in 2008. Gottlieb holds a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, global macroeconomics, and the fight against poverty. Prior to his arrival at Columbia University in July 2002, Professor Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he served as the Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. Sachs was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1954. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980 respectively.

Andrew Scobell is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and member of the faculty at Pardee RAND Graduate School. He previously he served on the faculty of the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service and as director of the China certificate program at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. His publications include At the Dawn of Belt and Road: China in the Developing World (RAND, 2018), PLA Influence on China’s National Security Policymaking (Stanford University Press, 2015), China’s Search for Security (Columbia University Press, 2012), China’s Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Scobell was born and raised in Hong Kong and regularly makes research trips to the region. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Danielle Pletka is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Until January 2020, she was senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies where she oversaw the Institute’s work on foreign and defense issues. Ms. Pletka writes regularly on national security matters with a special focus onU.S. foreign policy and he Middle East. Before joining AEI, Ms. Pletka was a longtime senior professional staff member for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where she specialized in the Near East and South Asia as the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. She has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Smith College.

Event Contact Information:
James Paisley


https://zoom.us/ NY United States


Columbia University