White House Workshop

Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the New Administration

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White House Workshop

A president’s last year is often the toughest. Public expectations remain high, but presidential power declines. Political polarization, fueled by the election, and divided government inhibit presidential leadership and also magnifies the divisive policy issues.

The next President will inevitably have to address issues such as: income inequality, technological innovation, climate change, international terrorism, gun control, trade agreements, immigration reform, homeland security, individual liberties, and the exercise of American leadership abroad.

Foreign policy debates will center on turmoil in the Middle East, international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber security, and regional issues from Eastern Europe to Asia and the Far East.

The White House Workshop will examine these issues and the environment in which they are being debated during the election and will likely be addressed after it by the new administration and 115th Congress. The workshop will also discuss the politics of governing during an election cycle with a particular focus on presidential decision making and public relations. In the light of contemporary presidencies, the Obama legacy will be evaluated.

This three-day off-the-record seminar will offer a faculty of high-level, internationally recognized experts who will discuss both the domestic and global implications of the administration policies and their impact on executive leadership in the Department of Defense, the Intelligence community, and other executive branch agencies.


Seminar Topics

  • The Presidency and Congress: Recent Lessons in Policy, Politics and Polarization
  • How Has the Obama Presidency Changed America?
  • The Iran Challenge: The Political and Economic Dynamics of the Islamic Republic
  • The Current State of U.S.-China Relations: Challenges to U.S. National Interests
  • The President and Public Opinion
  • Middle East Update: New Security Threats in the Region
  • The Geopolitics of Energy
  • Why Politicians Seldom See the World As It Really Is
  • Personal Reflections on the Presidency and the Media
  • Debt, Deficits, and Unemployment:  Can It Be Fixed?
  • The Administration and Industry: DOD and the Politics of Acquisition
  • The Re-emergence of Socialism and the Implications to U.S. National Interests
  • The Debate on the Size and Role of the Federal Government
  • Putin’s Russia:  Understanding the Political Leadership in the Kremlin
  • Presidential Leadership in Times of Crisis

Leadership Competencies

After participating in the White House Workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the key decision makers who are involved in the policymaking and policy implementation processes and the institutional perspectives from which they offer advice and make judgments
  2. Think strategically and tactically about how to affect policymaking and policy implementation; how to anticipate reactions to that policy in the United States and abroad;  how to avoid unintended consequences that flow from poor policy judgments
  3. Improve cultural and historic awareness of the political, legal, and institutional environment in which domestic and foreign policy-making and policy implementation occur
  4. Enhance critical synthetic and analytical skills necessary to advise senior officials in the making and evaluation of public policy
  5. Be sensitized to the changing situational conditions that affect past, current, and future policy judgments

Program Moderators

The program moderator will be of international stature and have extensive professional experience in the policy issues covered in this three-day seminar. The moderator will facilitate, when necessary, dialogue between the speakers and participants, as well as lead the group discussions and Q&A sessions.


The fee for the workshop is $1,485 per person. The program will feature approximately 12-15 separate presentations. Also included are daily continental breakfasts and working luncheons. The workshop will be held in a private meeting room at the Capitol Hill Club. An on-site staff person will assist participants as needed and coordinate daily activities. 

Registration Information

The target audience for these seminars are civilians (GS-13 and above) and military (O-5 and above). Others who have a special interest in the subject, need-to-know, or are in key positions may apply. Seminar space is limited to assure participants have ample time for open discussion with presenters. Upon registration, attendees will receive confirmation via email within five days. Cancellations will be accepted in writing up to two weeks prior to each program. After that time, substitutions will be accepted. The Agency will be billed if registration is cancelled after the deadline.

If you have any questions or need further information, please call Iris Fernandez or Patricia Patton at 703-684-8807.  To register click here.

Additional Information

The White House Workshops will be held in private meeting rooms at the Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street SE, in Washington, DC. The Club is directly across the street from the Capitol South Metro Station (Blue and Orange Lines). Business attire for participants is required.

Reporting information concerning registration time and meeting room assignment will be sent to all participants approximately two weeks prior to the start of each program. The meeting room will open at 7:45 am and seminars will be conducted from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

These programs are informal and strictly “off-the-record.” No video, power point or audio-visual aids are utilized in seminar presentations.


Format is terrific! Lots of speakers from across government enterprise and no power points. Plenty of time for engaging dialogue. I love to hear what experts and insiders have to say about out WDC enterprise.

J. Haywood, Wright Patterson Air Force Base

Truly outstanding insight/superior historical background and great stories born throughout scars of experience; I attended National War College and they are known for great speakers/first-hand experience - yours were better. Huge thanks; extremely well done!

M. Weaver, Wright Patterson Airforce Base

Speakers bring a refreshing perspective on government/politics and social economics (U.S and foreign). Great Insight to happenings on the Hill, Pentagon and White House.

J. Falbo, Navy

Absolutely enjoyed the program's overall structure. The moderator did a great job of weaving the different topics

D. Merker, Air Force

This is the best and most informative array of speakers I have ever had the pleasure to hear!

K. Buckley, Air Force