June 13, 2018

Wanted: Your views on foreign policy

By Julianne Smith

I grew up in Farmington, in the suburbs of Detroit. Since I left for college in 1987, I have spent most of my time in Washington and overseas working on foreign policy, particularly America’s relationship with Europe. I’ve worked at the White House, the Pentagon and a variety of research institutes on both sides of the Atlantic.

Almost religiously, though, I return to Michigan a few times each year to see family and make sure my two young boys appreciate the soothing powers of Lake Michigan and its neighboring woods. On those visits back home, I have quite deliberately avoided talking about my work or the foreign policy issues I work on. Until now.

On June 12-13, my small bipartisan think tank, the Center for a New American Security, is traveling to Michigan. We will visit Grand Rapids as part of a new three-year project we launched last year that takes small groups of Europeans and Americans to 12 cities across America. The premise of that project is simple: Instead of spending more time in Washington speaking with other Washingtonians and embassy staff, we are seeking opportunities to engage new audiences on foreign policy and transatlantic relations more specifically.


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