Holbrooke in central Vietnam, early 1967
Vladimir Lehovich

Foreign Affairs LIVE with George Packer

Washington D.C.



One of the most celebrated diplomats of his generation, Richard Holbrooke helped normalize U.S. relations with China; served as U.S. ambassador to a newly unified Germany and then to the United Nations; and, most famously, negotiated the 1995 Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia. But he began and ended his career struggling with how to resolve two American wars: first in Vietnam, then in Afghanistan. Please join Daniel Kurtz-Phelan and George Packer as they discuss Packer’s Foreign Affairs article “The Longest Wars: Richard Holbrooke and the Decline of American Power” and his new book Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century.



8:00 a.m.–8:30 a.m. | Breakfast

8:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m. | Meeting


George PackerStaff Writer, Atlantic; Author, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century


Daniel Kurtz-PhelanExecutive Editor, Foreign Affairs; Author, The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947


George Packer

George Packer

George Packer, a staff writer from 2003 to 2018, has covered the Iraq War for The New Yorker and has also written about the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone, civil unrest in the Ivory Coast, the megacity of Lagos, and the global counterinsurgency. In 2003, two of his New Yorker articles won Overseas Press Club awards—one for his examination of the difficulties faced during the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, and one for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone. His book “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq” was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by the New York Times and won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award and an Overseas Press Club book award. He is also the author of “The Village of Waiting,” about his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, and “Blood of the Liberals,” a three-generational nonfiction history of his family and American liberalism in the twentieth century, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award; in addition, he has written two novels, “The Half Man” and “Central Square.” He has contributed numerous articles, essays, and reviews to the New York Times MagazineDissentMother JonesHarpers, and other publications. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001-02, and has taught writing at Harvard, Bennington, and Columbia. His most recent book is “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.” His next book, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century,” will be published in May.

Dan Kurtz-Phelan

Dan Kurtz-Phelan

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan became Executive Editor of Foreign Affairs in October 2017. He previously served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and, before that, as a senior editor at the magazine. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The New Yorker, and his narrative history of George Marshall’s post­–World War II mission to China, The China Mission, will be published by WW Norton in April 2018.

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