Jul 31 -

Aug 02


Past Event

2020 and beyond: Maintaining the bipartisan narrative on US global development

Wednesday, July 31 - Friday, August 02, 2019

Aspen, Colorado

It is timely to look at the dynamics that will drive the next period of U.S. politics and policymaking and how they will affect U.S. foreign assistance and development programs. Over the past 15 years, a strong bipartisan consensus—especially in the U.S. Congress—has emerged to advance and support U.S. leadership on global development as a key pillar of U.S. foreign policy.

2020 presidential and congressional candidates are taking the field and looking for themes that will galvanize their campaigns in 2019. There will be strong competition for votes among Republicans, Democrats, and independents.

Regardless of which political stripes win at the ballot box, the president and Congress taking office in January 2021 will be faced with old constraints and new opportunities, including immediately having to deal with the FY2022 budget. The political pressure cooker will include the need to address a historic level of public debt and stem budget deficits while addressing neglected domestic priorities, ensuring the national defense, and meeting global challenges.

In the development arena, issues that are drawing attention include the growing prevalence of state fragility and violence, climate change, the unprecedented level of refugee populations, China’s entry as a major development actor, and how to address development issues such as education, youth, women’s empowerment, sustainable infrastructure, and job-friendly growth.

The 16th Brookings Blum Roundtable considered what narrative and practical proposals will not only maintain current levels of U.S. development leadership and investments, which have remained static in recent years, but respond appropriately to rising global challenges.