Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to Headline Foreign Policy Research Institute Annual Dinner on November 14, 2017

Ashton B. Carter, who served as U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama, in New York on January 12, 2017. (Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

Philadelphia—The Foreign Policy Research Institute is thrilled to announce that Ash Carter (U.S. Secretary of Defense 2015-2017) will present the keynote address at the 2017 Annual Dinner and be the recipient of the 13th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service.

Using a unique perspective—drawn from academia, the private sector, and government—Carter spearheaded transformative change within the Department of Defense, even during a time of deep political division. Known for his savvy and creative leadership, he changed the way the department fought adversaries, stood with allies and partners, planned and budgeted, partnered with private enterprises, and managed its talent, all in the face of a gridlocked Congress and rapidly changing world.

Carter is an extraordinary public servant dedicated to keeping his career above politics—working under administrations of both parties. He has spent 35 years inside of the government, in positions that include the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer (2011-2013), the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (2009-2011), and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (1993-1996). His list of projects and achievements include the Nunn-Lugar program, a strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific, and NATO’s new playbook for confronting Russia’s aggression.

 “Carter is widely respected across the political spectrum—a remarkable achievement in a time of intense polarization,” said FPRI President Alan Luxenberg. “We are delighted to bestow upon Carter—who is, by the way, a Philadelphia native—the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service.”

The Annual Dinner will take place on Tuesday, November 14, at the Union League of Philadelphia. Seating is limited, and both individual tickets and tables are available for purchase. For pricing information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Eli Gilman at [email protected] or at 215-732-3774 ext. 103. Individual tickets are also available for purchase.

In a keynote address entitled, “Challenges to American Security,” Carter will discuss how the U.S. can approach the changing global landscape. He will explore how pushing the Pentagon to think “outside of its five-sided box” can improve strategic thinking in foreign policy. Carter will speak to how he has leveraged his extraordinary experience in national security, technology and innovation to defend the U.S. and to create a better world not only in air and sea and land, but also in space and cyberspace.

Outside of government, Carter has taught at distinguished institutions including Stanford University, Harvard, Rockefeller University, and MIT. Carter earned his bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Medieval History, summa cum laude at Yale University, and his doctorate in Theoretical Physics from Oxford University.

FPRI is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank located in Center City Philadelphia. Its mission is to bring the insights of scholarship to bear on the foreign policy and national security challenges facing the United States. It seeks to educate the public, teach teachers, train students, and offer ideas to advance U.S. national interests based on a nonpartisan, geopolitical perspective that illuminates contemporary international affairs through the lens of history, geography, and culture.

Please join us by becoming a Partner of FPRI, or consider making a tax-deductible contribution to our Annual Dinner Campaign