AEI scholar Kori Schake to take look at state of Biden’s policies

When Kori Schake first heard U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken articulate the future of American foreign policy, she felt something she hadn’t felt from a presidential administration in years: comfort.

And when she read the Biden administration’s outline for national strategy, again, Schake said the administration’s tone was “comforting.”

“Gone was the bluster about ‘swagger’ and the America First xenophobia of former President Donald Trump,” wrote Schake in a 2021 opinion piece for Bloomberg titled, “Biden Foreign Policy Has the Words Right But the Economics Wrong.” 

By Schake’s thinking, it was replaced, instead, by a “humility that is appealing for the hegemon of the international order,” and by a “commitment that the values animating America’s domestic compact will return to its international conduct.”

But, Schake, who leads foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in the piece, three things remained wrong with Biden’s national security approach: “the economics; reliance on alliances without giving allies the incentive to align against China; and unacknowledged risk in execution.”

At 10:45 a.m. Thursday, June 30, in the Amphitheater Schake will give a lecture on the Biden administration, centered around the Chautauqua Lecture Series Week One theme, “What Should be America’s Role in the World?”

Schake attended University of Maryland where she earned both a doctorate and a Master of Arts in government and politics. From Stanford University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations. Schake went on to work for the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department and the National Security Council at the White House. She has been published on a number of esteemed news outlets, including Politico,, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

“As we looked to a week that would be dedicated to foreign affairs, with a particular focus on U.S. foreign policy, Dr. Schake’s name is a name that came up repeatedly,” said Matt Ewalt, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education. 

For Ewalt, Schake’s name rose to the top of the list because of her perspective regarding the Biden administration’s “successes and failures,” when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

“We expect her to provide an assessment of U.S. foreign policy and national security,” he said. “And we expect her to discuss what our investment and defense should look like, and reflect on decision-making in regards to the war in Ukraine, both on decisions that have been made and effective strategy going forward.”

Schake, Ewalt said, will bring a deep understanding of foreign policy to her lecture today. 

“Her work on considering the Biden administration’s wins and losses is really critical as we think about that larger question of the week, ‘What Should be America’s Role in the World?,’ ” he said, “because so much of answering that question is in the decisions that are made and the strategy that’s set.”

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The author Chris Clements

Chris Clements is reporting on literary arts during his third summer with The Chautauquan Daily. He has previously written previews for the Interfaith Lecture Series and Sacred Song Services and covered literary arts digitally in 2020. Chris is a second-year grad student at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in creative writing, specializing in fiction. He’s passionate about all things related to literature, music and film, especially author David Foster Wallace, jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant and the films of Paul Thomas Anderson.