Former U.S. State Department diplomat Tom Hanson will present perspectives on foreign policy at the next Rosenmeier forum at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Masks are required for those attending the forum. Admission to the event is free.

The former diplomat’s presentation is titled “From Afghanistan to China: The Biden Presidency Year One.”

Hanson, a retired U.S. foreign service officer who currently serves as the Alworth Institute diplomat in residence at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, will look at policies of President Joe Biden that have differed from his predecessor and ones in which there has been continuity.

“In his first months in office, President Joe Biden has reversed many policies of his predecessor, just as President Donald Trump undid those of his predecessor,” Hanson said. “Indeed, the ease with which positions can be dismantled through executive order has led to a sense of U.S. unpredictability in many countries, a perception that is reinforced by our current domestic polarization. Yet on certain key issues, such as relations with large powers such as China and Russia, there is much continuity from Trump to Biden. A bipartisan consensus holds that we are in a new era of great power competition, and that post-9/11 involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq were a strategic mistake in light of China’s rise and Russia’s resurgence. The U.S. now seeks to galvanize its allies and compete with China, concerned that Beijing may take the lead in key technologies of the future.”

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Hanson said this program will assess the foreign policy of the Biden administration against the backdrop of these emerging trends and challenges.

In his foreign postings, Hanson worked in East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden and Georgia. He also assisted in opening new embassies in Mongolia and Estonia. Hanson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in international relations. He holds graduate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the Geneva Institute of Advanced International Studies in Switzerland and the National School of Administration in Paris.

The former foreign service officer was recently interviewed on Lakeland Public Television.



The Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government was formed in 1989, in recognition of Sen. Gordon Rosenmeier’s 30-year-career as a Minnesota state legislator from Little Falls. He authored legislation which created the state Planning Agency, the Department of Corrections, the Pollution Control Agency, the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center and the community college system.