June 16, 2020

Three of the Kennedy School’s leading scholars on international relations and human rights discussed what they described as failures of U.S. leadership during the pandemic and the longer-term implications for the United States’ standing and influence in the world. Professors Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nicholas Burns, former under secretary of state for political affairs, and Kathryn Sikkink, an expert on international norms and institutions, assessed the pandemic’s global consequences, including the risks flowing from the Trump administration’s decision to cease working with the World Health Organization. Their conversation was the first in a new summer series of the Dean’s Discussions with HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf, moderated by his chief of staff, Sarah Wald.

Analysts find lack of U.S. leadership on pandemic has global fallout


Kathryn Sikkink Photo

Kathryn Sikkink

Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy


Sarah Wald Photo

Sarah Wald

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy


Douglas Elmendorf Photo

Douglas Elmendorf

Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Public Policy