VIRTUAL EVENT: Starr Forum: President Biden's Foreign Policy Challenges: Views From Abroad

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 11:00am to 12:30pm

Virtual Event

Please register for this Zoom event at

The panelists include experts from around the globe who will address US foreign policy through the lens of their respective regions: Israel, China, India, and Mexico. The panelists each served as distinguished Robert E Wilhelm fellows at the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS). A generous gift from Robert E Wilhelm supports this annual fellowship, which honors individuals who have held senior positions in public life.



Naomi Chazan is an Israeli academic, activist, and politician. She is Professor Emerita of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  As a legislator, Chazan championed the causes of human rights, women's rights, and consumer protection. Chazan is a past president of the New Israel Fund. Today, she heads the School of Government and Society at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo. She also sits on the board of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants. She was the inaugural Robert E Wilhelm Fellow (2004-2005) at CIS.

Paul Heer is a distinguished fellow at the Center for the National Interest. He is a career officer of the Central Intelligence Agency and retired in 2015 after serving as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He is a recipient of the CIA's Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the DNI's National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. He is author of Mr X and the Pacific: George F Kennan and American Policy in East Asia. He was the 2015-2016 Robert E Wilhelm Fellow at CIS. 

Shivshankar Menon is an Indian diplomat, who served as National Security Adviser of India under Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh. He had previously served as the Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Prior to that he was Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and ambassador to China and Israel. He is currently visiting professor of international relations at Ashoka University. He is author of the forthcoming book, India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present.  He was a Robert E Wilhelm Fellow at CIS in the spring of 2015.

Lourdes Melgar is a nonresident fellow at the Baker Institute Center for Energy. Melgar served as Mexico’s deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons and was a member of Pemex’s board of directors. She also served as Mexico’s under-secretary for electricity. She is a research affiliate at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as the 2016-17 Robert E Wilhelm Fellow at CIS.



Richard Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include Japanese politics, Asian security, grand strategy, and political leadership. Special Duty: A History of the Japanese Intelligence Community is his most recent book.


Event Poster

Co-sponsors:  MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

View Poster

Watch Video | View Transcript

Free & open to the public 
Also watch it on YouTube.
For more information or accessibility accommodations please contact

Sign up for Starr Forum emails to get notified about upcoming events.

A full listing of Starr Forums is available here.

Event Type


Events By Interest

Academic, General

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Faculty, Alumni, Staff

Events By School

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


Starr Forum, Center for International Studies, CIS, MIT Security Studies Program, SSP, MISTI, starrforum



free and open to the public

Center for International Studies


Contact Email

Add to my calendar

Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.