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2016 Annual Meeting

XXIII G50 Annual Meeting

Last week we reunited in Washington, D.C. for the 23rd G50 annual meeting and it was an extraordinary experience! Thank you to those who were able to join us as we heard from global leaders in business, genomics, philanthropy, the new economy and much more. Together we learned about the value of community and hope . Please click here to see pictures from this year's event. The password is g50dc

New Smithsonian Institution Chairman

Carlyle Group co-CEO and philanthropist David Rubenstein will step into the chairman role of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents next year. Rubenstein’s appointment was announced at last week’s annual meeting of the Smithsonian’s governing board. Read More...

WikiHillary for President

Thank God for WikiLeaks. I [Tom Friedman] confess, I was starting to wonder about the real Hillary Clinton - the one you never get to see behind closed doors- really stood for. But now that, thanks to WikiLeaks, I've had a chance to peruse her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, I am more convinced than ever she can be the president America needs today. Read More...

The David Rubenstein Show

Renowned financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein travels the country talking to leaders to uncover their stories and their path to success. Each episode features an interview with one business leader. From Bill Gates to Ken Chenault, from Indra Nooyi to Warren Buffett, from Eric Schmidt to Lloyd Blankfein, David goes in search of the fundamental insights that reveal what makes a truly great leader. Watch the first three episodes here. 

Venter's New Enterprise: You

Finally, J. Craig Venter is taking the next big step. The scientist who, as president of Celera Genomics, throttled up the historic push to decode the human genome, is stepping into the realm of prevention and precision medicine. Venter's ambitions go beyond using genetic information for patient care. Through his firm Human Longevity, Inc., Venter aims to build a million-person database by 2020 as a resource to understand the complex relationship between genes and biology, including human disease. "We're rewriting the definition of health," Venter says. Read More...

On Colombia's Peace Deal

October 2 was supposed to be a celebration of peace in Colombia. After four years of painstaking negotiations, and 52 years of armed conflict, polling indicated that Colombians would approve a carefully balanced peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The polls were wrong. A visceral hatred toward the FARC won out over peace. Read the rest of Jason Marczak's take on the Colombia Peace Deal

The Decline of the West, and How to Stop It

For most of the last 70 years, the United States, Canada and much of Europe have constituted a vast zone of peace, prosperity and democracy. The trans-Atlantic community has grown to over 900 million inhabitants of more than 30 countries. It has set an example for regional cooperation in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and served as a mainstay of the liberal world order. That achievement is in jeopardy. The bonds within Europe have been fraying for some time, but this year has been the worst yet. Read Strobe Talbott's opinion on the decline of the West. 

On Alan Greenspan

"I [Alan Murray]  got to know Alan Greenspan in the mid-1980s, when I was cub reporter at the Wall Street Journal covering economic statistics. My predecessor had given me a list of economic sources who were ready to jump on the phone at a moment’s notice and provide instant analysis of the data. Greenspan was one. I quickly learned he was not the person to call when I needed a quick and pithy quote to support an already determined narrative. Instead, he was the person to call when I really didn’t understand what was going on. He was the man who knew." Read Alan Murray's article on Alan Greenspan's trajectory.

What you have been asking for...

You asked and we heard your pleas: We are excited to present the agenda for this year's G50 meeting. There are only 22 days left until we reconvene in Washington D.C. for another memorable occasion. If you would like to see the full agenda, participants list and other important information, please visit our website

Get Excited About These New Speakers

From the expert on gastrodiplomacy to the first U.S. deputy Chief Technology Officer, check out the newest additions to this year's lineup. 

Trump? How Could We?

Thomas Friedman's reaction to the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate can be summarized with one word: "'How?' How in the world do we put a man in the Oval Office who thinks NATO is a shopping mall where the tenants aren't paying enough rent to the U.S. landlord? NATO is not a shopping mall; it is a strategic alliance that won the Cold War...Read Thomas Friedman's latest column in the New York Times. 

Sadjadpour on the Middle East

Karim Sadjadpour, an expert on the Middle East from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks to Slate Magazine about Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Iran, ISIS’s lack of enemies in the region, and whether the Sunni-Shiite split can ever be fixed. Read the entire interview. 


It's often said that the closest interaction many Americans have with other countries' cultures is through food. That kind of culinary diplomacy is particularly common in Washington, D.C., where immigrants from all over the world have cooked up a diverse food scene. Now one scholar-in-residence at American University is using the city's food culture to teach her students about global affairs via a course on "gastrodiplomacy" — using food as a tool to foster cultural understanding among countries.  Read more about Johanna Mendelson-Forman

Ignorance is the enemy within

In a recent blog post, Darren Walker writes: "Certainly, the events of this year have tested any commitment to hope, and to the belief that equality can triumph over indifference and injustice. We are witnessing alarming levels of racism and bigotry in the West. We feel anguished and powerless over the plight of refugees from war-torn regions in the Middle East and Africa. The world over, continued violence against women and girls, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ communities, and other vulnerable people reminds us that inequality can exact deadly consequences." Despite all this, he still has #reasonsforhope. Read his inspiring blog post.

Friedman looks back on 9/11

Ironically or not, Thomas Friedman was actually in Tel Aviv. He writes: "I had gone to Israel to report on the Intifada. And I was at Tel Aviv University, interviewing the president. And I had a regular driver who'd been with me there for many years. And I came out of the meeting. And the driver said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center..." Listen to New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman look back on foreign policy after 9/11. Rachel Martin of NPR interviews him fifteen years after the dreadful day.

15 years after 9/11

Ambassador Yousef Al Otiba reflects on the fifteen years since the horrific 9/11 attacks and how,  "sadly, extremist brutality did not stop that day.  From San Bernardino to Yemen, Paris to Bangladesh the reach of a sophisticated and persistent enemy has only grown. The effects of Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and their proxies reach far into Europe, America and Asia. But in the Middle East, in the heart of the Arab world, we face an existential threat from extremism. Our communities, our families, our livelihoods, our entire way of life are exposed and under constant attack." Read the UAE ambassador's input on 9/11.

Chris Stone won't let cyber attacks stop him

Hackers are stepping up their cyber-attacks on American democratic institutions. The Open Society Foundations, the global philanthropy I [Chris Stone] lead, is among many to have been targeted. DC Leaks has posted over 2,500 documents reflecting our grant-making strategies over the last decade, prompting a flurry of press reports from far-right news sites in the US and around the world. Earlier this summer, a shadowy organization called DC Leaks, believed by authorities to be a front for Russian operatives, posted internal communications from the Democratic National Committee. The group also targeted a retired NATO commander, Republican state officials and staffers for several US senators. Keep Reading...

How to Reform Policing from Within

I [William " Bill" Bratton] am a police reformer and have been since I was promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Boston Police Department in 1975. There were many good cops in Boston in those days, but there was also an insular culture that had some racist, brutal, corrupt, and lazy elements. I was motivated to advance in rank to get above the bad actors and try to do something about them. I had a vision of policing, shared by others of my generation, that looked beyond the stultifying bureaucracy, the curdled cynicism and the sheer indifference that characterized a lot of police work then. Read Bill Bratton's op-ed on his last day as NYC's police commissioner. 

The space between

It seemed simple enough. The White House wants a surveillance drone to monitor an evolving showdown over human rights in Kyrgyzstan. A member of staff at the National Security Council calls the author, Rosa Brooks, at the Pentagon to tell her to send it on its way. Ms Brooks explains that this is not how the chain of command works in the military. Where would the drone come from? Which job would it no longer be doing? Who was going to pay for it? Whose airspace would it operate from? The incredulous response: “We’re talking about like, one drone. You’re telling me you can’t just call some colonel at CentCom and make this happen?” Read The Economist's riveting review of Rosa Brook's new book "How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon"

"Don't fret about campaign polls"

The day before the first presidential debate, David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager talked to The Washington Post's The Plum Line. He seemed very confident in stating that we shouldn’t take the polling too seriously at this point, and said he believes that the race just isn’t actually a dead heat. He declared her advantage in the electoral college to be “decisive.” Read the complete interview with David Plouffe.