Agenda 2023: Making Sense of the U.S. Midterms

November 14, 2022 | 1:30PM - 3:00PM
Munk School, Public policy, Government & politics

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Recent and upcoming elections raise questions about the resilience of U.S. democracy. Canada is deeply integrated with, and dependent on, the United States. Canada's policy approach and social norms will be affected by the successes, challenges, and opportunities of the new makeup of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Former and current U.S. diplomats and academics from both countries spoke about what the midterms mean and what's on the agenda in 2023.

About the Speakers:
Susan Crystal assumed her duties as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto in October 2020. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, she recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She was responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, and sports exchange programs for U.S. and foreign audiences. Consul General Crystal has held assignments in the Bureau of Global Talent Management in the Office of Career Development and Assignments where she and her team were responsible for advancing career development innovations for the 14,000 members of the Foreign Service. Other Washington assignments include the Bureaus of Western Hemisphere Affairs and European Affairs. Overseas, Consul General Crystal held public diplomacy positions in Australia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mauritius, and South Africa as well as in Ottawa, Canada where she served as the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked in constituent services for a Member of the United States Congress. Originally from Pittsburgh, she is a graduate of the School of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University and holds a professional certificate in Leadership Coaching from George Mason University.
Gordon Giffin is a partner and Global Vice-Chair emeritus in Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. His practice is focused on international transactions, trade matters and disputes, government procurement, energy regulatory and policy matters, and federal and state regulatory matters and public policy.  He maintains offices in Washington, DC and Atlanta, Georgia. From August 1997 to April 2001, Giffin served as the nineteenth U.S. Ambassador to Canada. As Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, he managed U.S. interests in the world’s largest bilateral trading relationship, as well as U.S. collaboration with Canada on global issues in international fora. He received the Superior Honor Award from the Department of State for negotiating a pre-clearance agreement. From 1975-79, he was Legislative Director and Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Sam Nunn in Washington, DC. Giffin is a graduate of Duke University and Emory University School of Law and holds several honorary degrees. He was a recipient of the Emory University School of Law’s 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award and taught as an adjunct professor of law. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Carter Presidential Center; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission; and serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., and CIBC U.S. Bank. He served on the Board of Canadian National Railway from 2001-21, the Board of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce from 2001-17, and as Chair of the Board of TransAlta Corporation from 2011-20.
Mark Kennedy is a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. A first-generation college graduate, he has led at the highest levels of academia, government, and business. He served as President of the University of Colorado and President of the University of North Dakota. Kennedy was a graduate school director at George Washington University, taught at Johns Hopkins University and authored Shapeholders: Business
Success in the Age of Activism, published by Columbia University. Kennedy served as a United States Congressman (Minnesota) and as a presidentially appointed trade advisor under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He was treasurer of the company known today as Macy’s, helped Pillsbury buy and expand Häagen-Dazs and served in a global role for Accenture. Kennedy founded the Economic Club of Minnesota and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a Master’s in Business Administration with distinction from the University of Michigan.
Christopher Sands is Director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and a specialist on Canada, U.S.-Canadian relations, and North American economic integration. He has directed applied policy research programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Hudson Institute, and his work has been commissioned by Washington think tanks including the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, the Migration Policy Institute, and the National Endowment for Democracy. In Canada, Sands has been a contributor to studies at the C.D. Howe Institute and the Fraser Institute, and he is a board member of the Canada-United States Law Institute, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, and the Macdonald Laurier Institute. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, he taught at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the School of Public Affairs at American University, and in the College of Business.
Janice Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and was the Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. She was the Massey Lecturer in 2001 and a Trudeau Fellow. Stein was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for an outstanding contribution by a social scientist to public debate. She is an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Alberta, the University of Cape Breton, McMaster University, and Hebrew University. Her many publications include The Cult of Efficiency, Street Protests and Fantasy Parks, and The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar.
About the Moderator:
Amanda Coletta is the Canada correspondent for The Washington Post. She previously worked in London, first at the Economist and then the Wall Street Journal. She began her career as a freelance journalist covering the business and governance of sport for publications including the New York Times, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  
Sponsored by the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Wilson Center Canada Institute.
Munk School, Public policy, Government & politics
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Headshot of Susan Crystal
Susan Crystal

Consul General, U.S. Consulate General in Toronto

Headshot of Gordon Giffin
Amabassador Gordon Giffin

Partner & Global Vice-Chair Emeritus, Dentons

Headshot of Mark Kennedy
Hon. Mark Kennedy

Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center

Headshot of Christopher Sands
Christopher Sands

Director, Wilson Center Canada Institute

Headshot of Janice Stein
Janice Stein

Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management, University of Toronto

Headshot of Peter Loewen
Peter Loewen

(Opening Remarks)
Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Headshot of Amanda Coletta
Amanda Coletta

Canada Correspondent for The Washington Post