The Tasks Ahead

Julianne Smith

U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO

Ambassador Julianne Smith assumed her position as the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO in November 2021. Prior to her current position, she served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Blinken at the Department of State.

Previously, she served as the Director of the Asia and Geopolitics Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

From 2014 – 2018, she served as the Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). From 2012-2013, she served as the Acting National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States. Before her post at the White House, she served for three years as the Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. In January 2012, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

Prior to her government service, Ambassador Smith held a variety of positions
at research institutions including the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the German Marshall Fund, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. She has written extensively on transatlantic relations and European security.

Ms. Smith is a recipient of the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship at the Bosch Academy in Berlin and the Fredin Memorial Scholarship for study at the Sorbonne in Paris. A native of Michigan, she received her B.A. from Xavier University and her M.A. from American University. She spent a year learning German at the University of Munich. In 2017, she received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Listen to any European or American leader talk about the transatlantic relationship these days and you will hear a handful of common refrains. Major policy addresses of this kind often start with the recognition that the world has changed. Europe and the United States face unprecedented challenges on the world stage, ranging from asymmetric warfare to non-state actors to the diffusion of technology to the return of great power politics. The speaker then reassures the audience by noting that, contrary to those arguing that the West is in decline, Europe and the US come at these challenges from a position of strength. It has been the West, after all, that spent the last sixty years establishing the world order, and it is the West that has the ability to maintain and further develop the international order according to its common values.

The original text of this article was published by Berlin Policy Journal on May 21, 2015. Continue reading here.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.