Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Pursuing the Global Common Good

Principles & Practice in U.S. Foreign Policy

Featured Panelists:
Dr. Elizabeth G. Ferris, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Institution, and Co-Director of the Brookings-Berns Project on Internal Displacement
Prof. Bryan Hehir, Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Denis McDonough, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, former President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Moderated by:
Melody C. Barnes, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress

RSVP for this Event

Please join the Center for American Progress on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 9:30am for this event.

When is war justified? Is the use of torture ever acceptable? Do we have a moral responsibility to intervene against atrocities thousands of miles away? These are some of the pressing issues addressed in a new book by policy experts and faith leaders, published by the Center for American Progress. Pursuing the Global Common Good argues that U.S. foreign policy must go beyond preconceived notions of national self-interest and security by including our ethical obligations to the global community. Whether arguing against unjust wars or for our responsibility to lead against global warming, these essays dispel the faulty view that our national interests conflict with our ethical obligations. To the contrary, they make a strong and persuasive case that we can do better by doing good because our nation’s self-interest and its moral responsibilities are entwined.

Monday, October 15, 2007
Program: 9:30am to 11:00am
Admission is free.

A light breakfast will be served at 9:00 a.m.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center


Dr. Elizabeth G. Ferris is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and Co-Director of the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement. This project was founded in 1994 to promote the human rights of internally displaced persons and is co-directed with the Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. Dr. Ferris’s current research interests focus on the politics of humanitarian action and on the role of civil society in protecting displaced populations.

Prior to joining Brookings in 2006, Dr. Ferris spent 20 years working in the field of international humanitarian response, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Council of Churches, where she was responsible for the Council’s work in humanitarian response and long-term development. She worked with many local, national, and international non-governmental organizations to support capacity-building initiatives and to advocate for protection of refugees, IDPs, and other victims of conflict.

From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Ferris served as Chair of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), representing non-governmental organizations vis-Ã –vis the United Nations, including the Inter-Agency Standing Committee. In July 2006, she co-chaired the Humanitarian Dialogue with Jan Egeland, then-U.N. Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs.

Dr. Ferris also served as Research Director for the Life and Peace Institute in Uppsala, Sweden from 1991 to 1993 and as Director of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program in New York from 1993 to 1998. From 1996 to 98, she served as chair of InterAction’s Committee on Refugee and Migration Affairs and as chair of the Policy and Planning Committee of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children.

Dr. Ferris has been a professor at several U.S. universities and served as a Fulbright professor to the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City from 1981 to 1982. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida, where she specialized in international relations with a particular emphasis on Latin America. She has written or edited six books and many articles on humanitarian and human rights issues which have been published in both academic and policy journals.

J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also the Secretary for Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Prior to assuming these positions, Father Hehir served as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the national network of Charities in the United States, from 2001 to 2003. From 1973 to 1992, he served on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C., addressing issues of both foreign and domestic policy for the church in the United States. From 1984 to 1992, he served on the faculty at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. From 1993 to 2001, he served on the Harvard Divinity School faculty as Professor of the Practice in Religion and Society. From 1998 to 2001 he served as Interim Dean and Dean of the Divinity School.

Father Hehir took his A.B. and Master of Divinity degrees at St. John’s Seminary and his Doctor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School. His research and writing focus on issues of ethics and foreign policy, Catholic social ethics, and the role of religion in world politics and in American society.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Board of the Arms Control Association, the Global Development Committee, and the Independent Sector. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1984.

Publications include: The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change; Military Intervention and National Sovereignty; Catholicism and Democracy; Social Values and Public Policy: A Contribution from a Religious Tradition; and The Moral Dimension in the Use of Force.

Denis McDonough is Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor to Distinguished Senior Fellow Tom Daschle at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, Denis was Legislative Director for Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado. From July 2000 to December 2004, Denis was Foreign Policy Adviser to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. In that role, Denis worked extensively on legislation related to the war on terrorism, the response to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, Iraq, and the greater Middle East.

Prior to his time working in the Senate Leadership, Denis was a Fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation of Stuttgart, Germany from 1999 to 2000. During that yearlong fellowship, Denis worked with the Bundestag in Berlin and the German Chapter of Transparency International in Munich. From 1996 to 1999, Denis was a member of the Democratic Professional Staff of the House International Relations Committee, where he was focused on U.S. policy in Latin America. He earned a Masters Degree from Georgetown University (1996) and graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN (1992).

As a regular commentator on television, radio, and in print, Mr. McDonough’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He speaks Spanish and German.

Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz has traveled the globe in pursuit of a world free from human rights violations. As Executive Director of Amnesty International USA from 1994 to 2006, Dr. Schulz headed the American section of the world’s oldest and largest international human rights organization. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., where he works in the area of religion and public policy and oversees a project designed to provide a blueprint for human rights policy for the next U.S. administration. During 2006 to 2007 he served as a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

During his 12 years at Amnesty, Dr. Schulz led missions to Liberia, Tunisia, Northern Ireland, and Sudan and visited places as diverse as Cuba and Mongolia. He also traveled tens of thousands miles in the United States, spreading the human rights message from campuses to boardrooms to civic organizations. A frequent guest on television programs, Dr. Schulz is the author of In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (2001, Beacon Press) and Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights (2003, Nation Books). He is also the contributing editor of a new book from the University of Pennsylvania Press entitled, The Phenomenon of Torture: Readings and Commentary.

An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Dr. Schulz served for 15 years with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), the last eight (1985 to 1993) as President of the Association.

Dr. Schulz has served on the boards of People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the International Association for Religious Freedom, the world’s oldest international interfaith organization. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Schulz has received a wide variety of honors, including seven honorary degrees. He has been included in Vanity Fair’s 2002 Hall of Fame of World Nongovernmental Organization Leaders and was named “Humanist of the Year” by the American Humanist Association in 2002.

Dr. Schulz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, the Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago and seven honorary doctorates. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the East.

Melody C. Barnes is the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, where she coordinates and helps to integrate all of the Center’s policy work from the policy departments, fellows, and the Center’s network of outside policy experts.

From December 1995 until March 2003, Barnes served as chief counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Kennedy’s chief counsel, she shaped civil rights, women’s health and reproductive rights, commercial law, and religious liberties laws, as well as executive branch and judicial appointments. Barnes’ experience also includes an appointment as Director of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and serving as Assistant Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. During her tenure with the subcommittee, she worked closely with members of Congress and their staffs to pass the Voting Rights Improvement Act of 1992, which was signed into law.

Barnes began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City and is a member of both the New York State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Constitution Project, EMILY’s List, and the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors in history.

The Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative of the Center for American Progress works to identify and articulate the moral-ethical and spiritual values underpinning policy issues, to shape a progressive stance in which these values are clear, and to increase public awareness and understanding of these values. The Initiative also works to safeguard the healthy separation of church and state that has allowed religion in our country to flourish. In all its efforts, the Initiative works for a society and government that strengthen the common good and respect the basic dignity of all people. The Initiative informs the wide-ranging efforts of the Center for American Progress to promote a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”