Meet our Next Speaker

Gordon Adams

Monday, December13, 2021

Topic: A New Approach to Formulating Foreign Policy

Dr. Gordon Adams is Professor Emeritus of International Politics at the School of International Service, American University.  He is a non-resident fellow of Washington-based Quincy Institute and a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center.  He retired to Maine, after a long career in national security policy-making and budgeting.  In 1983 he founded the Defense Budget Project in Washington, which he directed for 10 years, and which later became the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.  In 1993 he became the Senior White House budget official for national security spending as Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where he spent five years overseeing the budgets and operations for intelligence, defense, diplomacy, and foreign assistance.  After a brief stint as Deputy Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, he taught national security policy, institutions, and budgeting at the Elliott School, George Washington University, and at the School of International Service, American University.   

He has written, co-written, or edited several books on national security, including Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home (Routledge, 2010) and Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy? (Georgetown, 2014). He writes and speaks regularly on national security and foreign policy issue and has appeared in or on the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Responsible Statecraft, Maine’s own Maine Calling, and many other publications and media outlets.

 In Maine, Dr. Adams has served on the Advisory Committee to Refugee and Immigration Services, Catholic Charities, and the Program Committee for the Camden Conference.  He is also an active thespian, with eight years of experience on stage in Washington, DC and now seven years in Maine theaters, including the Camden Shakespeare Festival.  He has played such roles as Friar Laurence (Camden), King Lear (Studio Theater, Bath), and Hamm in Endgame (Maryland Players, Silver Spring).  He lives in Brunswick where he actively writes poetry, acts, opines, gardens, and tends to his cat.

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Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations
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Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, December13, 2021
    Gordon Adams
    Topic: A New Approach to Formulating Foreign Policy
  • Monday, January 24, 2022
    Jok Madut Jok
    Topic: Governance and Development in Sudan and South Sudan

View all speakers past and present »


A New World is Dawning, and the US Will No Longer Lead It

Posted on Wednesday December 8

By Gordon Adams in The Conversation, June 26, 2018 From pulling out of treaties to denigrating allies to starting trade wars, the impulsive actions of President Donald Trump are upending the international order that has been in place since the end of World War II. But even before Trump’s belligerent foreign policy positions, America had […]

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America’s Polarization Is a Foreign Policy Problem, Too

Posted on Thursday November 4

By Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy, March 11, 2019 Partisan Politics, one sometimes still hears, are supposed to “stop at the water’s edge.”  Domestic political quarrels might be intense and occasionally personal, but Americans are supposed to temper their disagreements and link arms when dealing with the outside world. This notion was always a […]

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A 9/11 widower refuses to succumb to hate. Can the country do the same?

Posted on Thursday September 30

By Mitchell Zuckoff, Globe Correspondent, The Boston Globe, September 4, 2021   I’ve been living with 9/11 since the day itself, when I wrote the lead story about the attacks for this newspaper with help from numerous colleagues. Later, for a book, I spent years listening to, and sometimes crying with, hundreds of survivors, victims’ […]

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Three Articles/Videos by Sean McFate

Posted on Wednesday September 1

Below are links to two articles and one video by Sean McFate, the Forum speaker for September 2021: Shifting the blame: How the Pentagon lost Afghanistan, The Hill, August 17, 2021.  How could Afghan security forces wholesale collapse after $83 billion have been spent to train and equip them?   To find out click here. What […]

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