A Divided Country, A President’s Legacy

Talk Wednesday 21 January 2015, 7:00 PM

After a devastating defeat in the midterm elections, which saw the Democrats lose control of the Senate, what can we expect from President Barack Obama as he enters his final two years in office?

Will we see a president stuck in an endless deadlock with the Republicans preventing him from moving forward, or will he attempt to use his final two years to take bold action?

With events in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighting the deep racial divides that still exist in the US, we will be asking what the legacy will be of the country’s first African-American president. Our panel will be taking a view of the political landscape and debating what Obama can achieve in the next two years.

Chaired by Matt Frei, Europe editor and presenter at Channel 4 News. Previously be was Washington correspondent and is author of Italy: The Unfinished Revolution and Only In America.

The panel:

Xenia Wickett is the project director of the US project and the dean of The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House. From 2001 to 2005, she served in the US State Department in numerous positions including in the Bureau of South Asia, the Bureau of Nonproliferation and the Homeland Security Group. After September 11, 2001 she was assigned to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to work on homeland security.

Michael Goldfarb is a veteran journalist, and broadcaster. He has covered conflicts in the Balkans and Middle East and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. His book Ahmad’s War, Ahmad’s Peace, about the Iraq War was a New York Times Notable. He has started his own production company making radio current affairs documentaries for the BBC.

Kim Ghattas is a BBC correspondent based in Washington covering global affairs. She was the BBC’s State Department correspondent from 2008 until 2013, traveling regularly with the Secretary of State. She is author of The New York Times best seller, The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. She was previously a Middle East correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, based in Beirut.

Robert Carolina was elected chair of Democrats Abroad UK in 2011. He started his support of the Obama campaign in 2007, and went on to lead a number of Obama campaign efforts in the UK in 2008. He is a principal with Origin, a London-based international technology and intellectual property law firm.