Former Ambassador Susan Rice, Author of Tough Love

Published on28 OCT 2019

Former Ambassador Susan Rice discusses her experience tackling some of the biggest foreign policy challenges of the Obama Administration and forging a path in the highest levels of government.

On her experience on President Obama’s national security team: “It was really an extraordinary experience – to work at the senior levels with a virtually all female team. And truth be told, we didn't agree with each other often on substance, but what was great was it was always transparent. Nobody was trying to stab anybody else in the back. Our arguments were out in the open, and we'd resolve them. We'd figured out a way forward and then we'd be marching in lockstep.”

On the US-China relationship: “We were able during the Obama administration with a lot of effort to have a mix of intense competition and cooperation on various issues. We were competing on the economic front. We were competing strategically in the Asia Pacific. We were at loggerheads over cyber issues…. But we were also able to find common ground on things like climate change…. We were able to get China to work with us on nuclear security, the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea and Ebola to an extent that I think is underappreciated…. So, we have that experience of being able to find areas where we can cooperate even as we compete – areas that serve our mutual interests and serve the larger global interest.”

Explore More Insights