Obama Advisor Ben Rhodes on Policy and Patriotism

November 02, 2019
Ben Rhodes engages questions from Soka students

Ben Rhodes, former Obama speechwriter and senior foreign policy advisor, captivated an audience of more than 300 Soka students, faculty, staff, and community members with insider stories about major foreign policy negotiations and working in the White House, on Oct. 22.

Rhode’s appearance marked the first partnership event between Soka’s International Studies Concentration and the World Affairs Council of Orange County. Soka’s Performing Arts Center provided a beautiful backdrop for the moderated conversation between Rhodes and Ferdinando Guerra, a member of the program committee from the World Affairs Council.

Rhodes, who played a key role in the thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba, argued that a crucial element of U.S. foreign policy and patriotism should include an openness to our global interconnectedness.

Class of 2020 students Aidan Gross and Swann Jin provided inspiring introductions and helped moderate for event. Rhodes stayed well after to sign autographs of his recently released New York Times bestselling memoir, The World As It Is.