The Next Generation Project: Obama--One Year Later
December 16, 2009

The 2008 election of Barack Obama was a watershed moment not only in terms of racial politics but also in light of the considerable expectations of a Democratic president following eight years of a Republican administration.

On December 16, 2009, forty Next Generation Fellows gathered at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. to evaluate the year that had just passed:  “Obama – One Year Later.” The Assembly was co-sponsored by The American Assembly, The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and the Meridian International Center (MIC), and it was the first meeting in the second phase of The Next Generation Project.

Discussions included a panel, moderated by John Nagl, president of CNAS with Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, Department of State; Janine Davidson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans; and Erik Leklem, Senior Strategy Advisor, Department of State, participating. Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces, addressed the fellows at a luncheon plenary session.

The American Assembly

475 Riverside Drive
Suite 456
New York, NY
FAX: 212-870-3555

Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah is Professor of Practice and founding Executive Director of The Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University.  She served as Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House from 2009 to 2011, where she coordinated government efforts to aid innovative nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. An American Assembly Next Generation Fellow in 2009, Shah managed and implemented two of's global development initiatives and served on President Obama's Transition Board.