"There is no greater responsibility than preparing the next generation of American and world leaders, and it is one the Next Generation Project has fully embraced." -- Lee Hamilton, President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and member of the NGP Senior Advisory Council
With the rise of globalism and the enormous changes affecting the world in the wake of 9/11, The Next Generation Project sought to build a network of innovative, youthful thinkers eager to take on the vexing questions that now challenge the position of the United States in global affairs. Over five years and with more than 300 emerging, diverse leaders from many sectors in attendance, the project assessed whether the current national security, multilateral and international institutions were sufficient to meet future challenges.
Many of the Next Generation Project fellows have served in positions of responsibility in the Obama Administration, including Colin Kahl, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East; Vikram Singh, who served as Senior Defense Adviser to the Afpak Special Envoy, State Department; and Sharon Burke, currently Director of Operational Energy Plans and Programs at the Defense Department.
The Next Generation Project was created in 2006 by The American Assembly with regional three-day meetings co-hosted in Dallas, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., concluding in 2008. Three one-day meetings held at the Meridian International Center in Washington, DC and co-sponsored with the Center for a New American Security then addressed the topics of “Obama – One Year Later," "U.S. Global Policy: Challenges to Building a 21st Century Grand Strategy,” and “Technology, Finance, Innovation, and U.S. Global Policy.”
From Project Director Frank Gavin (pictured, right), "The Next Generation Project was an extraordinary initiative with an enormous impact. The American Assembly was remarkable in its creation, building and support of the effort. I can think of no other organization that could successfully pull together emerging leaders from every sector and every part of the country, to engage in serious but respectful debate and discussion of the most important global policy issues of the day. The Assemblies led to innovative and forward thinking proposals to improve U.S global policy and reform international institutions. The leaders they identified and engaged have gone on to important leadership positions in the private sector, academia, non-profit and government. The Assembly created and empowered a network of influence that continues to this day. Personally, the experience transformed the way I think about America's role in the world, and has made me a much better teacher and scholar."