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PUBPOL 750.007

PUBPOL 750.007: Topics: Exercising Influence: Corporate, Governmental, and NGO Diplomacy

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Winter 2020
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This course is co-taught by Carolyn Brehm and Richard Boucher.

The course is designed to explore through readings, exercises and discussion how governments, corporations and civil society influence each other to shape foreign policy outcomes. We will take up six big international issues, role-play the interactions, discuss the issue and players in detail, and identify potential solutions to the problem and how they might be reached. The goal is to understand how to work major foreign policy issues, how to craft strategies, identify allies and obstacles, how to advocate effectively to gain support with a view to resolving issues in the real world. In addition to the instructors, we will invite knowledgeable outsiders to provide briefings and answer questions during class.

Carolyn Brehm is a corporate executive with more than 40 years of experience in global government relations, public policy and international business development. She has worked at two Fortune 100 companies and several non-profits and business associations over the course of her career in Washington, DC and Asia. She is the Founder and CEO of consulting firm Brehm Global Ventures LLC. Ms. Brehm retired in 2017 from The Procter & Gamble Company as Vice President for Global Government Relations and Public Policy where she created and led P&G’s team of sixty government relations practitioners based in key markets across the globe. She was responsible for public policy and legislative advocacy to protect and grow P&G’s business, advising four company Chairmen and CEOs over her seventeen years at P&G. She also oversaw a $24 million P&G Fund supporting citizenship initiatives in the communities where P&G operates. During a 13-year stint with General Motors Corporation, Ms. Brehm served as Director of International Trade and Investment Policy, as GM’s chief international lobbyist in Washington. During two overseas assignments with GM, she established an office in Shanghai in 1984 to conduct countertrade deals and returned to the region in 1996 as Director of Asia-Pacific Trade Policies and Strategy, supporting joint venture projects.

Ms. Brehm serves on the board of global health NGO Population Services International (PSI) where she chairs the Audit and Risk Committee, READ Global, and on the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. She is a regular lecturer at the Washington Campus program for EMBA and MBA candidates as well as co-teacher of a political risk class at Georgetown’s Masters in Foreign Service School. Ms. Brehm is a 1977 graduate of Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service with a concentration in Asian Studies. She completed an MBA in International Business at the University of New Haven’s program at Cyprus College, Nicosia in 1996. She was an AFS International exchange student in Mumbai, India in 1972. Carolyn speaks Mandarin and has studied French.

Richard Boucher is a senior US diplomat turned teacher. Over a thirty-two year career, he served in numerous leadership positions and achieved the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service as Career Ambassador. Richard’s career began in China at the start of economic reform; in his later career, he became the longest serving Spokesman in the history of the State Department, serving six Secretaries of State. From 2006 to 2009, he formulated U.S. policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as India and the broader region, as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. Richard headed US missions overseas as U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus (1993-1996) and U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong (1996-1999), and led U.S. efforts for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation as US Senior Official for APEC from 1999-2000.

After retiring from the State Department, Ambassador Boucher served four years as Deputy Secretary-General for Global Affairs at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. In this role, he organized outreach on economic reform to the major economies of China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa as well as newly reforming countries around the world like Colombia, Tunisia and Myanmar.

Since 2014, he has taught diplomacy and foreign policy to Brown University graduate and undergraduate students as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He has also taught at the University of Michigan and George Mason University. From November 2016 to April 2018, he advised HSBC Bank/South Asia on preventing money laundering and financial crime. He frequently writes and speaks on foreign policy, China and trade issues and blogs at as an expert at Richard also serves on the board of The Mountain Institute ( and has participated in a US-Pakistan Track II dialogue. Richard taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal from 1973-1975. He obtained his Bachelor's degree from Tufts University and did graduate work in economics at the George Washington University. He is married to Carolyn Brehm, a business executive. They have two children, Madeleine and Peter.