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Foreign Leaders Analysis: A Profile of Xi Jinping

Wed, Jan 18, 2023, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Featuring: Dr. Enrico Suardi
Location: The Institute of World Politics - 1521 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, United States

You are cordially invited to attend a lecture on the topic of

Foreign Leaders Analysis: A Profile of Xi Jinping


Dr. Enrico Suardi (’19)
Chief of Psychiatry at St. Elizabeths Hospital


Wednesday, January 18, 2023
5:00-6:00 PM EST


The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St. NW
Washington D.C. 20036
Marlatt Mansion, Commodore Barry Room
Getting to campus

***This lecture is part of the China Lecture Series***


About the Lecture

This is a segue of my overview of the involvement of the behavioral sciences in US national security (video link HERE). The premise of this series is that the human factor is the basis of crises and the source of solutions.

International politics at the highest levels is to an extent personal. The assessment of foreign leaders has been part of the original mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community since teams led by William Langer and Henry Murray were tasked with profiling Adolph Hitler. With his intellectually influential work in government and academia, Jerrold Post later developed the multidisciplinary psycho-biographical method. Current approaches include psycho-biographies as well as computer-based systems built on empirical research, the studies of Alexander George on operational codes, and Margaret Hermann’s Leader Trait Assessment content-analytic technique.

I will review how the IC has assessed foreign leaders since WWII and I will present a profile of the Chinese Communist Party’s General Secretary Xi Jinping. I will highlight how Xi Jinping’s personal history of trauma and growth aligns with China’s historical narrative of order and chaos. I will discuss strategic empathy as a tool of statecraft and full-spectrum diplomacy. A conversation may follow about the strengths, weaknesses, and influence of leadership analysis in U.S. national security and foreign policy-making.

About the Speaker

Dr. Enrico Suardi (IWP Class of 2019, Executive MA in National Security Affairs) is director of psychiatry at Saint Elizabeths Hospital and director of forensic services at the Ross Center in Washington, D.C. A diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry, on faculty at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Georgetown University and George Washington University, he has served as chief child and family psychiatrist at the U.S. State Department. Dr. Suardi studied political psychology with Jerrold Post. He completed his M.D. and a residency in preventive medicine in Milan, Italy and obtained an MSc in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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