Global Leadership Series webinar: US Election: Trump vs Biden

The election of Donald Trump to arguably the most powerful presidency in the world sent shockwaves through the global community. While many rejoiced his challenging of the global order from NATO to China, others feared he lacked the temperament and judgment to lead the US on the world stage.

Since his election, President Trump has been embroiled in constant controversy from tax cuts to environmental deregulation to immigration measures that are being challenged in the courts. Internationally, he has withdrawn the US from international agreements and withdrawn US armed forces from Syria.

Most recently he has clashed with public health experts while the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the country, and has met the Black Lives Matter protests with a combative ‘law and order’ message.

The upcoming presidential election pits Trump against former Vice-President Joe Biden, presenting voters with starkly contrasting values, policies and visions for the United States. The decision of American voters on 3 November will reverberate in Australia and around the world. Our experts will lay out the issues and possibilities, and what the great powers of the past can tell us about the future. 





Image of Heather ZwickerProfessor Heather Zwicker
Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Queensland

Professor Zwicker has been Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Queensland since 2 Oct 2018. She came to UQ from the University of Alberta, a top 5 Canadian university, where she served in a variety of leadership roles including Vice-Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (2015-18) and Vice Dean for the Faculty of Arts (2011-14). 

 A cultural studies researcher, Professor Zwicker brings postcolonial and feminist theories to bear on problems such as stereotypes, universities, classrooms, and cities. Her research seeks to understand concepts that explain the world we inhabit. Key areas of exploration have included nation (especially Northern Ireland), stereotype (in particular, pre-9/11 stereotypes of Irish terrorists), the local (with an emphasis on Edmonton writing), public intellectualism (pursued through graduate seminars designed for non-academic tracks, and through writing for larger audiences), gender, and digital humanities. Professor Zwicker holds a PhD from Stanford University and is the winner of several awards, including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship.


Image of Katharine GelberProfessor Katharine Gelber
Head, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland

Katharine Gelber is Head of the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, and a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2012-2015). Her expertise is in freedom of speech and speech regulation, with research projects into the operation of hate speech laws, and the effects of counter-terrorism policies on freedom of speech. She has recently published Free Speech After 9/11 (2016) and jointly edited Free Speech in the Digital Age (2019) with Susan Brison.

Image of Professor Alastair BlanshardProfessor Alastair Blanshard
Paul Eliadis Chair of Classics and Ancient History, The Unviersity of Queensland

Alastair Blanshard is the Paul Eliadis Professor of Classics and Ancient History. He is also currently serving as director of the program in Western Civilisation at UQ. He has held positions at Merton College, Oxford, the University of Reading, and the University of Sydney. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, the University of Cincinnati, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and the University of Warwick.

His research examines the way the ancient world impacts on the modern. His first book on the West’s fascination with the figure of Hercules has been translated into four languages. He has written on topics as diverse as the myth of the ancient orgy, the impact of Greek statuary on the sport of bodybuilding, and 18th-century travel writing about Greece. One of his abiding interests is the way in which ancient political ideals remain relevant to today’s debates.

Image of Sarah PercyAssociate Professor Sarah Percy
Associate Professor of International Relations, School of Politics and International Studies, The University of Queensland

Sarah Percy is Associate Professor of International Relations in the School and Politics and International Studies. Her research focuses on unconventional combatants, including mercenaries and pirates. Sarah recently hosted a four-part radio series for ABC Radio National, Why the Cold War Still Matters



Bruce Hawker

Bruce Hawker is a political strategist and commentator with 35 years' experience working at the state and federal level. He served as Chief of Staff to Bob Carr before founding Hawker Britton, Australia's largest and most successful government relations and campaign firm. He then advised Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in his 2007 federal election campaign and was the principal negotiator for Prime Minister Julia Gillard after the 'hung' 2010 campaign. He is currently the founder and chairman of Campaigns & Communications Group.

He is the author of ‘The Rudd Rebellion – The Campaign to Save Labor’ about the 2013 Federal election and is currently working on a political memoir covering his numerous campaigns for the Labor Party.