12 March 2024
2:00 pm
Aspen Ideas Debate: “The World at an Inflection Point”
Aspen Institute España

Aspen Ideas Debate: “The World at an Inflection Point”


Aspen Institute España hosted an Aspen Ideas session last Tuesday, March 12th on “The World at an Inflection Point” with Emb. Douglas Lute,  former United States permanent representative to NATO. The debate was moderated by José M. de Areilza, Secretary General at Aspen Institute España.


Emb. Douglas Lute

Is the former United States Ambassador to NATO.  Appointed by President Obama, he assumed the Brussels-based post in 2013 and served until 2017.  During this period, he was instrumental in designing and implementing the 28-nation Alliance responses to the most severe security challenges in Europe since the end of the Cold War.  A career Army officer, in 2010 Lute retired from active duty as a lieutenant general after 35 years of service.  In 2007 President Bush named him as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to coordinate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2009 he was the senior White House official retained by President Obama and his focus on the National Security Council staff shifted to South Asia.  Across these two Administrations, he served a total of six years in the White House. Before being assigned to the White House, General Lute served as Director of Operations (J3) on the Joint Staff, overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide.  From 2004 to 2006, he was Director of Operations for the United States Central Command, with responsibility for U.S. military operations in 25 countries across the Middle East, eastern Africa and Central Asia, in which over 200,000 U.S. troops operated. Through his military-diplomatic career, he received numerous honors and awards, including three awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Grand Officer of the Order of Merit for the Italian Republic, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit for the Federal Republic of Germany. General Lute holds degrees from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and United States Military Academy at West Point, which named him a Distinguished Graduate in 2018. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a charter member of the Senior Military Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace; a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy; and a member of the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States.


José M. de Areilza

Is the Secretary General of Aspen Institute España and Professor and Jean Monnet Chair at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. He has been a Visiting Professor at INSEAD Business School (Fontainebleau) and London Business School. He holds a Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and has published extensively on European Union Law and Politics and Geopolitics . Between 1996 and 2000 he was European Advisor at the Spanish Prime Minister’s Office. He writes a Sunday column in ABC, a national newspaper. He is Academy Adjunct Faculty at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London), Vice President of the US-Spain Council Foundation, Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Trustee of the Spanish Navy Museum, Ministry of Defence.


Aspen Ideas Program

The Aspen Ideas Program aims to provide a forum for debate on current issues for emerging leaders from different sectors of society, many of whom have already participated in Aspen Spain programs. On the occasion of the publication of books or in the light of current affairs, we bring together groups of 30 people in debates with experts on geopolitics, new technologies, leadership, energy, or international economics. This Program includes several session formats: Aspen Espresso, breakfast debates held between 9 am and 11 am, Aspen Ideas@Lunch, lunch debates held between 2 pm and 4 pm, Aspen Ideas Online, debates held in digital format, and Aspen Ideas Alumni, dinner debates held from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm for Alumni who have participated in Aspen Seminars.


More information


  • Amb. Douglas Lute
  • José M. de Areilza
Aspen Institute España
  • Debate