9/11: Twenty years later (Day 1)

lights commemorating September 11 agains New York City skyline

Kamil G. Polak /

Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium on American Diplomacy

9/11: Twenty years later (Day 1)

William Antholis, Ann Compton, Tom Donilon, Richard Haass, Marc Selverstone, Philip Zelikow

Thursday, September 09, 2021
3:30PM - 5:15PM (EDT)
Event Details

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the 2021 Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium explores its impact on the United States at home and in the world. Drawing on expertise from scholars, practitioners, and journalists, this conference examines the history of this era with an eye toward its implications for the future.

The Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium is an annual Miller Center event that draws attention to topics of importance to American diplomacy and national security.

3:30 p.m.

WELCOME: Bill Antholis

INTRODUCTIONS: Marc Selverstone

3:35 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Philip Zelikow

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

CONVERSATION: Tom Donilon, Richard Haass, Ann Compton (moderator)


Thursday, September 09, 2021
3:30PM - 5:15PM (EDT)
Online webinar
Bill Antholis headshot

William Antholis

William Antholis serves as director and CEO of the Miller Center. Immediately prior, he was managing director at The Brookings Institution, and from 1995 to 1999 he served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global and, with Strobe Talbot, Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming.

Ann Compton headshot

Ann Compton

Ann Compton is a former news reporter and White House correspondent for ABC News. A distinguished and highly respected 40-year veteran of the White House press corps, she was the first woman assigned by a television network to cover the White House. Her tenure stretched across seven presidents as well as innumerable globe-altering events, including the end of the Cold War. During the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcaster allowed to remain on board Air Force One after President George W. Bush was advised not to return to Washington, DC. She is a former member of the Miller Center's Governing Council.

Tom Donilon headshot

Tom Donilon

Thomas E. Donilon is chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute and senior of counsel at the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. He served as national security advisor to President Barack Obama. In that capacity Mr. Donilon oversaw the U.S. National Security Council staff, chaired the cabinet level National Security Principals Committee, provided the president’s daily national security briefing, and was responsible for the coordination and integration of the administration’s foreign policy, intelligence, and military efforts. Mr. Donilon also oversaw the White House’s cybersecurity and international energy efforts. Mr. Donilon served as the President’s personal emissary to a number of world leaders.  

Richard Haass headshot

Richard Haass

Richard Haass is a veteran diplomat, a prominent voice on American foreign policy, and an established leader of nonprofit institutions. He is in his nineteenth year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, publisher, and educational institution dedicated to being a resource to help people better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. In 2013, he served as the chair of the multiparty negotiations in Northern Ireland that provided the foundation for the 2014 Stormont House Agreement. For his efforts to promote peace and conflict resolution, he received the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. From January 2001 to June 2003, Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State.

Marc Selverstone headshot

Marc Selverstone

Marc Selverstone is an associate professor in presidential studies at the Miller Center and chair of the Center’s Presidential Recordings Program. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Trinity College (CT), a Master’s in international affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio University. A historian of the Cold War, he is the author of Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945-1950 (Harvard), which won the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. As chair of the Recordings Program, Selverstone edits the Secret White House Tapes of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon. He is the general editor of The Presidential Recordings Digital Edition, the primary online portal for transcripts of the tapes, published by the University of Virginia Press.

Philip Zelikow headshot

Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow is the Miller Center’s White Burkett Miller Professor of History and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance at the University of Virginia, where he has also served as dean of the graduate school and director of the Miller Center. His scholarly work has focused on critical episodes in American and world history. His federal service during five administrations has included positions in the White House, State Department, and the Pentagon. His last full-time government position was as the counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Condoleezza Rice. He directed a small and short-lived federal agency, the 9/11 Commission. He is one of the few individuals ever to serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Boards for presidents of both parties, in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.