The virtual 2020 American Jewish Committee (AJC) Chicago Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award program honoring Bruce Braun will include a dialogue between two of the nation’s top foreign policy leaders, Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Jason Isaacson, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer.  For more information on the featured speakers, please see below. 

The prestigious Judge Learned Hand Award is presented annually to a distinguished Chicago attorney who embodies Judge Learned Hand’s ideals of justice and who works to safeguard the rights of individuals and democratic values.

Ivo Daalder

Ivo H. Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009-2013.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador to NATO by President Obama, Daalder was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, specializing in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations, and national security affairs. Before joining Brookings in 1998, he was an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies. He also served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995-97.

Ambassador Daalder is the author and editor of 10 books, including The Empty Throne: America's Abdication of Global Leadership (with James M. Lindsay). Other books include In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents they Served — From JFK to George W. Bush (with I. M. Destler) and the award-winning America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (with James M. Lindsay). Daalder is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the world’s leading newspapers, and a regular commentator on international affairs on television and radio.

Ambassador Daalder was educated at the universities of Kent, Oxford, and Georgetown, and received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married to Elisa D. Harris, and they have two sons.


Jason Isaacson

Jason Isaacson, Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer, is a longtime analyst of U.S. political and strategic affairs and an advocate for Arab-Israeli peace. An observer to the 1991-92 Middle East peace talks in Madrid, Moscow, and Washington, he represented AJC at the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna; since 1993, he has coordinated periodic AJC ministerial meetings throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia, including numerous visits that were the first by an American Jewish civic organization. He has lectured periodically at the Diplomatic Institute of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy. In 2002, he was a Senior Visitor at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Isaacson directed an AJC initiative to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on Middle East policy – resulting in the opening of the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels in 2004. In 2005, in Tunis, he convened an NGO seminar on tolerance-promotion on the Internet, in conjunction with the UN World Summit on the Information Society. In 2015, he coordinated in Brussels the Defining Moment for Europe conference on strategies to combat resurgent antisemitism. In 2007, the French Minister of Culture and Communication awarded him the rank of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. In July 2009, King Mohammed VI bestowed on Isaacson the honor of Chevalier of the Order of the Throne of the Kingdom of Morocco.