Trump and the US presidency: The past, present and future of America’s highest office



12 April 2018


PNR Lecture Theatre 2, PNR Building, Maze Crescent, University of Sydney


Public forum



Today, it seems pretty hard to escape President Trump. From his constant tweets to his repeated transgression of American political and cultural norms of behaviour, to his evident pleasure in provoking and distracting the public, Trump’s antics seem to dominate every waking moment.

At some point though, the Trump presidency will end — whether that comes in 2025, 2021, or sooner. As difficult as it can be to get beyond the latest tweets, doing so opens up the space to think about which features of the American presidency will endure, which old debates are likely to resurface, and what effect Trump will have on America’s system of checks and balance.

This event launched a report on the American presidency, written by USSC senior fellow and visiting scholar Charles Edel. Lowy Institute senior fellow Richard McGregor joined him for a discussion on the history of the office of the US president, the limits of presidential power and the unique stress test the office is being subjected to under President Trump.


  • Dr Charles Edel
    Dr Charles Edel
    Australia Chair and Senior Adviser, Center for Strategic and International Studies

    Dr Charles Edel is the inaugural Australia Chair and a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Prior to this, he was Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the US Naval War College, and served on the US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2015-2017. In that role, he advised Secretary of State John Kerry on political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. 

  • Richard McGregor
    Richard McGregor
    Senior Fellow, Lowy Institute

    Richard McGregor is a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute. He was the Financial Times bureau chief in Beijing and Shanghai between 2000 and 2009, and headed the Washington office for four years from 2011.

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