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Bringing Americans Home: How is U.S. Hostage Policy Working?

  • New America 740 15th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20005 United States (map)

On June 24, 2019, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in partnership with New America will announce the findings of a new study, “Bringing Americans Home,” the first non-governmental review of U.S. hostage and detainee policy.

Presentation of the report’s conclusions will be followed by a panel discussion with hostage experts.



June 24, 2019, 12:15 – 1:45 PM


New America, 740 15th St NW #900, Washington, DC 20005


Diane Foley, president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

Cynthia Loertscher, the report’s author

Luke Hartig, former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and a New America Fellow

Rob Saale, former director of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell and founder and CEO of Star Consulting and Investigations LLC

Moderator: Peter Bergen, vice president, New America

Having a son or daughter, husband or mother taken hostage or detained in a foreign land can be one of the most frightening experiences imaginable. What do the hostage takers want? Who are the perpetrators? Are they terrorists or authoritarian states? Can they be contacted and reasoned with? Is there a way to get the hostage out alive? Where do families turn to answer these questions?

On the fourth anniversary of reforms to U.S. government hostage policy, this report is based on interviews with 27 American hostages, detainees, family members, and representatives and provides a unique insight into the experiences of Americans held abroad and their families. It examines families’ experiences before and after the reforms, and the effectiveness of the changes.

Lunch will be provided. Seats are limited.

Join the conversation online using #BringingAmericansHome and following @JamesFoleyFund and @NewAmericaISP