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American Diplomat

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American Diplomat

Ambassador (Retired) Pete Romero and Writer/Producer Laura Bennett

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American Diplomat goes behind the scenes to hear real stories from diplomats who lived newsworthy events overseas. Experience the Cuban revolution, Central American insurgencies, the end of apartheid and more through the eyes of those who were there. A project of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation in partnership with the American Academy of Diplomacy.
 
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Let's say you're a public servant. You've taken an oath to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and also to obey the commander-in-chief. What if you can't do both? And what if following the law slaps you with a $100,000 legal bill? And then why bother serving? Eric Rubin, President of the American Foreign Service Associ…
 
Beginning a career at State in the Office of International Religious Freedom, Sameer Hossain visited the Rohingya refugee camps in the country where his parents were born (Bangladesh). Learning of the lived experiences of women and children in these camps, he thought of his own kids, and then switched his focus from international human rights issue…
 
This is Fidel’s advice to Daniel Ortega, today’s strongman leader of Nicaragua. Wonder who else was listening? This is no longer a foreign piece of business but a thing threatening our own democracy right here, right now. Bob Callahan describes today’s authoritarian regime in this Central American nation. Are there any other parallels can we draw? …
 
In a fun twist, John Feeley interviews Laura on what she's learned about foreign service officers. Why doesn't the average Joe know how great they are? Is it because they are boring? Or is it just because foreign policy doesn't go "Boom"? Most FSOs pursue the career because while they have no wish to conquer the world, they do want to explore it. T…
 
Here's our earlier episode about Victor Bout, reposted, as he is again in the headlines, part of a proposed prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for a WNBA player. What? Yes, indeed. Victor Bout, Russian arms dealer, and a host of other nogoodnicks invest their nefarious proceeds in American cities such as Louisville, Dallas, Cleveland, unbeknowns…
 
Ambassador Kevin Whitaker walks us through one of the most significant polticial events in Colombia's history: its recent election of outsider candidate Gustavo Petro. How have political parties lost their ability to mediate between voters and their governments? How has this given rise to populism, nationalism, and more importantly, a global compet…
 
Dave Silverman, Deputy National Summit Coordinator, Summit of the Americas, talks about the complexity and diplomatic significance of setting the Summit's agenda. Democracy, climate change and other urgent topics are set forth for negotiation between the leaders of the hemispher's nations. Who weighs in on the topics chosen? Are agreements binding?…
 
Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs brings us up to speed on the most pressing issues on the agenda for the upcoming ninth annual Summit of the Americas. Income inequality, Covid impacts, climate change, access to health care, and disinformation are all on the marquis. How do thes issues impact average people …
 
The night before the war begain, a calm confidence prevailed in President Zelensky's office. Peter Van Praagh, President of Halifax International Security Forum, recently returned from Ukraine where he spent the first hours of the war. His stories are as powerful as his message that Putin did not unite the West; the Ukrainians did. And this is all …
 
Assimilation is better than integration, counsels Ambassador Michael Polt of ASU's Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab. Assimilation says: "I really want you to be a part of us." Assimilation means our new friends are expected to stay and become a valued part of who we are. Besides, hating people is exhausting. In the end, it all comes …
 
Immigration expert Eric Farnsworth is back to parse what he describes as our unilateral disarmament diplomatically in the Western Hemisphere, due to bipartisan failure to compromise. "We're doing it to ourselves," explains Eric. And here comes the Summit of the Americas in LA in June.By Ambassador (Ret.) Pete Romero & Writer/Producer Laura Bennett
 
Overseas and at home, Foreign Service officers face danger to themselves and their careers, from Benghazi to McCarthyism to the Trump presidency. John Naland and Harry Kopp discuss these risks and why we take them in their book Career Diplomacy: Lfe and Work in the US Foreign Service.By Ambassador (Ret.) Pete Romero & Writer/Producer Laura Bennett
 
What better way to launch a depressive episode than to leave a beloved job as US Ambassador to Panama, at the pinacle of one's career, all because one cannot in good conscience act as the personal representative of a particular US President? Ambassador John Feeley shares candidly the painful but surmountable experience of depression and recovery up…
 
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