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Modern American Diplomacy

Modern American Diplomacy

By The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST)
We interview American diplomats, capturing the sacrifice, leadership, humor, heroism, wisdom, and lessons of modern American diplomacy. Through historical reflections and personal anecdotes, guests explain foreign policy and tradecraft, or what they were trying to accomplish and how. Episodes include conversations with America’s diplomatic legends -- including Thomas Pickering, John Negroponte, Bill Burns, Maura Harty, Beth Jones and Kristie Kenney -- as well as rising leaders and foreign policy experts from diverse backgrounds. **Some interviews will be cited in the forthcoming book Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service. And some episodes, as marked, were brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American Diplomacy and the Foreign Service. The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) manages the podcast, which was begun by FSO Jeremy Beer**
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Amb. Ryan Crocker looks to the future, analyzes U.S. experience in conflict zones, and shares his thoughts on diversity, mental health, and work-life balance
Six-time U.S. Amb. Ryan Crocker (Career Ambassador and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient) looks back on his experience working with the military in some of toughest assignments and most fraught conflict zones ever. He also looks to the future and analyzes the nature of expeditionary diplomacy, the current state of geopolitics and the international system, and shares his thoughts on how the Foreign Service might evolve through generational change, namely by talking about diversity, mental health, and work-life balance.  **Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.
50:60
May 18, 2022
Amb. Deb Malac on Leading, Constantly Improving, Serving in Africa, Fighting for Rights, and Tackling Public Health Crises
She has fought Ebola in Liberia, sexism in the State Department, and the closing of political space in Uganda.  U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac talks about problem-solving, leadership, multi-functionality and clarity. She begins with her serendipitous entry into the Foreign Service that morphed into an incredible career in Africa and global health.  Speaking from a diversity of experiences, Malac discusses the qualities required of a globe-trotting FSO, the rewards and challenges associated with the job, how you know when it's time for the next challenge, and knowing oneself.
40:45
March 29, 2022
CG Lawrence Randolph Talks About Showing Up as a Diplomat – Authentically Engaged and Open
U.S. Consul General to Casablanca Lawrence Randolph talks about being a sincerely interested diplomat and using diversity as our strength. In his growth as a leader, he emphasizes mentorship and sponsorship, learning local languages and cultures, being open to new opportunities, and the secret strength of American diplomacy – creating diverse teams. He underscores the need to do outreach to Americans; how emotional intelligence, preparation, humility and straightforward resilience helps overcome moments of “imposter syndrome”; and how being one’s “authentic self” on the job both models good leadership and achieves good work-life balance.  **Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.
44:45
February 25, 2022
Amb. Herro Mustafa talks about resilience, rejecting limitations, and adapting as a diplomat – part of her journey from Kurdish-Iraqi refugee to a young, female U.S. ambassador.
Amb. Herro Mustafa explains her love of diplomacy, underscores the need for emotional intelligence and adaptability, and cites her sources of support and resilience. She talks about rejecting limitations and developing her own “card” full of lessons.  She discusses her growth as a diplomat, as she journeyed from Kurdish-Iraqi refugee in Minnesota to a young, female U.S. ambassador in Europe with young kids. **Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.
46:25
February 17, 2022
Amb. Ron Neumann on Afghanistan, Diplomacy, and the Big Picture
Amb. Ron Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy and a three-time former ambassador, discusses everything from his time in Vietnam as a soldier to current events in Afghanistan. He gets into details of refugee policy and women's education, as well as reflects on leadership, working in high-threat environments, serving in Iran, finding satisfaction in tough work, and how DC thinkers and diplomats in the field can work together better. 
29:01
January 26, 2022
Amb. Ted Osius discusses his love of Southeast Asia, experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, leadership, moral courage, and the nexus with diplomacy and private sector
Amb. Ted Osius discusses his love of Southeast Asia, experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, moral courage, and public diplomacy (on a bicycle). He talks reconciliation between U.S. and Vietnam, leaving the State Department in protest, working in and with the private sector, and having a husband and kids in the Foreign Service. Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.  Be sure to check out his new book: Nothing Impossible: America's Reconciliation with Vietnam
43:59
December 03, 2021
Amb. Bill Taylor discusses Ukraine, impeachment, Afghanistan and Foreign Assistance
Amb. Bill Taylor -- our first political appointee as a guest -- discusses Ukraine, impeachment, "irregular channels," public diplomacy, the nature of conflict, Afghanistan, foreign assistance and being an interagency team player. *Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.
38:56
September 15, 2021
Amb. Roberta Jacobson talks about reestablishing U.S. ties with Cuba, forging a path as America’s first female and civil servant ambassador to Mexico, enjoying Latin America, and dealing with populism throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Amb. Roberta Jacobson talks about reestablishing U.S. ties with Cuba, becoming America’s first female and civil servant ambassador to Mexico, and dealing with populist leaders.  Ambassador Jacobson also discusses reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, lost opportunities in Havana, populism in the Western Hemisphere, and what she loved about Latin America.
34:57
August 31, 2021
Amb. Lino Gutierrez discusses his path from Cuban immigrant to two-time U.S. ambassador. He shares lessons on leadership, managing up, negotiating with Cubans in Grenada, navigating Washington politics, Hurricane Mitch, and political change in Argentina.
Amb. Lino Gutierrez served as Ambassador to Argentina as well as to Nicaragua, and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau. In this episode, Amb. Gutierrez discusses his experience from Cuban immigrant to diplomat. He shares lessons on leadership, managing up, negotiating with Cubans in Grenada, navigating Washington politics, increasing diversity at State, dealing with the crisis of Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and stark political change in Argentina.
33:56
August 13, 2021
Senior Foreign Service Officer Tim Davis shares lessons learned on leadership, diversity, managing State Department principals, closing the U.S. Consulate in Basra, and navigating Secretary Clinton’s email controversy
Tim "Timmy" Davis is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.  In this episode, Tim shares lessons learned on leadership, building strong teams, encouraging diversity, and increasing recruitment.  Mr. Davis also shares lessons learned closing of the U.S. Consulate in Basra, managing State Department principals, and navigating Secretary Clinton's e-mail controversy.  Special thanks to the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and Harvard's Sama Kubba and Syed Ahmed.
30:45
July 22, 2021
Amb. Chris Hill discusses growing up in the foreign service, working with Amb. Holbrooke and Sec. Eagleburger, his ambassadorship in Iraq, and leading Six-Party talks with N. Korea
Ambassador Chris Hill discusses growing up in the foreign service, working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, and formative experiences working with Secretary Eagleburger and Amb. Holbrooke. Ambassador Hill also discusses leading Six-Party talks with N. Korea, his ambassadorship in Iraq, and the importance of diversity in today's Foreign Service. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
35:26
June 05, 2021
Amb. Beth Jones discusses growing up in the Foreign Service, her first tour in Afghanistan, Amb. Arnie Raphel's death, and Benghazi
Ambassador Beth Jones discusses attending local schools in Moscow and Berlin, her first tour in Afghanistan, and working as a control officer for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Ambassador Jones also discusses rising to the top of the Foreign Service, lessons learned from Ambassadors Pickering and Platt, managing the European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau following 9/11, and Benghazi.
28:44
March 17, 2021
Amb. Nancy Jo Powell discusses growing up in rural Iowa, first tours in Ottawa and Kathmandu, ambassadorships in India and Pakistan, and pandemic lessons learned during Avian Influenza and Ebola
Ambassador Nancy Jo Powell discusses her childhood in rural Iowa, gender discrimination at the State Department in the 1970's, and her first big break as Acting Consul General in Lahore, Pakistan in 1988. Ambassador Powell also discusses cultivating high morale in difficult posts, serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan in the wake of 9/11, the importance of mentorship, and lessons learned during her stints as the State Department's Senior Coordinator for both the Avian Influenza and Ebola.
29:10
February 04, 2021
Amb. William Brownfield discusses growing up in West Texas, his first tour in Maracaibo, claims of Venezuelan interference in the U.S. presidential election, and the importance of hiring the right mid-level managers.
Ambassador William Brownfield discusses his family's history in West Texas, life as a Junior Officer in Maracaibo, how to engage with the media, his tumultuous years as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, and accusations of Venezuelan involvement in the U.S. presidential elections. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
30:38
December 21, 2020
Amb. Marc Grossman discusses his first tour in Islamabad, working as an NEA staffer, testifying before Congress, and the morning of 9/11
Ambassador Marc Grossman discusses life as a Junior Officer in Islamabad, his tumultuous year as an NEA staffer, tips for testifying before Congress, lessons learned from the morning of 9/11, and answering the call to return to service.
30:49
October 14, 2020
Amb. Steve Mull discusses life as a Junior Officer, apartheid South Africa, communist Poland, Indonesia post-9/11, and the Iran deal
Ambassador Stephen D. Mull discusses life as a Junior Officer in The Bahamas, reporting tours in apartheid South Africa and communist Poland, and life on seventh floor. Ambassador Mull also discusses his first DCM tour in post-9/11 Jakarta, the importance of public diplomacy, and implementing the Iran deal. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
29:09
August 17, 2020
Amb. Tom Shannon discusses the importance of strategic thinking, Covid-19 and globalization, and the future of U.S. diplomacy
Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. discusses the importance of history and strategic thinking in the practice of diplomacy, and the social, economic and political forces likely to shape the future. Ambassador Shannon also discusses his multiple White House tours, his service as Under Secretary (and Secretary) of State, and what it means to serve as a U.S. Diplomat. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
23:28
July 09, 2020
Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield discusses segregation, Liberia, succeeding as a tandem, the killing of George Floyd, and strengthening management through diversity
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield discusses growing up in the segregated south, succeeding as a tandem couple, and raising kids in the Foreign Service,  Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also discusses her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, promoting gender and ethnic diversity at the State Department, and the killing of George Floyd. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
30:05
June 19, 2020
Amb. Bill Burns discusses Putin, Iran, NATO expansion, 9/11, President Trump's foreign policy, and the future of U.S. diplomacy
Ambassador Bill Burns discusses visiting Putin in the Kremlin, negotiating the JCPOA in Muscat, and the U.S. government's response to 9/11. Ambassador Burns also discusses the complexities of NATO expansion, attributes of a good diplomat, and President Trump's recent impeachment hearings. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
46:49
April 28, 2020
Amb. Tony Wayne discusses Argentina, Mexico, Afghanistan, economics, and raising a family in the Foreign Service
Ambassador Tony Wayne discusses economic crisis in Argentina, interviewing KISS in Buenos Aires, the illegal drug trade in Mexico, health and education in Afghanistan, and raising a family in the Foreign Service. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
27:26
April 06, 2020
Amb. Kristie Kenney discusses breaking barriers, The Philippines, career management, Thailand, diversity, and life as a tandem
Ambassador Kristie Kenney discusses growing up in Washington D.C., life as a Junior Officer in Kingston, and the importance of hard work in diplomacy. Ambassador Kenney also highlights her barrier-breaking assignments as the State Department's first female Executive Secretary, first female Ambassador to Thailand, and first female Ambassador to the Philippines. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
31:11
March 17, 2020
Amb. Thomas Pickering discusses Kissinger, Syria, Amb. Yovanovitch, leadership, and succeeding in the Foreign Service
Ambassador Thomas Pickering shares tips on managing an embassy, serving in hardship posts, and navigating a life and career in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Pickering also discusses working for Secretaries Rogers and Kissinger, the Trump administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, and the turmoil surrounding President Trump's removal of Amb. Yovanovitch from Ukraine. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service
26:05
February 20, 2020
Amb. Maura Harty discusses Sec. Powell, Sec. Shultz, succeeding (and failing) as a Junior Officer, leadership tenets, switching cones, and September 11th
Former Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Maura Harty discusses a less-than-ideal assignment as a Junior Officer, her stints working beside Secretaries Shultz and Powell, and her tenure as the head of the Consular Bureau in the wake of 9/11. Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.
32:51
January 28, 2020
Amb. Robert O. Blake Jr. discusses leadership, impeachment, India, Turkey, Sri Lanka, career management, and growing up in the Foreign Service
Former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake Jr. discusses his family's legacy in the Foreign Service, his childhood overseas, India, Turkey, the Middle East, and career advice for the next generation of Foreign Service leaders.   Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service. Special thanks to the Una Chapman Cox Foundation and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
30:06
January 09, 2020
Amb. John Negroponte discusses Vietnam, Trump, Colin Powell, USMCA, leadership, and succeeding in the Foreign Service
Former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte discusses Saigon, the Vietnam War, Kissinger, Powell, Trump, and NAFTA. He also relays leadership lessons from George Shultz and Phil Habib, while offering career and life advice to the the next generation of Foreign Service Officer.   Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service. Episode sponsored by the Una Chapman Cox Foundation and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
26:11
December 05, 2019