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The McKay Interview

The McKay Interview

By Michael McKay
Michael McKay conducts in depth interviews with decision makers and local leaders.

The McKay Interview was founded on a simple idea: that listeners would tune in regularly to listen to intelligent yet relaxed, English-language conversation between Michael McKay and interesting people who do interesting things.

A variety of prominent and thoughtful people have accepted the invitation and a wide range of topics have been covered.
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H.E. Mr. Julian Braithwaite CMG, UK Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the UN & other International Orgs. Geneva
After six years in Geneva - an unusually long time - Ambassador Braithwaite shares with me his views on the UK and world trade vis-à-vis the WTO, the practicalities of ethics in government foreign policy, climate change, the Commonwealth and the meaning of Global Britain.
30:26
April 5, 2021
The Hon. Kent Brown, the United States' first Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia
The Hon. Kent Brown served as a career diplomat for almost thirty years, all over the world for the U.S. Department of State. In this interview, he gives his insights and personal opinion about America today as I ask him whether the American Dream is now out of reach for a growing number of people and what President Joe Biden needs to do now and by 2024. Topics covered in this episode: - The end of the Trump era and the beginning of Biden’s - Why the turmoil and rancour across the land, that culminated in the defeat of Trump on the 4th November last year. - Why so many millions of Americans believe last November’s election was “stolen”, to use the word of the man who lost? - And if time allows, other domestic topics and foreign affairs.
32:05
March 23, 2021
John W. Wood, Chairman of the Trilateral Group Ltd., London; former Global Chairman of Republicans Abroad
Michael McKay is going to talk to guests over the next few weeks on  how  the world sees America - through the eyes of Americans who have an experience of life outside the United States. In the second programme, Michael talks to John, who was for 8 years Global Chairman of Republicans Abroad – the official arm of the Republican Party abroad - stepping down at the time of George W. Bush’s Inauguration in 2001.
32:09
March 9, 2021
Dr Daniel Warner, Former Deputy to the Director, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Michael McKay is going to talk to guests over the next few weeks on  how the world sees America - through the eyes of Americans who have an  experience of life outside the United States. In the first programme, Michael speaks to Geneva based US political scientist Dr Daniel Warner.
21:14
February 23, 2021
Michael Møller, Chairman of the Diplomacy Forum of the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation – GESDA.
My Guest today is Michael Møller, known to many of you listening as the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva up until a year or so ago. Well, you cannot keep a good and energetic man down! And he has re-emerged as one of the principal leaders of this new organisation that I mentioned which is called the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation.  Quite a mouthful to say. And so, for short, they call themselves GESDA. We are going to hear from Michael Møller himself why this organisation has been formed and what it is doing that will make a difference. Here were some of the questions that we covered: Science and Diplomacy? There is obviously a gap in the market or else the Governments of Geneva and the Swiss Confederation would not be putting public money into GESDA.  Yet my first question is an obvious one. There are already about 700 – 800 NGOs in Geneva. Why another one?  Why this particular “marriage”, I mean Science and Diplomacy? What does this one do that is not already being done by other NGOs in Geneva? What has your organisation set its sights on to achieve?  GESDA is new. It did not exist before. So, I imagine someone –   or a number of like-minded people – saw a need that by satisfying it would benefit Geneva, Switzerland and the wider world. Please explain the vision that created the idea that you have turned into a reality. Explain why this selected list of priorities and issues that you have just told me about stands out to such a compelling extent that they were/are top of your list. Or was there a lot of competition to get on that list? I mean, did you have to discard many? Can we go through GESDA’s priorities so that you can explain them to me more fully?
34:13
February 9, 2021
Ron Rock Co-founder and CEO of Microshare®, Philadelphia, USA
My topic this time is Privacy. And by that I mean how states, governments, corporations, organisations, businesses and we ourselves as individuals, view things like privacy, secrecy, the characteristic or human quality of being discreet; whether or not we have a right to Privacy; or whether or not that depends on the law of the land, societal and cultural norms or international standards of behaviour. My Guest is Ron Rock, Co-founder and CEO of Microshare®, Philadelphia, USA. He will help me unravel some of the many complexities, and even inconsistencies in where we find ourselves today, such as the Internet of Things, and the use of personal data to improve security and mitigate risk, especially in these times of pandemic. Monday 21st December 2020, via Zoom.
32:52
January 26, 2021
DG of Ecolint, Dr David Hawley and student Antonia Molnar
Dr David Hawley  is the Director-General of the International School of Geneva and  Antonia Molnar is a Year 12 Student at the La Châtaigneraie Campus. We talk about international Education.
32:01
January 12, 2021
H.E Alexandre Fasel, Swiss ambassador to the UK
A very special guest for the final McKay Interview of  this extraordinary year – one we are probably all glad to see the back  of – the Swiss Ambassador to the United Kingdom, or to give him his  official title in the UK, the Ambassador from the Swiss Confederation to  the Court of St. James's, His Excellency Mr Alexandre Fasel.
34:15
December 7, 2020
McKay Interview: Tatiana Valovaya UN DG in Geneva
On this week's McKay Interview, Michael talks to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Tatiana Valovaya. She discusses the future of the UN in Geneva, how the pandemic is affecting the work of the UN and conflicts around the world.
35:37
November 23, 2020
McKay Interview: Lorenzo Stoll
This week Michael McKay speaks to Lorenzo Stoll, Director-General of SWISS International Airlines for the Suisse Romande. The pandemic has meant major disruptions to airlines around the world due to travel bans - but how is the industry adapting and what is its future?
36:19
November 10, 2020
McKay Interview: Jovan Kurbalija, Director DiploFoundation, Head of Geneva Internet Platform
Michael McKay speaks with Professor Jovan Kurbalija. He is prominent in many important circles in Geneva, in Switzerland and internationally. He is the Founding Director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. Professor Kurbalija is a former diplomat, and has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992, when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. And apart from his day job in Geneva as Head of the DiploFoundation, the Geneva Internet Platform , he lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St. Gallen), Malta (University of Malta) and the United States (University of Southern California).
30:30
October 20, 2020
McKay Interview: Karel Leeflang - what will be the 'new normal'?
Michael's guest is Karel Leeflang. His bread and butter is in leading large-scale transformations, both as a corporate executive and advisor. And in describing what he does, jargon words and phrases like “global organizational efficiency” and “effectiveness programs” and “ productivity improvement solutions” feature prominently. He has his own firm called StrategyPod, focusing on advisory, analytics and digital solutions. He has also worked for Barclays Bank, Cadbury Schweppes and Unilever. And he has consulted across a wide range of business sectors.
31:56
October 7, 2020
McKay Interview: Dr Karin Von Hippel, Director General, RUSI
On this week's McKay Interview: As we are based in Geneva, we are well aware of its long-standing multilateral reputation and its unrivalled position as the city of peace, negotiation and reconciliation. In neutral Switzerland, Geneva has no military credentials. Just the opposite - being home of the Disarmament Talks since the early 1930s, the United Nations and its predecessor the League of Nations, which rose out of the ashes of the Great War. It is important to look square on at the security issues that confront the world in 2020 and beyond. Michael talks to the head of the world’s oldest security think tank. His guest is Dr Karin von Hippel - Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute, known by its acronym, RUSI.
24:32
September 28, 2020
McKay Interview: Round Table
Two years ago in Paris, I recorded a roundtable McKay Interview with people whose fingers were very much on the Parisienne pulse. Very recently, in this year of Covid19, I have done something similar in Geneva, a city struggling to get back on its feet after the lockdown/confinement. My Guests, to discuss a wide range of relevant and very hard issues in Geneva’s hotel and hospitality industry, are: Daniel Grangier, Proprietor of Le Milan, in whose restaurant the “Interview” was recorded. Adrien Genier, CEO of Geneva Tourism & Congress Thierry Lavalley, General Manager of The Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva & President of the Geneva Hotel Association. Vincent Subilia, Director-General, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Services (CCIG) The Interview examined their assessment of the current situation; how the short to medium term future looks in their opinion; the changing nature of work; the impact of working from home; Geneva’s dependence on frontalier workers; and the role of government in these difficult economic and commercial times.
41:41
September 21, 2020
McKay Interview: Prof. Bill Durodie - University of Bath.
This week Michael McKay speaks to Professor Bill Durodie - chair of Risk and Security in International Relations at the University of Bath in the UK. As Michael discovers, there's a lot more to risk than you may think.
28:36
September 5, 2020
McKay Interview: Lebanese film maker and cultural producer, Nabil Canaan
On the return of the McKay Interview after the summer break - no matter where you were on the 4th August, you must surely have been aware of the huge explosion in Beirut. According to Lebanon’s team at the United Nations, the explosion was like 15 years of war in 15 seconds, comparing its impact to the devastation from the country's civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. We all know that Lebanon has been living through some of its toughest times in recent history following the October 17th Uprisings, the severe economic crisis that the country is going through, Covid-19 and, as if all that were not enough, the epic explosion. It cost the lives of nearly 200 people, 7000 wounded and over 300,000 left homeless. Bear in mind listeners that Geneva’s population is 500,000! Just to give you a sense of comparison. Michael McKay's guest today is Nabil Canaan, a Lebanese-Swiss, who describes himself as a cultural producer, multi-media filmmaker, development consultant and brand marketing professional.
37:38
August 24, 2020
Reverend Dr William McComish, former Dean of the Cathedral St. Pierre Geneva. By Zoom, 8th July 2020.
This week, Michael is talking to Bill McCormish. He will  be well-known to many of you. Whether you are Genevois, Christian,  Protestant or just from the UK, you will probably know, or know of, the  Rev. Dr William (Bill) McComish. He is wise and ubiquitous and always a  pleasure to be with. And he has been in Geneva a long time. He was  born in the United Kingdom, in Northern Ireland to be precise; and  started his Ministry as a pastor in Ireland in 1974. Very early on, he  was involved in interfaith dialogue in Northern Ireland. That would have  been in the time of what is euphemistically called “The Troubles”. He  arrived in Switzerland in the 1980s where he earned his DD (Doctor of  Divinity) in Theology. He then became the Dean of the Cathedral of St.  Pierre Geneva. An important position in this the city of Jean Calvin and  world home of Protestantism. Dr McComish retired a few years ago. He  is a visiting professor of the History of Religions at the University  of Oxford. His experience in inter-confessional dialogue and mediation  brought him to act in conflict regions in Africa and Asia, namely in  Indonesia. Among the many books he has written, he is co-author of the Geneva Spiritual Appeal.
23:12
July 8, 2020
Professor Dr. Didier Pittet, infectious diseases expert at the University Hospital Geneva (HUG). By Zoom, 30th June 2020.
Michael McKay's guest is Professor Didier Pittet. He is  an infectious diseases expert of global reputation and the director of  the Infection Control Programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient  Safety at the University Hospital of Geneva, known locally as the HUG. For  the past 15 years, he has also been the External Lead of the World  Health Organization (WHO) Global Patient Safety Challenge "Clean Care is  Safer Care" and African Partnerships for Patient Safety.
29:40
June 30, 2020
Jo Hemmings, Behavioural Psychologist & British TV personality. By Zoom, 26th June 2020.
Jo Hemmings is Michael's guest this week. She is a  celebrated Behavioural Psychologist and a registered member of the  British Psychological Society and the Association of Clinical  Psychologists, specialising in media and celebrity analysis, as well as a  being a dating and relationship coach and, on top of that, a TV and  radio personality. Jo is the Consultant Psychologist on ITV’s Good  Morning Britain and This Morning, two British TV shows, as well as the  BBC, Channel 4, C5 and Sky News. She also helps behind the scenes, in  the contestant selection process, by giving psychological advice and  assessment to reality TV producers and contestants. She talks today about how society, politicians and countries are reacting to the pandemic.
17:24
June 26, 2020
Professor Simon Heffer on media and Covid-19. By Zoom, 17th June 2020.
On this week's McKay Interview, Michael speaks to Professor Simon Heffer  from the University of Buckingham in the UK on the media's role in  covering the Covid-19 crises.
24:35
June 17, 2020
Dr Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General, INTERPOL. By Zoom, 11th June 2020.
Michael's guest this week is the Secretary-General of  the world’s largest police organization, Dr Jürgen Stock, of INTERPOL,  or to give it its full name, the International Criminal Police  Organisation. It is based in Lyon, France. Dr Stock has been  Secretary General since 2014, and is now serving his second term. Prior  to that he was Vice-President of the German Federal Criminal Police. He  has a had a 40 year, distinguished career in law enforcement; and is  also Honorary Professor for Law and Criminology, in the Faculty of Law,  University of Giessen, in Germany.
16:33
June 11, 2020
Professor Emerita Victoria Curzon-Price, University of Geneva. By Zoom, 2nd June 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic is the worst in 100 years. Apart  from the great tragedies inflicted upon many, many families all over the  world, it has thrown up a number of conundrums. Puzzles like the  scientific, the medical, the spiritual, the economic and many others. Today, the 2nd June 2020, Michael is looking at COVID-19 through the prism of Economics. Michael's  guest is Professor Emerita Victoria Curzon-Price. She was for many  years Professor of Economics at the University of Geneva and also at the  European Institute at that same university. Her areas of interest  include international trade, economic integration, institutional  competition and political economy. Previously she was president of the  Mont Pelerin Society . And she once, just over ten years ago, even  dipped her toe into the world of politics by being elected deputy to the  Canton of Geneva's Parliament.
13:19
June 2, 2020
Dr. Jean-Marc Rickli, Geneva Centre for Security Policy. By Zoom, 27th May 2020.
Michael's guest is a brilliant and very thoughtful  member of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy faculty who has made a  study of global risk and resilience. In fact, that is his title. He has  been on the McKay interview before – two years ago - to explain what he  does. But this visit is different. Dr Jean-Marc Rickli is a Swiss and I am delighted that he is able to join me again, though this time on Zoom.
16:40
May 27, 2020
Dr. David Heymann, Professor of Epidemiology, London School of Tropical Medicine
On this week's McKay Interview, Michael  speaks to Dr David Heymann, one of the most prominent, contemporary,  epidemiologists in the world. He also knows Geneva well, having spent 22 years at the World Health  Organization on secondment from the Centers for Disease Control &  Prevention, in Washington, D.C. He now works in London.
14:33
May 21, 2020
Pierre Ruetschi, President of the Geneva Press Club and formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune de Genève. By Zoom, 14th May 2020.
Michael McKay's guest this week is Pierre Ruetschi who  has many years of experience in the field of journalism, especially in  “international” Geneva, where he was for many years the Editor-in-Chief  of Geneva’s own newspaper, the Tribune de Genève. Nowadays, he is the  Director of the Geneva Press Club; and still writes for various journals  and appears regularly on radio and television.
19:44
May 14, 2020
Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization. By Zoom, 6th May 2020.
Many European countries are now lifting lockdowns. The economic impact of the pandemic has been huge - and is still going on. The  Director-General of the Geneva based International Labour Organisation,  Guy Ryder, spoke to Michael McKay about jobs, business and the ongoing  crises which will be with us for sometime to come.
14:04
May 6, 2020
Dr. Charles Jefford, Professor Emeritus of Organic Chemistry at the University of Geneva. By Zoom, 30th April 2020.
Michael's guest this week is a distinguished academic and scientist  with more than half a century’s experience of his discipline behind him.  Today is the 30th April 2020 and Dr. Charles Jefford, Professor  Emeritus of Organic Chemistry at the University of Geneva, is at the  other end of a Zoom microphone and screen because we are still in  COVID-19 lockdown mode and cannot meet face to face. Professor  Jefford is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford and Princeton as  well as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Strasbourg, Marseille,  Princeton, and in Japan, the Universities of Kyushu and Ryukyus.
14:43
April 30, 2020
Covid-19 special: Mario Possamai
This is the second in the mini-series,  recorded on the 22nd April, and devoted to a broader and fuller  understanding of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic which has beset us  all for the past few months. Michael McKay speaks to someone with hard and proven experience in  another country that had been affected quite seriously by the SARS  epidemic some 17 years ago. Mario Possamai, who, by profession, is a  forensic investigator, and author. And was Senior Adviser for 4 years  for Occupational Health & Safety and Pandemic Planning on the  Canada’s SARS Commission. That was the judicial inquiry into the  outbreak of SARS in 2003. It was styled as the first major epidemic of  the 21st century and, ominously, a dress rehearsal for the COVID-19  pandemic. Mario was the Commission’s chief investigator into death and  illness among health care workers, who comprised about half of all SARS  victims in Canada.
12:38
April 27, 2020
Covid 19 special - Bob Bishop
In this new COVID-19 series of McKay  Interviews, Michael will be asking different experts their views on the  pandemic and how it will develop - and ultimately defeated. This week,  Michael is speaking to Bob Bishop. He has been on the show before. He is  the Founder & President of the International Centre for Earth  Simulation Foundation, ICES, and a former Chairman & CEO of Silicon  Graphics, Inc., once a Fortune 500 company but now absorbed by Hewlett  Packard Enterprise. Bob holds degrees in Mathematical Physics from the  University of Adelaide and New York University, and is a Doctor of  Science from the University of Queensland. In 2006, he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal  for his role in building simulation facilities that helped NASA’s space  shuttle fleet return-to-flight after the 2003 Columbia disaster.
33:21
April 20, 2020
David Bennett, Global Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division
David Bennett, Global Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division. 9th September 2019
31:51
September 9, 2019
dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley CH, British information technology pioneer, businesswoman and philanthropist
Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley CH, British information technology pioneer, businesswoman and philanthropist. 30th July 2018.
27:47
July 30, 2018
Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland; former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Founder of The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice
Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland; former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Founder of The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. 27th October 2017.
24:30
October 27, 2017
Sir Peter Marshall KCMG CVO, Veteran British Diplomat and formerly UK Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Sir Peter Marshall KCMG CVO, Veteran British Diplomat and formerly UK Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva. 2nd August 2017.
26:45
August 2, 2017
Kate Adie OBE DL, BBC Chief News Correspondent
Kate Adie OBE DL, BBC Chief News Correspondent, 1989 – 2003. 1st February 2016
23:36
February 1, 2016
Konji Sebati, the Republic of South Africa’s former Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein, the Holy See, France, UNESCO and the OECD
Konji Sebati, the Republic of South Africa’s former Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein, the Holy See, France, UNESCO and the OECD. This interview is the first in a mini-series of six based loosely on Winston Churchill’s “A History of the English-speaking Peoples”.
19:36
January 13, 2015
Ivan Pictet - on the modern significance of the 200th anniversary of La Restauration genevoise 1814 – 2014 and Geneva joining the Swiss Confederation
Ivan Pictet - on the modern significance of the 200th anniversary of La Restauration genevoise 1814 – 2014 and Geneva joining the Swiss Confederation
19:06
March 26, 2014
Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, Vice-Chairwoman of Edmond de Rothschild Group
Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, Vice-Chairwoman of Edmond de Rothschild Group. 19th February 2014.
16:09
February 19, 2014
Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Formula 1 Racing Legend
Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Formula 1 Racing Legend. 7th February 2014
11:50
February 7, 2014
David Willey OBE, the BBC’s Rome Correspondent since 1972.
David Willey OBE,  the BBC’s Rome Correspondent since 1972. 20 June 2013.
10:01
June 20, 2013