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American Diplomat

Author: 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.
104 Episodes
The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 meant to oust authoritarian President Mubarak, at which time the armed forces took over until Mohamed Morsi was elected by popular vote in 2012. Why did Morsi last only one year before being removed in a coup-d'etat led by General El-Sisi? Has anything really changed for Egyptians? Ambassador Anne Patterson shares her experience.
No one likes the Inspector General, but they're here to protect the taxpayers' money through inspections, audits, criminal investigations and advisement. They are impartial (read: strictly not partisan). The ethos is independence.  Ambassador Anne Patterson shares her expertise.
Jimmy Kolker, who ran the largest AIDS program in the world, discovered the power of diplomatic skills in saving lives during numerous worldwide health crises. So what happened in Wuhan? Have we "self-disarmed"?
"Get Me Out of Here!"

"Get Me Out of Here!"


From "Pearl of the Pacific" to epicenter of COVID 19 in Latin America. Consular Officers Gabriel Kaypaghian and Ian Hayward share their tale of evacuating Americans fast during the sudden outbreak in Ecuador. But is this a tale of misery and woe? Far from it, friends. Kindness knows no borders.  
A social worker by profession, Bonnie Miller traveled the world with her spouse Ambassador Tom Miller and created the first-ever course in Psychosocial Consequences of War in response to trauma she witnessed in Sarajevo. But the life changing moment came when she met victims of sexual trafficking.  And that's when Bonnie Miller really got started.  
A repost of Pete's chat with Laura Lane, one of our most inspiring guests ever. Ambassador Laura Lane served in Rwanda during its period of genocide in the 1990s and learned when you need the courage not to follow orders. Here is the audio track of her TED talk on the subject, bookended with comments from Pete.
Ian Brownlee, head of the State Department's Repatriation Task Force, tells us how it's been to preside over an unprecedented effort to bring back well over 60,000 American citizens in very short order.  How do you do get these people home?  Go, Ian!
Jeffrey Franca, the drummer for DC's own world music icon Thievery Corporation - the band that generously allows us to use its music to open our show each week - brings us on the journey he took to become a musician. He shares with us the value of unity, love and positivity in his work, which is influenced by musical styles found worldwide. Our chat also highlights his work outside of Thievery, in the band Congo Sanchez and in his indpendent project Ethno.  We love this music and we hope you will, too!
Lainie McKeating and her spouse launch a husband-wife career change and land in Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia.  How does she get a substantial job of her own at their very first post?  She puts the pedal to the metal and lands the huge job of Community Liaison Officer, just in time for a terrifying scandal to unfold involving the embassy's schoolchildren.  Lainie and Ambassador Bob Blake rise to the occasion.
AmDip Carries On

AmDip Carries On


We're all stuck at home, as we should be.  But we still love you!  This little mini-dealio tells you how we will continue to share our diplomats' so very human stories despite these strange times.  Be well and be safe, and we wish your families the same.  
One of our best episodes ever (in Laura's humble opinion) about just another day in the Amazing Vicki Huddleston's life in Mali.  This repost offers good company and a virtual adventure for these days at home.  Enjoy!  
Who would we rather hang out with than Vicki Huddleston?  No One.  And right now, No One is exactly the alternative we're all faced with.  So, here's a repost of one of our favorite episodes with one of our most delightful guests, Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, who shares with us tales of the amazing yet little-discussed Mali.  And do not fear!  We are still working to get you new content.  Cheers!
Something inspiring for our days at home...Remember the capture of Osama Bin Laden?  The Syria Red Line situation? What Laura remembers best from this previously aired episode with Bill Burns is the call to service.  All of us can make this a better world, by staying at home when we must, through international service when we can, or via an infinite number of other ways.
The life of Ralph Bunche, recently celebrated by the State Department as a Hero of US Diplomacy, as relayed by his grandson, Ralph Bunche III and UCLA professor Kal Raustiala. Bunche, academic, pathbreaker, civil rights activist, and early planner of the United Nations, handled crises occurring in the newly independent African nations and brokered the first armistice in the Middle East.  He was the first African American to be awarded the Nobel Prize.  
Tales from the Vault

Tales from the Vault


Ambassador Romero, how would you describe your head? Your chin? And whose gaudy suit is that, covered in paint? (Not Pete's.) Passports from 100 years ago, a suit from a protestor's assault, and Chinese language flashcards from the 1930s, plus sooooo much more. Director Mary Kane and Public Historian Alison Mann talk share tales of these artifacts as well as the incredible diplomacy simulation learning program all offered at the National Museum of American Diplomacy.  
We Are In!

We Are In!


Climate advocate Ambassador Bob Blake is back:  Climate change, international business, government and our individual selves.  No one can do everything but everyone can do something.
Democracy Wins!

Democracy Wins!


In four days in April, Bob Service helps save Paraguay from dictatorship (this is the 1990s).  Laura's favorite part:  The psychology of diplomacy, of helping those caring human beings who may find themselves among the world's heads of state, faced with military overthrow.  
Most of us are not born with leadership skills, explains Marc Grossman, one of the highest-ranking career Foreign Service Officers ever. We learn to become leaders. We fail a lot, we pick ourselves up and knock on more doors, and we learn.  (Laura loves this episode and is now ready to take over the world.)
All Peace is Local

All Peace is Local


In helping stabilize failing states, what do you do about disaffected, potentially dangerous citizens?  How do you help citizens own their country’s peace?  Keith Mines, now with the U.S. Institute of Peace, is back with more on nation building.  Laura's favorite takeaway:  A good leader is empathetic.  
Eric Rubin, President of the Foreign Service Officers' "union", compares the treatment of Foreign Service Officers during the McCarthy era and support that is available today, during "the biggest political battle of a generation."
Comments (2)

Nathan Viking Henkenius

Great Episode, love the outro music!

Oct 17th
Reply (1)
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