Remember the movie The Graduate? Fifty-two years on, here's where we are with plastics. It ain't pretty, but Bob Blake is on the job.
The life and (near) death of Indonesia's Palm Oil Pledge, a guy named Anderson and an air pollution monitor in Jakarta. Bob Blake works with private industry and government to foster lasting change in Indonesia.
Me, neither. Chris Teal, filmmaker, author and diplomat, shares the little-known tale of integrity and courage of the first African American diplomat, appointed 1869, preceding longtime friend Frederick Douglass by 20 years.
Michele Bond parses immigration and solves the whole conundrum. So what's the problem? (Hint: Pete thinks it's us.)
Courtesy, respect, denial (painful, but often true). Tourist visas to visit the US, with Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. Can you guess why Pete is admitted and Laura is not?
In case you don't (say, you were born after 1960), Lauri Fitz-Pegado remembers him for us: his vision, his vim, his leadership, his significance to our participation in the worldwide economy. With bonus continuing comment from Pete on Venzuela.
Pete explains "the Neapolitan solution" in this love letter to his first European posting. Plus, he connects this to gangland diplomacy today.
You might survive your coca eradication crop duster plane going down, but then the mosquitoes will get you, which is still better than ripping the crops out of the Colombian earth. But, says Virginia Bennett, many small people in many small places doing small things can change the world. Perhaps it does.
Virginia Bennett's security detail made sure no one hurled bricks at her, while the Greek populace contemplated boiling the family bunny for dinner. Bennett helps us understand what the U.S. did to help average Greek people during their economic disaster of 2011-2014.
It's hard for an American to make friends in Cuba, circa 1990. But Jeff DeLaurentis finds a way, and learns that Communists can be complicated. And what are all of those old cars doing in Havana, anyway?
The Chavez/Maduro kleptocracy in Venezuela masquerades as a people's revolution. Almost two decades later, millions flee en masse. Pete was there when it all began and explains why Venezuela is suddenly all over the news.
Anwar Awlaki destroys, Abrar starves. Yemen today, with Gerald Feierstein.
What do Teddy Roosevelt, China, and the band Afrodisiaco all have in common? Panama! Learn why concerns that Pete once thought were partisan paranoia might be a serious, unrecognized source of concern today.
Gerald Feierstein, counterterrorism expert for the State Department, helps us understand how violent extremist groups attract young men, and what different nations do to bring them back to the fold, according to local values and customs.
Did you know that over 11 million jobs in the U.S. come from exports? And that they pay U.S. citizens 15-20% more than non-export related jobs? Dan Crocker debunks our most intrenched myths about trade. Plus, why does Pete ask if he's a meatball? Learn this and more, workin' at the Car Wash! (If you weren't alive in the 70s, this song will fill your heart with longing for the decade you missed.)
Why do we care about diversity in the Foreign Service? When did you know this job was "the one"? How do you do your job with so much danger out there these days? Students visiting the State Department as Cox Fellows have some pretty good questions. Julie Chung, Stacy Williams and Luis Mendez, plus of course Pete, give their two cents. Even Laura chimes in, when truly moved.
The American dream is alive and well at the U.S. Department of State. Stacy Williams, Luis Mendez and Julie Chung share with visiting Cox Fellows inspiring stories of their journeys from where they began to leadership roles in the Foreign Service. And to keep the inspiration going, music from Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove!
Did you know that 95% of the world's consumers live outside the United States? As President, Global Public Affairs at UPS, former Economics Officer Laura Lane helps reduce corruption at borders, in turn helping small and midsize businesses prosper, while advancing global rights for women and reducing poverty throughout the world.
Economics Officer Laura Lane served in Rwanda during its period of genocide in the 1990s and learned when you should, and when you should not, follow the rules. Here is the audio track of her TED talk on the subject, bookended with comments from Pete.
James Baker, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush, remembers President Bush and puts today's foreign policy events in perspective as he receives the Walter and Lenore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy. "A golden age for humanity," he calls our times, and recalls a day when "we all sang from the same hymnal, which meant that our allies and our adversaries clearly understood U.S. policy and could not twist differences to their advantage."
Ambassador Joe Sullivan has known a lot of dictators. Who are they? What are they like? How do they do it? "All I want to do is make this a prosperous, democratic country," is a good thing to say to Americans, these charming men have found.
Turkey, Russia, Venezuela: In what ways is the rise of strongmen in those countries similar and different from what we're seeing in the United States? What role do press freedom and demonizing adversaries play in the rise of a dictator?
November 18 is the anniversary of the Jonestown massacre (40th, can you believe it?). Chuck English walks us through his experience as the first American diplomat to witness the aftermath. With bonus discussion about Congressman Leo Ryan, an "experiential congressman", whose arrival on the scene immediately preceded the tragedy.
Populism and religiosity: Erdogan begins as a reformer, then builds a corrupt government that leads Turkey into economic peril and total political control through a narrative that stokes fear of victimization at the hand of external enemies. Bob Pearson shows us how Turkey got where it is today in the second part of our discussion with him as part of our series, "Is It Happening Here?"
Corruption, hostage-taking, and a populace divided over Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood-style government. Ambassador Bob Pearson helps us understand Turkey's era of us-vs.-them politics in the newest episode of our series Is It Happening Here?