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Scarcity Colors Everything

Why does the West find China so confounding in matters of business and diplomacy? Phil Shull, retired Foreign Agricultural Service officer, explains: China’s culture and history may be best understood by its written character for...

A Bag of Doritos: It’s Happening

What do 840 people, 96 hours, a hamster, a newborn, a bag of Doritos and a husband expecting to fly first class all add up to? The zombie apocalypse, or, the evacuation of Americans from Wuhan, China, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consular...

Biden Gets an Incomplete (So Far)

Dennis Jett, recidivist American Diplomat guest, regales and opines on hostage-taking in Peru, the Cuban missile crisis, the JFK assassination, and (drum roll, please) Joe Biden’s first 100 days in foreign policy. Quiz: State dinners or the...

The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories

In our third of three episodes on the assassination of JFK, we learn what the eminently reasonable Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former CIA operations officer, has learned by focusing purely on the facts.  But questions remain. Among them: Can we trust...

A JFK Assassination Tipster’s Demise

Charles Thomas had intel, valuable intel, on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And to thank him for his efforts to share this intel, he was “selected out” of the Foreign Service, or, fired. This led to his suicide not long after. We...

Diversity Across the Generations at State

Ambassador Jim Gadsen and mid-career officer Paloma Gonzalez share their stories of diversity and inclusion, one a Black man whose career was launched in part by the Civil Rights Movement, the other a Latina whose parents came to the US to be where...

Is 757 Years Enough?

It’s 5:30am, and Kala Bokelman of the Diplomatic Security Service is one of many staking out a professional photographer named Solano’s house on a skinny on a dead-end street in Costa Rica. Together with Costa Rican security, the DSS...

Smuggling Cubans

Party at Carla’s house!  Kala Bokelman, diplomatic security special agent, tells of a raid on a house straddling the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border.  The goal?  To stop coyotes smuggling people from Cuba to the US via Ecuador and...

Combatting Anti-Blackness as a Diplomat of Color

As a diplomat of color, how did the murder of George Floyd inspire Christian Loubeau, Security Council negotiator for the United States mission to the United Nations, to create change at USUN? And, how exactly do you conduct multilateral...

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American Diplomat Podcast