Podcast Hosts

For those that know him, Pete Romero delights in listening and telling stories, firmly believing that honing these skills can not only be professionally rewarding but also life-enriching. He was honored to have had a twenty-five-year career as a diplomat in the US Foreign Service. In his last three postings, he was head of our embassy in El Salvador, US Ambassador in Quito, Ecuador and Assistant Secretary of the Western Hemisphere Bureau at the US Department of State. His achievements in some of the world’s inhospitable “hot spots” earned him multiple awards for superlative leadership. While in the diplomatic service he initiated the highly successful Plan Colombia, assisted in ending the border war between Peru and Ecuador and was a key player in the implementation of the peace accords between the government and the guerrilla front in El Salvador. Mr. Romero advises private sector clients on problem-solving and winning strategies overseas. He lectures at several of the US military’s post-graduate institutions and at the graduate school of foreign service at Georgetown University. He is sought after for his experience and expertise in counter-insurgency strategies and holistic approaches to national security threats. He is a die-hard Seminole, having graduated with a BS and an MA from Florida State University.

Laura Frances Bennett holds an MFA in film and television production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was awarded a merit-based Tisch School of the Arts scholarship. She has written, directed, produced and edited short films that have won 11 awards and screened at 35 festivals throughout the United States, including the New Directors/New Films series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Laura has written feature scripts including a sophisticated international political thriller, a young-adult dog show crime comedy and a supernatural thriller about an amnesiac ghost on a disappearing island. Laura speaks Spanish, French and English and has traveled on five continents, often solo and working as a volunteer. In addition to filmmaking, Laura has an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business and works as a professor and as a strategy consultant on non-profit and government projects aimed at promoting the public good.

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American Diplomat Podcast