In his first year in office, President Donald Trump has broken with decades of US foreign policy orthodoxies and injected tremendous uncertainty into a world already in flux. What is behind the Administration’s ‘America First’ doctrine, and what does it signal for the future of US global leadership and international cooperation? Stewart Patrick, the James H. Binger senior fellow in global governance and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations, will discuss the importance of sovereignty in US politics and how the United States can retain its constitutional independence while cooperating with others to dampen the risks of globalization. Patrick's latest book "The Sovereignty Wars: Reconciling America with the World," offers a clear-eyed framing of the sovereignty debate in terms of what is actually at stake, when it's appropriate to make bargains and how to go about doing so.

Stewart Patrick
Council on Foreign Relations

Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

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Direct download: 01_24_18_Stewart_Patrick.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:07am PDT

From North Korea to Jerusalem, President Trump is facing unprecedented foreign policy changes -- some arguably of his own making, some not. Trump's diplomacy is under the microscope as tensions rise in the Middle East and Asia, so where do we go from here? In this special program, World Affairs' CEO Jane Wales talks with Janine Zacharia, former Jerusalem Bureau Chief of The Washington Post, and also David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times. Can Trump pivot away from searing rhetoric and instead work toward strengthening diplomacy abroad?

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Direct download: 01_22_18_David_Sanger-Janine_Zacharia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:11am PDT

China’s rapid growth and transition towards a more market-oriented economic system have encouraged spectators to predict massive changes to the Chinese political and social system. However, while growth is slowing, the economy remains sound and the Chinese Communist Party emerged from the 19th Party Congress with its strongest leader in years. What makes experts forecast again and again that China is on the verge of collapse? Yukon Huang, former Country Director for China at the World Bank, cuts through the myths and joins us to discuss his new book, "Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom is Wrong." His in-depth analysis explores the varied dynamics at play in China’s economic growth today and sheds light on why so many China watchers have gotten it wrong.


Yukon Huang
Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


N. Bruce Pickering
Vice President of Global Programs, Asia Society and Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California, Asia Society


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Direct download: 11_30_17_Yukon_Huang.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:32am PDT

Food security is one of Africa's most pressing issues. Globally, 800 million people are undernourished, with 281 million coming from sub-Saharan Africa. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is working to mitigate poverty and hunger by supporting local farmers. Two pioneers of this initiative, Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, and Jeff Raikes, former Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discuss how AGRA is tailoring solutions for African partners. They're in conversation with World Affairs CEO Jane Wales.

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Direct download: 01_08_18_Masiyiwa_Raikes_Wales.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:16am PDT

Essential to a free and functioning democracy is an independent press, a crucial civil society actor that holds government to account and provides citizens access to the impartial information they need to make informed judgments, reason together, exercise their rights and responsibilities, and engage in collective action. In times of crisis, the media fulfills the vital role of alerting the public to danger and connecting citizens to rescue efforts, as Ushahidi has done in Kenya. Or, it can alert the international community to human rights abuses as does Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. But, the very capabilities that allow the media to alert and inform, also allow it to sow division – as it did in Rwanda leading up to and during the genocide-- by spreading untruths, and, through “dog whistles,” targeting ethnic groups and inciting violence against them. This panel will focus on two topics: the role of media as a vehicle for advancing or undermining social cohesion, and the use of media to innovate, organize and deepen understanding, enabling positive collective action.

* Abdalaziz Alhamza, Co-Founder, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently

* Uzodinma Iweala, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Ventures Africa; Author, Beasts of No Nation; Producer, Waiting for Hassana (moderator)

* Ben Rattray, Founder and CEO,

* Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, Google

Direct download: 04_18_17_Trust_Identity_Politics-GPF17.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:59pm PDT

This week’s episode offers an in-depth perspective of foreign policy under Trump, with a focus on US - North Korea relations. What is the strategic calculus for both countries and how can some degree of calm be restored?

In the first half of the show, you’ll hear from Ambassador Wendy Sherman. Ambassador Wendy Sherman served as the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In this position, she led the team from the United States and five other countries in negotiating the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Advisor to the President and Secretary of State and North Korea Policy Coordinator.

From Jerusalem to North Korea, President Trump has demonstrated again and again a willingness to break with established diplomatic strategy and forge a new path. In our conversation, Sherman discusses the current state of foreign policy under the Trump administration, with a focus on the current diplomatic calculus with North Korea.

The second half features Orville Schell and Philip W. Yun. They discuss whether the US and North Korea can pivot from searing rhetoric, and instead work toward strengthening diplomacy. This interview was previously aired in August.


Wendy Sherman, Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

Philip W. Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ploughshares Fund


Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

Direct download: 12_11_17_Sherman_Schell_Yun.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:37pm PDT

His Excellency Anatoly Antonov was recently appointed by President Putin to serve as the Russian Ambassador to the United States. A career diplomat, he has served for more than thirty years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2004, he was the Director of the Department for Security and Disarmament. Ambassador Antonov was formerly the Deputy Minister of Defense and, before his recent appointment, held the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Please join us for this special event to hear Ambassador Anatoly Antonov discuss the importance of diplomacy and Russia’s role in the world.


Anatoly Antonov
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, Russian Federation


David Holloway
Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, Professor of Political Science, Senior Fellow Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

For more information about this event please visit:

Direct download: 11_29_17_Ambassador_Anatoly_Antonov.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:37pm PDT

President Trump will meet with President Duterte during his first visit to the Philippines next month. What can be expected for the future of US-Philippine relations? Although the two countries have historically been strong allies, the elections of Trump and Duterte, as well as policy shifts in both nations, have raised questions about the stability of the relationship. The Philippines has benefited from significant US military aid for several decades. Recently both training and intelligence sharing were especially helpful as Philippine armed forces fought to regain control of Marawi following terrorist attacks by ISIS affiliates. While military aid is considered a symbol of the continued alliance between the two countries, Duterte’s renewed economic and political relations with China are causing tension. Is the Philippines looking to pivot toward China for a stronger alliance and veer away from the US, therefore shifting the strategic balance in the region? As for Filipinos as home, how are they impacted by the rise of a populist leader, one who is focused on fighting corruption and targeting drug offenders? What do these tactics reveal about Duterte as a leader? What issues can Trump and Duterte come together on and where might they disagree?

Richard Heydarian, a Filipino academic and columnist, will join us for a discussion on the Philippines under Duterte and his latest book "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy."


Richard Heydarian
Resident Political Analyst, GMA Network


Maria Ortuoste
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, California State University East Bay

For more information about this event please visit:

Direct download: 11_01_17_Richard_Heydarian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:40pm PDT

Less than a year into the new Trump administration, the US appears to be shifting away from key, longstanding foreign policies as well as from established allies. The president’s recent speeches to NATO members and at the G20 signal a departure from previous administrations on myriad issues, including human rights, climate change, and resolving civil conflicts. These global challenges often require leadership and collective action by major actors in the international community, yet the US is uncertain whether these issues are worth the investment. There is deep concern among many nations and former US officials who are perplexed by this strategic direction.

Is the US forging a new path, going it alone and leaving behind ongoing conflicts and unresolved humanitarian crises? Will the US maintain its alliances and continue to engage with the international community?

On the anniversary of Donald Trump's election, Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the United Nations and current professor of practice at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law, will join World Affairs CEO Jane Wales for a discussion on the state of US Foreign Policy, and challenge the assumptions behind the Trump administration’s strategic direction. How can we make America good again, and where might we go from here?

This event is made possible through a generous grant from the Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation in the name of Richard and Judith Guggenhime, and brings world-renowned experts to the Bay Area.


Samantha Power
Former United States Ambassador, United States Mission to the United Nations


Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

Direct download: 11_08_17_Samantha_Power_Foreign_Policy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:31am PDT

This week’s episode will feature two unique perspectives from the frontlines of international war.

In the first half of the show, you’ll hear from Retired US Admiral James Stavridis. Admiral Stavridis was the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO from 2009 to 2013, and he led NATO’s Operation Unified Protector during the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

In this talk, Stavridis discusses the US' role in a complex, quickly shifting international landscape.

And now to the second half of our program, featuring combat journalist Sebastian Junger.

In his newest project, “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”, Junger documents the civil war by telling the stories of Syrians living through the chaos and rise of extremism, and who later attempt to escape the violence. Jung discusses his motivation for the project, and he reveals the inside story of the film.

Direct download: 10_30_17_Stavridis_Junger.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:16pm PDT