Americans are still reeling from the death by suffocation of their Ambassador to Libya in the city of Benghazi, dramatic proof that the life of a diplomat today doesn’t conform to tea party stereotypes. In this talk, Nick Kralev goes behind the scenes to tell us what life is like for those representing the U.S. in a turbulent, changing world. Having been granted privileged access to the inner sanctum of American diplomacy in Washington and to embassies and U.S. diplomats around the world over several years, he has written a book entitled America’s Other Army, the one that’s armed with words and (sometimes) money. In the course of his research Kralev visited more than 50 U.S. embassies and interviewed some 600 career diplomats—this on top of his previous, decade-long, round-the-world contacts with four Secretaries of State (Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright) as they visited over 80 countries.
Kralev will share his well-earned insights about high-level foreign policy decision-making and show how American diplomats in the field engage with the private sector, civil society and individual citizens as well as governments, thus affecting the daily lives of millions of people around the world. Finally, he will examine whether the Foreign Service is equipped to address the challenges of the 21st century and suggest what needs to be done to make sure it can.