Author

About the Author
John is a graduate student in International Affairs at The George Washington University and serves as the Director of Public Relations for Matters of State. Originally from Central Texas, John earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He lived in South Korea for nearly three years, teaching English on Jeju Island before studying Korean in Seoul. John’s academic and professional interests are international security and East Asian affairs.

Sports Diplomacy

Sporting events such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup never fail to capture the world’s attention, no matter what other international events are going on. Governments have noticed sports as a global attention-getter and for decades have been using sports as a means to achieve higher global standing or other foreign policy objectives. In this episode, we discuss soft power in the form of “sports diplomacy.”

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Featured photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

Human-Wildlife Conflict

In this episode, we speak with Mark Hofberg from the International Fund for Animal Welfare to talk about human-wildlife conflict. We discuss the inherent challenges that both humans and wildlife face while trying to simply exist in an increasingly hungry and crowded world.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Photo Credit: Doug Smith

Compromised Infrastructure

In this episode, we explore the history of compromised infrastructure, which countries are engaged in this kind of behavior, and what sort of advantages they seek to gain.

Piracy

Over the past ten years, the world has seen a strong resurgence of piracy, particularly around the Horn of Africa. While international coalitions have largely succeeded in reducing the presence of piracy in that region, the activity has most recently emerged in other locations like Latin America and pockets of Asia. In this episode, we discuss the phenomenon of contemporary piracy and look into ways to alleviate the problem.

Estonia’s E-Residency

As we become more and more dependent on the internet, basic notions such a person’s country of residence are shifting. Estonia is the first country in the world to introduce an eResidency program, which allows people living anywhere in the world the ability to enjoy the same opportunities and services as people who physically live in Estonia.

In this episode, we are joined by Ott Vatter, Managing Director of the Estonia’s eResidency, to talk more about this program.

You can learn more about eResidency at the following links:

A Conversation with EU Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis

Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis represents the interests of the European Union in Washington, DC. Ambassador Lambrinidis has held previous positions as the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the Greek Foreign Minister, and Vice-President of the European Parliament. In our discussion, Ambassador Lambrinidis provides insights into the EU’s relationship with the US, the positive contributions of the EU to European prosperity, and some of the challenges of “dual citizenship” within EU member states.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Made in Sweden: A Conversation with Elisabeth Asbrink

In this episode, we speak with author, Elisabeth Asbrink, who discussed her new book, Made in Sweden. Born and raised in Sweden to English and Hungarian parents, Elisabeth is an internationally renowned journalist, author, and playwright whose work has been translated into 19 languages. In her latest book, Elisabeth examines some of the unknown or forgotten aspects of Swedish culture and history that contribute to the foundation upon which Swedish society and identity are built.

You can find more information about her book here.

Photo Credit: Tove Falk-Olsson

Foreign Remittances

Each year, tens of millions of people migrate all over the world in search of safety, economic prosperity, or a better quality of life. Although split by national boundaries, many families still rely upon migrants for support, resulting in a global flow of money and remittances. In this episode, we will discuss foreign remittances and their impact on the source and recipient countries.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Hawala Houses

Millions of people around the world do not have access to formal banking or means of transferring money across borders. A popular substitute is the “Hawala House,” an efficient and informal alternative money exchange system. In this episode, we explore this ancient form of banking that operates “off the books.” But while Hawala Houses boast a deeply trusted and reliable network of brokers, they also provide a secure way of financing illicit activities such as terrorism.

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Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Photo Credit: Images of Money Flickr Account

Cyber Trafficking

In this episode, we speak with former George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs graduate students, Mehmil Zia and Rubi Corral Hinojos, about their capstone project focusing on cyber trafficking in Mexico. In particular, they dissect how human traffickers leverage the internet to facilitate human trafficking in Mexico and across the border to the United States. They make recommendations to the governments of the United States and Mexico, as well as tech companies, to help combat this endemic crime.