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October 5, 2021

International Organizations
The Role of the UN Secretary-General

The United Nations’ top leadership position has broad authority to steer the organization’s agenda, but its impact has varied widely since 1946.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sits for a photograph at the UN headquarters in Manhattan.

September 28, 2021

United Nations
The Role of the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched debate of world leaders each year but has struggled to make its work more substantive. After an unprecedented all-virtual assembly in 2020, this year’s me…

A wide shot of the UN General Assembly Chamber as President Biden speaks.

June 10, 2021

Space
U.S. Leadership in Space: A Conversation With General John Raymond

General John Raymond discusses the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, current and potential national security threats in outer space, and areas of cooperation between the United States and both f…

Play General John Raymond sitting at a table during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

September 23, 2019

United States
A Conversation With Kevin McAleenan

Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan discusses the role of the Department of Homeland Security and the challenge of immigration in the United States. TOWNSEND: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to tod…

Play McAleenan

October 19, 2021

Elections and Voting
Democracy and Reporting on Elections

Robert Griffin, research director for the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, discusses voter demographics at the municipal, state, and federal level and what this tells us about civic engagement and i…

Play A voters drops off mail in ballots at the Registerer of Voters during the California gubernatorial recall election in San Diego, California

July 15, 2020

South Korea
Remembering General Paik Sun-yup

Without Paik’s herculean effort, South Korea as we know it today—a vibrant, capitalist, and liberal democracy—wouldn’t exist.

General Paik Sun-yup, 1950

October 9, 2018

Economics
U.S. Economic Policy With Kevin Hassett

Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett discusses economic growth, international trade talks, and the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on the U.S. economy.

Play Hassett

October 13, 2020

International Organizations
Nigerian (and American) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finalist for WTO Director General

The two finalists for the position of director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are Yoo Myung-hee, Republic of Korea, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian and (since 2019) an American citizen.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian woman running for WTO director general, raises her left arm while speaking. She is wearing a traditional headdress.

November 5, 2020

Election 2020
U.S. Ballot Counting Continues, WTO Selects Director General, and More

The world awaits the results of the close U.S. presidential election, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled to select a new director general, and Myanmar holds fraught elections.

Podcast County employee opens mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections.