How do you create a playbook for performing basic administrative functions at U.S. embassies around the world? How do you establish common procedures when every host country has its own rules? Kerry O’Connor, the State Department’s innovation catalyst, answers these questions on this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”
O’Connor, who also runs the department’s internal Sounding Board focusing on the “how” of foreign policy, talks about the challenges of running an embassy, improving deeply rooted but inefficient policies, and changing a culture traditionally resistant to change. She discusses innovation jams and other ways to find more efficient processes.
Having joined the Foreign Service on September 10, 2001, O’Connor served in Ghana and Morocco before converting to the Civil Service. She provides a behind-the-scenes look at embassy life, including issues like diplomatic immunities and mental health.
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Fmr. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, Part 1
Figure-Skating Champion Michelle Kwan
Voice of America (VOA) Director David Ensor
Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer
Advances for Gay American Diplomats (Jan Krc)
Fmr. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, Part 2
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns
Foreign Service Director Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Global Sanctions Coordinator Daniel Fried
West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen
Harvard Professor Joseph Nye
- Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, world affairs and global travel. He hosts the weekly TV program "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev." A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state — Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He has flown over 2 million miles and visited more than 90 countries.
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Upcoming speaking engagements
APR 22, 2014 — BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
APR 24, 2014 — RIGA, LATVIA
APR 28, 2014 — PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
MAY 5, 2014 — CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
MAY 8, 2014 — SARAJEVO, BOSNIA
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