When diplomacy befriends technology

On this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev,” Alec Ross, former senior adviser for innovation at the State Department, talks about the role of modern technology in achieving diplomatic objectives, empowering citizens around the world, and reconciling Internet freedom with U.S. government surveillance.

Ross recounts both success stories during his tenure at Foggy Bottom, such as using mobile technology to ensure a “clean” independence referendum in South Sudan in 2011, and efforts that failed, including a program to pay electronically the salaries of soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Before joining Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team in 2009, Ross worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. In 2000, he co-founded One Economy, a nonprofit that uses technology to improve the lives of underserved people in developing countries.

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