Cover image of Building the Future: Freedom, Prosperity, and Foreign Policy with Dan Runde

Building the Future: Freedom, Prosperity, and Foreign Policy with Dan Runde

Hosted by Dan Runde, William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, Building the Future explores topics at the intersection of global development, foreign policy, and national security. In each episode, Dan sits down for a discussion with a leading expert from government, the private sector, and international organizations to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the world today.

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Catalyzing Not Colonizing: American Ingenuity in Foreign Policy

This week Dan hosts Rick Barton, former U.S. Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and author of the recently published book, Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World. Rick discusses his extensive career trajectory at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – where he founded the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) – the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations, and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) at the State Department. His experience at these organizations and his dedication to foreign policy inspired his latest book, in which he discusses the need to match American ingenuity with local ingenuity to be a catalyzing – and not a colonizing – force in international affairs.


17 Dec 2018

Rank #1

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The State of Democracy in America and Abroad

In this episode, Dan sits down with Lindsay Lloyd, Deputy Director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, to talk about the health of democracy worldwide. Mr. Lloyd was involved in the Democracy Project: a joint national survey by the Bush Institute, Freedom House, and the Penn Biden center that examines American attitudes toward the state of democracy at home and the importance of promoting democracy abroad. Dan and Lindsay discuss some of the survey’s findings and extend the conversation to questions of democracy in countries such as China, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Tune in to this episode of Building the Future: Freedom, Prosperity and Foreign Policy with Dan Runde to find out why Americans value democracy – although youth increasingly value it less – and why there is reason to be optimistic about the future of democracy all around the world.


20 Dec 2018

Rank #2

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The Intersection of Development and Stabilization in Africa

This week, Dan is joined by General Kip Ward to talk about civilian-military collaboration in Africa. General Ward was the inaugural commander of the U.S. Africa Command and has four decades of military experience, serving in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Palestine, and Germany. General Ward shares his thoughts on the forced migration crisis in Africa, the security challenges in the Horn of Africa, and the rising influence of China in Africa. General Ward also shares stories about collaborating with development agencies on the ground to help communities rebuild after stability is achieved. Please listen to the full podcast to hear more.


12 Mar 2019

Rank #3

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Infrastructure Development in "God's Own Country" Kerala

In this episode, Dan is joined by Rick Rossow, CSIS Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, as they host two senior bureaucrats from the Indian state of Kerala, Tom Jose and Sanjeev Kaushik. They all discuss how Kerala is becoming a force to be reckoned with and how infrastructure development can take them to the next level. Additionally, they explain why transportation, water, and solid waste management are of high priority for the state; and the role of various development partners in financing Kerala's infrastructure plans.


16 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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Fathering a New Idea of National Security

In this episode of Building the Future, Dan hosts Father Daniel Mode, a Catholic priest who serves the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Fr. Mode describes his life as a Navy chaplain, his love of flying, and his fellowship with the Religious Freedom Institute. Fr. Mode is also the author of a recent publication entitled “The Intersection of U.S. National Security Strategy and Religious Freedom.” Listen to the full podcast to hear more about Fr. Mode’s interesting career in military and religious life.


27 Jun 2019

Rank #5

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DDR Explained: Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in Afghanistan

In this episode, Dan sits down with Dean Piedmont, Senior Advisor for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) at Creative Associates, where Mr. Piedmont leads the charge in implementing DDR programs in various countries. Dan and Mr. Piedmont discuss the trends, challenges, and successes of past DDR programs, and how they can be redesigned for integration into Afghanistan. Their conversation touches on the critical role of stakeholders and builds a potential strategy for an Afghanistan program.


2 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Foreign Policy and Public Opinion: A Pollster’s Predictions for the 2020 Elections Part 2

In this episode, Dan sits down for a second time with Whit Ayres, author of 2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America, to discuss the issues facing the current U.S. political climate. Whit delivers his research on the uniqueness of national security and foreign policy issues in the context of politics, and how public opinion in these areas is more easily swayed. Dan and Whit also address the role of trade, China, and isolationism in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world by tracing a link between US humanitarian aid abroad, national security, and international image. Whit also speculates on what outcomes and issues are likely to be faced by political candidates in the 2020 elections.


8 Jul 2019

Rank #7

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How the U.S. Should Respond to China's Strength

In this episode, Dan is joined by Dr. Jonathan Ward, author of China’s Vision of Victory, to discuss China’s ambitions for the world and how the United States should respond. Jonathan explains that in order to continue leading a free world, the United States must focus on the source of China’s strength: its economic might. His recommendations include the United States more effectively trading with its allies, integrating its allies in Europe and in Japan, and ramping up funding for research and development.


13 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Incentivizing Reform: the MCC's Approach to Reducing Poverty

In this episode, Dan sits down with Sean Cairncross, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As CEO, Mr. Cairncross leads the agency and provides strategic direction and vision as MCC fulfills its mission of reducing poverty through economic growth and advancing America’s interests around the globe. Dan and Mr. Cairncross discuss the recent MCC-Cote D’Ivoire compact, the addition of regional compacts, the MCC model, and beyond. They also analyze how the MCC integrates accountability and sustainability mechanisms into their agenda and how its threshold programs lead to successful country compacts.


4 Sep 2019

Rank #9

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Disruption in the Aid Sector

In this episode, Dan interviews Raj Kumar, the founding president and editor-in-chief of Devex. Raj is also the author of a new book, "The Business of Changing the World". 10 percent of the world is still living in extreme poverty. At the same time, billionaires are beginning to give at the same level of governments. Dan and Raj discuss how the aid sector will be disrupted, in coming years, due to how involved billionaires are becoming in the aid process and the growth of social entrepreneurship. Listen to the full podcast to hear more about the book and recent changes in global development.


11 Jun 2019

Rank #10

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Defense and Development: Experiences from Capitol Hill

In this podcast, Dan has the chance to speak with Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of the Center of Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Bradley spent nearly nine years in the U.S. Senate including serving as National Security Advisor to Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH) and Senator Todd Young (IN). Bradley shares advice for recent graduates looking to get started on Capitol Hill and his experience working for members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Services Committees. Prior to his life on Capitol Hill, Bradley was an active duty officer in the U.S. Army for more than 15 years including serving as a Blackhawk pilot. Listen to the full podcast to hear about the important role that development and soft power has in U.S. national security strategies. This podcast was recorded on March 5, 2019.


30 May 2019

Rank #11

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Why Migrants Risk It All

In this episode, Dan is joined by Pablo Maldonado. Mr. Maldonado led a comprehensive study of unique factors that are driving migration from the Northern Triangle, including vicitmization, household income, and international relations. Much of the extensive data analysis is presented in Creative Associates International's report, "Saliendo Adelante: Why migrants risk it all," which Dan and Pablo will discuss. Pablo Maldonado is Chief Operating Officer of Creative Associates International, where he directs three program divisions including Education for Development, Communities in Transition, and Economic Growth. Mr. Maldonado also directs Creative's Business Development Division.


18 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Passionate Yet Neutral: A Conversation with the Swiss Ambassador to the U.S.

In this episode Dan sits down with the Swiss Ambassador to the US, Martin Dahinden. Ambassador Dahinden began his diplomatic service in 1987, has headed many European oriented institutions such as the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, and is currently exiting his position as Swiss Ambassador to the US. In this interview, our speakers overview the career of a successful diplomat, discuss Swiss neutrality and its purpose along with the role of Switzerland on the international stage, and teach us about the specificities and benefits of Swiss apprenticeships, and the importance of maintaining Swiss-US relationships.


12 Jul 2019

Rank #13

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The Past and Promise of Enterprise Funds

On the 25th anniversary of the Western Newly Independent States Enterprise Fund, Dan is joined by Jaroslawa Johnson (Western NIS Enterprise Fund president and CEO), and Dennis Johnson (Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund). Dan, Jaroslawa, and Dennis discuss the history and accomplishments of Western NIS Enterprise Funds, the evolution of the economies of Ukraine and Moldova, and the role of enterprise funds in Ukraine and Moldova’s development future. Jaroslawa describes how WNISEF investments shifted from a focus on agriculture to a wide variety of investments from ice cream and mortgage banks in Ukraine to breweries and banks in Moldovo.


29 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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A Conversation with Ambassador Siddiqui on the Future of Pakistan

In this episode, Dan is joined by Ali Siddiqui, Pakistan’s Ambassador for foreign investment, to discuss the future of Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan relations. They examine how Pakistan went from being a close U.S. ally and “one of the potential Asian tigers” in the 1950s, to being largely associated with the legacy of the war in Afghanistan. Ambassador Siddiqui discusses the efforts that Pakistan has been making in rebranding itself and explains that the story of Pakistan is one of culture, music, art, ancient civilizations, literature, business, and opportunities. He highlights that the strengthening of Pakistan’s relationship with China should serve as a wake-up call to the United States. If the U.S. takes a proactive approach, there is huge opportunity for the U.S. boost its ties with Pakistan.


12 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Monitoring and Evaluating Development Projects

In this podcast, Dan sits down with Larry Cooley, founder of MSI (now a part of Tetra Tech) and current President Emeritus and Senior Advisor. Before founding MSI, Larry worked at the World Bank, UN Development Programme, Practical Concepts, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Dan and Larry discuss the importance of including monitoring and evaluating in development programs. What can you learn from pilot programs? How much of projects should be spent on monitoring and evaluating? How can you scale up projects? Click here to listen to the full podcast.


16 Apr 2019

Rank #16

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Reaching the Next Billion Internet Users

In this episode, Erol Yayboke, deputy director and senior fellow of the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS, sits in for Dan Runde to talk with Jennifer Spies, product manager for Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) initiative. They discuss the NBU project and the role of internet access in bringing emerging economies into a new age of technology development. They also reflect upon how the usage of technology has changed and will continue to change through innovations like machine-learning which tailors products to serve local community needs. Jennifer also describes how to create free and open internet access through partnerships with local stakeholders, governments, and the private sector.


5 Feb 2020

Rank #17

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Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea

In this podcast, Dan is joined by former Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. Secretary Lehman served under President Ronald Reagan and took office at the age of just 38 years old. This podcast explores the influence of the U.S. Navy during the Cold War and Secretary Lehman’s new book Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea. One of Secretary Lehman’s greatest achievements was Ocean Venture ’81, a naval exercise that took place in 1981 that involved 120,000 service personnel, 250 ships and about 1,000 or more planes from 14 countries. Listen to the full podcast to hear the untold story of the U.S. naval efforts during the Cold War and the important role of deterrence to U.S. national security.


3 Jan 2019

Rank #18

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Entrepreneurship Education and Its Impact on Global Prosperity

This week, Dan is joined by Dr. Kerry Healey, President of Babson College. In this podcast, Dr. Healey discusses her path from 70th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts to first female president of Babson College. Babson is a small liberal arts school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts that is world-renowned for its entrepreneurship education. Dr. Healey’s initiatives like the Global Scholars program have helped globalize the student body at Babson; international students now comprise 28 percent of the student body, with 87 different countries represented in 2018 alone. Under Dr. Healey, Babson has spread its entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge abroad through 14 MOOCs (massive online open courses) that have reached 150,000 students in 226 countries and districts around the world.


5 Feb 2019

Rank #19

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Why do the SDGs Matter?

In this episode of Building the Future, Dan is joined by Ulrika Modéer, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy. Dan and Ulrika discuss the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role that governments around the world, international organizations, and the private sector will play in achieving the Goals. They also discuss global migration and how the international migration system will have to deal with refugees and migrants today and in the future.


26 Apr 2019

Rank #20