On this week’s episode of “What’s Next?” Maggie Feldman-Piltch interviews Xander Vagg, ASP Adjunct Fellow and State Department Public Affairs Officer, to discuss the power of public diplomacy. Xander’s current work with the State Department centers around the U.S. Diplomacy Center, a museum scheduled to open in 2018 focused on educating the public on the role of diplomats and the far reaching effect of their efforts.
Maggie and Xander’s conversation highlights the interconnected nature of diplomacy and national security. Diplomatic efforts are a reflection of soft power, and often result in treaties, agreements, and improved international relations. These outcomes are often accompanied by heightened cooperation in other fronts, such as military cooperation, that are more commonly associated with national security.
Bringing in contemporary issues such as TPP, the Iran Deal, and the refugee crisis, Maggie and Xander weave through the impact diplomats have, or can have, on lasting change. While this work is not often recognized publicly, it is critical. When diplomacy fails, national security threats are harder for countries to navigate.
Xander Vagg is a Presidential Management Fellow and Foreign Affairs Officer with the U.S. Department of State. He previously worked as a national security and defense consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.
Xander’s work has been published or cited in The Boston Globe, The Diplomat, Inter Press News Services, The Jakarta Post, The Hill, and AOL Energy. He has also contributed to academic works published through Georgetown University on the US Foreign Service and post-conflict resolution.
About “What’s Next?”
“What’s Next?” is American Security Project’s weekly, non-partisan podcast series featuring interviews with national security leaders and critical issue experts. Each episode runs about 20 minutes- making it the perfect addition to your DC commute.
Hosted by Maggie Feldman-Piltch and produced by Matthew Wallin, the conversations go beyond the dinner party commentary and offer guests the opportunity to discuss their vision for security in the 21st century, the strategy that vision requires, and what it means for America going forward- in less time than it takes you to get to work. With topics ranging from geo-economics to nuclear security, cultural diplomacy to energy security and asymmetric operations, “What’s Next?” is one of the many ways ASP works to raise the American public’s understanding of complex security issues we face.