CIPE’s Iran expert Babak Yektafar discusses the current economic situation in Iran and how the regime controls information and policies to stay in power. Yektafar talks about how the economy has been damaged through mismanagement, Iran’s entrepreneurial youth culture and their hopes for the future, and what the government needs to do to make it easier for Iranians to start and grow businesses. He also discusses the government’s control over the flow of information within the country and explains how an “Expediency Council” works to ensure the regime stays in power.
Former FCPA violator and current anti-bribery consultant Richard Bistrong was convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cooperated with the FBI, and served time in prison. Today he works with companies to help them deal with anti-bribery and compliance issues around the world. He discusses what led to his conviction, what he learned about corruption risks and the incentive structures that make bribery more likely. He also shares the advice he would give his younger self before he embarked on that first international sales trip that started it all.
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Nyaradzo Mashayamombe discusses her work as a women’s and girls’ rights advocate in in Zimbabwe and how the way women are viewed in society is changing in that country. Mashayamombe talks about the hardships she experienced as a child in rural Zimbabwe and how this created her drive to help other girls and women. She also discusses the empowering impact of social media and the current economic situation for women in Zimbabwe.
Former Executive Director of CIPE John D. Sullivan discusses how the private sector and a free market economy are essential for a thriving democracy and the role CIPE plays working with private sector partners to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. Sullivan recalls what led to the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy and its core institutes, including CIPE, and how it was decided that the private sector needed to be represented in the “democracy program” that began under former President Ronald Reagan. Sullivan also discusses the important relationship CIPE developed with the Russian Chamber of Commerce, and the impact of the work of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto on CIPE’s programs.
Executive Director of eBay’s Public Policy Lab, Brian Bieron, discusses how global e-commerce platforms are helping small and medium-sized enterprises around the world to export at an unprecedented rate, and how this is opening the global economy like never before. Bieron also talks about how online commerce is changing the dynamic of who can export where, the logistics challenges that companies face, and the policy reforms that can help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises harness the potential of e-commerce to reach new markets.
Atlas Corps fellow and social media manager at Venezuelan think tank CEDICE, Gigi Raffo, talks about the everyday hardships experienced by citizens in her country, the challenges facing the private sector, and how she and others are trying to make changes and build hope for the future. Raffo also talks about adjusting to the freedoms and choices offered in the U.S. and what she is learning here that will inform her work when she goes home.
Alexis Bonnell from USAID’s Global Development Lab talks about how innovation is changing the way development work is done around the world, harnessing 21st century technology to create more development impact, and how some of the most effective innovation tools can be both simple and inexpensive. Bonnell also talks about what it takes to have a successful career in international development today.
Business development consultant Toki Mabogunje talks about the current business climate in Nigeria, how the new government is tackling economic, security and corruption challenges – and the private sector response – and how Nigerian entrepreneurs find ways to thrive in even the most difficult circumstances. Mabogunje also talks about how her American school education still shapes the way she approaches issues today.
CIPE’s program coordinator in Indonesia talks about the burgeoning Indonesian economy, foreign investment opportunities, and how Indonesian companies are coming to terms with what anti-corruption compliance means for them. Ardie also discusses the challenges of meeting cultural norms while being compliant with international business practices, and the inherent “sloppiness” of implementing decentralization and democracy in one of most populous countries in the world.
President, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International Elizabeth A. Vazquez discusses the biggest challenges that women around the world face when trying to start and grow a business, and the one thing that they all want the most. Vazquez also talks about how watching her mother host Mexico’s “first yard sale” while she was growing up taught her the value of entrepreneurship for changing women’s lives, and the fundamental mental shift that many businesswomen need to make to reach their potential.
CIPE’s Regional Director for Asia John Morrell discusses when he witnessed for the first time how lack of governance and corruption undermines democracy and how that experience shapes his work today. Morrell talks about business-led solutions to corruption challenges and a CIPE project underway in Thailand that is changing the business culture in that country.
Founder and Director of GameChangers 360, Brenda Oppermann, discusses the importance of involving women and youth in projects that assist countries transitioning from conflict to peace, and the best practices she has learned from more than 20 years working in countries dealing with conflict, including Iraq and Afghanistan
Executive Director of Accountability Lab, Blair Glencorse, discusses why accountability is important and how his organization is building a generational movement for integrity.
CIPE’s Regional Director for Middle East and Africa Abdulwahab Alkebsi discusses how his childhood in Yemen informs his democracy work today, the correlation between the institutions that build the Islamic faith and those that build democracy, and the important role the private sector can play in public life.
Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau, Jessica Long, discusses how international cooperation and partnerships underpin best practice in counterterrorism policy.
Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center Sameer Lalwani discusses how counterinsurgency and state-building efforts interact with issues of governance and economic development in South Asia.
Founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Selima Ahmad discusses how she built an organization that helps thousands of women entrepreneurs and what it takes to takes to be a successful businesswomen in Bangladesh.
Former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Charles Duross talks about how he moved from prosecuting “guns, drugs, and thugs” cases to leading the DOJ team that enforces the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and what the FCPA means for companies today.
Senior Director of International Trade at Walmart Sarah Thorn discusses the evolution of the global giant’s corporate social responsibility program, what they look for in a partner, and the company’s goals today.
CIPE’s Senior Program Officer for North Africa, Pamela Beecroft, on how CIPE develops locally-driven partnerships and programs to promote economic development and good governance in the region.
The U.S. Department of State Director for Countering Violent Extremism, Irfan Saeed, talks about his work looking at what drives people to join terrorist groups and programs that can help prevent radicalization.
CIPE’s acting Executive Director Andrew Wilson talks about the organization’s history and mission, its work today, and the role of the private sector in democratic development.
Director of the Al Quds Center for Political Studies, Oraib Al Rantawi, talks about how he moved from being a journalist to the head of the Al Quds Think-Tank. Al Rantawi was a reporter and journalist from 1978-1993, covering a wide array of topics for pan-Arab newspapers, including the civil war in Lebanon and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Al Rantawi and guest host Anna Kompanek further discuss Al Quds partnership with CIPE, working for the past decade to engage political parties in Jordan with the economic reform process. They discuss the progress that has been made since the beginning of the partnership, as well as the political climate in Jordan and the opening space for public-private dialogue.
This podcast was recorded in the field, and the sound quality may vary.