10 Minutes in Defense of Democracies and Ready, Set, Lead! - the Podcasts.

Episode 3- Allan Katz, Former U.S. Amb. to the Republic of Portugal

November 03, 2021 United States Global Initiative Season 1 Episode 3
10 Minutes in Defense of Democracies and Ready, Set, Lead! - the Podcasts.
Episode 3- Allan Katz, Former U.S. Amb. to the Republic of Portugal
Show Notes

What is it really like to be a US ambassador overseas? Will American still be the great hope of the world 50 years from now?


Tune in to this episode of Ready, Set, Lead! as we welcome US Ambassador Allan Katz to discuss his experience working on Capitol Hill, proving civic discourse at American Public Square, and serving in Lisbon as the United States Ambassador. We talked about challenges he’s facing from China and Russia, the value of NATO for our current society, the importance of US diplomacy, and much more!


After a year in Portugal, if any other ambassador from around the world had called me and offered to trade spots, I would have said no.” - Ambassador Allan Katz

Howard details his experience with Obama’s decision to increase US presence in Afghanistan, as well as his candid thoughts on Biden’s strategic decision to withdraw all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan. He also speaks on the impact of America’s global engagement on the citizenry in European and Pacific democracies.


Episode Timeline: What You’ll Learn & Questions Answered

00:00 Intro

00:37 Allan’s journey to becoming the American Ambassador to Portugal

03:15 The origin of American Public Square

04:16 How did you know you wanted to get into law and politics?

05:03 Did you have any input into the decision of what country you would be an ambassador to?

06:51 What did you do on your first day as Ambassador to Portugal? & What it was like adjusting to the role

09:30 Allan shares how much discretion he really had as a US ambassador

11:57 The differences between career diplomats and non-career diplomats

14:49 Did you develop special, long-lasting relationships with any other ambassadors or officials in Portugal? 

16:01 Allan’s experience as an ambassador when Obama increased the US presence in Afghanistan in 2009-10

17:58 His thoughts on the largest strategic decision to withdraw all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan

20:44 What is the current value of the NATO alliance?

22:57 Will China use Portugal’s airbase as a “logistics opp”?

25:33 Why should the citizenry in European and Pacific democracies care about how much America is engaged around the world? How does it impact their lives? 

26:58 How much do American values and behaviors impact our abilities to lead overseas?

28:12 Does the moral universe bend towards justice, as Martin Luther King says?

29:00 50 years from now, is American still the great hope of the world?

30:44 Outro



About Allan Katz:

Allan Jack Katz is a former City Commissioner of Tallahassee and American Ambassador to Portugal. President Barack Obama nominated Allan to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Portuguese Republic in November 2009. Ambassador Allan Katz is a distinguished professor with the University of Missouri Kansas City Bloch School's Department of Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Science's Political Science Department. He is the founder of the American Public Square, an organization using civil discourse to bridge the partisan divide.



This is the Ready, Set, Lead! Podcast of the United States Global Initiative. 

To learn more about us, visit our website: www.unitedstatesglobalinitiative.org

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About Howard Gold:

Howard Gold is the President of United States Global Initiative.

Want to get in touch? Email him: hgold@usglobalinitiative.org