U.S. strategic interests in Africa subject of ‘General and the Ambassador’

In the February 2023 episode of the podcast “The General and the Ambassador: A Conversation,” host Ambassador (Ret.) Deborah McCarthy is joined by Admiral Michael Franken and Ambassador Geeta Pasi. McCarthy and her guests talk about shifting U.S. strategic interests in Africa, the key role of the U.S. base in Djibouti, the challenge of regional terrorist groups (Al Shabaab, Boko Haram), and the effects of China’s vast economic investments across the continent and Russia’s “moon” promises to the region.

Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken (USN(ret)) served as the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in Djibouti from 2011-2012. He then became the director of the Department of Defense’s POW/MIA Agency. Franken then served as the U.S. Africa Command’s Deputy for Military Operations from 2015-2017. Franken is currently the CEO of Chartwell Strategic Advisors, LLC.

Ambassador Geeta Pasi is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. She served as the Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011-2014, and as the Ambassador to Chad from 2016-2018. Passi was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the State Department for more than two years before she became the Ambassador to Ethiopia, where she served until retiring in 2022.

Podcast producer and host Ambassador (retired) Deborah McCarthy currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the CGSC Foundation and was the 2018 DACOR Visiting Professor of Diplomacy for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. The DACOR Visiting Professor of Diplomacy Program is conducted in partnership with the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired, Inc. (DACOR) organization located in Washington D.C., and the Command and General Staff College Foundation. Several times a year retired senior officials, usually Ambassadors with extensive diplomatic experience, visit Fort Leavenworth to interact with U.S. Army Command and General Staff College students and faculty, and provide a Department of State and Chief of Mission perspective to the curriculum. During their visit the DACOR Visiting Professors of Diplomacy also interact with area universities and civic organizations discussing policy, regional, and political expertise, as well as speaking about careers in the Foreign Service.

“The General and the Ambassador: A Conversation” podcast promotes interagency cooperation and is produced by the American Academy of Diplomacy.

To learn more and listen to the podcast, please follow the link below.
Shifting U.S. strategic interests in Africa – Pawn or Partner, The General and the Ambassador

  • "*" indicates required fields


    Sign up to receive updates by email. We do not sell or share your info.

    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.