92 years of life can give you some perspective. Especially if you spend seven-odd decades in service of others, as a diplomat and peacebuilder working on five continents.
Today, we interview Ambassador John W. McDonald, co-founder and chair of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, about his extraordinary journey: from his far-flung childhood in a military family to his arrival as a young foreign service officer in postwar Germany in 1947; from the Berlin airlift to the nerve center of the Marshall Plan; from camel caravans through snow-choked Afghanistan to jungle airports in Bolivia.
Our guest built a railroad from Turkey to Tehran, helped run United Nations agencies and create new ones—and then, at age 70, after a 40-year career in government, with no resources except a co-founder and a dream, created a new organization that is helping citizens build peace from Cyprus to Kashmir.
Oh, and we should mention: he has a personal connection to the show. You know our host, Ben Wikler? He's John McDonald's grandson.
As you hear Ambassador McDonald share stories and lessons from his long and world-spanning life, you'll catch the intensity of his optimism, his enthusiasm—and you'll see why he's so hopeful about where the world is going next.