This is a transcript of an interview Matthew Alan Hill conducted with a Senior US State Department Official for the Women and US Foreign Policy Interview Project at The Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London.
Interviewee: Anonymous Interviewee 1 – AI1
Employment position at time of interview: Senior State Department Official
Interviewer: Matthew Alan Hill (MH)
Date: July 29, 2011
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
General questions about your career [00:04 – 19:54]
Role of father in education; interest in international affairs developed by professor; burgeoning interest in economic and trade issues; focus on European Union politics; working for the Foreign Agricultural Service on Sub-Saharan drought relief; Agricultural Attaché to US Embassy, India; State Department EU office in Brussels; working on energy issues in Nigeria and Indonesia; economic development in Pakistan; Afghan Reconstruction Office post-9/11; Inter-agency cooperation in development work; being a woman and working with Saudi Arabia and Japan; being a woman an advantage at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum; discrimination by colleague at the US Embassy, Nigeria.
Non-gender specific issues and events you were involved in during your FP-related career [19:54 – 38:56]
G8 discussion at L’Aquila regarding increases in food prices; UN Millennium Development Goals; Feed The Future in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Cambodia; Congressional funding for US contribution to Feed The Future; difficulties of measuring success for development projects; local government buy-in essential for success; development as an aspect of US foreign policy; building local capacity to deal with corruption in Iraq – Tatweer project.
Experiences and knowledge of US engagement with gender issues in foreign policy [38:57 – 57:16]
US gender-based programmes in Iraq; sustainability issues involved with US military implemented gender programmes; Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP); caution regarding women only programmes and a woman’s ministry; investment in women in the Philippines; Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) Feed The Future; micro-finance projects in Iraq and Bangladesh; gender as a component of the Afghan Provincial Reconstruction Teams; Secretary Albright and US disengagement with the Taliban; insecurity impacting development work in Afghanistan and Iraq; women’s project in Erbil, Iraq; success of US integration of women’s rights into the national interest framework; Avon lady.
Views on recent US foreign policy related issues [57:17 – 01:08:29]
Continuity of democracy programmes due to Congressional funding not who holds the Office of the President; National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute civil society and political party funding; evolution of civil society programme design; failure to engage local actors in democratisation hampers consolidation; importance of donor coordination in successful democratisation; working with India, Brazil, and South Africa; Brazilian school feeding programme replicated in Mozambique; a society that is unprepared in dealing with electoral reforms; geopolitical strategic interests and the value of promoting democracy.
Audio not supplied in order to fulfil anonymity request of interviewee