WHO IS DAVID SHORR?
David Shorr has spent most of his career as an analyst working with leading think tanks, philanthropies and advocacy groups across a broad range of foreign policy issues, and is currently working to wind down the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation’s nuclear security program.
Before he was engaged on that project, he spent 14 years with the Iowa-based Stanley Foundation, developing constructive new approaches to the world’s compelling challenges, including the evolution of the G-20, climate change, the roles of rising powers, US national security strategy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 2005 initiative to reform the United Nations, and refugee protection and rights issues.
He was awarded a BA in religious studies from Brown University, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
You can connect with David here:
IN TOR 024 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- David’s career involving private wealth foundations and diplomacy.
- David’s views on achieving solid and sustainable consensus, and the traditional and new threats to global cooperation.
- The ‘appetites’ with which countries approach their relationships, encompassing agendas, wills, and priorities at home.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- The William and Flora Hewitt Foundation
- The Stanley Foundation
- United Nations (UN)
- Climate Change Conference
- Foreign Policy Magazine
- Nuclear capabilities and disarmament
- Democracy and governance
- US Foreign Policy
- Climate change
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
On William & Flora Hewitt’s nuclear capabilities
Arms race, mobilization.
Nuclear weapons remain a problem. Winding arsenals down is a priority.
However the Foundation is diminishing its role, in favor of cybersecurity and democracy – governance. It was not David’s decision.
Previously, Stanley Foundation
Not a traditional donor. Their focus is bringing people together around an issue, promote discussions first, before programs and funding talk.
David has shifted careers every couple of years. He’s a US policy analyst, a flexible enough title.
He’s followed US actions in the world.
Discussion and outcomes
It’s always about multilateral collaboration.
David has been involved into the development of frameworks, guidelines.
Looking forward to COP20. He knows how they operate “very well,” including their capacities and strength. Pertaining climate change, he sees how the bailout could provide Obama’s office leverage to enforce regulation for automakers. This is an example for how each top government has windows of action and cooperation.
From general framework, he goes into specific details for given situations.
Questions are important. “What are the appetites,” agendas, willingness
Australian new government downgraded climate change priority. The US government reacted, as did the others. But direct government to government message reaching out has not occurred.
Shorr’s piece on Foreign Policy discusses it at length:
Lobbying globally. ‘Globbying’
“It is a puzzle.”
’11 France conference. Protests. Agency advocates, “but people were not connecting with the agenda.” The following conference saw how protests have turned into items on the discussion table.
It is hard to move issues and make something happen, but stopping to rail against the whole system and focusing on pushing one idea is often a much more successful strategy.
The UN runs on cooperation. “And optimism.” There is some baggage from the circumstances of its 1945 foundation. Things get done but often as the result of urgency instead of a coordinated vision for the world.
Countries have changed. The US does not value global consensus as much. And their influence is undeniable. “International treaties are negotiated taking into account the US probable response.”
Liberal arts education is a powerful way to come to terms with the world, to receive all kinds of new ideas, apply rigorous intellectual methods, learning how to learn, critical thinking, problem solving. “Those are things that will pay off greatly in a development career.”
“The right attitude helps you figure out how things work more clearly.”
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