FP's First Person

Each week here at Foreign Policy, we interview one person for an intimate, narrative-driven conversation about something timely and important in the world. Our guests are people who have participated directly in events, either as protagonists or eyewitnesses. We get them to tell a story about their experience, not just offer their analysis. That approach is driven by the feeling here at Foreign Policy that to understand our world—to grasp the complexities and nuances of our time—we need to get as close to the source as possible. Hence the name First Person.

Draft Episode for Mar 27, 2020
Waad al-Kateab’s film focuses on one of the hardest-hit cities in Syria’s ongoing civil war.
32 min
The Marie Antoinette of Shoes Returns
Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield on how Imelda Marcos engineered her second act in the Philippines.
31 min
Introducing: Don't Touch Your Face
From Foreign Policy, a new daily show about all things coronavirus.
19 min
Death of a War Correspondent
35 min
How Israel’s Netanyahu Uses Fear and Loathing t...
The Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer looks back at Bibi’s first general election campaign in 1996.
26 min
The Other Brexit
CNN's Max Foster on How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Split From Britain's Royal Family
33 min
A Truce with the Taliban
Former U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan James Dobbins on a possible peace deal after more than 18 years of war.
30 min
The Filmmaker Who Took On Bolsonaro
An Oscar-nominated documentary examines Brazil's deep political fault lines
32 min
The President Who Played One on TV
Journalist Franklin Foer on the peculiar rise of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine and his role in the Trump impeachment ordeal
33 min
Counseling John McCain
A former foreign policy advisor looks back at the 2008 presidential election campaign
33 min
The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin
28 min
A Fateful Decision that Led to the 1979 Iran Ho...
Journalist David Kirkpatrick on how President Carter was pressured into letting the Shah of Iran into the U.S.
35 min
The Persian Puzzle: Iran, Iraq, and the United ...
Following the U.S. air strike that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Suleimani, we examine again what a trove of leaked intelligence cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.
26 min
The Truth About the U.S. War in Afghanistan
Former Pakistani ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani on how the Taliban won.
31 min
The Documentaries of 2019
On this episode, we look back at some of the documentaries we featured on the show in the past year.
28 min
The Books of 2019
On this episode, we look back at some of the books we featured on the show in the past year.
30 min
Corbyn and the Jews
How allegations of antisemitism in the Labor Party became a central issue in Britain’s election campaign.
23 min
An American in Mosul
Journalist Mike Giglio provides an eyewitness account of a key battle against the Islamic State.
34 min
Iranian Spy Games Revealed
What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.
26 min
Introducing I Spy
A new podcast from Foreign Policy featuring former intelligence operatives from around the world.
32 min
The Syrian Filmmaker Who Risked Her Life to Doc...
Waad al-Kateab’s film focuses on one of the hardest-hit cities in Syria’s ongoing civil war.
32 min
BONUS EPISODE: The Jerusalem Murder That Set Of...
Palestinian-Israeli filmmaker Tawfiq Abu Wael on the challenges of co-creating the HBO series Our Boys
16 min
The Jerusalem Murder that Set Off a War
An Israeli drama series on HBO about the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teen stirs compassion and controversy
24 min
And Now the Hard Part—How to Manage North Korea
Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.
28 min
Lebanon's Arab Spring?
Protesters are directing their anger at the political elite for years of corruption and mismanagement.
30 min
When the U.S. Turns its Back on Allies
A former U.S. intelligence officer explains what happens to locals who helped the United States when troops leave a conflict zone.
30 min
How North African Migrants Ended Up in Permanen...
The Irish journalist Sally Hayden traces the story of many of them.
30 min
Bonus Content: Roundtable Discussion on China
36 min
Why Hong Kongers Are Still Protesting Against C...
A democracy activist describes how the demonstrations got underway and where they go from here.
28 min
And Now the Hard Part: Resetting the U.S. Relat...
Brookings scholar Bruce Riedel on how America's oldest alliance in the Middle East is being tested and what to do about it.
30 min
Why for Some Spaniards the Wounds of the Civil ...
A new film traces the stories of people still seeking justice for Franco's crimes.
28 min
Haven America or Fortress America?
Harvard historian Jill Lepore on the long and tortured history of the U.S. immigration debate.
26 min
Roots of a Quagmire
On the podcast: America's first post 9/11 envoy to Afghanistan recounts the early months of the war there.
34 min
The Future of Kashmir
How India decided to end the area's autonomous status and what it means for the region.
25 min
Death on Everest
On the podcast: An American mountaineer describes the dangers of climbing one of the world's tallest peaks.
40 min
How an Upscale Chef Came to Serve Those in Need
On the podcast: José Andrés on food insecurity, Puerto Rico, and battling hunger.
28 min
How War Traumatizes the Victims and the Perpetr...
On the podcast: A new film explores the experience of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
26 min
The Dark Legacy of China’s One-Child Policy
On the podcast: The filmmaker Nanfu Wang tells the harrowing story of her own family’s one-child ordeal.
29 min
Trump, Immigration, and the Fight for America’s...
On the podcast: Where Trump’s effort to block asylum-seekers fits in the history of U.S. immigration policy.
28 min
A Survivor’s Struggle to Care for Her People an...
On the podcast: The filmmaker Alexandria Bombach followed the Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad for her film "On Her Shoulders"
25 min
A U.S. Marine Looks Back at Fallujah
On the podcast: Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanista
32 min
Argentina, Iran, and the Enduring Mystery Surro...
On the podcast: Alberto Nisman accused Argentina's president of covering up Iran's role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. Then he was shot in the head.
25 min
A Dream Deferred
On the podcast: Journalist Laura Wides-Muñoz traces the lives of several undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
33 min
The Dirty Residue of Brazil's Car Wash Probe
On the podcast: The editor in chief of Americas Quarterly explains why investigators are now under scrutiny in Brazil’s largest corruption inquiry.
26 min
The Tragedy of Mohamed Morsi
On the podcast: Shadi Hamid recounts the quick rise and spectacular fall of Morsi and the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt.
32 min
How an Extradition Bill Became a Red Line for H...
On the podcast: A former China correspondent traces Beijing's gradual effort to erode human rights in Hong Kong.
33 min
Death and Debris at 30,000 Feet
On the podcast: An American adventuerer describes climbing over bodies to reach the top of Mount Everest.
39 min
Shot by Israelis, Healed by Israelis
On the podcast: Yousef Bashir describes growing up in Gaza during the second Palestinian uprising.
30 min
The Referendum That Changed Ireland
On the podcast: A look back at the vote in Ireland that ended the abortion ban.
30 min
How Richard Holbrooke Represented America's Bes...
On the podcast: George Packer, in conversation with Stephen M. Walt, on America’s long-serving diplomat.
36 min
How Assad’s Brutality Inspired Courage and Comp...
On the podcast: Members of the White Helmets describe what it’s like to charge to the scene when a bomb goes off.
18 min
How Algerians Ousted Bouteflika
On the podcast: Algeria’s Arab Spring has been peaceful so far, but its future remains uncertain.
26 min
Thirty Years After Tiananmen Square
On the podcast: A look back at the student protests that changed China’s trajectory.
35 min
The Butcher of Bosnia on Trial
On the podcast: A film on the war in Bosnia probes the psychology of genocide and justice.
29 min
How Israel’s Netanyahu Uses Fear and Loathing t...
On the podcast: The Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer looks back at Bibi’s first general election campaign in 1996.
26 min
How to Defeat Political and Religious Extremism
On the podcast: A former State Department official who led the outreach to the Muslim world after the attacks of 9/11.
27 min
Inside the Fall of the Islamic State
On the podcast: A reporter who embedded with U.S.-backed forces in Syria describes the battles there.
23 min
Meltdown at Chernobyl
On the podcast: A journalist reconstructs the world's worst nuclear disaster.
33 min
How Citizen Journalists Solved the Mystery of M...
On the podcast: The founder of the group Bellingcat on using open sources to investigate war crimes and other abuses.
28 min
Toward a More Feminist Foreign Policy
On the podcast: Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom on how to give women a voice in an arena dominated by men.
25 min
China's War on Uighurs
On the podcast: a Uighur journalist in exile tells her family's story
30 min
Inside the Battle to Decriminalize Homosexualit...
On the podcast: A human rights lawyer describes the 10-year fight for LGBT rights.
26 min
Paellas for the People
On the podcast: How chef José Andrés feeds the needy around the world.
28 min
How the Taliban Won
On the podcast: Former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani on America's endgame in Afghanistan.
31 min
Preview: Seeking Peace
First Person listeners get a preview of the new podcast Seeking Peace, from Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace & Security.
28 min
Venezuela Unraveled
31 min
An American Captive in Iran
On the podcast: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian recounts his grueling 18 months in an Iranian prison
32 min
Budapest Blues
On the podcast: What its like to be a journalist in Orban's Hungary
30 min
Climate Change Evangelist
On the podcast: A scientist who is also an evangelical Christian wants conservatives to believe in climate change.
29 min
The China Syndrome
On the podcast: A former CIA analyst on Beijing's interference in the affairs of other countries.
24 min
Why Economists Hate Tariffs
On the podcast: How the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 embroiled the U.S. in a trade war and prolonged the Great Depression.
27 min
Are Brazilians Ready for Bolsonaro?
On the podcast: The era of the strongman returns to Brazil.
28 min
The Brexit Rubik's Cube
On the podcast: Inside the British campaign for a second vote on leaving Europe.
28 min
Shot in Sri Lanka, Shelled in Syria
On the podcast: War correspondent Marie Colvin documented the horrors of war until one of them took her life.
32 min
Costa Rica’s War on Climate Change
On the podcast: How a tiny Central American country became a leader in reducing carbon emissions.
28 min
Inside China’s Reeducation Camps
On the podcast: A Uighur journalist describes the ordeal of her own relatives interned in Xinjiang.
27 min
‘To Be a Journalist in Turkey Means You’re Read...
On the podcast: The price one Turkish newspaper editor is paying for angering Erdogan.
29 min
‘How Do You Balance a Million People Murdered A...
On the podcast: The last living Nuremberg prosecutor describes the Allied trials against Nazi leaders.
28 min
Not Just Bombs but Economic Warfare
On the podcast: How a Saudi-led campaign has starved Yemen’s children
29 min
Flirting with Fascism
On the podcast: How Brazilians grew tired of democracy and rallied around a strongman.
29 min
‘They Took Them Quietly. All of Them Are in Jai...
On the podcast: A woman who challenged the Saudi regime by getting behind the wheel of a car speaks out.
30 min
A note to our listeners
FP's flagship podcast gets a reboot
1 min
In Negotiations with Iran, ‘There’s Always One ...
On the podcast: Wendy Sherman recounts the grueling path to the Iran nuclear deal.
27 min
The Spanish Fraud
Javier Cercas’s new book on the man who impersonated a Holocaust survivor.
23 min
Limit Migration to Save Migration
Reihan Salam takes on the immigration debate.
28 min
The Bombings the World Forgot 
Ambassador Prudence Bushnell survived the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Now she tells her story.
36 min
Talking to the Taliban
American journalist Ashley Jackson wanted to learn more about Taliban leaders. So she donned a burka and knocked on their doors.
30 min
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
On the podcast: An American who was in Turkey during the coup attempt is accused of being one of the plotters.
32 min
The Ghost of Smoot-Hawley
On the podcast: The United States’ last big trade war was in 1930. It did not end well. [First broadcast Aug 3, 2018]
27 min
Why Was a Private Israeli Intel Firm Digging Up...
Colin Kahl was targeted by Black Cube, the same company Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein hired to discredit his accusers.
18 min
He Didn’t Know the Klan Handshake. It Almost Co...
On our podcast: Journalist Vegas Tenold describes the six years he spent with white supremacists.
34 min
Ordinary Iranians Will Suffer but Regime Inside...
On our podcast: Journalist Jason Rezaian recalls life in Iran under sanctions.
29 min
The Ghost of Smoot-Hawley
On the podcast: The United States’ last big trade war was in 1930. It did not end well.
27 min
‘It Could Have Led to a Nuclear War in the Midd...
On the podcast: When Israeli extremists plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock.
30 min
The Woman Who Defied Iran
On the podcast: Masih Alinejad took off her headscarf and started a movement.
22 min
When Ronnie Met Mikhail​
As Trump sits down with Putin, we look back at a summit in Reykjavik that helped end the Cold War.
29 min
Peru’s National Identity Was Bound Up With Conf...
On our podcast, how a country scores two goals in the soccer tournament and finds redemption.
25 min
They Took the Children for a Bath and Never Bro...
26 min
He Feared the CIA Would Delete a Document Detai...
A Senate investigator who exposed the agency’s torture secrets tells his story
24 min
Stalin Falsified the Data, Then Killed the Stat...
19 min