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Diplomatic Immunity

Frank and candid conversations about diplomacy and foreign affairs

Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Georgetown University

Mar 15, 2023

Season 5, episode 5. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has posed an existential crisis for numerous multilateral institutions, worsening several ongoing global issues such as food insecurity while also upending the architecture of European Security. Few organizations understand that or deal with that more than the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. For this week's episode, we chatted with Allison Hart, Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the OSCE Secretary General, Helga Maria Schmid. She shared how the organization operates, the unique challenge of having one of its member states upend the issue they are most focused on, how they worked to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine before the invasion, and how they can be part of the solution to the current crisis. 


Allison Hart is the Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the OSCE Secretary General, Helga Maria Schmid. She took up this role in Vienna in February 2022. Prior to joining the OSCE, Allison served in a number of roles at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, including as Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary General, Executive Officer of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, and most recently as Head of the Human Security Unit. Allison began her career as an entrepreneur in Chicago where she launched and managed two successful businesses before pursuing international relations. In Washington, she coordinated a foreign policy team for a major political campaign and spent several years at The Brookings Institution on projects related to national security and transatlantic relations. 


Allison holds a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Language & Civilization from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in European Studies & International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.


NOTE: Any views expressed are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OSCE or any member state.


And as a special treat for this episode, the interview was conducted by ISD Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow Nathanial Haft. Nate Haft is a career Foreign Service Officer. He most recently served as a senior policy advisor on the U.S. delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. Nate's prior overseas assignments include covering rule of law and counternarcotics issues in Pakistan, human rights in Albania, and consular affairs in Taiwan. In Washington, he served as a multilateral affairs officer in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Nate is a recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship in Foreign Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru as well as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Haft graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and earned an MPP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


NOTE: While Nate is a career U.S. diplomat, his views are also his own and do not reflect the view of the U.S. State Department or the U.S. government.


Episode recorded: March 3, 2023


Produced by Daniel Henderson


Episode Image: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits among his counterparts on December 8, 2016, as he attends a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. U.S. State Department on Wikimedia Commons


Diplomatic Immunity: Frank and candid conversations about diplomacy and foreign affairs


Diplomatic Immunity, a podcast from the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, brings you frank and candid conversations with experts on the issues facing diplomats and national security decision-makers around the world. 


Funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 


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