Lester Munson

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Lester Munson is Vice President, International at BGR Group, a leading government relations firm in Washington, D.C., where he consults with foreign governments, corporations, and advocacy groups. Lester joined BGR Group after a 26-year career on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch. He was most recently Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and as a principal on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.

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Fault Lines

Fault Lines: Systemic Racism and National Security

Fault Lines welcomes Bishop Garrison, Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First and co-Founder and President of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. Where do the diversity problems in national security come from? Why are some military bases named after confederate officers? How can individuals and organizations promote a more diverse and inclusive national security community? Bishop and Fault Lines Guest Host Jamil Jaffer, answer these questions and many more in this week’s Fault Lines.

Fault Lines

Fault Lines: A House Divided

The murder of George Floyd on May 25th has led to waves of protests across America and around the world for racial justice. Dana, Jamil, Les and first-time guest Harry Wingo discuss the protests and how racism and discrimination have impacted the national security community. What is the role of national security leaders in the fight for justice? How have foreign governments been using this opportunity to push their agendas? Can America seize this opportunity to make real changes that can set an example for the rest of the world?


Fault Lines: TREATIES—What are they good for?

The president recently announced his intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty and is considering restarting nuclear testing. Dana, Jamil, Jodi and Les discuss the state of arms control and how the U.S. should approach international agreements. Is it better for the United States to model behavior by staying in bad treaties or leave them? Can the U.S. prioritize non-proliferation and modernization of the nuclear triad? How should we deal with our allies who are stuck in the middle? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


Fault Lines: INL—Better Know a State Department Bureau

Fault Lines welcomes the Honorable Kirsten Madison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). What role does the INL Bureau have in combating corruption abroad? What is the current state of the global war on drugs? How has punk music impacted how Assistant Secretary Madison views her job? Assistant Secretary Madison and host Les Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!


Fault Lines: Attempted Coups and Virus Crackdowns in Latin America

Nicholás Maduro and Jair Bolsonaro have had a very tumultuous month. Dana, Jamil, Les and returning guest Andrew Borene discuss the failed coup attempt failed in Venezuela, and Brazil’s new status as a COVID-19 hotspot. How should the United States treat friends and foes in South America? Should the U.S. place sanctions on a democratic country? Can our hosts find a way to link all of this back to Iran? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.