This week, A'ndre and Ryan speak with Farah Pandith, the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the State Department, on countering violent extremism. Farah, who has served under three U.S. Presidents, discusses her engagement with Muslim communities around the world during her time at both the National Security Council and the State Department. She emphasizes the importance of soft power in thwarting the incubation of ideological extremism and terrorism, and identifies her approach with Muslim communities in Western Europe during the early-to-mid 2000s in the aftermath of the Danish Cartoon Scandal. Farah outlines why questions around "identity" were so important in understanding how Muslims were perceiving themselves in their countries, and is candid about how she saw and currently sees the U.S. Government's outreach to the global Muslim community since 9/11. Lastly, Farah offers her honest thoughts on how she sees diversity in U.S. national security circles, reflecting on issues she faced throughout her career, and stating that the U.S. has a long way to go.
Farah is the author of How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.