Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Conversation with Parag Khanna, Foreign Policy Wunderkind

We recently sat down with Parag Khanna to kick start our “Up and Comers” interview series, in which we talk to up-and-coming luminaries in business and politics. They aren’t yet household names but one day will be.

As we spoke to Parag at New York’s Science, Industry and Business Library, he had just finished an 8,000-mile trek from London to Mongolia – it took him one month to complete. Within the week, he was headed to China, for another month. Parag gets around. And he’s able to do it while married-with-kid, leading the New America Foundation’s Global Governance Initiative, running his own consultancy, and writing an international best-seller (The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century). He’s also advised the US Military and Barack Obama, as well as held stints at renowned think tanks - the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution.

At 31, Parag was named one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century, alongside Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, David Petraeus, and Jon Stewart (Esquire magazine, 2008). We wouldn’t be surprised if he one day occupies a top post at the US State Department. Needless to say, Parag is an “up-and-comer.”

Watch our interview in full, when we post it (soon). In it, you might be struck by the same things we were:

  • How he deflected the pressure to enter the world of high finance and follow his passion for travel and government
  • What city he thinks is the most dangerous in the world - more dangerous than Iraq in 2005
  • How he thought through an opportunity to work in the Obama administration (and ultimately turned it down)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Up and Comers: A New Interview Series with Young Influentials

Today we’re launching “Up and Comers” - a series of interviews with young influentials (think Crain’s Business 40 under 40) in business & politics and arts & entertainment. These “up and comers” are people who might not yet be household names, but will be in time.

Check back in soon to watch our interview with Parag Khanna, one of Esquire magazine’s 75 Most Influential People in the 21st Century, who at 30 published best-selling book The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order. In the interview, you’ll find out why he chose the less trodden path of foreign policy over the more proven (and lucrative) one of high finance. You’ll also hear about some of his favorite – and most harrowing – moments traveling the world, while on his two-year research tour for The Second World.