MiB: Robert Hormats on the Art of Diplomacy



This week, we speak with Robert Hormats, whose decades of experience in international trade and investment have brought him to posts in Western Europe, China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Hormats spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs (International), rising to vice chairman. He is currently a managing director at Tiedemann Advisors. He has also served five U.S. presidential administrations, most recently as undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment from 2009 through 2013.

Hormats explained how in his mid-20s, Henry Kissinger became a mentor of his at the State Department: Any job you did well was rewarded with even more work and responsibility. From this experience he learned how to advance within a diplomatic framework.

He explains how the US relationship with China presents an opportunity for mutual gains, but at the same time is fraught with risks. When it comes to finance, China viewed the US as “the teacher and they were the student.” Today, they no longer see the US as owning that expertise as we move away from our emphasis on research, advanced education, open immigration and infrastructure development. Hormats also explains why technology and infrastructure are the path to economic prosperity.

The China of today looks more like the post WW2 booming US Economy than America does.

A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here (after the weekend).

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Jack Devine, a 32-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”). He served as both Acting Director and Associate Director of CIA’s operations. His latest book is Spymaster’s Prism: The Fight against Russian Aggression



Bob Hormats Favorite Books


The Price of Liberty: Paying for America’s Wars by Robert D. Hormats

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry Brotton

The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant

Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 by Lynne Olson

Partners in Command: The Relationships Between Leaders in the Civil War by Joseph Glatthaar



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