Photo Credit: Alexanderia Haidara
Global Take: The Travel Podcast On Black Professionals In International Affairs
Alexanderia Haidara’s career in foreign policy, global business, and international development has taken her to four continents and 20 countries with her husband and three children along for the ride. Now she is bringing more than a decade of experience to her new travel podcast, Global Take, which is charting a different course by focusing on Black professionals in international affairs.
“I had joined Black Professionals in International Affairs,” she told Travel Noire. “They’re a really great group that started back in the eighties where they try to help more Black Americans get into international affairs careers, whether that’s in government, in politics or international development or business or various sectors in the international affairs fields. That’s what they aim to do. So once I got there, we decided we wanted to really tell their stories.”
“More Black people are traveling abroad. But people don’t know the career options overseas or people are not aware of the various social and cultural and economic issues of the country that they’re traveling to. When they have experiences abroad sometimes it can be difficult for them. So, we thought that this would be a great opportunity to promote this podcast, which will really focus on global issues from the Black perspective.”
So far, Haidara has interviewed ambassadors and is aiming to attract congresswomen like Minnesota’s representative Ilhan Omar as well as other high-profile Black people with expertise in global issues. Whether it’s US-China policy, Black Lives Matter’s potential influence on foreign policy, nuclear weapons, gun control, international development issues in Africa or US foreign policy in Africa— no topic is off-limits.
Haidara certainly has the credentials to wade into the complexities of foreign policy. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Brazil at World Learning’s School for International Training where she produced an independent study titled “The impact of Brazil’s Racial Democracy On The Socio-Economic Opportunities for Afro-Brazilian Women.”
She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2003 and a MA in International Administration from the University of Denver in 2006. She is fluent in Spanish and French and can hold her own in Portuguese.
Her professional life is just as impressive. Haidara served as a diplomat in Mexico and promoted U.S.-Tanzanian foreign policy in Washington, DC as a desk officer, even leading the government in closing a controversial human rights abuse case that had strained U.S.-Tanzanian relations for years. She took the helm in briefing the White House during the Obama Administration on the 2012 Tanzanian elections. She switched gears during stints in Honduras and Rwanda by developing the local hair care industry.
The first season of Global Take will include guests Amb. Bonnie Jenkins, Amb. Gina Abrecrombie-Winstanley, Irvin Hicks of the Thursday Luncheon Group at the State Department, and more.
With such a powerhouse lineup it’s hard to pinpoint one moment which stands out from the already recorded episodes but one comment from Ambassador Jenkins has stayed with Haidara.
“One thing she said to me was that racism and particularly anti-black racism, it’s really part of American culture. That influences our foreign policy and how we approach other nations, and how we deal with other countries. When she said that really it struck a nerve.”
According to Haidara, the pod will also discuss the “growing Blaxit Movement and why Black Americans are choosing to escape America for peace and prosperity abroad.”
“When you watch CNN or MSNBC, and they talk about foreign policy it’s always old, white men who are giving their two cents about whatever policy issue that’s on the table,” she said. On this podcast, we have Black experts talking about some serious issues and also trying to attract people who are just wanting to travel abroad. I think there is a sector within the Black community that just wants to travel, and they want to move overseas, but they don’t know anything about how this overseas life world works. Then you have those Black Americans who pursue careers in international affairs whether that’s working in the state department or working at NGOs, or working overseas with multinational corporations. Their experience overseas is different from someone who has been following a Facebook group. So, we want to bridge the two worlds, so our people can go over there informed and inspired and ready to take over the world.”