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Reissue: The Slog

That time we talked to Biden's new National Security Advisor.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: Marc Johns / Cast from Clay

Over the past few weeks, the president-elect, Joe Biden, has been rolling out announcements about his new cabinet. And in one of those announcements, he revealed that the subject of one of our favorite interviews over the years, Jake Sullivan, would be named national security advisor.

The announcement made sense to us, since tensions between the US and Iran seem to have reached a new boiling point in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Jake, you might remember, led the backchannel negotiations that ultimately brought us the deal.

And, in this episode, which originally aired in 2019, Jake takes us back to the moment when those negotiations began.

Listen and subscribe now on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

GUESTS: Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor-designate; Wendy Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy


The Inexorable Rise of Jake Sullivan, Politico.

Iran’s Rouhani Says ‘No Doubt’ Biden Will Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions, Washington Post.

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.


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