Introducing First Person, Foreign Policy’s New Flagship Podcast

Weekly episodes will feature interviews with people who have participated in world events.


For the past few months, Foreign Policy’s flagship podcast, The E.R., has been heading in a new direction. Instead of convening a panel of experts for heated analysis (the old name stood for “The Editor’s Roundtable”), our host Sarah Wildman, a deputy editor at FP, has been interviewing one guest each week for an intimate, narrative-driven conversation on a topic that’s timely and important in the world. (Listen to an introduction from Sarah below.)

This week, we’re officially relaunching the podcast in that new format, under the name First Person. Our guests on this new show are people who have participated directly in world events, either as protagonists or eyewitnesses. We get them to tell a story about their experience, not just offer their analysis of current events.

The format has allowed us to hear from people with captivating stories, including an American journalist who spent 18 months in an Iranian prison on false espionage charges, a cabinet secretary who haggled with dictators to win the release of American detainees, and a U.S. ambassador who experienced the terrifying ordeal of a bombing attack on her embassy.

The shift is driven in part by the feeling here at FP that to understand our world—to grasp the complexities and nuances of our time—we need to get as close to the source as possible. Hence the name First Person.

Listen to the first episode here—an interview with the Saudi dissident Manal al-Sharif—and visit our new page, where you’ll find episodes every Friday. (You can also subscribe to First Person wherever you listen to your podcasts.)

We hope you’ll keep listening and tell your friends about the show. Share your thoughts on First Person with us at podcasts@foreignpolicy.com.

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