Global Pathways Podcast

The Global Pathways Podcast with Ray Offenheiser features leading policy-makers, academics, researchers, activists, entrepreneurs, and others working to address today's most pressing global challenges.

"Through this podcast, we hope to help our listeners go beyond the headlines to explore global development policy and practice with leading experts from the frontlines," explains host Ray Offenheiser, the William J. Pulte Director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development and an associate professor of the practice in the new Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. "We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected global society where it is essential that we can hear from individuals who are navigating that complexity and can inspire us with the courage and insight that they bring to addressing seemingly intractable questions and realities. We hope that the casual, yet in-depth format of this podcast will be inviting to listeners of all backgrounds and provide a more nuanced window into a variety of key global issues."

In one-on-one conversations with Offenheiser, guests discuss current events, public policy, cutting-edge research, and more.

Episodes of The Global Pathways Podcast with Ray Offenheiser are released throughout the fall and spring semesters. Listeners can stream and subscribe to the podcast through Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn, or PodBean.

Episode Eighteen

What’s happening in Afghanistan a year and a half after the U.S. withdrawal?

The U.S. exit from Afghanistan in August 2021 resulted in the Taliban regaining control of the country and creating a refugee crisis as many Afghans fled. It also led to a significant economic contraction, increasing food insecurity and widespread deprivation. Also, at the end of 2022, the Taliban regime ordered all non-governmental groups to suspend employing women, worsening hunger and further lowering Afghanistan’s growth prospects.

On Feb. 9, 2023, Pulte Institute Inaugural Director Ray Offenheiser spoke with Aref Dostyar on what day-to-day life is like for families in Afghanistan. Dostyar is a scholar in residence at the University of Notre Dame Keough School’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, where he leads the Afghan program for peace and development. Before the fall of the democratic government, Dostyar served as the Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Los Angeles and as Director for Afghanistan at the National Security Council.

Episode Seventeen

We have watched helplessly in horror as bombs rain down on residential neighborhoods across Ukraine, its citizens huddle in subway stations and millions flee toward the Polish border. War is hell wherever it is fought and no matter how large or small the weapons.

With a focus on the public health consequences, both the immediate and long term of all we are witnessing, Ray interviews Dr. Barry Levy who, for many years, has studied the health impacts of war. Dr. Levy is a physician and epidemiologist. He is an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. He previously worked as an epidemiologist at the CDC, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a director of programs and projects in international health. He is a past president of the American Public Health Association. Learn more about this topic and Dr. Levy's work in his new book From Horror to Hope: Recognizing and Preventing the Health Impacts of War (Oxford University Press).

Episode Sixteen

Dr. Peter Sterling has devoted his life to social activism and science and is devoting the latter part of this career to championing a radically new vision of what is health. Sterling is a distinguished professor of neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania whose book Principles of Neural Design is one of the definitive texts in that field. His research has focused heavily on the micro-neural pathways from the retina to the brain. However, Dr. Sterling has been a social activist throughout his career.

As a twenty-year-old Cornell student, he left his studies to head to Mississippi in the summer of 1961 as a Freedom Rider where he was arrested and jailed. That experience shaped his life and over the subsequent decades he has sought ways his work in science might shed light on the “impacts of racism on the African American community in the US”. His recently published book—What is Health?: Allostasis and the Evolution of Human Design is the culmination of years of reading and research and his effort to answer this question. This conversation focuses on his life and work and the major arguments of his latest book.

Episode Fifteen

Dr. Susanne E. Jalbert is a gender equity advocate, economic development activist, and a women’s rights political strategist who currently serves as a director in Chemonics’ Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan region, and previously served as chief of party on the USAID Promote: Women in Government project. Jalbert offers her own perspective on the tumultuous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the terror Afghan refugees — particularly women — are currently facing. This episode also features Sima, an Afghan refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. with her two sisters. She will share the story of her journey with us.

To help empower the women of Afghanistan to evacuate to safer situations, please consider donating to the Friends of Afghan Women in Government fundraiser on GoFundMe.

Episode Fourteen

Jim Ansara is the co-founder and managing director of Build Health International (BHI), whose mission is to design, build and equip high-quality health infrastructure for the most marginalized populations in under-resourced settings, while also promoting international philanthropy and development. In this episode, Jim discusses the past, present, and future of BHI as well as the unique challenges and rewards of relief response. 

To learn more and support the work BHI is doing to ensure critical health infrastructure is accessible to patients in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, visit

Episode Thirteen

Paul O’Brien, the recently-appointed Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, discusses his new book entitled, Power Switch: How We Can Reverse Extreme Inequality and poses the following provocative question:

Is it actually possible—that we might emerge from this pandemic with a peaceful global power switch from those who have too much to those who don't have enough? 

Episode Twelve

Steven Feldstein is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program where he focuses on issues of technology and democracy, human rights, U.S. foreign policy, and Africa.

Feldstein discusses his new book entitled, The Rise of Digital Repression, where he documents how the emergence of advanced digital tools brings new dimensions to political repression. Presenting new field research from Thailand, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, he investigates the goals, motivations, and drivers of these digital tactics. More of Feldstein's recent publications include: How the Dictator’s Digital Dilemma Constrains Leaders’ Choices and Democracy Dies in Disinformation

Episode Eleven

Here we are one year into this pandemic and finally, we are beginning to see the effect of mass vaccinations knocking back the numbers of new infections here in the US. A weary public is just beginning to believe that it may be possible to return to some semblance of normalcy by sometime this fall. As the numbers of the vaccinated increases, there is a palpable sense of relief and hope that has returned to everyday conversations. 

Dr. Paul Perrin is the director of monitoring and evaluation at the Pulte Institute for Global Development within the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. In this episode, Dr. Perrin discusses the psychological effects of global pandemics both short-term and long-term, and the hope he has found as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Episode Ten

Judy Samuelson, vice president, founder, and executive director of the Business and Society Program at the Aspen Institute, led pioneering work on impact investing with the Ford Foundation for over a decade. After doing so, Judy became possessed with a simple question: Why doesn’t anyone at the Ford Foundation talk about business? Is it possible to enlist business as a partner and collaborator in our work?

Judy discusses these questions as well as her new book The Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World. For more information on this topic, visit: and

Episode Nine

The first Forum on China and Africa Cooperation Summit (FOCAC) were held in Beijing from November 3 to 5, 2006. This was a grand affair; however, much has happened since this major event. This episode discusses the Chinese presence and ambitions in Africa today.

Dr. Joshua Eisenman is an Associate Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs. His research focuses on the political economy of China’s development and its foreign relations with the United States and the developing world – particularly Africa. He is the author of several books, two of which are forthcoming on China in Africa.

Episode Eight

The current narrative of US-China relations is one of confrontational, geopolitical jockeying – but is this consistent with reality? Dr. Michel Hockx, Director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies within Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, joins Ray Offenheiser to help us look beyond this existing rhetoric of US-China relations and imagine an alternative narrative. In the first of a two-part series on China, Dr. Hockx breaks down the current state of US-China relations and brings a new perspective to this complicated conversation.

Episode Seven

Dr. Gary Gereffi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness at Duke University, joins Ray Offenheiser to discuss the effect of COVID-19 on global supply chains. Recognized as one of the founders of the Global Value Chains framework, Dr. Gereffi speaks about what we can expect post-crisis and how COVID-19 could affect globalization as we know it.

For those interested in a deeper dive into this subject, we recommend these additional resources.

Episode Six

Listeners will get an insight into the Global Fragility Act (GFA) in this discussion with Maura Policelli, Executive Director of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs Washington Office, and Paul Perrin, Director of Evidence & Learning with the Pulte Institute for Global Development. Both Policelli and Perrin are part of the Keough School team that produced a policy paper in support of the US government’s efforts to implement the GFA and address global fragility. You can read the paper online at

Episode Five

Episode Five continues the discussion with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, part of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, on the extractive industries. Ray Offenheiser speaks with Peter Bryant – Chair and Co-Founder of the Development Partner Institute – and discusses how the Extractive Industries are rethinking their role in society.

Episode Four

Ian Gary – Director of Power and Money at Oxfam America – talks with Ray Offenheiser and discusses the ethics and activism in the extractive industries. This episode is a recording of Offenheiser’s conversation with Gary as part of a two-part, live webinar hosted in partnership with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, part of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Episode Three

Episode three features Ben Phillips, co-founder of the Fight Inequality Alliance, who was on campus throughout the spring semester as a Hewlett Fellow for Public Policy at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, which is also a part of the Keough School. In the episode, Phillips and Offenheiser discuss a variety of topics related to domestic and global inequality, including the concentration of wealth among a handful of individuals; the relationship between taxes on the wealthy and economic growth; and the links between inequality and poverty.

Episode Two

Episode two features Admiral Tim Ziemer, the acting assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), who was on campus for an event organized by the Eck Institute for Global Health titled: "The Importance of U.S. Leadership in Global Health.” In the episode, Ziemer and Offenheiser discuss how the U.S. is working to address critical health and humanitarian issues across the globe.

Episode One

Episode one features Scott Paul, the humanitarian policy lead at Oxfam America, who was on campus for an event titled: “Hope for Yemen: Ending the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis.” In the episode, Paul and Offenheiser discuss the Saudi Arabian–led intervention in Yemen, which has led to a humanitarian crisis that has been called "the worst in the world" by the United Nations.