The Envoy

A Conversation With John Kerry

John Kerry

  • Country: United States
  • Title: Secretary of State

After serving five terms in the U.S. Senate—including four years heading the Foreign Relations Committee—and surviving one unsuccessful run for president, John Kerry became President Barack Obama’s secretary of state in February 2013. Since then, Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has been in near-constant motion, logging more miles than any of his predecessors (1,281,744 at last count). On September 13, Kerry met with Foreign Affairs’ managing editor, Jonathan Tepperman, in Washington to discuss his tenure and his plans for his last months in office. They spoke again on October 11, after a deal Kerry negotiated with the Russians over Syria collapsed; their second conversation is appended below.

You just negotiated a deal with the Russians on Syria. How is it different from the last one, and what gives you the confidence that this one might work?

I can’t sit here and tell you with confidence that it will work.

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