Episode 24: Mona Sutphen on International Collaboration and the Future of Crypto

March 23, 2022
updated on

About Mona Sutphen

This interview was recorded on February 10, 2022.

If you’d asked Mona Sutphen at graduation what her career would look like, she might’ve mentioned a path into the film industry or advertising; somewhere far removed from the public service and community organizing world of her parents. Despite that, at the suggestion of her college advisor, she took the Foreign Service exam upon graduation and then promptly forgot about it, moved to Chicago, and began her career in advertising.

That is until a late-night spreadsheet disaster led to a wake-up call declaration that “there has to be more to life than selling shampoo.” A few weeks later, Mona got the call that she’d passed the Foreign Service exam, sparking a decades-long career in the foreign service and public sector.

This week’s guest is the adventurous, inquisitive Mona Sutphen, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy under President Obama and current Partner/Head of Investment Strategies at Vistria. Mona grew up in a multiracial, community-oriented family in Milwaukee. In this episode, she shares her insights on working with global decision-makers throughout her distinguished career in public service and her ongoing dedication to problem-solving on the world stage.

In the latter half of the episode, Mona discusses the undeniable future of crypto (and its regulation), the evolving ecosystem of decentralized finance (DeFi), and the potential of greater microloan access. Listen in to learn Mona’s essential advice for individuals exploring the crypto world and the necessity of access to investment opportunities.

  • (2:25) Who is Mona Sutphen?
  • (6:24) Leaving Wisconsin for college
  • (9:40) Entering public service
  • (11:42) What is the goal of Foreign Service?
  • (14:38) Competition (and collaboration) on the world stage
  • (19:56) The art of negotiation
  • (24:17) Spotify in the spotlight
  • (25:36) The Clinton and Obama administrations
  • (27:54) A dangerous moment in our country
  • (31:46) Power and investment opportunities
  • (35:43) The crypto landscape
  • (42:31) Microloans and access to capital

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