Michael Soussan, Los Angeles, 2020
Critically acclaimed author and produced screenwriter with a background in journalism, international affairs & crisis diplomacy.
Worked at CNN, the United Nations, and on K Street in DC, taking assignments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Congo.
His first book was made into a feature film starring Ben Kingsley and Theo James (A24, Universal, Direct TV/Prime, 2018).
Michael has performed in a range of communication capacities, as a spokesman, a speechwriter, a war-zone correspondent and an intelligence analyst.
He has testified before Congress and briefed the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) on the use of story techniques in countering extremism.
Michael earned his BA from Brown University, his MA Sciences-Po (Paris), and studied filmmaking at NYU
Michael has contributed live and written content to a wide range of media platforms
"Why do we Write? -- On the first day of each semester, I'd ask this question of my students at NYU -- those who'd gotten into the popular class: "Writing About Global Affairs."
Hands would shoot up!: "To influence people! To express yourself! To bear witness!" And finally: "To tell a story!" Someone would say.
"And why do tell stories?" Students would hesitate, as if it might be a trick-question. THis would be my "cue" to explain that story speaks directly to the human operating system, and take it from there...
But once, a former Marine who had just come back from two tours in Iraq, threw me a curve ball: Why do we tell stories?
"To become famous and get laid?" He said. We all burst into laughter.
I could have told him that the chances of a writer becoming widely published are as tall as a high school ball player getting picked by the NBA. But, "fame" aside, he had made us laugh. And there is always truth in laughter...
"Okay." I said. The laughter stopped net. I had to bring this back to "global affairs" somehow.... What truth just made us laugh?
"Throughout history," I was riffing here "men have indeed written love letters to win over a woman's heart. But let's think about why? Perhaps it it because, in male dominated societies, a woman might want to know... What will be the story of her life? If she committed to marriage...would she be treated as an equal? If not by society, at least in her home? Would she be RESPECTED?"
"In fact" I realized. "I can't think of a greater political question on the planet than how half of humanity treats the other half!"
Phew! In the book I was writing while at NYU, I thanked my students for teaching me more than they could ever imagine.
Soon after, I was invited to be a founding member of NYU's Women's Initiative, which, has since grown into an energizing catalyst for the infusion of gender issues into foreign policy thinking.
Whether I write for Hollywood or news outlets, public or corporate leaders, I stick to a simple motto.
Success always favors to those who have the most compelling story on their side.
AFTER WRITING ENOUGH ARTICLES, I WAS ABLE TO PUBLISH A MEMOIR
ABOUT MY "CRASH COURSE IN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY"
First and Second Edition
“Soussan landed the job of his dreams, working for the United Nations on the biggest aid program it had ever attempted. However, anyone familiar with the tales of Soussan's fellow countryman Hans Christian Andersen will expect dark truths to emerge from the most innocent exteriors […] this book will come as a revelation.” The Sunday Times
The intelligence that caused me to resign came from a female spy. To protect her, I had to wait until an Iraqi newspaper
published it to call for a investigation that involved 2,300 big name corporations (some very dangerous). My Op-Ed helped spark:
THE BIGGEST INVESTIGATION INTO GLOBAL CORRUPTION IN HISTORY. BY FAR.
(See The COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS' summary:
I was invited back to the UN to brief top officials who launched a wave of reforms to future whistleblowers. I am now often engaged to advise corporate and public ethics committees on how to prevent scandals by listening to (usually young and competent) staff who want to work "through the system" to sound the alarm on wrongdoing.
The risks I took and the threats I faced for speaking out
were a subject in a French Documentary by OSCAR-WINNING DIRECTOR Denis Poncet produced for ARTÉ.
On the ground in Iraq
On the film set
US Theatrical Distribution
And if you speak Italian...
International Theatrical Distribution
AWARDS AND SALES
Films and Screenplays sold, distributed or in development
(Inquiries Welome - Contact Portal Below)
CLICK on ICONS to VIEW
THE FREEDOM RING
TV Limited Series
Inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book
THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA
(Sold - in Development)
MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION
Based on a True Story
(Sold - in Development)
"Three Single Mothers Pull A Heist"
Sold and Distributed
A LUCKY MAN
Multi-Award Winning film
Cannes Film Festival
Watch it on
I have worked for a wide spectrum of companies and organizations as media advisor, a producer, a speechwriter and an intelligence analyst. Strategic messaging and storied content helps a range of companies, think tanks PR agencies make decisions in rapidly evolving situations. My experience helps me save them the time they need to focus on managing their operations effectively when time is short.
Managers are typically excellent communicators.
The main service an advisor can provide is to save them time.
THESE TALKS WERE NOT PUBLIC
Except for my testimony before Congress
The London School of Economics
The Harvard Club
of New York
Testimony before the United States Congress
Guest Lecture at
John Hopkins University
Benefit Speaking Series
Lecture about the Iraq Conflict
Closed Pannel Discussion
With Sir Richard Dearlove
Former Head of the M.I.6