He’s been out of power for over 30 years, but former Carter-era national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski is still as active and relevant as when he was brokering the Camp David Peace Accords. Like the globe-trotting former President Carter, in fact, Brzezinski has established himself as an influential post-White House foreign policy adviser, working with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama officials on several issues. Now he is 83, and we asked him why he still feels the need to play a role in world affairs. “In my own life, what formed me was World War II and the realization of how far humanity can go in doing wrong things to itself, people doing it to other people,” says the Polish-born Brzezinski. “I’ve always had this sense that human affairs requires some combination of moral commitment with disciplined political action, and that’s what keeps me intrigued and challenged and wanting to influence events,” he says. Zbig, as he was known to reporters during the 1970s, says it’s best to have a position of power, which he lost when Carter lost to Reagan in 1980. “There was no opportunity of seizing power permanently when I was leaving,” he jokes.