2010 TOP TEN

Thank you to readers who sent messages about the 2012 Top Ten list that I posted a couple months ago. I always welcome comments and other feedback, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your impressions of the year gone by. I was also pleasantly surprised that quite a few folks inquired why I did not do a Top Ten list in 2010. Lest anyone think I slighted my first full year in office, I note that I did write a year-end summary of sorts in December 2010.

I wouldn’t want you to think that I found 2010 lacking in any way. Quite the contrary. It was a dynamic, exciting, highly productive year … in many respects a necessary reboot that paved the way for the significant work done in 2011 and 2012. So, to correct my omission then, I share now a more structured list of the efforts in which the American Mission played a meaningful role that most significantly contributed to positive momentum in U.S. relations with New Zealand and Samoa in 2010:

10. Ambassador’s Blog

At the risk of appearing unduly self-focused, the tenth slot on this highlight list goes to my own blog, launched on March 14, 2010. The blog was the first and most visible sign of the Embassy’s vigorous new focus on social media and other forms of nontraditional diplomatic engagement. It was a risky, time-intensive experiment, but even in its first year it accomplished what we hoped it would, expanding and diversifying our audience.

Duane, Dora, Joe, Liz, and me.

The blog is about personal moments as well as policy. Here, with my spouse, mother-in-law, Vice President, and mother, just before being sworn in.

Perhaps most importantly, the blog demonstrated within the Embassy the depth of front-office commitment to new forms of communication, which made subsequent steps a bit easier. For purposes of this list, the blog represents the large amount of work undertaken in 2010 to create the broad, deep, vibrant cyber engagement programs that have now become fully integrated, organic parts of how the American Missions in New Zealand and Samoa operate.

9. Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

The first Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) convened in Wellington in April 2010, with representatives from 29 nations. We arranged a large American delegation co-headed by Dr. Roger Beachy (the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) and me.

An idea first floated by New Zealand the prior year, the GRA was designed to develop science-based methods of producing substantially more food while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector. The Senior Officials’ Meeting was organized to organize the effort. We worked with the Government of New Zealand to insure a successful launch of the enterprise, with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack committing up to US $90 million in funding over four years.

8. Visit of Special Representative Farah Pandith

One of the Embassy’s core themes for the year was highlighting, embracing, and engaging diversity, Kiwi as well as American. A key part of our inclusive outreach program was bringing to New Zealand the State Department’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith, for community meetings, school visits, and other events in Wellington, Hamilton, and Auckland.

Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith talking with students in Wellington.

Farah is a passionate and articulate interlocutor, and has extensive experience in foreign policy, including at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Security Council. She was generous to us with her time, and we put her through a packed schedule that helped pave the way for additional visits and important work in the two years thereafter.

7. Independence Day Receptions

To be frank, when I arrived I had no idea what a national day was supposed to look like in polite diplomatic circles. The couple of others I attended involved harp music and trade statistics, which seemed a bit odd. So, for my first Ambassadorial Fourth of July, we decided to throw a party celebrating the great diversity that has always defined, distinguished, and strengthened America, and that is increasingly defining New Zealand.

The Topp Twins making an impertinent guest appearance by video.

The Topp Twins making an impertinent Independence Day guest appearance.

Our guests were greeted with a rock-n-roll montage of American history and culture, tastings of a half dozen of Kentucky’s finest whiskey brands, performances by Pacific island students, prayers by clergy from a local mosque and Anglican parish, taped welcomes by Secretary Clinton and others, a comedy video by New Zealand’s favorite lesbian rabble-rousers (the Topp Twins), and a cheeky speech (by the Ambassador) devoid of trade statistics. Our 2010 Independence Day places on the Top Ten list because it demonstrated unequivocally that we weren’t your grandfather’s Embassy any longer.

6. Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation

The sixth spot on the list goes to one of the first major events that we facilitated after my arrival, a week-long series of meetings of the U.S.-New Zealand Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation. Starting with working sessions around the country, the Commission proceedings concluded with a couple days of plenary sessions at Te Papa in Wellington.

Joint Commission on Sci. and Tech.

NZ Minister of Research, Science, and Technology Dr. Wayne Mapp addresses the Joint Commission.

The Commission had not convened since its inaugural gathering 20 years ago. As part of a renewed commitment to expanding the already substantial cross-border collaboration in matters of science, we brought a high-level delegation that included Dr. Arden Bement (Director of the National Science Foundation), Dr. Steven Koonin (Under-Secretary in the Department of Energy), Dr. Nina Fedoroff (Science & Technology Adviser in the Department of State), and a dozen other senior researchers and officials. Progress was made, and the Commission convened again last year, this time in Washington, DC.

5. Ambassador’s First Trip to Samoa

One of the great highlights of the year was my inaugural visit to Samoa to present my credentials to His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi. Yes, the trip was exciting and enjoyable, but it also provided the information and experience necessary to formulate the aggressive plan that we have been implementing in Embassy Apia since then. I sprinted through a packed schedule including a long discussion with the Head of State about Samoan history and culture, a visit to a primary school to talk with teachers and see a computer training room that we had outfitted …

In the computer lab we provided to Samoa Primary School in Apia.

In the computer lab that we outfitted for Samoa Primary School in Apia.

… a roundtable discussion with National University of Samoa students, a community event at the American Corner we created at Apia’s public library, dinner with our Peace Corps volunteers to learn about their work and experiences, discussions at the Samoa AIDS Foundation, an afternoon with the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Walnut digging foundations for fales in a village hit hard by the prior year’s tsunami, meetings with village elders and clergy on Savai’i, and conversations with numerous Government officials, NGO leaders, and my Embassy Apia colleagues. It was time extremely well spent.

4. Connecting Young Leaders Conference

Among the most important efforts of 2010 was formation of student adviser groups at universities in New Zealand as part of our new youth engagement program. The work built toward an exciting conference in October of that year that brought my advisers from around the country together for policy discussions with opinion leaders and experts, leadership training, networking, and brainstorming, including special appearances by a couple of my Washington colleagues by video feed. An absolutely exhilarating experience, the two days validated the new program, generated incredible enthusiasm and energy, and produced feedback that we used to revise and refine our approach.

Dr McWaine and me with some of my student Advisors at my Residence after the Connecting Young Leaders Conference.

With Dr. McWaine and a few of my student advisers at the Residence after the closing dinner of the Connecting Young Leaders Conference.

As I stated at the time, “[T]he goal of the conference was to bring a few dozen special people together, apply a little stimulation, let them talk among themselves, and then see what happens. What happened during the weekend was, not surprisingly, great. Now let’s see what happens in the future as these newly interconnected young leaders move forward…” Part of what happened is that we’ve expanded our adviser groups, updated all of our Embassy and Consulate General invitation lists to include Kiwis under age 30, held a second successful Connecting Young Leaders Conference, and created a full-time staff position dedicated to university engagement.

3. Ambassador’s Trip to Antarctica

That my first trip to Antarctica only places third on this list is a sign of just how incredibly productive and exciting 2010 was. From a personal standpoint, the experience remains one of the absolute highlights of my life thus far. With respect to work, the expedition contributed greatly to our reorientation of Embassy efforts around science-related projects, a commitment that has continued to grow since then. The trip energized our social media platforms with compelling reports and stunning photos, and helped us build closer relationships with the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation.

Deplaning at the South Pole.

Deplaning at the South Pole.

There is really no way to capture in a paragraph the adventure, magic, and value of the week I spent at McMurdo Station, Scott Base, the South Pole, and places in between. The best I can do is to refer you back to the series of reports I posted from Antarctica, drafted and uploaded late each night after getting back to the hut from the day’s adventures. You can locate the posts in my blog archive, from the last week of November and the first week of December 2010. The series remains by far my personal favorite blogging effort, and I still get reader comments about the penguins (of course).

2. Wellington Declaration

In the #2 spot on the 2010 Top 10 list was the signing of the Wellington Declaration by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Murray McCully during the Secretary’s landmark visit to the capital. Short and simple in form but powerful in impact, the Declaration reaffirmed our two nations’ historical ties, committed us to a renewed strategic partnership, and identified two priority areas of joint focus — practical cooperation in the Pacific region, and regularized, enhanced political, security, and subject-matter expert dialogues.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister John Key, Foreign Minister McCully at the signing of the " Wellington Declaration" .

The signing of the Wellington Declaration at Parliament.

The document wisely emphasizes what unites us:  “New Zealand and the United States are both Pacific nations. Our Governments and Peoples share a deep and abiding interest in maintaining peace, prosperity, and stability in the region, expanding the benefits of freer and more open trade, and promoting and protecting freedom, democracy, and human rights worldwide. We recall the long history of shared United States and New Zealand sacrifice in battle, and we honor those, past and present, who have borne that sacrifice… Our goal is a partnership for the 21st Century that is flexible, dynamic, and reflects our fundamental beliefs and aspirations.” Sounds right.

1. Secretary Clinton’s Visit to Wellington and Christchurch

Of course, the signing of the Wellington Declaration was part of a larger event that clearly ranks as the most important Embassy effort of 2010 by far, the transformative three-day visit of Secretary of State Clinton to Wellington and Christchurch which in certain ways rebooted the bilateral relationship and focused it forward rather than backward.

In Wellington, she enjoyed her first-ever pōwhiri, met with numerous civil society and business leaders, engaged with my student advisers, laid a wreath at the National War Memorial, went for a supposedly incognito jog around the harbor that ended up stopping traffic, met the press, and held strategic discussions with senior officials including Prime Minister Key, Foreign Minister McCully, and Defence Minister Dr. Mapp.

With the Secretary during the Pōwhiri in the Parliament forecourt.

With the Secretary during the Pōwhiri in the Parliament forecourt.

In Christchurch, the Secretary met with Kiwi and American Antarctic scientists, held a reception for American businesses active in New Zealand, did TV interviews, engaged with more than 500 Kiwis in a public town hall discussion (with in excess of 3,000 other citizens participating via a live stream on the internet), met with Mayor Bob Parker and Minister Gerry Brownlee, and slipped away for a run through Hagley Park.

In a sign of her commitment to the relationship, the Secretary spent 3 days here during an otherwise hectic 13-day, 12-stop trip covering several nations and more than 31,000 air miles. She reframed discourse, injected a hyper-dose of adrenaline into the Embassy’s activities, validated our restructuring and reorientation, and generated momentum that still helps propel us forward today, two and a half years later. And, of course, she and just about everyone she met here enjoyed the experience. She still talks fondly about the visit.

* * *

Well, for those of you who inquired, that was 2010. It was a highly productive year that laid the foundation for the important work that has followed. It was also, frankly, a very difficult year as our teams in Wellington, Auckland, and Apia oriented to new priorities, launched extensive new programs (without new resources), and adjusted to higher expectations and new ways of doing business.

It was all well worth the effort. You’ve already seen what was accomplished in 2011 and 2012 as a result of the investments made in 2010. Stay tuned for what promises to be a great 2013.

While in Washington on business last week I had the great pleasure of attending a reception in honor of the 20th anniversary of the founding of GLIFAA, which stands for Gays & Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies. Secretary Clinton hosted the event in the historic Ben Franklin Room and delivered a powerful keynote address to attendees from State, other agencies, and NGOs. I reprint below the Secretary’s stirring remarks about the evolution of the Department and the transformative importance of the human rights work we do.

* * *

REMARKS BY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
November 28, 2012

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all, very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [Laughter.] Thank you, all. Thank you.Yeah, that’s good. [Laughter.] Wow. Well, welcome to the Ben Franklin Room. [Laughter.] And congratulations on your 20th anniversary.
 
 
 
I am so pleased to be here and to have this chance to join this celebration. Ken, thank you for your kind words and your efforts here to make this day possible. I am extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills, my friend as well as Chief of Staff and Counselor is here, so that those of you who may not have met her or even seen her, given how shy and retiring she is – [laughter] – can express your appreciation to her for her tireless efforts.
 

I’m delighted that Deputy Secretary Tom Nides is here. Tom, who some of you know, who you’ve had a chance to work with him, has been just an extraordinary deputy. Also let me recognize USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg. He’s been an unyielding advocate for the LGBT community at USAID.

We also have a number of ambassadors and deputy chiefs of mission, both past and present, some of whom have literally traveled from the other side of the world to be here. David, I’m talking about you. [DH note: yes, that was me.] And we have Michael Guest with us, our country’s first out ambassador to be confirmed by the Senate and someone who’s remained an outspoken champion for LGBT rights, despite having to endure countless attacks and threats. Michael, why don’t you stand up so that you can be recognized? [Applause.]

Also let me thank the GLIFAA board and members. I just had a chance to meet the board and former presidents. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room with so many former presidents. [Laughter.] The last count was maybe five. [Laughter.] But it’s really due to their leadership over 20 years that GLIFAA has reached this milestone, and it will be up to all of you and those who come after you to keep the work going for the next 20 and the 20 after that.

Now, it wasn’t really that long ago since this organization was created, but in many ways it was a completely different world. As we heard, in 1992 you could be fired for being gay. Just think about all of the exceptional public servants, the brilliant strategists, the linguists, the experts fired for no reason other than their sexual orientation.

Think of what our country lost because we were unable to take advantage of their hard work, expertise, and experience. And the policy forced people to make terrible choices, to hide who they were from friends and colleagues, to lie or mislead, to give up their dreams of serving their country altogether.

That began to change, in part because of the brave employees here at State, who decided that it was time for the bigotry, the ignorance, the lying, and discrimination to end. The LGBT community deserve the same chance as anyone else to serve. And indeed, as we all know, many had for many years, just without acknowledgment of who they were. So enough was enough, and that’s how GLIFAA was formed. And thank goodness it was.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks at the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs (GLIFAA) 20th Anniversary celebration at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., November 28, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

We’ve come a long way since then, and we have seen milestones along that journey over the last 20 years. I remember that I think on my husband’s first day in office back in ’93, he announced that gays and lesbians working in the Federal Government would receive equal treatment under the Civil Service Reform Act. Two years later, Secretary Warren Christopher made clear those rules would be enforced within the halls of the State Department when he issued a statement that explicitly prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Now over the past four years, we’ve built on those and other steps to really acknowledge and welcome LGBT people into the State Department family and other agencies. We’ve extended benefits to same-sex domestic partners of State and USAID employees, Foreign Service officers, personal service contractors, third country nationals at missions overseas.

We’ve institutionalized these changes by creating a classification for same-sex domestic partners in the Foreign Affairs manual. We’ve also made it clear in our Equal Opportunity Employment statement that the Department doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. We’ve helped to make it easier for transgender Americans to change the gender listed on their passports, because our mission is not only to protect the rights and dignity of our colleagues, but also of the American people we serve. And we’ve taken this message all over the world, including the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where we worked to pass the first ever UN resolution affirming the human rights of LGBT people.

Together we have worked to make something very simple and right come true. Our people should not have to choose between serving the country they love and sharing a life with the people they love. And I want to say a few words about why this work is so important.

Now, leaders of all kinds will stand in front of audiences like this and tell you that our most important asset is our people. And of course, that’s especially true in diplomacy, where we try to be very diplomatic all the time. But what our success truly depends on is our ability to forge strong relationships and relate to people of all backgrounds. And what that means for me, as your Secretary, is that creating an LGBT-welcoming workplace is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.

In part, that’s because the nature of diplomacy has changed, and we should and need to keep up. Today we expect our diplomats to build relationships not just with their counterparts in foreign governments, but with people from every continent and every walk of life. And in order to do that, we need a diplomatic corps that is as diverse as the world we work in.

It’s also smart because it makes us better advocates for the values that we hold dear. Because when anyone is persecuted anywhere, and that includes when LGBT people are persecuted or kept from fully participating in their societies, they suffer, but so do we. We’re not only robbed of their talents and ideas, we are diminished, because our commitment to the human rights of all people has to be a continuing obligation and mission of everyone who serves in the Government of the United States.

So this is a mission that I gladly assume. We have to set the example and we have to live up to our own values.

And finally, we are simply more effective when we create an environment that encourages people to bring their whole selves to work, when they don’t have to hide a core part of who they are, when we recognize and reward people for the quality of their work instead of dismissing their contributions because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So really, I’m here today to say thank you to all of you. Thank you for your courage and resolve, for your willingness to keep going despite the obstacles – and for many of you, there were and are many. Thank you for pushing your government to do what you know was right, not just for yourselves but for all who come after you.

Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at the GLIFAA 20th Anniversary Celebration.

I want to mention one person in particular who was a key part of this fight, Tom Gallagher. I met Tom earlier. Where is Tom? There you are, Tom. Tom joined the Foreign Service in 1965 and in the early 1970s he risked his career when he came out and became the first openly gay Foreign Service officer. He served in the face of criticism and threats, but that did not stop him from serving.

I wanted to take this moment just to recognize him, but also to put into context what this journey has meant for people of Tom’s and my vintage, because I don’t want any of you who are a lot younger ever to take for granted what it took for people like Tom Gallagher to pave the way for all of you. It’s not a moment for us to be nostalgic. It is a moment for us to remember and to know that all of the employees who sacrificed their right to be who they were were really defending your rights and the rights and freedoms of others at home and abroad. And I want to say a special word about why we are working so hard to protect the rights of LGBT people around the world. And Dan Baer, who works on this along with Mike Posner and Maria Otero, have been great champions of standing up for the rights of LGBT communities and individuals.

We have come such a long way in the United States. Tom Gallagher is living proof of that. And think about what it now means to be a member of a community in this country that is finally being recognized and accepted far beyond what anyone could have imagined just 20 years ago.

And remind yourself, as I do every day, what it must be like for a young boy or a young girl in some other part of the world who could literally be killed, and often has been and still will be, who will be shunned, who will be put in danger every day of his or her life.

And so when I gave that speech in Geneva and said that we were going to make this a priority of American foreign policy, I didn’t see it as something special, something that was added on to everything else we do, but something that was integral to who we are and what we stand for.

Those who serve today in the State Department have a new challenge to do everything you can at State and AID and the other foreign affairs agencies to help keep widening that circle of opportunity and acceptance for all those millions of men and women who may never know your name or mine, but who because of our work together will live lives of not only greater safety but integrity.

This is not the end of the story. There’s always more we can do to live our values and tap the talents of our people. It’s going to be an ongoing task for future Secretaries of State and Administrators at AID and for people at every level of our government.

Even as we celebrate 20 years with Ben Franklin looking down at us, I want you to leave this celebration thinking about what more each and every one of you can do – those who are currently serving in our government, those who have served in the past, and those who I hope will decide to serve – to make not only the agencies of our government but our world more just and free for all people.

Thank you very much. [Applause.]

- HRC

 * * *

It was powerful, uplifting afternoon, and I was honored to meet several important pioneers including Tom Gallagher and David Buss (GLIFAA’s founder and first president). There is much in the Secretary’s remarks to ponder, not just in Washington but in other capitals around the world. You can access the official transcript here.

I’m signing off now to get to my first meeting of this week. I have a hectic schedule for the next six days before returning to Wellington, so please excuse me if I fall a bit off pace with my posts.

Our friends at Women in Business (WIBDI) continue to work hard, achieve great things, and draw much needed attention to economic development and gender equity issues in the Pacific. In the driver’s seat is executive director Adi Tafuna’i, who’s been busy in Apia, Washington, New York, Palau, Rarotonga, and other places far and wide making friends, talking business, and picking up awards. I share below an article from the Samoa Observer about Adi and WIBDI.

***

Clintons Showcase Samoa in New York

(from the Samoa Observer)

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s focus on Samoa’s Women in Business continues with the organisation being a highlight feature at the Clinton Global Initiative design meetings in New York recently.

Addressing Women's Barriers: Chelsea, Hillary and Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative. Click through for image source.

Addressing Women’s Barriers: Chelsea, Hillary, and Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative.

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton.

It brings together global leaders, including heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of philanthropists, company and organisation heads to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Women in Business executive director, Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i says the organisation was honoured to be in the spotlight last month because it shows that they are on the right track, and that others around the world consider their work as essential to global development.

“We were humbled and honoured when we were told that CGI wanted like to highlight Women in Business this year during one of their ‘Design Lab Sessions’ to focus on the economic advancement of women,” says Tafuna’i.

Women in Business received an international boost earlier this year when Tafuna’i received a Global Leadership Award for economic empowerment from Vital Voices, a Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright foundation.

Ten awards are given out each year and Tafuna’i was the first woman from the Pacific to be honoured.

Adi receives her award from U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (left) and news anchor and correspondent Andrea Mitchell (right).  Click through for image source.

Adi receives Vital Voices Award from U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (left) and news anchor/correspondent Andrea Mitchell (right).

CGI also gave out its own global awards last month to Digicel Group chairman and founder Denis O’Brien for Leadership in the Corporate Sector, Sexual Minorities programme director Pepe Julian Onziema (Uganda), St Paul’s Reconciliation and Equality Centre executive director Rt Rev Christopher Senyonjo (Uganda), and Katie’s Krops founder Katie Stagliano for Leadership in Civil Societies; and Luis Alberto Moreno, Inter-American Development Bank president for Leadership in Public Service.

The Initiative showcased Women in Business as a way to spur discussion and urge CGI members to address some of the critical barriers that women face around the world.

“CGI identified Women in Business as an organisation that had been able to forge a ‘best practice’ approach to build the capacity of women-owned businesses in isolated regions of the world,” says Tafuna’i.

The Design Lab that looked at how to support women-owned business produced a series of ideas. They included a crowd-sourcing web-based platform where women can connect with those who seek to fund female entrepreneurs; using social media platforms for one-on-one coaching and funding for new female entrepreneurs by successful female entrepreneurs; and launch an awareness campaign to encourage consumers to purchase products from female entrepreneurs; begin in developed markets to build the program and awareness.

Big moment: Adi Tafunai and Hilary Clinton  - Photo / Cook Island News

Adi Tafunai and Hilary Clinton in the Cook Islands.

Promoting equality for women is not new for Tafuna’i, who sat alongside US State Secretary Hillary Clinton on a panel for the Gender Equality Dialogue as part of the Pacific Island Leaders Forum in the Cooks Islands in August.

Clinton, Tafuna’i and other Pacific leaders signed a joint statement in the Cook Islands, pledging to address issues including violence against women, limited economic opportunities and the representation of women in Pacific parliaments, which is among the lowest in the world.

- Samoa Observer

***

A few months ago while in Washington, D.C. for consultations with colleagues at the State Department and other agencies, I met with our new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine. Having held senior positions in both communications and government, the Under Secretary is well-suited to her current role. Among other highlights, she reported for ABC World News Tonight, was editorial producer of ABC News’ Nightline, and won 10 News Emmy Awards for her work.

The Under Secretary and I had a long chat about a variety of topics, including our program celebrating Samoa’s 50th Independence Day, the innovative social media work being done at Embassy Wellington, our development of new events such as The Project: [R]evolution Conference, and of course our need for certain kinds of support here in the field. I pitched the Under Secretary re our plan to build a digital/video studio at the Embassy to create more engaging content for our expanding social media and education platforms.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine responds to questions during a Twitter Q & A  in June this year, in nine languages at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Under Secretary Tara D. Sonenshine (at center) responds to questions during a Twitter Q & A in nine languages earlier this year.

While trawling Twitter a week ago I discovered that Under Secretary Sonenshine recently delivered remarks in my hometown of Los Angeles at a Pacific Council on International Policy luncheon. Her address touched on a variety of interesting current topics, in the nature of an update on how Secretary Clinton’s vision of 21st Century Statecraft continues to play out in a kinetic world. Below is a transcript of what she said.

continue reading…