USDC Education Program activities, June 2014
June 2-9, 2014, 350 Advanced Placement Comparative Government students at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County helped the USDC education team pilot-test a new diplomatic simulation "The Suez Canal Crisis: National Sovereignty versus International Access to Waterways" in a six-day program. Foreign Service Officer TJ Dowling shared his experience serving as a U.S. Department of State diplomat, then the students (representing Egypt, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Israel and the United States) researched their assigned country’s role in the crisis. USDC education team members and Robinson teachers ran the simulations on June 6 and 9, impressed by the students’ embrace of the diplomatic skills of listening, engaging, compromising, mediating, negotiating, and presenting as they sought final agreement on ways to solve the crisis.
USDC and Corcoran College of Art + Design partner to produce portraits of diplomats, March 14, 2014
USDC and the Corcoran College of Art + Design (CCAD) in Washington, DC, have partnered to produce photographic portraits and video interviews of Department of State diplomats for the upcoming “I am a Diplomat” exhibit slated for the new museum. Funded by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation, CCAD designed a class especially for this project, staffed by talented photography and videography faculty. The photography and videography took place in late February and early March at sites around Washington, DC and at the Department of State.
USDC Senior Advisor speaks at Georgetown, February 19, 2014
USDC Senior Advisor and Foreign Service Officer TJ Dowling addressed a graduate class on Sports and Cultural Diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. TJ discussed developing cultural programs for local audiences and explained how Public Diplomacy and Embassy staff must engage local organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, to develop exchange programs and strategies. TJ emphasized that programming and exchanges are very much bilateral, multi-themed, and progressive, creating opportunities for new partnerships with the U.S.
Diplomats and DC Public Schools education exchange, December 19, 2013
As part of a continuing USDC exchange with the DC Public schools, Foreign Service Officers Kit Boyle (left) and Rebecca Winchester (right) discussed climate change in Latin America with the sixth grade classes in the interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate program at Alice Deal Middle School on December 19, 2013. The two officers spoke about water, air pollution, mudslides and hurricanes and how the Department’s multi-lateral and bilateral efforts fit into a diplomat’s work on the ground during crisis or when collaboratively seeking regulatory change.
Diplomatic Simulation with Bosnian and Herzegovinian youth, November 15, 2013
U.S. Diplomacy Center education staff led a diplomatic simulation on the topic of refugees with 18 high school-aged Bosnian and Herzegovinian youth participating in an ECA Youth Leadership and Teacher Professional Development Program. In a simulation, students assume the roles of diplomats representing various perspectives, and experience the challenges and choices that their role offers. Inevitably, they learn that diplomacy can bring great rewards but only with patience, persistence and compromise. These students handled the simulations brilliantly, and had fun doing it! Learn more about USDC's diplomatic simulation program at: http://diplomacy.state.gov/education/c23808.htm
USDC Director and Senior Advisor visit Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC, October 31, 2013
USDC Director David Ballard and Senior Advisor Kit Boyle, both Foreign Service Officers, met with students from Alice Deal Middle School, in Washington, DC. The students participate in the DC Public School’s Embassy Adoption Program and are studying about the United Nations and the Millennium Development Goals. Mr. Ballard and Ms. Boyle shared how the Department of State works with the UN and helps to meet the MDGs, as well as what it’s like to serve as a US diplomat.
USDC Senior Advisor speaks to alma matter, October 10, 2013
Foreign Service Officer TJ Dowling is currently the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Diplomacy Center. He recently returned to his alma matter Monsignor Farrell High School, in Staten Island, NY, as part of their alumni office Legacy Lecture Series. "Coming home is always a moving experience," said TJ. "My return to Farrell, my earliest intellectual home, to share my Foreign Service experiences with the next generation of Farrell men proved immensely enjoyable and rewarding." TJ spoke with 120 students over the course of 4 sessions during his visit.
[Image courtesy Monsignor Farrell High School]
Swedish Ambassador visits the US Diplomacy Center, July 3, 2013
The USDC received a fascinating piece of history from none other than the Swedish Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Jonas Hafström visited the USDC’s offices to present framed and signed copies of the first email correspondence between any heads of state. Dated February 1994, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt sent what we now call an “email” to U.S. President Bill Clinton. Prime Minister Bildt indicates he is “…testing this connection on the global Internet system….” In his reply, President Clinton states that this is a “…step toward building a global information superhighway.” In the body of the email, the two heads of state also mention the U.S. decision to end the trade embargo on Vietnam as well as the question of soldiers who are POW/MIAs. USDC is proud to add this significant example of diplomatic communication to the collections.
Lecture features CIA Museum Curator Toni Hiley at the State Department's Bunche Library, June 27, 2013
USDC hosted a lunchtime lecture at the State Department’s Bunche Library featuring Toni L. Hiley, curator of the CIA Museum. She presented how the agency exhibits and collects artifacts (over 15,000!) for their internal museum program. Pictured at left, USDC Director David Ballard, CIA Curator Toni Hiley, and USDC Senior Curator Priscilla Linn. At right, Toni Hiley describes an artifact in the CIA collection to a very interested audience.
Bringing the Lessons Home, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, June 24, 2013
U.S. Diplomacy Center Director David Ballard spoke to 60 students serving as Young Ambassadors in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Bringing the Lessons Home program. A career Foreign Service Officer for 28 years, David talked about the role of U.S. ambassadors in representing their country, coordinating the work of the many agencies in an embassy, and leading the U.S. mission in a country or to international organization.
USDC Director David Ballard and Senior Curator Priscilla Linn review collections, May 13, 2013
USDC collections storage received an upgrade recently with space-saving and environment-buffering cabinets and a map case. USDC Collections Assistant Eric Duyck gives a tour of the new cabinets and some of the items in the collections to USDC Director David Ballard and Senior Curator Priscilla Linn.