The Great Seal
Diplomacy Classroom: The Great Seal
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On October 20, the National Museum of America Diplomacy (NMAD) hosted another Diplomacy Classroom program, this time looking at the Great Seal of the United States. The seal is impressed upon thousands of official documents such as treaties and commissions each year. 

NMAD Public Historian Dr. Alison Mann and Education Director Lauren Fischer discussed the importance of the seal and how it evolved to be the image now recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States. Also highlighted during the 45-minute program were artifacts from NMAD’s collection that bear the Great Seal. The artifacts showed how the seal is used not only on official documents but is affixed on U.S. missions across the globe and represented on diplomatic gifts. 

Missed the program? Watch the recording on YouTube below.

To learn more about the Great Seal, check out the online exhibit here.

Diplomacy Classroom: The Great Seal
Hispanic Diplomats Diplomacy After Hours
Diplomacy After Hours: A Candid Conversation with Hispanic Diplomats
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On October 14, in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Museum of American Diplomacy co-hosted its Diplomacy After Hours Program with the Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies and R/PPR’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.

The program featured the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Next Level Hip Hop Cultural Ambassador Pinqy Ring, Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs Paco Palmieri, Consul General Ana Escrogima, and Economics Officer Maria Apud. The panelists shared their experiences of representing the United States overseas and the challenges they have encountered as Hispanic diplomats. Through hip hop and conversation, the dialogue represented another moment of transformation for diplomats of color in the shared painful and joyful experiences of serving the United States.

Watch the full program below.

Diplomacy After Hours: A Candid Conversation with Hispanic Diplomats
berlin wall german reunification
2+4 = Unity: NMAD Celebrates the 30th anniversary of German Reunification
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On October 3, 1990,  the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, known in diplomatic parlance as the “Two Plus Four Agreement” was signed in Moscow. This treaty paved the way for the reunification of Germany, the nation having been divided into east and west following the 1945 Potsdam Agreement at the end of World War II. The numbers in the equation represent the stakeholders in the negotiations, the two Germanys plus the four countries that had agreed upon the 1945 division – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. The United States welcomed reunification but understood the negotiations would be a complex diplomatic exercise in trust-building, working with existing alliances, and listening to the desires of the German people. American diplomatic leadership during this time ensured that reunification could happen.

In recognition of this historic milestone, NMAD is hosting a Diplomacy Classroom that will highlight the museum’s “Signature Segment” of the Berlin Wall, as well as our online exhibit “The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall: American Diplomacy in the Cold War” that features a section on German reunification. The program will explore the diplomatic achievements that brought about German unity and share what the legacy of reunification means to the German people. The program will premiere on November 17, at 1:00pm EST. Stay tuned for more information!

Diplomacy After Hours: The Power of Protocol
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On September 23, 2020, former Chief of Protocol Ambassador Capricia Marshall and current Chief of Protocol The Honorable Cam Henderson joined NMAD director Mary Kane in a discussion on the importance of protocol to diplomacy. They discussed the evolution of the Office of the Chief of Protocol since its establishment in 1928 under James Clement Dunn and how protocol is essential to everyday life. They also discussed the delicate art of gift giving between heads of state. Ambassador Marshall highlighted the meaning behind gifts received, and Ms. Henderson shed light on the process of choosing gifts to give. 

NMAD has the largest collection of gifts received by the Secretary of State from other countries, which will be showcased in the finished museum’s exhibit on protocol. Watch the full program on YouTube and learn more about the permanent museum plans here

Panelists discuss work on the ground of FSOs
Foreign Service on the Front Lines: Bringing Americans Home
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On September 22, NMAD hosted the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) for a special Diplomacy Classroom. The program, “Foreign Service on the Front Lines: Bringing Americans Home” highlighted the work and experiences of foreign service officers during the current pandemic. NMAD Director Mary Kane and AFSA President Ambassador Eric Rubin opened the panel and introduced the special guest moderator, Ambassador Jimmy Kolker. Ambassador Kolker was joined by Alan Eaton, a Consular Officer who was part of the Wuhan Evacuation Team, and Kathryn Stevens, a member of the USAID COVID-19 Task Force. The three individuals led a discussion on their experiences as diplomats during global health crises. 

The live event spurred robust interaction with the participating audience members. The audience for this episode continues to grow, with the recorded version reaching over 1000 views via NMAD’s social media platforms.

The program is complemented by NMAD’s online exhibit, Bringing #AmericansHome and AFSA’s July/August Volume of the The Foreign Service Journal. You can watch the live event below or on our YouTube channel.

Diplomacy Classroom: Foreign Service on the Front Lines: Bringing Americans Home
ImpactHack Awards Ceremony Banner
Announcing the Winners of ImpactHack2020!
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On September 15, 2020, NMAD held an online awards ceremony, broadcast over its website and social media accounts, to recognize the winners of the ImpactHack2020, a contest that helped develop future museum exhibits. 

This hackathon was a way to work closely with the public to develop ideas for two future museum exhibits:

  • Interactive World Map: Using publicly available data, participants created an interactive world map that explores where, when, and why American diplomacy happens and the topics addressed by multilateral efforts
  • Creating a Diverse Diplomatic Corps: Using State Department career information, participants created an interactive site where users match their skills and interests to careers in diplomacy. 

The winners are:

    • Overall Grand Prize: John Ferguson (U.S. Army) & Andrew Ferguson (Harvard University)
    • Best Creating a Diverse Diplomatic Corps Interactive: Michelle D’Souza (University of California, Berkeley) 
    • Best World Map Interactive : Ranjan Biswas (Georgetown University)
    • Honorable Mention: Sherry Fan (University of California, Berkeley)

NMAD is very grateful to the nearly 400 participants who competed in this virtual hackathon from July 15 to August 24, 2020. Participants used their tech skills and creativity to enhance the general public’s understanding of diplomacy and its related skills. These projects will serve as prototypes for future interactive exhibits in the museum.

Please contact for more information.

Virtual Diplomacy Simulation program presentation
NMAD Pivots to Online Programming
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NMAD continues to reach students and educators virtually! We have started a new, online biweekly series aimed at educators and students called Diplomacy Classroom. Every other Tuesday at 1pm, NMAD education and curatorial staff highlight new stories of American diplomacy as well as online teaching materials that help educators bring diplomacy into their classrooms. Diplomacy Classroom sessions are recorded and placed on the NMAD website so educators may access the content at any time, and share it with their students when it best suits their curriculum.

Also, we have created training and supporting materials for educators so they may offer and facilitate our Diplomacy Simulation Program (DSP) with their students virtually! NMAD simulations, which organizes students in stakeholder teams representing different perspectives, invites them to play the role of diplomats using the core skills of diplomacy: composure, awareness, communication, and leadership. The groups must work together towards common solutions to hypothetical global crises. Even in a virtual environment, students are able to meet these challenges! The training materials are free, and can be found on our website, along with the free simulation materials.

Anderson at Bulgarian market
Honoring America’s First Female Ambassador Eugenie Anderson
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In 1949, Eugenie Anderson (1909-1997) became the first American woman to be an ambassador when President Harry S Truman appointed her to be ambassador to Denmark. Following her highly successful tour in Denmark, President John F. Kennedy appointed her to be U.S ambassador to Bulgaria in 1962, making her the first American woman to serve as ambassador to a Soviet-allied country behind the Iron Curtain. Among her remarkable achievements, Anderson was also a pioneer in people-to-people diplomacy, placing special emphasis on meeting directly with citizens of host countries where she served. 

NMAD highlights Anderson in the #HerDiplomacy online exhibit, Diplomacy is Our Mission physical exhibit, and also featured her life and work in a special edition of the bi-weekly online program, Diplomacy Classroom.

Support CFC with DCF and NMAD
Support NMAD Through the CFC
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The Diplomacy Center Foundation (DCF), the philanthropic partner for the museum, is participating in the CFC for the first time. Federal appropriations provide NMAD’s operating budget, while private donations allow for programs and the development, fabrication, and installation of exhibitions.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the largest and most successful workplace charitable giving drive in the world. CFC is the only authorized charitable solicitation of federal employees in their workplaces. CFC is structured to support and to promote philanthropy through a voluntary program that is cost-efficient and effective in providing all Federal employees the opportunity to impact the CFC charities.

NMAD is the first museum devoted to exploring the value and power of America’s diplomatic relations and to showcasing the strength, dedication, and ingenuity of our nation’s diplomatic community. DCF is a private-sector 501(c)(3) dedicated to fundraising to make the museum possible.

If you are a government employee your donation to DCF through the 2020 Combined Federal Campaign will help us bring the museum to life with programs and exhibits. Please designate the Diplomacy Center Foundation as your recipient organization. Their CFC number is #30585

virtual event featuring cultural envoys
Diplomacy After Hours Recognizes 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
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On July 8, 2020, NMAD hosted a Diplomacy After Hours program virtually in honor of the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Held in partnership with the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the conversation included US Sports Envoy Deja Young, a two-time gold medalist from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games; US Cultural Envoy Tony Memmel; and International Visitors Leadership Program Alumn Flor Braga Menéndez from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The program began with Tony playing his guitar and engaging the audience in a song before getting to the tougher conversation about living in the world with disabilities, including advances made and challenges which remain.