U.S. Diplomacy Stories

Ambassador Mari-Luci Jaramillo
Ambassador Mari-Luci Jaramillo: The First Hispanic-American Woman Ambassador
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Mari-Luci Jaramillo was a renowned educator who served as Ambassador to Honduras under Carter’s administration from 1977-1980.  Jaramillo started her career as a teacher but quickly grew her leadership skills to push education reform and civil rights at a national and international level.  Her popularity in various communities led President Jimmy Carter to nominate her…

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Ambassador Lino Gutiérrez peru
Diplomacy through Many Storms: Ambassador Lino Gutiérrez
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When Lino Gutiérrez joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1977, he found himself to be the only Latino in his class. At that time, Hispanic Americans comprised only four percent of the diplomatic corps. During his 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, Gutiérrez served in the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, and Washington, D.C., including…

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Kellogg-Briand Pact Signing
The Kellogg-Briand Pact: The Aspiration for Global Peace and Security
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August 27, 2021 marks 93 years since the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The United States and France drafted the treaty, officially known as the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy, in the decade following the end of World War I.  This historic treaty pursued the lofty goal of…

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U.S. and Chinese exhibition teams pose for a photo at the exhibition. Photo courtesy of Connie Sweeris.
Ping Pong Diplomacy: Artifacts from the Historic 1971 U.S. Table Tennis Trip to China
Ping Pong Diplomacy: Artifacts from the Historic 1971 U.S. Table Tennis Trip to China 1024 527

In April 1971, nine players from the U.S. Table Tennis team took a historic trip to China, becoming the first delegation of Americans to visit the country in decades. Following the 1949 Chinese revolution, there had been no diplomatic ties, limited trade, and few contacts between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.…

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The Dedication and Leadership of Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir
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How does a diplomat become a great leader? Who and what has inspired them? The National Museum of American Diplomacy helps answer these questions through an exploration of some of the lives of our nation’s most accomplished diplomatic leaders. Drawing strength and determination from her upbringing, Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir now inspires future generations. Lakhdhir…

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Boa Lee: Diplomacy Can Overcome Tragedy
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In 2012, I had just arrived at my first overseas assignment in Sierra Leone when I was asked to deal with a protest outside the U.S. embassy. Relatives of people killed during Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war wanted to speak to the U.S. ambassador about the death of their loved ones.    Seeking justice and dealing…

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Donald Yamamoto Flags
A Dedication to Service: Ambassador Donald Yamamoto
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Americans who choose to enter the United States Foreign Service do not take the decision lightly.  These professional diplomats spend most of their careers abroad, serving two-to-three years at a post in a foreign nation before moving to another.  Representing the United States overseas is a rewarding, demanding, and sometimes dangerous job. Diplomacy requires resilience.…

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Sammy Lee Asian American Cultural Diplomat
Dr. Sammy Lee (1920-2016): Olympic Champion and Goodwill Ambassador
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Born in California in 1920 to Korean immigrant parents, Dr. Sammy Lee represented and served the United States in many ways. By the 1950s, Lee was an Olympic gold medalist, a U.S. Army physician, and a goodwill ambassador for the State Department.  Lee’s worldwide celebrity status and ability to charm fans led the State Department…

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A member of the CIA helps evacuees up a ladder onto an Air America helicopter on the roof of 22 Gia Long Street
The Fall of Saigon (1975): The Bravery of American Diplomats and Refugees
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On April 30, 1975, the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army, effectively ending the Vietnam War. In the days before, U.S. forces evacuated thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese. American diplomats were on the frontlines, organizing what would be the most ambitious helicopter evacuation in history. The logistics of issuing…

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The Composure and Leadership of Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal
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Serving 41 years in the United States Foreign Service, Ambassador Aurelia Erskine Brazeal was the first African American woman to be appointed ambassador by three presidential administrations. She was also the first Black woman to rise from entry in the Foreign Service to its senior ranks. Throughout her illustrious career, Brazeal utilized early life lessons…

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