Diverse Diplomats

Diplomacy After Hours Asian American & Pacific Islander contributions to diplomacy
Diplomacy After Hours: Representing America to the World: Asian American & Pacific Islander Contributions to Diplomacy
Diplomacy After Hours: Representing America to the World: Asian American & Pacific Islander Contributions to Diplomacy 1024 576

Join us for a discussion on the contributions of Asian American & Pacific Islander diplomats to American diplomacy. We will explore the lives and service of three Asian Americans: Ambassador Don Yamamoto, current U.S. Ambassador to Somalia; Boa Lee, Foreign Service Officer and daughter of Hmong refugees; and Dr. Sammy Lee, a groundbreaking Olympic champion and Cold War goodwill ambassador.

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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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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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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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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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Aurelia Brazeal Kissinger 1974
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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Ambassador Edward J. Perkins
The Legacy of Ambassador Edward J. Perkins: Reflections on Families in the Diplomatic Service
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Ambassador Edward J. Perkins was a distinguished American career diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa, the United Nations, and Australia. In addition to his numerous accomplishments and trailblazing career, Ambassador Perkins was a devoted husband and father. Please join NMAD Acting Director Dr. Jane Carpenter-Rock as she discusses Ambassador Perkins’ life and legacy with his daughters, Katherine Perkins and Sarah Perkins.

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Ambassador Edward J. Perkins portrait
8 Lessons in Diplomacy from Ambassador Edward J. Perkins (1928-2020)
8 Lessons in Diplomacy from Ambassador Edward J. Perkins (1928-2020) 781 960

Ambassador Edward J. Perkins knew segregation well. He was born into a segregated and racist society in 1928 on a small farm in the American south. His life took him from segregated  Louisiana, to a segregated military, to a world filled with anti-Black racism in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Every part of his journey…

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Ebenezer D. Bassett: America’s First African American Chief of Mission
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In 1869, Ebenezer D. Bassett was appointed as the Minister of the Republic of Haiti, making him the first African American Chief of Mission. Throughout his career, Bassett defended the civil rights of African Americans and black Caribbean nations. 1862: Formal Recognition of the Republic of Haiti Map of Haiti in 1839 The Civil War…

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Ralph Bunche United Nations
A Hero of U.S. Diplomacy: Dr. Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971)
A Hero of U.S. Diplomacy: Dr. Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971) 1024 760

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche was a pioneering African American diplomat who shaped some of the most remarkable moments in the twentieth century.  Dr. Ralph Bunche as a civil rights activist Born in the era of segregation and Jim Crow, Dr. Bunche spent his life engaged as a civil rights activist in the United States while…

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