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Bureau of Public Affairs

Hometown Diplomat visits Clarkston High SchoolDate: 02/25/2010 Location: Clarkston, GA Description: Hometown Diplomat Fareed Abdullah addressed 65 students enrolled in an ROTC class at his former high school in Clarkston, Georgia. - State Dept ImageDate: 02/25/2010 Location: Clarkston, GA Description: Hometown Diplomat Fareed Abdullah addressed 65 students enrolled in an ROTC class at his former high school in Clarkston, Georgia.  Mr. Abdullah spoke about his experiences during his first tour as a Grants Officer at U.S. Embassy Baghdad. - State Dept Image
CLARKSTON, GA, FEB. 25 – Hometown Diplomat Fareed Abdullah addressed 65 students enrolled in an ROTC class at his former high school in Clarkston, Georgia. Mr. Abdullah spoke about his experiences during his first tour as a Grants Officer at U.S. Embassy Baghdad. He also spoke about the work of the Department and future career opportunities. Students were motivated by Mr. Abdullah’s remarks and eagerly awaited to ask questions. In his childhood, Mr. Abdullah lived in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, France, Yemen, Egypt, and Morocco. This sparked his interest to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. He enjoyed his experiences at U.S. Embassy Baghdad and looks forward to his next assignment as Public Diplomacy Officer at U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi.


Diplomat in Residence Visits UC Irvine, talks Russia and Careers
Date: 02/24/2010 Location: Irvine, CA Description: Ed Kulakowski, Diplomat in Residence, UCLA discusses US Relations with Russia at UC Irvine. - State Dept ImageIRVINE, CA, Feb. 24 -- Over 150 students from the University of California, Irvine listened as Senior Foreign Service Officer and Diplomat in Residence, Ed Kulakowski discussed his experiences in the former Soviet block countries and U.S. relations with these countries during the Cold War. Following his remarks, Mr. Kulakowski fielded questions from the audience on current relations with former Soviet Union and Asian countries.

He also talked about opportunities for students to serve as interns at the Department of State and outlined the application process for the Foreign Service. Following the gathering, Mr. Kulakowski had lunch with a small group of students who expressed great interest in careers with the Department. Anush Patel, Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator for the US Department of State worked with Mr. Kulakowski to make his visit possible. Mr. Patel is a junior at UC Irvine, who served as in intern in the State Department's Bureau of Administration during the summer of 2009.

Date: 02/24/2010 Location: Irvine, CA Description: Left to Right: Anush Patel, FACC, UC Irvine with Ed Kuakowski, Diplomat in Residence, at UCLA. - State Dept ImageMr. Kulakowski, a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, is currently serving as Diplomat in Residence at UCLA. He previously served as the Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland; Cultural Attaché in Moscow, Russia (two tours); Public Affairs Officer in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; America House Director in Yerevan, Armenia; and with the U.S. Information Agency's (USIA) Voice of America and Exhibits Service in Washington, D.C. Mr. Kulakowski was initially recruited from Honolulu, Hawaii by USIA in 1978 to serve as an Exhibit Guide on a U.S. exhibition in the Soviet Union. He received BA (1971) and MA (1973) degrees in Russian and Russian/Soviet Areas Studies from the University of Hawaii and was an exchange student at Leningrad State University in 1973-74.


DipNote Blog: “Hometown Diplomat” Returns Home to Detroit
About the Author: Victor Marsh serves as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.

Date: 02/26/2010 Location: Detroit, MI Description: Mr. Victor Marsh a Hometown Diplomat, spoke to 140 young people and some parents at Youth Ville Detroit. - State Dept Image

On Tuesday (2/23/2010), I had the pleasure of meeting with an exciting group of 140 young people and some parents at Youth Ville Detroit, a community center located in the heart of my home town: Detroit, Michigan. When I first began my presentation, I promised the young people that I would stand there until the very last question was answered. They made me keep my promise! After my 20 minute presentation, featuring pictures and some stories about life in Hong Kong as a U.S. diplomat, the students shot their hands into the air, asking questions about the career and my experiences in a session that went non-stop for 3 hours!

I told them that any major that they could think of in school would be an excellent addition to the foreign and civil service teams at the Department of State. To test my proposition, high school students (and even one elementary school student) peppered me with some test questions -- about how engineers, artists, and scientists could possibly fit in to U.S. foreign policy. Read More»


National Cathedral School Students meet with senior Department officialsDate: 02/19/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: A group of 13 U.S. high school students from the National Cathedral School and St. Alban's School visited the State Department as part of their U.S. politics elective class. - State Dept Image
Date: 02/19/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: A group of 13 U.S. high school students from the National Cathedral School and St. Alban's School visited the State Department. - State Dept ImageWASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 19 -– A group of 13 U.S. high school students from the National Cathedral School and St. Alban's School (Washington, D.C.) visited the State Department as part of their U.S. politics elective class. Students engaged with Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, on the role of international organizations in U.S. foreign policy; and Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, on U.S. non-proliferation efforts.


Mississippi Professionals Discuss the Middle East with Department OfficialDate: 02/18/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Mr. Brian Grimm, Deputy Director of the Office of Regional Affairs in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs discussed Middle East issues with approximately 40 members of the McComb Exchange Club. - State Dept Image
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 18 -- Brian Grimm, Deputy Director of the Office of Regional Affairs in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs discussed Middle East issues with approximately 40 members of the McComb Exchange Club during their weekly lunch meeting. In a video conference discussion, Mr. Grimm spoke about the United States' relationships with Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, and Iran among others. He emphasized the importance of building relationships with countries in the Middle East and how strong bilateral relationships result in greater progress, specifically with building peace, fighting terrorism, encouraging democracy, and promoting economic prosperity. He mentioned a few current key issues in the region, such as Iraq's March 7, 2010 elections, the U.S. Ambassador to Syria being named, and an increased focus on countering terrorism and poverty in Yemen.

Members of the exchange club asked a broad range of questions related to the assassination of a leader of Hamas in Dubai, the United States' official position on dealing with Hamas, the extent to which is al Qaeda is present in countries across the Near East region, poverty and wealth in Middle Eastern countries, the relationships between neighboring Middle Eastern countries, as well as who our strongest regional allies are.


State Department Spokesman Meets with Youth LeaderDate: 02/18/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Mr. Ian Kelly, State Department Spokesman briefed a group of 34 students attending the National Youth Leadership Foundation Forum on National Security and Foreign Affairs. - State Dept Image
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 18 -- 34 students attending the National Youth Leadership Foundation Forum on National Security and Foreign Affairs in Washington, D.C., visited the State Department.

Ian Kelly, State Department Spokesman briefed the group with an overview of the State Department organization including the mission of the Department and the daily press briefing operation. The student group had the opportunity to engage the spokesman with questions following the overview.

Department Mission Statement Date: 02/18/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: A group of 34 students attended the National Youth Leadership Foundation Forum on National Security and Foreign Affairs. - State Dept Image
Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.

--From the FY 2009 Agency Financial Report, released December 2009


College Students Raise Questions about Women's Issues in Africa Date: 02/17/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Camille Jackson and Nicole Lasry speaking to university participants. - State Dept Image
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 17 -- Students and faculty from Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, and Colorado State University participated in a video conference discussion on Women's Issues in Africa, with a panel of State Department officials. Camille Jackson, Samantha Lasry, and Nicole Peacock from the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs discussed women at the center of US foreign policy, development, and global health efforts. The discussion focused on development, health, and gender-based sexual violence as well as the inclusion of non-governmental organizations, and boys and men in our response to issues facing women in Africa.

Women's Issues in Africa Date: 02/17/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Camille Jackson and Nicole Peackock speaking to University participants on Women's Issues in Africa. - State Dept Image
The United States is deeply committed to addressing issues that are important to women throughout Africa, relating to the political, economic, and social advancement of African women. The Bureau of African Affairs will mobilize concrete support for women's rights and political and economic empowerment through initiatives and programs designed to increase women's and girls' access to education and health care, to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms, and to ensure that women's rights are fully integrated with human rights in the development of U.S. foreign policy towards Africa. Unfortunately, we have seen in the late 20th century and now in this century a terrible trend of using sexual and gender-based violence as a tool of war to intimidate and demoralize populations and to force them to flee their homes. We will continue to speak out and lead the fight against this scourge.


Addressing the Central Kentucky Community’s Concerns on Terrorism
WINCHESTER, KY, Feb. 02 -- Students and Faculty from Bluegrass Community and Technical College connected to the State Department via digital video conference for a conversation on US Counterterrorism efforts as a part of their Terrorism and Political Violence course. A member of the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism discussed the United States’ efforts to combat terrorism and political violence globally, specifically political Islam, and terrorist organizations’ influence on regional organizations to promote their global interests.

Students and faculty participants had questions on the varying methods terrorists have used since 9/11, the December 2009 attempted terrorist attack, and the potential impacts of an attack on the US economy. They also had several questions on airport and homeland security issues. Comment on Facebook

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