Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 6, 2012

Welcome to the State Department for the first ever Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference. I am a firm believer in the work you do – and the essential role it plays in our diplomatic efforts. So I am thrilled that you have gathered here today to share lessons learned and discuss the future of Protocol.

For me, you and your teams are some of the unsung heroes of diplomacy. You shape our bilateral and multilateral meetings and encourage greater understanding and more productive negotiations.

But your work extends beyond the meetings and events you run so efficiently. By engaging with different people and traditions, you oversee a fundamental part of diplomatic and cultural exchange – you are building new bridges of understanding between nations. And that’s what diplomacy is all about.

You are critical to what we do, and I am grateful for your efforts. So, I hope that you will use the next few days to exchange ideas and knowledge, discuss best practices, evaluate and enhance your craft, and develop a blueprint for the future. And I look forward to seeing you on my travels soon.