Dinner in DC for Diplomat of the Year John Kerry

I was truly honored to attend Foreign Policy‘s Diplomat of the Year awards dinner on Tuesday, October 20, at the Park Hyatt in Washington, DC, honoring Secretary of State John Kerry as Diplomat of the Year.

I was invited by Olga Guitchounts of Russia Direct/Russia Beyond the Headlines, a sponsor for the evening. It was a wonderfully intimate gathering, with an elegant sit-down dinner, and I was struck by the good humor in the room. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a cheerful group of people, and there was plenty of joking and laughter throughout the evening along with serious discussion of international affairs.

Guests included many diplomats and journalists, including Foreign Policy CEO and editor David Rothkopf and National Public Radio’s legendary Diane Rehm, whom I was delighted to meet. Awards were also given to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (Commercial Diplomat of the Year) and Vita Voices Global Partnership (Citizen Diplomat of the Year).

During his acceptance speech and our brief conversation, I was impressed by Mr. Kerry’s energy, solution orientation and lifetime dedication to diplomacy. When we spoke, he particularly mentioned the importance of relations between Russia and the United States, a matter that is central to my community involvement.

In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented leaders who dedicate their lives to bettering communities, strengthening relations between countries, and keeping the diplomatic dialogue open when times get rough. Their tireless commitment to the people of their own countries and to maintaining peace among nations is truly inspirational, and should lead us to consider the contribution that each citizen can make to his or her country and to peaceful and productive international relations.

To watch video of John Kerry’s introduction and acceptance speech, and those of the evening’s other honorees, click here.

Event photography by Jason Dixson

Aleksandra EfimovaComment