An Ambassador Roundtable: The State of the State Department
Join us on August 10th for lunch and a panel discussion at the Estancia Primera Clubhouse to hear Amb. Vicki Huddleston, Amb. Mark Asquino, and Amb. Pat Hawkins explore and assess the current situation at the State Department, and the leadership of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
We will also discuss the conduct of foreign policy by President Trump and his White House staff, along with the administration’s budget proposals that could deeply affect both State and USAID. Will there be a pending “Rexit”? Will the International Visitor Leadership Program–which CIR has proudly participated in for 52 years!–be zeroed out? How might the U.S. maintain its global standing with so many unfilled senior diplomatic posts?
Estancia Primera Clubhouse
450 Avenida Primera South
General Admission – $30 includes lunch
Space is limited. Please reserve before Tuesday, August 8.
Click here to purchase tickets.
Moderating the discussion will be Scott Bunton, a member of CIR’s Program Committee. Here are three articles on the State Department as some background reading.
Ambassador Vicki Huddleston: Ambassador Huddleston was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and held the same position at the Department of Defense. She led American diplomatic missions in Mali, Madagascar, Cuba, and Ethiopia. She was Director of U.S. policy toward Cuba at the Department of State and later Chief of our Diplomatic Mission in Havana before it became an embassy. In Haiti she was Deputy ambassador and later Chief of Party for a USAID Value Chain project. Vicki is currently a consultant with Transnational Strategies Group. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and as a Congressional Fellow worked on the staff of former Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru and worked with housing cooperatives. Vicki’s opinion pieces on Cuba, Mali, and Ethiopia have appeared in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. She co-authored “Learning to Salsa – New Steps in U.S.- Cuban Relations.” Her book Our Woman in Havana: A U.S. Diplomat’s Chronicle of our Long Struggle with Fidel Castro’s Cuba,” will be coming out in February. Vicki is a popular speaker at foreign affairs groups and universities, recently participating in the Colorado World Affairs Week, Meridian International Center, the Montana and Cleveland Councils on World Affairs, the Naples Yacht Club, and the Air Force Academy.
Ambassador Mark Asquino: Ambassador Asquino has a thirty-seven year career in the Foreign Service. His overseas postings included assignments in Latin America, Europe, Central Asia and Africa. Before his recent retirement from the Department of State, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (2012-2015). As a public diplomacy specialist, he directed large, overseas International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP). He brings this experience to CIR’s work in setting up IVLP exchanges here. As a former Fulbright American Studies lecturer in Spain (1975-1976) who has an academic Ph.D. in this field, he has first-hand experience with teaching and international educational exchange and he is also fluent in Spanish. He has worked with U.S. companies overseas to gain their Corporate Social Responsibility financial support for non-government initiatives in education, health and environmental protection. He is also a proud CIR Board Member!
Ambassador Pat Hawkins: Ambassador Hawkins’ career started in the United States International Communications Agency in 1980. At USIA headquarters in Washington, D.C., she was the Country Affairs Officer for the eight countries of Francophone West Africa, and Policy Application and Coordination Officer (PACO) in the office of USIA’s Assistant Director. She also served as the Public Affairs Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the CSCE Conference on the Human Dimension, in Paris in 1989. Her first tour was in Paris, where she served as the Assistant Information Officer and Deputy Press Attaché. She subsequently served as Information Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire, as Public Affairs Officer in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as Cultural Affairs Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, as Counselor for Public Affairs in Abidjan, Cộte d’Ivoire, where she also served briefly as Acting DCM and then for several months as Chargé d’affaires. In 2001, she was posted to the Dominican Republic, as Counselor for Public Affairs. Her most recent assignments have been in Washington, D.C., as Policy Application and Coordination Officer in the Office of Public Affairs of the Bureau of African Affairs, and as a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources. During a three-year hiatus from the Foreign Service, Pat served as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Otis Elevator Company, in Farmington, Connecticut. She succeeded David B. Dunn as the US Ambassador to Togo on August 22, 2008. She arrived at post on September 10, 2008 and presented her credentials to the Togolese President on September 12, 2008.