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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Closing Plenary of the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy

Judith A. McHale
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs 
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
November 19, 2010


As prepared for delivery

Two days ago, I was delighted to welcome you to the Summit. Today, I am particularly delighted to welcome you to the State Department.

I want to congratulate you for all that you have done and put into the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy, and for the continuing work I know that you are all going to be doing as citizen diplomats. You came from 39 different states from across our country, and from 41 other countries. You brought together Citizen Diplomacy leaders that span the generations, including 28 student participants here plus many more who joined in around the world through web-based dialogues.

Many people have worked hard on the Summit, but I especially want to recognize Ann Schodde and Tom Gittins – the Summit simply would not have been possible without their leadership. Ann, Tom – thank you very much.

Today marks the conclusion of the summit – but it also launches American Citizen Diplomacy into a new era of international engagement.

This morning, you will receive a report on the Citizen Diplomacy Agenda for the coming ten years, based on the hard work and creativity of an impressive number of individuals. I would like to ask all those who contributed as participants in the task forces and roundtables to please stand up. Thank you for your contributions. We all – my colleagues and I at the State Department – thank you, not only for your work during the summit, but for all the efforts that went before it, and that I know lie ahead.

When I spoke with you Wednesday morning, I said, “The task ahead is enormous, and it is not one that government can or should do alone. If we are to do this job and do it right, we need the help and support of all our citizens.” I firmly believe that, for this reason, American Citizen Diplomacy in the coming decade will be more essential than ever before. And it stands stronger today because of what you have accomplished this week and what you contribute each day, in every corner of our nation and the world.

There is much to do – and I look forward to working with you to get it done. Thank you very much.

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