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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks to all of you. Thanks for coming together. Thanks for coming together on a Sunday. I really appreciate that. But I was really looking forward and excited to meet all of you, to hear from all of you.

One of the things that I think is the most powerful thing that we do is the exchange programs that you’ve each participated in, in one way or another. And one of the things that we found over many, many years is we have a really, really good ability to identify the most talented people, and to have a – have some real connection with the United States, and build relationships that last for years and, hopefully, also have an impact back in your own countries.

So I was anxious to hear a little bit about your own exchange experiences, but especially what you’ve done since, because I know that you’re each, in different ways, working on trying to make our society a little bit healthier, a little bit safer, a little bit more inclusive in different ways. So I really wanted to hear from you, and hear what you’ve been doing, and hear the extent to which the experience of the exchange programs may have had an effect on what you’ve been doing.

So with that, thank you all for meeting today.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future