The U.S. Department of State and the Office of the Chief of Protocol are proud to announce the 25th Experience America trip to San Diego, California with members of the foreign Diplomatic Corps, June 16-18, 2019.

More than 35 foreign ambassadors – representing countries across four continents – will join Chief of Protocol of the United States Sean P. Lawler to engage local business and community leaders and spotlight America’s communities. Led by the Department of State, Experience America connects foreign ambassadors with academic, business, community, and cultural leaders with the goal of building relationships to promote economic investment, commerce, and dialogue. Chiefs of Mission stationed in Washington, D.C. learn firsthand about American culture, history, and industry while encouraging commerce and trade.

San Diego, California is widely recognized as one of the most innovative cities in the U.S., accelerating life-saving research and development across the life sciences, telecom and defense industries. With more than 80+ world-class research institutions, the region features the nation’s highest concentration of life science laboratory space and is the second-highest recipient of NIH funding for life sciences, has the highest concentration of military assets in the world, and has been ranked the #3 best city in the U.S. to launch a startup. San Diego has ignited advances in precision medicine, genomics, wireless telecommunications, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles and technologies enabling the mobility as a service revolution, and the region is a global leader in the advanced manufacturing of medical devices, semiconductors, and aerospace.

Over three days, diplomats will hear how research, technology and entrepreneurship has transformed the region and powers innovation that change and improve individuals, countries and societies. Experience America will build relationships between the visiting ambassadors and the companies and leaders of San Diego, and in the process, open doors for local organizations eager to develop global partnerships and investment possibilities.

The following events are open to the press:

Sunday, June 16, 5:30 p.m. Welcome Reception hosted by Business Council of International Understanding and Viasat – Foreign ambassadors will meet and interact with the state’s top business and cultural leaders. The event will feature remarks by local and state representatives, including Chief of Protocol of the United States Sean P. Lawler and His Excellency Ashok Kumar, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore.

Monday, June 17, 8:00 a.m. – San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center San Diego Breakfast and Panel Discussion – The San Diego Chamber of Commerce and WTC San Diego will host ambassadors and their spouses for a breakfast and provide an opportunity for local San Diego business leaders to interact with the foreign dignitaries. Diplomats will hear from a panel discussion on how the region has used technology, trade and investment to integrate into a global economy. The panel will feature remarks by Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; Nikia Clarke, Executive Director of World Trade Center San Diego; and Barbara Stanley, Vice President of Power Generation at Solar Turbines, Inc. Members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will join the ambassadors and their spouses for the breakfast.

Monday, June 17, 1:00 p.m. – Briefing and Tour of The Scripps Research Institute – Ambassadors will visit Scripps Research, a leading nonprofit biomedical research institute ranked #1 in the world by Nature for scientific innovation. Merging biology, chemistry and computer science with translational research and drug discovery, Scripps Research advances the next generation of pharmaceuticals and precision medicine from its’ campus in La Jolla, California. The center of a thriving biotech community that is one of the most productive and innovative in the nation, ambassadors will hear from the some of the 160+ principal investigators developing new medicine and international partnerships to improve lives from around the world. Scientists will also brief visiting ambassadors on the education of the next generation of scientific leaders and collaborative efforts to expand the frontier of human knowledge, which have resulted in lifesaving treatments and more than 80+ companies spunoff by Scripps Research scientists.

Monday, June 17, 4:00 p.m. – UC San Diego – One of the top 15 research universities in the world, the University of California San Diego enrolls more than 38,000 students and conducts over $1 billion in research. The university has helped San Diego become what it is today – a vibrant hub for biotechnology and the life sciences – and continues to drive innovation, understanding and change. Ambassadors will hear remarks from UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and visit two hubs of insight and innovation: The StarCAVE at the Qualcomm Institute, a virtual reality environment that allows researchers to venture into worlds as small as nanoparticles and as big as the cosmos; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a beacon of research and education since 1903 that advances understanding of the Earth and addresses the world’s most challenging environmental problems.

Tuesday, June 18, 8:30 a.m. – Tour of USS Theodore Roosevelt – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is a key element of the United States’ forward-deployed defense strategy. Tasked with maintaining open sea lanes of trade and communications, the USS Theodore Roosevelt executes a wide variety of missions and diplomacy, and serves in times of peace and crisis with more than 5,000 Sailors, and 97,000 tons of steel. As the cornerstone of joint/allied maritime expeditionary forces in times of crisis, the Carrier supports and operates aircraft that deploy worldwide in support of U.S. interests and commitments. Ambassadors will witness the stunning technology that powers the Theodore Roosevelt, and the outstanding leadership, service and professionalism of the United States Navy. Ambassadors will also participate in a closed-press briefing by the 29th Commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, Vice Admiral John D. Alexander.

Tuesday, June 18, 11:30 a.m. – Briefing, Visit at Viasat – Ambassadors will have an opportunity to see how satellite internet is bringing digital and social inclusion by impacting the way people communicate – anywhere – on the ground, in the air and at sea. By visiting Viasat, a global communications company headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., ambassadors will meet the team bringing high-speed, high-quality satellite connectivity to the hardest-to-reach places—introducing new ways for individuals and communities to engage in our digital society. Demonstrations and discussions will highlight how satellite internet can be used to connect the unconnected around the globe, as well as advance markets like healthcare with a “Medic in a Box” telemedicine application; education, agriculture and e-commerce using satellite-enabled, wind- and solar-powered Community Wi-Fi hotspot services; be the communications lifeline to first responders and victims in times of natural disaster; and keep everyone on an aircraft, or sea vessel, connected throughout their journey. During their visit, ambassadors will be able to experience how Viasat and satellite internet are making connectivity accessible, available and secure – anywhere.

With one of the busiest land border crossings in the Western Hemisphere, ambassadors will also visit with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection operational components responsible for protecting the United States, who will highlight diplomatic efforts, infrastructure and technology between the U.S. and partner nations used to address global migration challenges.

The visit to San Diego will also include closed-press activities, such as a briefing at the Naval Special Warfare Center, intimate small dinners hosted by civic and business leaders of San Diego, and cultural tours of the region’s top cultural attractions.

For more information and to RSVP for one or multiple events, please contact Tim Gowa at GowaTM@state.gov by June 14 at 12 noon.

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