About the Author: Robert Wood serves as Acting Department Spokesman and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
This week was busy and exciting here at the State Department. Last Wednesday, Secretary Clinton was confirmed and sworn-in as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State. Last Thursday, she arrived at the State Department’s headquarters, the Harry S Truman Building. Later that same afternoon, President Obama and Vice President Biden visited the Department, and President Obama and Secretary Clinton named Senator George Mitchell as a Special Envoy to the Middle East. They also named Ambassador Richard Holbrooke a Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Secretary Clinton said, President Obama’s visit to the Department and the announcement of these high level diplomats sent a loud and clear signal, both in word and action, of the President’s commitment to diplomacy.
As the week has continued, I’ve had a chance to read through your comments on DipNote. It is a great pleasure to hear what the public is thinking on a given topic. Based on your responses to last week’s “Question of the Week,” you all have many suggestions as to what the Obama Administration should establish as its top foreign policy priorities. DipNote readers who mentioned promoting peace in the Middle East would likely be interested in knowing that Special Envoy Mitchell is currently in the region. While in Ramallah yesterday, Special Envoy Mitchell said: “President Obama has…underlined our commitment to a better future for all Palestinians whose legitimate aspirations for an independent and viable state should be met, lasting peace is our objective and the United States will sustain an active commitment to reaching the goal of two states living side by side in peace, stability and security.”
We also received great comments about the Hometown Diplomat program, featured in two blog entries last week. I found it heartening that people responded so positively to the program. We received e-mails from groups and individuals interested in having U.S. diplomats visit their organizations. Thanks to those who have already expressed interest in doing so.
Finally, I appreciate the warm and enthusiastic comments many of you submitted in support of Secretary Clinton. As the Secretary said, it is a tremendous honor to represent America to the world. The DipNote team and I want you to know that we are reading your comments, the blog’s authors are reading your comments, and we value your comments.