About the Author: Nora Toiv serves in the Office of the Secretary of State.
Today, New York University (NYU) graduates filled the seats of Yankee fans and NYU’s faculty, trustees, and honored guests occupied the spots of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixeira.
As a Yankee fan and an NYU grad, I was ecstatic to sit in the dugout and listen to an inspiring, global call to action delivered by Secretary Clinton, NYU's commencement speaker this year.
Two years ago, I graduated from New York University in Washington Square Park. When I left NYU, I headed to Washington to work for then-Senator Clinton, and I was delighted to return to NYU with the country's newest Secretary of State.
The Secretary’s speech reminded me of why I’m working in public service and how important young people are to forming global policy. She encouraged the crowd to pursue global service and to use technology to become more involved in global politics. NYU’s dedication to study abroad programs and to attracting students from around the world made the NYU commencement ceremony the perfect venue for the Secretary’s pitch.
"We can sit on the sidelines,” she said. “We can wring our hands; we can retreat into cynicism, and we know what the results will be. We will cede the field to those whose ideologies are absolutely anathema to people of conscience and faith all over the world."
She also made the excellent point that the State Department is hiring, and I hope she inspired some of my fellow NYU grads to apply. For the members of the Class of 2009 who already have jobs, I hope they will consider becoming "citizen diplomats” and “citizen activists." The Secretary’s new Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) internships sounded especially accessible and interesting for any young person considering the Foreign Service.
Next year NYU will hold commencement back in Washington Square Park and our Yankee Stadium days will be over. I’m grateful to have returned to NYU with the person who inspires me most, passing on her wisdom and congratulations to the class of 2009.