About the Author: Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall serves as Chief of Protocol of the United States."Experience America 2010" has officially begun! Ambassadors and spouses to the United States from countries around the world -- from Kenya to Kazakhstan -- have left the Beltway and arrived in the beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois.
While most of the Diplomatic Corps may be familiar with Chicago, this is an opportunity to really give them a first-hand look at one of America's most innovative, vibrant and historic cities. Home to almost three million Americans, Chicago is truly “the crossroads of America,” and the ambassadors and their spouses are very happy to be here.
That is really the goal of "Experience America," to give foreign ambassadors, spouses, and other diplomats the opportunity to step outside of Washington, create new connections, and experience the diverse fabric of the United States. By taking the Diplomatic Corps to different cities and communities, we seek to advance their understanding of America's people and produce mutually beneficial relationships between the cities we visit and the countries of those ambassadors who participate.
Chicago has been called the "most American of big cities," so where better to start "Experience America 2010" than here? In Chicago for a three-day program, we aim to show the Diplomatic Corps the best of the Windy City and expose them to its dynamic neighborhoods such as Goose Island, Hyde Park, Bronzeville and Cabrini Green. We have a packed schedule ready for them, with our goal to highlight Chicago's business and urban development. Focusing on business today, we visited the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Wrigley Global Innovation Center and Illinois Institute of Technology Ideashop. Graduate journalism students from Northwestern University's Medill School reported on the ambassadors' visit to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Watch Medill Reports' video coverage of the visit here.
Tomorrow, we will visit the University of Chicago, Walter Payton College Preparatory High School and tour neighborhood revitalization efforts in Cabrini Green to learn about Chicago's community and urban development.
We want to thank Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the people of Chicago for being so gracious in opening up their world-class business, manufacturing, technology, cultural and education institutions, so our guests can truly "Experience America.” Please check back regularly on DipNote for updates from myself and our new Assistant Chief of Protocol for Diplomatic Partnerships, Sarah Nolan, as our journey unfolds.