About the Author: Sarah Nolan serves as Assistant Chief of Protocol for Diplomatic Partnerships.
September is a special month for many -- the end of summer, the changing colors of fall, and the return to school -- but for many around the State Department, September brings with it one of the most significant events on the diplomatic calendar: the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With the 65th UNGA session beginning this week, people from all corners of the world are arriving in New York City for this gathering of global leaders.
In honor of the United Nations General Assembly, the Office of the Chief of Protocol held its latest "State of the Administration" briefing with two experienced and distinguished individuals. Ambassador Marshall opened the event and introduced the first speaker -- a person she called "a pillar in the history of American foreign policy," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Also a former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Secretary Alright talked about her time working on various issues during past UNGAs and her experiences as both the Permanent Representative and as Secretary of State. The next speaker was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Esther Brimmer, who is leading the United States' efforts at UNGA. Picking up right where Secretary Albright left off, Assistant Secretary Brimmer talked about this year's UNGA and what many of the Ambassadors can expect over the course of the next few weeks. With over 100 foreign ambassadors in attendance, the event garnered great interest from the Diplomatic Corps.
The "State of the Administration" Speaker Series was created to give the Diplomatic Corps the opportunity to hear an insiders' briefing on relevant topics by some of Washington's most influential policy makers, allow the ambassadors learn more about the institutions of the United States and hopefully assist them in completing their duties while posted here in Washington, DC. This UNGA briefing succeeded at achieving those goals. Prior speakers have included White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers.