About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote's Managing Editor.
As my colleague Ruth Bennett mentioned in her entry, we opted to forgo our usual "year in review" blog post in 2011. With about 1,300 entries posted to DipNote last year, we felt that a series of entries highlighting aspects of the State Department's broad scope of work in 2010 might better give the many varied issues their due attention. As we conclude our series looking back, I'd like to spotlight ten of DipNote's entries that I found particularly memorable last year and hear from you, our readers, on what topics you'd like to read more about in 2011.
This past week, we remembered the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti one year ago. In the hours after the disaster, State Department Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills highlighted ways each of us could take action to help Haiti. Her entry garnered more comments than any other posting on DipNote last year and reflected the desire of so many individuals in the United States and around the world to assist the people of Haiti after this tragedy. In the weeks that followed, Gordon Duguid and Paul Mayer told us about the U.S. response to the disaster and reflected on what they saw in Port-au-Prince.
In the face of great challenges last year, we saw individuals act with bravery and resolve, not only in Haiti but elsewhere in the world. Joann Lockard told us what it was like to be in Uganda in the days after the bombings last summer and voiced the difficult decisions one must make in the face of such a tragedy. Ambassador David Huebner described how the people of New Zealand demonstrated a generous spirit after an earthquake struck their country.
Ambassador Ertharin Cousin provided a number of entries on efforts to fight global hunger and advance food security. In Bangladesh, she connected with a group of rural schoolchildren, beneficiaries of a food assistance program.
In Afghanistan, Kathy Gunderman showed us that sometimes diplomacy comes down to a moment, reflecting on a memorable exchange she had with a group of Afghan farmers. Tom Countryman reminded us diplomacy often takes a sustained commitment, looking back on progress after ten years of diplomacy in the Balkans.
As we often see in diplomacy, shared traditions and values unite us. Tad Brown described Diwali and Thanksgiving in India, and Marianne Sartori celebrated both the Fourth and the Fourteenth of July in France.
Each of these entries offers a different snapshot of American diplomacy. Taken together, I hope they give readers a broader picture of what the State Department does. I am very grateful to all of the many colleagues who have taken the time over the last year to contribute to DipNote. The blog depends upon our colleagues to share with us the work they do on a daily basis. It also relies so much upon you, our readers, many of whom offer us your thoughts and feedback. We'd like to take this opportunity to hear from you once again -- tell us what you'd like to see on the blog in 2011. We look forward to hearing from you!