About the Author: Susan Rice serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
When I left the West Coast after college in 1986, only one in 500 Americans owned a cell phone -- and these were essentially bricks about 10 inches long. IBM had just announced its first laptop, which weighed 12 pounds. The founders of Facebook, I can only imagine, were then figuring out how to master nap time and tee ball.
As I go back again this week to take part in a Twitter Town Hall in San Francisco, an event that will be carried live on Twitter and Ustream at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, the Bay Area looks quite a bit different. Education and innovation -- "the currency of the 21st century," in the words of President Obama -- have changed the face of Silicon Valley and much of the world. But our interconnected age has also brought us new challenges. Today, transnational threats can sweep across borders as freely as a mass migration, an environmental calamity, or a deadly disease.
The Obama Administration is working every day to meet these challenges through our work at the United Nations, which plays an essential role as a keeper of peace, a provider of emergency aid, and a mediator between nations. You may agree -- or disagree -- with an approach to foreign policy that makes the best use of this complicated but indispensable institution. Whatever your views, I encourage you to send me your questions tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskAmbRice.
Just don't ask me my age or my views on Betamax vs. VHS. And keep your questions to less than 140 characters, please.
Editor's note: This entry first appeared on the White House Blog. For more information on the United States' work at the United Nations, visit usun.state.gov and follow Ambassador Rice on Twitter and Facebook. Follow Ambassador Rice's Twitter Town Hall on Twitter and Ustream at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time/ 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, February 10, 2011.