Last week, I visited Spain's beautiful capital city, meeting with the Department of State's partners in culture, education, and civil service. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid has been an innovative public diplomacy presence abroad, and it was exciting to see the staff's fine work firsthand.
My first stop was Embassy Madrid's first-ever Service Innovation Summit. With help from the Rafael del Pino Foundation, the Meridian International Center and passionate leadership from Ambassador Solmont, the embassy gathered non-profit, business, and government leaders from across the United States and Europe to foster greater civil society in the 21st century.
At the Summit's opening ceremony, I had the honor of introducing Secretary Clinton, who appeared via video. She noted the importance of individual community service as well as global responsibility and thanked attendees for their dedication.
While in Madrid, I also met with Alberto Lopez, the new executive director of the U.S.-Spain Fulbright Commission and enjoyed presentations from several of our Spanish Fulbright alumni and U.S. Fulbrighters currently in Spain. The Fulbright students and scholars discussed areas of study ranging from cancer research to journalism and anthropology. The U.S. Fulbright English Teaching Assistants' stories from their classrooms where they are assisting in Spain were especially moving, and they inspired a lively discussion about student exchange with the local EducationUSA advisor.
All in all, it was a great week, filled with opportunities to highlight everything that ECA and the State Department do to support people-to-people engagement around the world.
¡Estoy deseando regresar a España en el futuro!