Behind the Scenes at Secretary Kerry's Swearing-In Ceremony

Posted by Luke Forgerson
February 7, 2013
Secretary Kerry With Secretary Albright at His Swearing-In Ceremony

The audio technician conducts one last sound test, and my public affairs colleagues prepare to stream the event live on The press officers escort the media to the Benjamin Franklin Room, where many State Department events take place. Everything is occurring according to a process, one of which we've carried out dozens and dozens of times. And, yet, the event that is about to occur is anything but routine. The Vice President of the United States is minutes away from ceremoniously swearing in the 68th U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.

As we wait for the ceremony to begin, my coworker and I reflect on our time at the State Department. I remember arriving on my first day and reciting the oath of office every employee takes, a pledge similar to the one Secretary Kerry is about to make to uphold our Constitution.

And I remember on my first day meeting one of my colleagues who immediately offered me a handshake and her name, and then said, "Cyrus Vance. He was the first Secretary of State I served." She briefly reminisced about the Secretaries of State who had led the Department since Vance's tenure and told me that each one brought new ideas and new opportunities. A new Secretary of State inspires you.

The ceremony begins, and Secretary Kerry addresses the crowd, a group of individuals who represent the many chapters in his record of public service. In his remarks, the Secretary says:

"We can help people to help themselves. We can protect children as we did in Africa, where PEPFAR has saved millions of lives. We can keep students learning even after an earthquake destroys their schools, as we did in Pakistan. We can help young girls pursue their dreams of education, as we did in Afghanistan and other places in the world. That is what the Department of State can do."

As our new Secretary of State departs the room, I can't help but think that my colleague, who served 10 Secretaries of State from Cyrus Vance through Condoleezza Rice, was right.

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palgye H.
South Korea
March 20, 2013

Palgye in South Korea writes:

India & EU

India to enforce the budget to expand social infrastructure, civil engineering private think time. Everyone knows the story. by specifying one of the official languages, with one language movement-tier local race, and we must enforce policies that expand women's social participation. Perspective now that I'm back in the day, in order to recover the money invested, India, to develop a specific hierarchy and specific areas only, underdeveloped policy, but rapidly growing underclass to (like me) interested you put it out there, and the second to try to extend the period.

Symbiosis with the outside world through the give and take, normally, growing at a normal country, the Indian underclass to rise into the middle class - economic, social, educational, national efforts should be guaranteed would be Exhausted the stock of manufactured goods to India to push the policy now, it will be six months after the failed policy.

Induced in the right direction to induce reform and join the people and India, need strong leaders.

Europe, the eu budgeting am It's too futuristic. At least one year, even policies that expand employment opportunities and protect the unemployed, you should try. An investment in the future is put on hold, eu wrong and tried to enforce that policy, I personally think. Spain, Italy and the UK at least, at least, should try to ensure normal economic activity is waranty.

Susan C.
Florida, USA
February 7, 2013

Susan C. in Florida writes:

I too know what it is like to work under many different my case they were many different educational administrators. Each one brought their own style and new ideas, and it was most often a very positive experience. I have been a reader and frequent blogger on DipNote. Thank you for continuing to inform us "out here". Before reading DipNote, I never knew how much the State Department did around the world, and I am very impressed. I want to welcome Secretary Kerry. I know he will do an outstanding job!

District Of Columbia, USA
February 19, 2013

Anna in Washington, D.C. writes:

I was so impressed with the work of Secretary Clinton, and the tireless work of her staff, including those at Dipnote. I am excited about the continued work of those who serve our country at the State Department. Keep up the great work Dipnote and welcome aboard Secretary Kerry!

Maryland, USA
February 21, 2013

Melissa in Maryland writes:

I don't always agree with what I read on this blog, but I do appreciate its authors who give some insight into U.S. foreign policy. I hope Secretary Kerry continues to promote this openness. I also hope he continues Secretary Clinton's work on women's rights.


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