Sports is a “useful tool” in diplomacy that helps to “engage foreign publics and connect people all over the world,” Michelle Kwan, a five-time world figure-skating champion and the first public diplomacy envoy for the State Department, says on this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”
Kwan talks about her trips as an envoy and meeting with athletes and youth in foreign countries, sharing her experience training for and participating in Olympic Games and World Championships — and the impact that has on mutual understanding. “When I made that transition, I looked back at my figure-skating career and realized that I was engaged in citizen diplomacy for many years,” she says.
She also remembers being brought up in two cultures by her parents, who moved from Hong Kong to the United States before Michelle was born, and speaking English and Chinese equally well as a child.
Watch the full episode
EP10: Diplomacy and Intelligence with John Negroponte
EP9: Diplomacy and the Media with P.J. Crowley
EP8: Indian Ambassador to U.S. Nirupama Rao
EP7: Professionalizing Diplomacy with Susan Johnson
EP6: Foreign Service Director-General
EP5: U.S. Public Diplomacy with Tara Sonenshine
EP4: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns
EP3: U.S. Visa Policies with Janice Jacobs
EP2: Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Part 2
EP1: Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Part 1
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- Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, world affairs and global travel. He hosts the weekly program "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev." A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state — Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. He has flown over 2 million miles and visited 84 countries.
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