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.
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Fmr. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, Part 1
Figure-Skating Champion Michelle Kwan
Voice of America (VOA) Director David Ensor
Innovation in Managing Diplomatic Missions
Chief U.S. Aviation Negotiator Krishna Urs
Foreign Service Institute Director Nancy McEldowney
Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer
Advances for Gay American Diplomats (Jan Krc)
Fmr. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, Part 2
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns
Foreign Service Director Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Global Sanctions Coordinator Daniel Fried
West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen
Harvard Professor Joseph Nye
- Nicholas Kralev is an author, journalist and entrepreneur. His areas of expertise are international diplomacy, global aviation and communications. 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 more than 90 countries.
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