It has been said that all of the cells in our body regenerate every 7 years, connoting that every 7 years we are new beings replete with a fresh perspective. Now – 7 years after I began – I’m struck by this fun bit of medical lore as I announce my departure from the San Diego Diplomacy Council this summer. This August I will move to New York City to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University. My last day at SDDC will be June 28 and the bright, kind, international relations junkie Jessica Frank will step into my place.
Thank you to all of the national partners I’ve had the pleasure of working with at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, collaborators at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, national program agencies in Washington and Global Ties U.S. members across the country. What you do on a limited budget is nothing short of miraculous. I have been forever touched by the magic of people-to-people diplomacy programs and your resolve to build global bridges — no matter the climate.
One of the unexpected highlights of my tenure has been building a local network of relationships in the region. Thanks to the spirit of collaboration that makes San Diego tick, you’ve welcomed international friends into your board rooms and homes and I’ve been witness to the organic global connections made and sustained. Working with each of you reminds me daily how much good exists. Thanks for sharing your time, talent, and treasure with the world.
To my team: I will miss you. I’m eternally grateful for your mentorship, friendship, and laughter. To the 100+ interns and volunteers I’ve had the privilege to work with, ya’ll know how critical you are to this mission! It has been wildly energizing to work with such a hard working team, committed to our shared vision. Onward!
To the 3,000+ international leaders who have come through our doors during my tenure, you are the reason I got into this work. It has never gotten old to meet you. I am continually blown away by your devotion to your respective communities. With persistent headlines of division, I have often felt like I was being let in on a secret. Learning about the world-changing work you are pioneering continues to reinforce how fundamentally alike we are. Get ready, I’m coming to visit you now!
It has been the greatest honor to do this work, in line with my core fundamental beliefs about the way forward. I look forward to staying in touch!