By Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director, Intel Foundation
Charlie Rose had some pointed questions for Hillary Clinton and James Baker last night – What should the US do about Pakistan? Are we being tough enough with Iran? Will the Arab Spring turn out to be the Arab Winter? Between them they answered… diplomatically. While former Secretary Baker had the latitude to be a bit testier than Secretary Clinton could be as the person in the thick of it all, they agreed about a good deal. They agreed that Iran is the number one issue for the US right now. They agreed that Pakistan is not behaving as it should toward the US. While they agreed that the Arab Spring is going through rocky times, they pointed out that the US took some time to get its act together in the early days of our own experiment with democracy. They are keeping a close eye on developments, but remain hopeful.
Once again, representing Intel allowed me to be in the front row to enjoy the fascinating discussion. We were gathered not only to hear the Secretary and her predecessor share their thoughts, but to celebrate the formal launch of the campaign to build the US Diplomacy Center. This museum and learning center to educate Americans – and our visitors – about the critical role that diplomacy plays in advancing US interests, and building an environment in which peace can thrive, is slated to break ground this fall. Intel is one of the early contributors to this effort with a commitment of $1,000,000.
The Benjamin Franklin Dining Room at the State Department was filled with a Who’s Who of American Diplomacy, all of them excited at the prospect of their story being told. This year’s crop of still-wet-behind-the-ears diplomats-to-be was also there, also excited, though their stories are yet to be lived, let alone told.
As for me, I got my picture taken with the two Secretary’s, and got to take a great deal of pride in the role that Intel plays in the world today. Whether with our products, our influence, or our philanthropy, Intel is shaping the world everywhere we look. I walked pretty tall on my way back to the hotel.