Friday, February 21, 2014

Distinguished Visitor

Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell spoke at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) today. Listening to him speak candidly in a town hall setting was a fantastic experience. He is a quite entertaining person and is somewhat of a legend around the State Department for his time spent as Secretary. I'll be honest, my knowledge of the achievements of the our Secretaries of State is pretty minimal... but I did learn that one of his many successes was to 'bring the internet' to the State Department (so to speak). He pushed for the deployment of tens of thousands of internet-connected desktop computers to our embassies worldwide, often replacing Wang computers.

Anyway, he charmed the audience for around an hour with tails from his childhood, service years, time in office, and from his current charitable work, all told with a touch of humor. As soon as our orientation coordinators heard he was coming, they made absolutely sure to schedule him into our agenda. I'm glad they did! I just wish I'd been able to record it, to play back some of his best one-liners! Since I didn't, you'll have to live with one I found on the internet: "Bad news isn't wine, it doesn't improve with age."

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