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Send any name or address changes in writing to: Diplomatic Connections 4410 Massachusetts Avenue / #200 Washington, DC 20016 Diplomatic Connections Business Edition is published bi-monthly. Diplomatic Connections does not endorse any of the goods or services offered herein this publication. Copyright 2012 by Diplomatic Connections All rights reserved. Cover photo credits clockwise: Gisele Bundchen, Gary Gershoff, WireImage; Davos, World Economic Forum, UN photo/Eskinder Debebe; Xi Jinping with Mayor Villaraigosa, Juan Ocampo,/NBAE via Getty Images; Xi Jinping with Senators, Alex Wong, Getty Images; Sean Penn and Leonardo DiCaprio, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema for Peace; Sean Penn with group in Haiti, Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists for Peace and Justice; Ambassador Manz, Christophe Avril, Diplomatic Connections, James Horsman, The Madison; Zhu Min, Eric Piermont, AFP/Getty Images; Mick Jagger, UN photo/Eskinder Debebe; Xi Jinping and Leon Panetta, Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images; Queen Elizabeth, INP/Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images; Jeremy Lin, Chris Trotman, Getty Images; Gisele with children in Africa, Practical Action UK


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H.E. Dr. Hans Peter Manz, Ambassador of Austria to the United States


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By James A. Winship, Ph.D.


e is a highly experienced Austrian diplomat born in Australia. That seeming anomaly is explained by the fact that, “I got imported as a half-finished product into Australia in 1955,” as Dr. Hans Peter Manz — a second generation Austrian diplomat born when his parents were posted to Australia — describes it. Dr. Manz arrived in Washington as Austria’s newly named Ambassador to the United States late last year and formally presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on January 18, 2012. Dr. Manz is a career diplomat who brings extensive experience in multilateral relations and international organizations to his post in Washington. While Dr. Manz arrives in Washington from his most recent post as Austria’s Ambassador to Switzerland, he previously served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Austria’s Federal Chancellor from 2000 – 2007. Dr. Manz is a lawyer by training and received the Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Vienna. He began his diplomatic career in 1979, and his first posting after training at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna was as Second Secretary at the Austrian Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. From there he was assigned as First Secretary and Deputy Chief of Mission in post-revolutionary Iran where he was able to see the evolution of the Islamic Republic and to witness first-hand the impact of the on-going war between Iran and Iraq (1980 – 1988). From his assignment in Iran, Dr. Manz returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna where he focused on Eastern European issues during a time of critical transition as the states of the Warsaw Pact began to move away from domination by Moscow, the Berlin Wall — literally and figuratively — came down, and the Soviet Union dissolved. After a second stint as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Switzerland, Dr. Manz was posted as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York. He refers to these as five “fascinating years” during which he came to have deep respect for the complex inner workings of the United Nations system and a growing recognition of the opportunities

represented by multilateral diplomacy, despite its frequent frustrations. Returning to Vienna from New York in 1999, Dr. Manz briefly headed the Department for International Organizations and then the Department for Political Integration and International Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Following these assignments, he began his extended service as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Federal Chancellor. Ambassador Manz recalls that the highlights of his time as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Federal Chancellor included Austria’s presidency of the European Union, the global response to the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States, and the successful negotiation and implementation of the Washington Agreement (2001), a landmark agreement with the Austrian government and the business community that partially compensates Holocaust survivors for property and assets that were stolen and “Arayanized” during World War II. Ambassador Manz notes that the agreement seeks to “close the gaps, our deficiencies, in post-war restitution and compensation agreements with the victims of Nazi rule during World War II.” Ambassador Manz, a self-described “political junkie,” says that he couldn’t have arrived in the United States at a better time than the beginning of the 2012 presidential race. He notes that the campaign season makes it easy to fill the dispatch bags going back to Vienna with analysis of the American political atmosphere and various candidates’ fortunes as the primary and caucus season moves forward. More to the heart of his diplomatic role in Washington, Dr. Manz observes that being in the United States during a presidential election year “gives you time to study American politics a bit more deeply before, hopefully, becoming a valuable asset for your country and the European Union in the American capital.” Diplomatic Connections was privileged to sit down for an extended and far-ranging conversation with Ambassador Manz. Herewith, some of the highlights of that conversation. n

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By James A. Winship, Ph.D. Austrian foreign policy for a long time. But, I think this has changed fundamentally. Since we joined the European Union in 1995 and with the opening of Central and Eastern Europe, and most of these countries becoming members of the European Union themselves, yes, Austria is more than ever “at the heart” but no longer a “bridge.” I do think that we are still driven by the special relationship that we have with our neighbors to the East. Obviously, we share an enormously long history and I think a very good understanding of each Ambassador Manz: other, which for some more traditionally western EuroThis is an interesting question because until pean countries is harder to come by. And we serve that 1988 — 1989 that was function still. one of the clichés that we We tried very hard during were using. I mean you the years when our neightalk about “Sound of Mubors started their negotiasic’” which is a cliché but tions for accession (to the which has a large grain President Obama and Ambassador Manz at the White House on the day he presented his European Union) when they of truth, as we all know. credentials. were reforming their adminDuring the Cold War we istrations and their laws and so forth, we assisted wherever we had what some scholars called a “bridge” function between East could. In that sense, I think this special relationship is still there and West. And I remember clearly that our former president as is this intermediary function. But, now that they’re all in and Klestil said that you can’t live on a bridge. Still, Austria held a full-fledged partners, I think our foreign policy is more in line very special situation between the blocs. The post-war period with the Common European Foreign Policy. brought Austria in a position of neutrality, situated between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. So, Austria was by definition alDiplomatic Connections: Austria is commemorating the ready in a situation “in between” two worlds. And, that formed 100th anniversary of its Law on Islam (1912) this year. Can you

“There is a misunderstanding about how things work on both sides of the Atlantic. We face a number of common challenges in the future that will affect us both. There is no way that America wins if Europe loses and vice versa.” Diplomatic Connections: Ambassador, I think for many Americans, forgive me the stereotype, but there is still “The Sound of Music” image of Austria, which is not inaccurate but it’s far from the fullness of Austria’s identity. How does Austria’s position at the heart of Europe shape its foreign policy?


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tell us a bit about that? That was a bit surprising even though when you explain the history, it makes good sense to me. Ambassador Manz: It has historical roots which go back to the Habsburg Empire and its annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1912. Before that there were no big groups of Muslim citizens in the empire. Historically, there had always been the fight against the Turkish Empire and therefore against Muslims who were recognized purely as Turks at the time. Now in Bosnia-Herzegovina you had suddenly an autochthonous Islamic population inside the empire. So it had to be regulated. These guys were great administrators. This set-up goes back to the times of Emperor Josef II when they started finally to go away from the Catholic monoculture and began to recognize other religions but under a certain set of state rules. So, this is why that happened this early. And, we’re very happy about this because it has a very clear and simple set-up for the relationship between the state and the recognized religions. It works fine. It’s great. We’re quite happy to have it because life would be much more complicated without it. Diplomatic Connections: How has it adapted to the modern times? Ambassador Manz: It works very nicely. Much like the law that regulates the relationship with the Jewish community in Austria, it structures an administrative set-up that says that you have to have one board representing all Muslims, whatever their individual faith or particular expression of faith may be inside the larger structure. This way the government has one board and a president at the top of it as a partner. On the one hand, it allows the religion to self-govern; and, on the other hand, it forces the religion to come up with one unified position if they want something from the state. This is important if you’re talking about education in schools, about church guidelines and related issues. Diplomatic Connections: You mentioned the relationship between Austria and the Jewish community, and I know you’ve been very active here in Washington already in reaching out to the American Jewish community. Bluntly, Austria has a history that going back to the Anschluss and later on to the Holocaust, the Shoah, that is somewhat stained by events. How does Austria acknowledge its history and deal with the present of its relationship with the Jewish community? Ambassador Manz: Yes, as you mentioned, this is one of the most delicate issues that you can face given the burden of history that is there. I had the pleasure to work on this particular dossier during my time with the Federal Chancellor. I have said publicly that this history will never go away. This is part of our collective consciousness and part of our common memory. I think it serves as an example of how quickly a civilization can break down. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this a number of times after that. Without questioning the uniqueness of the Holocaust

it is simply true that we have seen similar mechanisms involved later on, whether in Rwanda, whether in the former Yugoslavia and other places. We’ve seen how quickly the social tissue can break down if somebody tells you your neighbor is suddenly your enemy because he has a different color, a different religion, whatever. And, history shows repeatedly how quickly that turns into bloodshed and the most unspeakable cruelty. I think this is more than an issue of making nice weather for Austria with the Jewish community wherever it is, whether at home or here in the United States. I think it is more an issue of drawing the lessons for the future. Because, if we are serious about our commitment to “never again,” then we have to keep working at it. This is not something you can put aside into a box and say “this is history.” Diplomatic Connections: It’s more than just remembering. There is an active learning required. Ambassador Manz: There is an active learning. You have to hand it over to new generations, particularly since young people today have no living memory even of the Cold War. On the one hand, we cannot make the Holocaust just a piece of traditional history that nobody really thinks about; and, on the other hand, we must not trivialize it by too much commercialization. There was a certain period a few years ago where I was very much afraid that we were going in that direction. It seems to have righted itself again. But, yes, it is an issue that even today many people are not very comfortable with. There’s no doubt about that. And, the truth of the matter is that despite all of our efforts there will never again be that cultural interchange that we had in Austria before the war. Just simply, the numbers are not there any more. The Jewish community in Vienna today is maybe a tenth or a little bit more of what it used to be before 1938. The damage is irreversible. Not only the human and material costs to the victims themselves most immediately, but even to world culture as a whole. Diplomatic Connections: Talking about the transformative power of history, Austria adopted as a sort centerpiece of its foreign policy a policy of “permanent neutrality” back in 1955. How does that translate into your country’s foreign policy decisions? For example, you’ve agreed to overflights through Austrian airspace during the recent Libya operations; Austrian forces have participated in Afghanistan and in some of the United Nations peacekeeping operations. So, functionally, in the second decade of the 21st century, what does permanent neutrality mean? Ambassador Manz: I’ll start from the very beginning of the concept. If you have a war going on, any country is faced with the question whether to take a particular side and become a party or to remain neutral. Permanently neutral means only that you promise not to involve yourself in any war that is happening, in any armed conflict. We declared neutrality, in a way that was a political neces-

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sity, to regain our sovereignty after 10 years of occupation by the four Allied powers that had won the Second World War. “If we have a state treaty,” Austrian leaders reasoned, “if we can get out of the occupation system, then we will declare permanent neutrality,” which we did as soon as the occupying forces had left. The permanent neutrality law was enacted on October 26, 1955 — the day after the last foreign troops left Austrian territory. That date remains our National Day. In the same year we were allowed to become members of the United Nations. We never understood neutrality to mean that we would stay out of foreign policy as a whole. You mentioned our participation in peacekeeping operations, which we started very early in the 1960s already in the Congo. We’ve always held that a decision by the United Nations Security Council entailing sanctions or even military operations transcends normal neutrality laws because it is the highest body in international law. A decision by the Security Council is binding so it is in that sense not a war but a police action, and therefore you cannot be neutral in a police action because it is right against wrong. There is no decision as to who is right and who is wrong if the Security Council has spoken. So, therefore, we never had a problem in applying Security Council resolutions and also never had a problem in participating in peacekeeping operations. We still would have a problem participating in peace enforcement operations. We’ve never done that so far. You never know what will happen in the future, but so far we’ve always held that there is a distinction. Peacekeeping, of course, implies that you have at least a ceasefire or something close to that in place and that you are policing its terms. Yes, Austrian troops have been involved in firefights during such actions, but not on a regular basis. They were never part of a group that went into any country even if there had been UN Security Council coverage for that. So, that was always held to be compatible. The next big challenge, of course, was becoming a member of the European Union. Today, the agreement of our international lawyers and Austrian politics is that clearly within the European Union we stand by our obligation to support each other. So, there is no neutrality if you are part of the same family. But, it still applies to third country relations. It boils down to not allowing foreign troops to be stationed in the country. That is the case. We never joined NATO. There are no foreign troops on Austrian soil. We still only allow overflights and transportation through the country in the case of a valid Security Council resolution. We don’t join any military pact. And, therefore, if you have a conflict outside the European theater, we remain neutral, which we would do anyway because we are not a world power. Diplomatic Connections: What do you see as some of the major issues between the United States and Austria at this point 24

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as you assume your new role as ambassador in Washington, DC? Ambassador Manz: At the moment we have no major issues. I think there are a number of reasons for that. Many of the things that we would be dealing with bilaterally we are now handling together through the European Union. A lot of things that are going on — whether it’s the ETS [European Union Emissions Trading Scheme] or airline pollution issues or data transfers — all these are technical issues that we’re handling together because it makes sense. Most of these issues are economic today. Of political issues, fortunately, there are none. I think we are still a valuable partner when we are talking about developments to the East of Austria because our American friends still value our input on that. Since we resolved the issue of the assets post-World War II, we have had no major political issue open with the United States. We cooperate on many issues, but there’s no one outstanding thematic issue that would drive us forward at the moment. My concern, however, is that we are drifting apart through a lack of interest, which entails a misunderstanding about how things work on both sides of the Atlantic, and that, I think, is a very sad situation. I feel that we face a number of common challenges in the future that will affect us both. There is no way that America wins if Europe loses and vice versa. Diplomatic Connections: Explain to us what you mean when you say there is “a misunderstanding about how things work.” Ambassador Manz: I think this has been a hallmark of the way the European Union is seen from this side of the Atlantic. On the one hand, there a belief that we are somehow the United States counterpart, a United States of Europe. That doesn’t work as a model because there is no such thing as a president who really can commit the EU one-on-one if he or she talks with the President of the United States. The European Union is, of course, not fully formed because the European Parliament does not have the same sort of powers that U.S. Congress has. And, on the other hand, of course, the very limited nature of our union helps to derail whatever we’re doing in the EU because, if necessary, the President will call one of the big players in Europe and try to get things done bilaterally. Or, you have a situation where something like the G-20 group with just a couple of the European leaders is created and becomes an ad hoc consultative body of leading players in the global economy. So, the view from over here [the United States] is that the EU is a construct that is not really doing all it should be doing, that it makes life complicated and that is basically anti-American. This view is now exacerbated, of course, by the presidential campaign here. Europe is denounced as virtually a socialist set-up. Diplomatic Connections: Yes, the word “Europe” has virtually become anathema, an epithet in the campaign at this point.

Ambassador Manz: Absolutely, absolutely. That’s why I say “misunderstanding” because the funny thing is: if the guys who are talking about this were actually going to Europe and looking at it to find out how it works, they might actually be quite impressed with what can be done. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the American system is very innovative and creates a lot more energy and has a lot more potential to explode positively than the very regulated European set-up can do. There’s a price you pay for everything. We may have a higher degree of economic security because that’s what our voters want, but it also means that we’re probably less dynamic. There are always trade-offs. The critical global issues are not between us. It’s not as if we were competing for the same resources or the same markets. That’s simply not true. I think that what we are facing is a common challenge to our values that we have defended now for decades. Diplomatic Connections: What is your assessment of the Eurozone financial crisis, and the efforts both to finance a bailout for Europe’s ailing economies and to reach final agreement on some new fiscal treaty that would make individual countries’ budgets subject to stricter monitoring by the European Union? Ambassador Manz: The facts are that fundamentally Europe is no worse off and in most cases better off than the United States economically today . . . fiscally and economically. The crisis is not about the Euro, as such. We have in some countries a sovereign debt crisis. In the case of Greece, a very severe sovereign debt

crisis. But, Greece’s economic import to the EU as a whole is very limited. It’s two percent of the European GDP; that’s basically nothing. So, even a default by Greece would not endanger the European economy per se, in real terms. But, of course, if financial markets continue to say, “Look, if this falls there will be a domino effect, and we all know what might happen.” The real problem is that we have not managed, on either side of the Atlantic, to deal with the aftermath of the housing crash in the United States that led through the derivatives market to a crash in the financial system. But, the efforts in Europe to deal with it I think have been: (a) very serious and (b) quite successful. In the end, I think the result is quite OK. Of course, and this is something that goes back to what I said earlier, given the construction of the EU, it does not react as quickly and as easily as say the United States could react in a situation like that, if you had bipartisan support on the Hill. In Europe you have to play with 25, 26, 27 depending on the set-up or in the Eurozone case 17 players that have to agree. And they have their own little problems, and they also have their own domestic constituencies that have to deal with this. I’m very convinced that we are on the right track . . . a lot of things have been done already. And, we are proceeding now on this new set-up for the Eurozone, which I think is a good thing. Diplomatic Connections: Iran and its development of a nuclear program have become a conundrum for the internation-

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SCHUBERT & VAUGHANWILLIAMS QUINTETS January 13th - Embassy of Australia

Early Carlyss, Violin / Kenji Bunch, Viola / Darrett Adkins, Cello / John Patitucci, Double Bass / Ann Schein, Piano Ray Chen, Violin & Julio Elizalde, Piano

March 16th - Embassy of Australia

Bella Hristova, Violin & Ieva Jokubaviciute, Piano March 23rd - Embassy of Bulgaria

Mendelssohn Piano Trio April 20th - Embassy of Austria

Paulius Andersson, Piano April 27th - Embassy of Lithuania

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or military confrontations are done in the Middle East. There is a lot of posturing. These demonstrations that they were doing . . . the military maneuvers in the Strait and also the military demonstrations . . . they are for show only. Of course, as a military leader, you have to take them seriously and every time you have to be prepared that it might get hot. But, most of the time, you just have to keep your cool and show on the other hand that you’re not intimidated, which is something I think the U.S. Navy can do very well . . . and did by simply sending an aircraft carrier through to make clear that they would not be intimidated by these speedboats and their unconventional tactics. It’s part of the game, so to speak. But, it’s a clear danger. At the same time, Iran is a huge country that does not lend itself easily to military intervention as Saddam Hussein found out when he attacked in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in Iran hoping that there would be disarray and that people would be so upset about the takeover by Khomeini that they would basically come over to him. At least, Saddam thought that he would be able to carve out the piece of Iran that is known as Arabistan (Khuzestan). And, it didn’t work out because once he came and attacked, even the enemies of the Islamic regime were rallying around the flag. And, that’s what always happens, which is one of the dangers that I see in putting even more pressure on Iran. I know from personal experience that this is a very, very resilient population. The sanctions will hit them, but they are used to that. I’m not optimistic that the policy of sanctions is going to work but I acknowledge that we have no choice. We cannot stand by and say simply because it’s unlikely that we will get a quick result we should stop doing anything. That’s also quite clear. Austria is a part of the sanctions that were expanded recently by

Borjana Ventzislavova and Mladen Penev, 2010

al system at this point. What is Austria’s position regarding Iran, especially in a world where the cry for some sort of direct action against Iran grows stronger by the day it seems? Ambassador Manz: The situation has become extremely difficult. There is no question that after the Islamic Revolution it is part of the Iranian textbook, so to speak, that it’s them against the world. You have to realize that the Iranian position is that they are truly exceptional, that they are a chosen people. And, especially if you add this to religious fervor and a theocratic regime, then it becomes even more so. And, Iran, of course, is in a very important strategic position between many, many countries interested in that area. The Iranian regime has succeeded in making enemies of basically everybody by trying to export their version of the Islamic Revolution to their neighbors, by meddling in the Middle East peace process and by supporting certain dissident groups throughout the region. Clearly, we are not getting anywhere with the policies that we’ve followed so far. But, there are really no alternatives. We, as Austrians of course, are very much anti-nuclear in any case. So, we would be more than happy to see the nuclear program stopped. Whether that can be done by sanctions, by political pressure and economic embargoes, we don’t know. We can hope that the pressure that has been and is being put there and the concurrent offer of getting back to the negotiating table works. In general, we do not support the use of force as a valid tool of international policy, but we know that the discussion is out there. And, we really hope it doesn’t get to that point. You know, I was there during the war between Iraq and Iran when the Iranians were the “good guys” resisting Iraqi aggression, and I noticed that there is a very particular way that wars


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the European Union. We clearly do not do this bilaterally but we do this together. As far as anything that concerns the nuclear industry, I think we are very clearly committed to stop that. Diplomatic Connections: One last question, and it ties directly to what you’ve been talking about. Obviously, Austria has long played an important role in the United Nations, but recently Austria was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. How does Austria see its role in that forum? How does Austria see the opportunity, if not to take the lead, at least to push for certain kinds of human rights initiatives? Ambassador Manz: Austria has had traditionally a very, very strong engagement in United Nations human rights discussions and the development of new human rights instruments. But, this is the first time that Austria is serving on this reconfigured Human Rights Council, though we served on the previous structure for many, many years. So, we have a long experience there. It is high on our priority list and has been every time we have served on this body’s predecessor. During my own years at the U.N. in New York, that was always one of the core parts of our participation in the General Assembly. So, this is very close to our hearts. We are particularly focusing on three issues — children’s rights in general and, on the other hand, freedom of expression and protection of journalists, and women and children in armed conflict. These are classic issues that we fought for during our recent term on the Security Council as well. We see this as an extension of what we did there. We’ve always held that for a small country, even if we are now part of the European Union, to work in the multilateral organizations, particularly in the United Nations framework, is a very good multiplier of our efforts. You can

do things there, you can find friends and co-sponsors in a multilateral context that in a bilateral context you could never achieve. Diplomatic Connections: You put your finger on the critical issue: how do you move from the formal language of the human rights covenants to action on the ground to protect individuals and classes of people. Ambassador Manz: Absolutely. One problem that I see with our work, I mean not Austria alone but with the Western work in a lot of human rights driven areas from children’s rights, women’s rights, cultural rights, whatever, is that we are very highly developed in those areas. I compare it to a Gothic cathedral. We are sitting right up there on the spire carving the last finials while others haven’t even built the basement yet. And, the gap is growing. There is this discrepancy because, of course, our activists are pushing for more — which is normal; you try to move forward, you try to be more specific, more detailed. Perhaps someday, for instance, we will; start dividing the rights of children by age group. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating that the risk that I see politically is that this is the gap where the wedge of so-called cultural diversity is driven into the human rights effort. Some radical Islamic movements and others keep telling us, “No, we hold the key. These rights are not universal. You know, we’re not talking about universal human rights, these are Western human rights.” And, once we move there we’re going to lose the battle. I am absolutely convinced. Universality of human rights . . . that’s the key. Diplomatic Connections: On that insight let us say, thank you, Mr., Ambassador. You’ve been very generous with your time and with your thoughts. n

In their work In the Name Of, Borjana Ventzislavova and Mladen Penev study the phenomenon of submission to various norms and ideals, as symbolized in the outward appearances and dress codes of three different cultural and religious groups: Orthodox Jewish men, Western men and women, and Muslim women. The project’s focus is on the way these groups represent themselves, and on how we imagine and perceive them. This same image can be seen inside the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on a canvas-size mural that is almost the entire width of the building. It is currently being displayed by the Cultural Section. Reference from the Website of Webster University in Vienna where this image was exhibited previous to the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Creativity Painter, sculptor, designer… Hans Hopfer designed seating that are, for many, the indisputable “signature” of Roche Bobois’ collections. In 1971, he created the Mah Jong, modular seating based on total freedom of function and form. It changes the landscape of the living room, offering a whole new approach to the way we view and arrange the spaces in which we live. Over the years, Roche Bobois commissioned talented designers, Kenzo Maison, Missoni Home and Jean Paul Gaultier, to create unique editions of the once avant-garde now iconic model. The Mah Jong is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and is still the reference point for creative modular design.

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Savoir-faire The Mah Jong is handmade in a dedicated workshop in Italy using processes and techniques similar to those of the “Haute Couture” fashion industry. Each component is individually hand-stitched using a method similar to that of mattress-making, and the utmost attention is paid to detailing. From a starting point of three basic elements that can be stacked, aligned with each other and grouped as one wishes, the Mah Jong allows limitless options of composition. Seat cushion, straight back or corner… one can play with the shape and the height to create the composition desired: sectional, sofa, armless sofa or day bed.

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WASHINGTON, DC - 5301 Wisconsin Avenue, NW - Tel. (202) 686-5667 - PHILADELPHIA - 313 Arch Street Tel. (215) 922-2900 - NEW YORK - 200 Madison Avenue (at 35th St) - Tel. (212) 889-0700 - MANHASSET, NY 1180 Northern Blvd - Tel. (516) 365-9755 - BOSTON - Ritz-Carlton Towers, 2 Avery Street - Tel. (617) 742-9611 - NATICK 579 Worcester Road, Route 9 - Tel. (508) 650-5844 - CHICAGO - 222 West Hubbard Street - Tel. (312) 955-0275


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Gisele Bundchen Visits Africa in efforts to bring sustainable energy to Kenya 34

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Gisele talking to local women from Kisumu about their dangerous journeys to collect the much needed firewood for their stoves. Each day, around 600 million women and girls worldwide collect firewood. On average, they spend a full day each week searching for their families’ fuel.

Far left photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images; Far right photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Botom photo: Practical Action UK

partners with the UN Foundation and the UNEP


t’s a long way from the fashion runway to Kenya’s slums, but in January international supermodel Gisele Bundchen made both the trip, and the transition to Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In a highly regarded and respected partnership with the United Nations Foundation and the UNEP, Bundchen was on a first-time official visit to Africa to underscore the reality of energy poverty and to see how new developments in sustainable energy can transform life for Kenyans, and in some cases are already doing so.

Unfortunately, not for nearly enough Kenyans, though. In a press conference in Nairobi at the end of her five-day visit, Bundchen said around half the world’s population cook on open indoor fires and each year over 2.5 million people die prematurely as a result of breathing in fumes from these (mainly D I P L O M A T I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S edition | M a r c h - A p r il 2 0 1 2


Members of the local community showing Gisele coffee pods — grown locally by the women of Kathamba, Kerugoya.


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Gisele lighting a stove powered by the gas produced from human waste at an informal settlement in Kibera, Nairobi.

native Brazil, including her own skin care products and a very popular flip-flop line, also visited Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum of half a million inhabitants barely three miles from Kenya’s capital. Here, she was shown biogas centers (turning human waste into power). The Bundchen visit was also timed to draw attention to the global launch in 2012 of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (IYSEA), aimed at achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030. Bundchen’s “passion, credibility and commitment to energy access will draw significant attention to this pressing development issue and help ensure that in two decades time, every man, woman and child, will have access to the power to work their way out of poverty,” said Margaret Gardner, one of the organizers of the supermodel’s visit. n

Photos by Practical Action UK

wood burning) cook stoves, primarily from a substance called black carbon, in other words, soot. Many more are afflicted by ill health, such as chronic bronchitis. Meanwhile, black carbon is emerging as a significant climate change pollutant and is also implicated in crop damage. Hence the importance of fuel-efficient cooking stoves — now a thriving, encouraged small-scale industry in several African countries. “We don’t hear about this and yet the solutions are so simple,” added Gisele Bundchen, recently named the “world’s greenest celebrity.” “When we come out of our bubbles and travel, you experience what I did in Kenya; and it’s amazing how we can change our viewpoints,” she said. Bundchen’s out-of-the-bubble itinerary took her to the Mount Kenya area where micro-hydro power is bringing electricity to over 2,000 households. But in Kenya, only 18 percent of households have electricity — part of a pattern in Sub-Saharan Africa, where some 70 percent of the population is without electrical power. “Energy affects everything. Children can study at night when they have access to electricity. If we can bring electricity to everyone, we can help people to survive,” she said at the press conference. “It’s unjust if people do not have access to electricity. Energy for all is achievable. Just 2 percent of global investment is needed,” she added. The supermodel, whose personal worth is estimated at $150 million from modeling and business enterprises in her

Gisele meeting with local children from Kisumu.

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Vice President Xi Jinping (L) and United States Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta arrive to review a guard of honor before their meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on February 14, 2012. While in the U.S., China’s likely next leader Xi Jinping said that Beijing will take concrete steps to improve human rights as he admitted, “there is always room for improvement.”


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By James A. Winship, Ph.D.

Political Theater Playing to Two Different Audiences, One American... One Chinese hina’s likely next President, Xi Jinping (Shee Jin Ping), currently Vice President of China, recently undertook a week-long visit to the United States with meetings in Washington, D.C., Iowa and Los Angeles. Officially, this was a reciprocal visit scheduled to balance the visit of the American Vice President, Joe Biden, to China in August 2011. Both visits had been envisioned in the China-U.S. Joint Statement signed by Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao in Washington on January 19, 2011. Unofficially, Xi’s visit to the United States was a critical first step in China’s presidential transition process. Over the next year, the current Chinese President, Hu Jintao, will turn over his leadership roles in the Communist Party and the Chinese government to Mr. Xi. This trip was Mr. Xi’s opportunity to demonstrate both his high-level diplomatic skills and to display his effectiveness at people-topeople diplomacy. Coverage of Xi’s visit involved substantial contingents of the American and the Chinese press. For an American D I P L O M A T I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S edition | M a r c h - A p r il 2 0 1 2


Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is presented with a jersey by President and CEO of AEG China John Cappo, Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and former NBA player Earvin “Magic” Johnson during a game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

audience, this was their first exposure to Mr. Xi as China’s next President, the man with whom the United States will be doing business for the next decade. For the Chinese audience, Xi’s trip was designed both to demonstrate that he is able to represent Chinese interests effectively and that he has a warmer, more human side than his immediate predecessor. From Washington, Xi continued his journey with official visits to Ireland and Turkey. Xi’s itinerary seemed designed to compartmentalize these different roles. The first two days of the trip in Washington, D.C., were filled with a whirlwind of official visits designed primarily as a get-acquainted tour to allow the current generation of American leaders a chance to meet Mr. Xi first-hand. Honoring the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s ground breaking trip to Beijing in 1972 and the issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué, which began the thaw in U.S.-China relations, the Chinese hosted an invitation-only meeting with a short list of past shapers of America’s China 40

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policy. That evening’s meeting was followed the next day by a round of official audiences moving from the White House to the State Department to the Defense Department to Capitol Hill and to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a speech before the U.S.-China Business Council. Once he left official Washington, Xi’s itinerary focused more on trade issues and cultural links between the Chinese and the American people. Traveling back to Iowa, “sister state” to China’s Hebei province, Xi retraced the steps of a Chinese agricultural delegation he led to Iowa in 1985 engaging in what some have dubbed “soybean diplomacy.” Xi visited the small Mississippi River town of Muscatine, Iowa, where he had enjoyed a home stay 27 years ago and then hurried off to the state capital in Des Moines where he met with Iowa political and agribusiness leaders. The next morning brought a tour of 21st century Iowa farming operations as well as a photo opportunity of the Chinese leader seated in the cab of a high-tech John Deere tractor (photo on page 44). Then it was off to the West Coast and Los Angeles, where — Vice President Xi toured the Port of Los Angeles facilities

Alex Wong/Getty Images

- where nearly 60 percent of the imports moving through the port come from China, visited with local business leaders, met with U.S. and Chinese governors, toured a school where Chinese language is being offered and wound up his tour of the U.S. with a visit to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. As with most diplomatic visits of this sort, there is a highly visible and a less visible, more discrete dimension to the diplomacy undertaken. This is especially true in the relationship between the United States and China, the one emerging from the Cold War as a dominant player on the world scene and the other emerging from its long Maoist history to become the world’s most rapidly growing economy with aspirations of playing a key role as a major 21st century power — both armed with nuclear weapons and both holding veto power at the United Nations. These natural tensions are heightened even more in the midst of an American presidential campaign where China frequently becomes the target of sharp-edged campaign rhetoric, and where the urge to engage more in posturing than considered policy discussion is virtually irresistible. Official exchanges between American leaders and the Chinese leader were polite, sometimes pointed, and often stiffly formal on-the-record. Off-the-record conversations were said to include discussion specific global hot spots including

potential resumption of the Six Power talks with North Korea, Iranian nuclear developments, the future of the Assad regime in Syria and maritime relations in the Asia-Pacific region. While there was no state dinner at the White House, Mr. Xi was accorded an 85-minute meeting with the President, a formal luncheon at the State Department and a 19-gun salute at the Pentagon. The official formality was clearly visible in an exchange of statements between President Obama and Vice President Xi. “I have always emphasized that we welcome China’s peaceful rise,” affirmed President Obama. “A strong and prosperous China,” he continued, “is one that can help to bring stability and prosperity to the region and to the world.” At the same time, President Obama emphasized that, “with expanding power and prosperity also comes increased responsibilities. We want to work with China to make sure that everybody is working by the same rules of the road when it comes to the world economic system. On critical issues like human rights, we will continue to emphasize the importance of recognizing the aspirations and rights of all peoples.” Vice President Xi responded to President Obama by hoping that the two countries would “work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interests. I hope,” he continued, “to engage a broad cross-section

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) pose for photographers prior to a meeting February 15, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Xi was hosted by both Senate and House leaders on the Hill as he continued his visit in the U.S. D I P L O M A T I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S edition | M a r c h - A p r il 2 0 1 2


Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks play against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


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Photos by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks rebounds the ball over Shelden Williams #33 of the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks lays the ball up over Anthony Morrow #22 of the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

of American society during my current visit so as to deepen mutual understanding, expand consensus, strengthen cooperation and deepen the friendship between the Chinese and the American people.” Later in the day at the State Department luncheon hosted by Secretary Clinton and Vice President Biden, there were gentle reminders of the frictions that sometimes characterize the U.S.-China relationship. In search of greater cooperation, said Vice President Xi, “our two sides should treat each other with sincerity and candor and enhanced dialogue and communication. We should respect each other and strengthen strategic, mutual trust.” Moving outside of Washington to Iowa and California, Vice President Xi’s official tone seemed to soften as he placed greater emphasis on people-to-people diplomacy and the practical side of trade dealings and cultural exchanges. Reminiscing in Muscatine, Iowa, Xi recalled how he slept in a bedroom with green shag carpeting and Star Trek character cutouts on the wall. Meeting with people who hosted him in 1985 he noted that, “My impression of the country came from you. For me, you are America.” Later, in Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Xi noted that both China and the U.S. are major agricultural nations. “Maintaining stable agricultural development is important to boosting the global economy’s strong, sustainable and balanced growth.” Throughout his trip Vice President Xi’s appearances also attracted demonstrators who lifted up specific concerns about China’s human rights and political policies. “Free Tibet” demonstrators waved their Tibetan flag as they called for Tibetan independence and an end to interference with the free practice of Tibetan Buddhism as well as Beijing’s practice of encouraging Chinese immigration into Tibet thus diluting its traditional culture. Other demonstrators raised similar concerns regarding the Muslim population of Xinjiang province in far western China. Followers of the Falun Gong movement, which promotes a program of physical exercise and

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self-improvement, also raised protests against Chinese government policies which have resulted in arrests of its practitioners. Chinese arrests of specific human rights leaders now under detention were also denounced and concerns about the treatment of so-called house churches were raised. While it is difficult to track the Chinese public reaction to Vice President Xi’s visit to the United States, one of the most interesting platforms for public response is Weibo, a series of micro-blogging sites roughly the equivalent of Twitter in the United States. Though Weibo is closely monitored by the Chinese government, it remains a good snapshot of what young, urban Chinese are thinking. While Vice President Xi’s visit couldn’t compete with the Chinese public’s interest in NBA basketball and the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the Chinese-American point guard on the New York Knicks (photo on pages 42 & 43), his public relations handlers were savvy enough to wrap-up Xi’s diplomatic trip with an open-collared tieless Xi Jinping sitting alongside Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at an LA Lakers game. Chinese bloggers noted that Xi Jinping’s style during his U.S. visit was “quite vivid and new” adding that he has “a professional TV anchorman style.” Many Weibo bloggers also mentioned Xi’s relaxed more spontaneous style that included frequent references to popular culture in China and in the United States. With a group of American students in Los Angeles he joked about wanting more free time but suggested that his hope was akin to the American film, “Mission Impossible.” Speaking of China’s human rights record, Xi noted “tremendous and well-rec-

ognized achievements” and then went on to note that, “There is no best, only better,” a phrase his Chinese audience would instantly recognize as a familiar advertising theme used by an electronics chain in China. It was in his speech at the State Department, however, that Xi struck a note that was at once familiar to Chinese popular culture and an apt characterization of the continuing tensions between the United States and China. Speaking about the need to build a cooperative relationship between the two countries, Xi borrowed a line from a popular song, “May I ask where the path is? It is where you take your first step.” The line comes from a popular Chinese TV drama entitled “Journey to the West,” also known as “The Monkey King,” based on a classical Chinese epic tale. That story is familiar to every Chinese child because it has been retold in a hundred formats from oral story-telling to cartoon characters and children’s books, to TV soap opera, to classical literature. Its essence is not the least political; it is at the heart of the Chinese world view. There is no simple path, in other words, no pre-set map to guide the United States and China toward a more cooperative bilateral and global relationship. That relationship can only evolve step-by-step as each recognizes the other as a major stakeholder in an emergent 21st century world. There will undoubtedly be false steps and dead ends along the way. The path may feel more like a maze than a straight line, but no path will be made without continuing communication and concerted efforts to understand, though not always agree with, the other’s point of view. n

Steve Pope/Office of the Iowa Governor via Getty Images

China’s Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China visits the farm of Rick and Martha Kimberley February 16, 2012, near Maxwell, Iowa. Xi, who is seen as China’s likely next leader, on tour of the United States.


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Several Washington Ambassadors with Mayor Gray holding the pledge to pursue sustainability initiatives at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in D.C.


Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent C. Gray with H.E. Renee Jones-Bos, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States standing next to the Embassy’s LEED certification plaque.

ore than 50 embassies and international institutions joined District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray at the Royal Netherlands Embassy to sign a pledge to pursue sustainability initiatives in their operations. According to the D.C. Greening Embassies Forum, the District of Columbia Diplomatic Missions and International Institutions Environmental Performance, Climate and Sustainability Pledge, offers milestones in several areas such as Transportation, Energy & Building, Water Conservation, Waste Reduction, Jobs & Community, and Reporting & Action for embassies and international institutions. The pledge, coordinated by the U.S. Department of State’s D.C. Greening Embassies Forum, is the first collaborative initiative of its kind to help make the District the greenest city in the country.

At the signing ceremony, Mayor Gray noted the critical role that embassies play in Washington, D.C., and stated, ”When an embassy takes actions to improve operations and enhance their sustainability, they demonstrate how the choices made by people and institutions each day create a greater good for the community.” Mayor Gray performed double duty at the ceremony. In addition to signing the sustainability pledge, the Mayor also presented the Royal Netherlands Embassy with its LEED (Silver) certification plaque, making the Dutch Embassy the second LEED certified embassy in Washington D.C. Embassies that signed the pledge included countries from Africa; Asia; the Caribbean; Europe; Latin America; North America; the Middle East and the Pacific; all reflecting the diversity of Washington’s diplomatic community.

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Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Patrick Kennedy

H.E. Nathalie Cely, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States

The District of Columbia (with more than 175 embassies) has one of the world’s highest densities of foreign missions within its jurisdiction. In signing the pledge, the ambassadors illustrated their commitment to support the District’s sustainability goals and maintain the city’s current ranking among the top 10 greenest cities in the nation. Dutch Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos, reflected on the spirit of cooperation that united all the embassies in this effort. “No one country, no one city, no one embassy can do this by themselves. We need to work together, we need to cooperate and we need to collaborate.” Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Patrick Kennedy agreed, “This pledge is extremely special because it wraps the aspirations of our institutions with that of the local community.” Prior to the Greening Embassy Forum, the Royal Netherlands Embassy hosted the “Neighbors in Sustainability” workshop where representatives from the District of Columbia government and the private sector, discussed sustainability practices in the areas of renewable energy including benchmarking, low-impact development and the River Smart program; and an initiative where embassies and the District work together to make storm water management more sustainable. The workshop also contained a practical hands-on expo, where local companies displayed their sustainability products. n 46

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D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray signing the pledge to pursue sustainability initiatives at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in D.C. Dutch Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos in background.

The signatories of this Pledge hereby agree to form a partnership within the D.C. Greening Embassies Forum between the District’s Diplomatic Missions and International Institutions and the District Government to pursue and promote programs, policies and projects aimed at advancing environmental quality, economic vitality and social equity in the District of Columbia. The Embassy of Australia The Embassy of Belgium The Embassy of the Republic of Botswana The Embassy of Bulgaria The Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon The Embassy of Canada The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus The Royal Danish Embassy The Embassy of Ecuador The Embassy of Estonia The Embassy of the Republic of the Fiji Islands The Embassy of Finland The Embassy of France The Embassy of Germany The Embassy of Greece The Embassy of Haiti The Embassy of Honduras The Embassy of Hungary The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group The Embassy of India The Embassy of Ireland The Embassy of Israel The Embassy of Italy The Embassy of Japan The Embassy of the Republic of Korea The Embassy of Latvia The Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein The Embassy of Republic of Lithuania The Embassy of Luxembourg The Embassy of Malta The Embassy of Mexico The Embassy of the Principality of Monaco The Embassy of Nepal The Royal Netherlands Embassy The Embassy of New Zealand The Embassy of the Philippines The Embassy of the Republic of Poland The Embassy of Romania The Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia The Embassy of Switzerland The Delegation of the European Union to the USA The Embassy of the Slovak Republic The Embassy of South Africa The Embassy of Sweden The Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates The Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The Embassy of Uruguay The World Bank, a member of the World Bank Group United Nations Environment Programme (RONA) J a n u a r y 3 1 s t 2 0 1 2 • Wa s h i n g t o n , D. C . D I P L O M A T I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S edition | M a r c h - A p r il 2 0 1 2


Washington, D.C.


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hat’s in a name, especially when that name represents one of the leading figures among the Founding Fathers of the United States? James Madison, fourth President of the United States and Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and author of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Madison was also one of the authors of The Federalist Papers, among the earliest collections of essays explaining and defending the form of government to be shaped by the new Constitution. Early in his political career, as a member of the Virginia legislature, Madison helped to draft the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which would become the prototype for the guarantees of freedom of religion found in the U.S. Constitution. American historian, Clinton Rossiter, described Madison as “a combination of learning, experience, purpose, and imagination that not even [John] Adams or [Thomas] Jefferson could have equaled.” It is one thing for a Washington, D.C. hotel to name itself in honor of an American president, but it is something quite different for a hotel to take on the attributes of the man. But, that is exactly what The Madison has attempted to do as part of a “reimagining” of what has been a Washington institution: to take on that mix of learning, experience, purpose and imagination that typified James Madison. Hotels, of course, start as physical facilities designed to accommodate guests, but a hotel takes on life because of the people who staff it, who serve its guests and who make the attributes of an American statesman come to life. Every aspect of the newly-appointed hotel seeks to honor the contributions of its namesake to American history while imbuing The Madison with the touches of imagination and creativity that charac-

terized his life and work. Newly-redesigned guest rooms and public space offer clear touches of early American and Federalist style, but every bit of the elegant past is thoughtfully touched by state-of-the-art 21st century technology that places The Madison on the cutting edge of the hospitality industry’s art. And all of this is leavened by experienced staff, who sustain the best of American hospitality, touched with the manners of an earlier time, and tempered with a degree of personal service that can respond discretely and efficiently to virtually any need. The Madison Hotel, long noted for its elegance and exquisite service, has recently undergone an extensive program of redesign and renewal. President John F. Kennedy opened the new hotel in 1963, and The Madison quickly became one of the capital city’s leading destinations for politicians, diplomats, tourists and families alike. The Madison has hosted inaugural events, high-level diplomatic negotiations, social gatherings and family occasions through half a century of Washington’s central role in American and in global history. Egyptian and Israeli peace negotiators shaped the operational details of the Camp David Accords in The Madison’s rooms. Mikhail Gorbachev and his staff worked to control nuclear weapons and bring an end to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union here. And, Nelson Mandela negotiated to assure the peaceful emergence of post-apartheid South Africa during his stay at The Madison. Located in the heart of Washington’s business, governmental and international center at the corner of 15th and M Streets, The Madison’s location — just blocks from the White House, the professional bustle of K Street, the vibrant day and night life of Dupont Circle, the chanceries and residences of Embassy Row, and the monuments and museums of the

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National Mall — makes it an ideal base from which to explore both the history and the power centers of the nation’s capital and the neighborhoods that give Washington its unique local flavor. The Madison was acquired by Jamestown Properties, an Atlanta-based real estate investment firm backed by Jamestown Immobilien headquartered in Cologne, Germany, in early 2011. Jamestown specializes in real estate investment funds and targets the construction, rehabilitation and repositioning of projects with potential for substantial appreciation. “Our vision is to restore The Madison to its rightful place among the best-in-class hotels in the nation’s capital,” said Michael Phillips, managing director for Jamestown, “rebuilding a tradition for hosting guests to fulfill the needs of the modern Washington, D.C., market while honoring The Madison’s storied past.” Destination Hotels & Resorts, among the top 10 hospitality and property management companies in the United States and with long experience in hotel turnarounds from major brand affiliations, has been selected to manage the property. “What attracted us to Destination,” noted James52

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town’s Phillips, “is that they really specialize in non-flag hotels and understand how to establish a hotel’s identity.” Charles S. Peck, president and chief operating officer for Destination Hotels & Resorts reinforced the goal of bringing the historic property back to market prominence. “We are honored to be working with the new owner, Jamestown, on this great asset. The property has a rich history, and we believe we can capitalize on the successes of the past while establishing new programs, services and traditions that attract both long-time loyal customers and new guests interested in experiencing the iconic hotel.” Though The Madison underwent a “Grand Closing” and extensive restoration in 2003, Jamestown Properties has invested more than $20 million in updating and redecorating guest rooms and facilities throughout the hotel. Dominick Coyne of Patrick Coyne Designs Ltd. In Atlanta, Georgia, undertook the redesign of the guest rooms and communal spaces with the goal of creating an American country house feel in the city. All 353 guest rooms, including 13 suites, have been reconfigured and redecorated to create a luxury boutique hotel that provides the utmost in comfort, elegance

and personalized service to The Madison’s guests. Recognizing that Washington is a working city, all rooms have been complemented with oversized desks and ergonomic chairs and include complimentary wireless high-speed internet access as well as two telephones with dual voice lines and voicemail. In addition, many of the suites include balconies suitable for entertaining. Adjoining The Madison is “The Federalist” a new restaurant on the Washington scene that honors both the culinary traditions of early America and the current move to locally source the freshest of ingredients and seasonal produce from tidewater Maryland and Virginia. Across the menu, illustrated by a colonial American graphic of the yeoman farmer at his plow behind a team of oxen with a fecund Lady Liberty holding a sheave of grain and crowned with 13 stars, dishes incorporate historic recipes with local produce while employing the latest culinary techniques. The result is an intriguing mix of historical awareness with “Top Chef” style served in a modern setting characterized by an early American color palette and expanses of wood paneling. Service is provided by a knowledgeable wait staff anxious to talk about each dish

and “libation” on the menu and trained to be interested and attentive without hovering. Conservative columnist George F. Will in an essay paying tribute to Madison pointedly observed that, “If we really believe the pen is mightier, or even more dignified than the sword, then the nation’s capital would be named not for the soldier who wielded the revolutionary sword, but for the thinker that was ablest with a pen. It would be Madison, D.C.” Perhaps the thoughtful luxury, quiet elegance, country comfort and extraordinarily personal service offered at The Madison can partially make up for that “error” in judgment by offering the presence of a beacon of purposeful hospitality and creative comfort in the heart of the city that Madison’s vision helped to nurture. n

Susan Penman | Director of Sales

The Madison 1177 15th St. NW | Washington, D.C. 20005 office: 202.587.2681 |

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Mr. James Horsman, Managing Director and Vice President of Operations at The Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.


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amed to lead The Madison through its “return” to the ranks of Washington’s leading hotels is James Horsman, a veteran of Destination Hotels & Resorts program of redefining and rebranding outstanding facilities across the United States. Before being named as Managing Director and Vice President of Operations at The Madison, Mr. Horsman opened

Destination’s Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont, named among the top hotels in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Earlier in his career, Horsman was general manager at the award-winning NINE ZERO hotel in Boston. During more than a decade with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company he opened and operated properties in Mexico, Hawaii, Dubai, Philadelphia and Marina del Rey.

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Diplomatic Connections: Please tell us a bit about The Madison and its unique history. James Horsman: The Madison Hotel opened back in 1963. Actually, President John F. Kennedy presided over the opening of the hotel. For a very long time The Madison was really the address in Washington. If you were anybody who was anybody — world leaders, diplomats, members of Congress, titans of industry — you stayed at The Madison. Over the years, Washington grew . . . more hotels came in . . . and, The Madison kind of went to sleep. We, at the Jamestown Group and Destination Hotels & Resorts, certainly saw the value in taking The Madison and bringing her back to where she was during her glory days. That’s the central idea behind our theme — “the return of an icon.” Really what we want to do is to bring The Madison back into the forefront of Washington society and business and to restore some of her former glory.

Diplomatic Connections: Obviously, the by-word in real estate is “location . . . location . . . location.” What about The Madison for people who perhaps do not know Washington or who may have forgotten the location of the hotel: where are you and what makes that location particularly unique in Washington? James Horsman: We are blessed with a phenomenal location here in Washington. We are a short five blocks to the White House and a very short jaunt to all of the museums and monuments along the National Mall. We are in a very vibrant section of Washington that abounds in restaurants and cafes, bistros, art galleries and unique new businesses that are constantly coming into the neighborhood. And, at the same time, we are in the heart of Washington’s business and banking center, surrounded by government offices and international organizations, major law and accounting firms, consulting groups and all the ancillary businesses that serve them. It’s impossible to be much closer to the pulse of the nation’s capital than we are. Diplomatic Connections: What are you doing to turn the hotel around and to reposition it in the Washington market? Where there were few, if any, luxury hotels in Washington when The Madison originally opened, now Washington abounds in hotels that call themselves luxury hotels. What will make The Madison stand out? James Horsman: There are several things that I want to touch on. You hear the terminology used, “They’re 56

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going through a $22 million renovation.” I think you need to be very careful when you say that. It’s really more of a $22 million redesign and repositioning. A renovation makes you think, “They’re going to take what they had, fix it up and it’s still going to be the same . . .” But really, when you look at what we’re doing, we are redesigning. We’re going back and taking various influences from Washington and incorporating them into a new Madison that will respect and honor its past but will re-launch almost as if it were a brand new hotel in Washington, treasuring its tradition of exquisite service but bringing that service into the cutting edge of the twenty-first century developments. That’s the first thing. What really separates us is that it’s luxury, but it’s almost a modest version of luxury. I always conjure this image in my mind. I think of that classic country house hotel, and we’ve brought that into the city. So, where you still get what people would consider to be a luxury product, it’s done in almost a casual way — in a very genuine, a very modest and a very comfortable way — almost like going to a great friend’s home. It’s like plopping down in the living room and feeling that natural comfort, the reassurance that you’re in surroundings that are friendly, relaxed, and very comfortable . . . yet still refined.

Diplomatic Connections: Service, obviously, is a big part of the feeling you’re describing. You actually have some staffers who were originals, with the hotel since the day it opened. James Horsman: When you look at the number of ladies and gentlemen that we have here at the hotel who have been here for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 years, it’s a sizeable number. And, there’s a great sense of pride . . . a tremendous sense of pride that they have because they remember the old days. They understand where it is that they and the hotel come from. So, these people eagerly anticipate what we’re doing in redesigning the hotel, and they’re making a huge contribution to our vision. We’re working together in order to really re-launch the hotel. We’re very fortunate because service is really what we sell. I mean that’s the product that our client is looking for. We have a team of dedicated professionals that clearly understands that. They live it. They breathe it. They sweat it. It’s that intimate relationship that the guest has, the intimate interaction that the guest has with each of our players. They may not remember what they ate. They may not remem-

ber the color of the room. But, they remember that interaction with the staff. And that’s critically important because, when that’s right . . . when it’s good . . . when it’s memorable service. . . it brings people back. They can’t get enough of it. Diplomatic Connections: What are some of the hallmarks of bringing The Madison back, some of the things that you’re trying to accomplish as you go through this redesign process? James Horsman: Quite frankly, over the years, through different management and different ownership, various changes had been made, and the result was a nice guest room but a very generic guest room. You walk in now and you look at the custom window treatments, you look at the antique reproduction toile wall paper, the tufted leather wing-back chairs, the art work that we have, the chair rails we’ve installed and the brand new bathrooms. You walk in now and you know instantly, “Wow, I’m in Washington, D.C.” You can definitely feel that you’re in Washington, D.C. based on the design. I think that’s very important. It’s a great melding of the tradition that you see in this city from an architectural and a decorative standpoint and modernism. Diplomatic Connections: That’s one of the striking things as you walk through the hotel. You resisted the temptation to try to redo Colonial Williamsburg, if you will. So, there’s a lot of Federalist style in the building, but there are also wonderful modern touches. It really is a blend of the tufted, wingback Federalist chair and fireplaces but with a very modern feel to it at the same time. James Horsman: We like to believe that it’s a modern adaptation of eighteenth century Washington. We actually used Washington’s plantation as a study in how we wanted to do this. We are not trying to create a reproduction of Williamsburg or reassemble Dolley Madison’s décor. It’s a blending of today and yesterday, taking into consideration the architectural delights that you have in this region, and certainly in this city. Diplomatic Connections: I’m a tourist coming to Washington. What’s the attraction of The Madison? Or, by way of contrast, I’m an embassy setting up a meeting in Washington, what’s the attraction of The Madison? James Horsman: Whether you’re coming from London or whether you’re coming from Cleveland, I think what really is a great attraction of The Madison is location. You can’t get around it. You’re five blocks from most of the major attractions, a very easy walk. You are very close to public transpor-

tation and the Metro rail system. So, as far as convenience is concerned, our location is tremendous. We have a trained staff that really goes out of its way to make the city accessible to those visiting with us. Our whole mantra is, “Experience Washington like a local.” Our trained concierge staff is dedicated to really coming up with some pretty unique venues for people who are coming in to visit the city. Yes, you’ve got the traditional venues with the monuments and the Smithsonian, but we’re coming up with very unique things to do in Washington that you typically wouldn’t expect. Then there’s the level of service that you get. I think it’s important that, “Yes, we’re a luxury brand and service is what we sell, but we do it in a very comfortable manner. So, from a tourist standpoint I think that location, the commitment to finding those unique little treasures that we have here in D.C. proper and in the surrounding area, and the commitment to service all bode very well for an excellent stay at The Madison and a fascinating visit to the nation’s capital. There are slightly different needs when you look at the embassies. They’re looking for a location that is going to be very sensitive to what their needs are. We have staff here at The Madison who represent, not every nation but quite a few different countries, so that there’s always someone here who can relate to the specific cultural norms and needs of any embassy. The level of service and of discretion is very important. We certainly understand that you have to provide great, genuine, world-class service, but you need to be discrete in what you do and how you do it. We actually have staff that we’ve put through multiple trainings so that they will understand the cultural differences and nuances that the different embassies bring in. And then there’s flexibility. We are extraordinarily flexible in what we can do for the embassies. We’re very fortunate because we have three presidential suites, where most properties might have one or two. When you look at our physical plant, it bodes well for the needs that embassies have. For many people who have traveled to Washington over the years, The Madison is a name that they’ve heard of, that has a ring of familiarity to it. There’s name recognition there and an expectation of exquisite service and all around excellence. Diplomatic Connections: What about security? Like it or not, that’s a critical question in this day and age.

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James Horsman: We have a dedicated life safety department. We are tied in to the various agencies within Washington. So, from a local and from a national perspective, we get the alerts and we know what’s going on. We have put in a number of processes so that we can always ensure the safety of all of our guests, whether its embassy guests or the individual guest coming in from wherever. That is something that is critically important to us. And, we’re very pleased to be able to do substantial embassy business. So, we work directly with the State Department, and we work extensively with the actual embassies themselves and their security. We have a reputation for being easy to do business with when it comes to that because we understand the importance of both physical safety and communications security. Diplomatic Connections: Can you tell us a bit about the kinds of facilities you have available for different types and sizes of functions? What about meeting rooms, banquet facilities, ballrooms . . . the kinds of things that would be important to holding highlevel meetings here at the hotel? James Horsman: Part of the redesign, renovation, rebirth, re-introduction of The Madison is certainly our function space. We have roughly 12,000 square feet that we have gone through top to bottom and really brought it into the twenty-first century. It’s doing things like getting rid of the old dry erase boards and putting sixty-inch plasma screens in all the rooms. It’s making certain that from a technology standpoint — it’s important for business, for industry, for diplomacy, for everyone — that we are absolutely in the twenty-first century with all the technology that we offer here. And, it’s been done in a very esthetic, prominent but unobtrusive way. If you go and you look at our meeting space, not only does it flow very nicely, but you’ve got a variety of different sized rooms to meet really different needs. Some rooms are very, very private. Some would be much better for receptions and state events and so forth. And, everything is done very artistically throughout so that facilities are at once functional and yet architecturally attractive without being distracting. You walk through the lobby and you see the design ethos that we’ve got going on here. And, you go to The Federalist, the restaurant which is attached to the hotel — a phenomenal restaurant — you can see that the space lent itself very well to a society function or an embassy function or a high-level board meeting or gathering, political functions — we do quite a few 58

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of those. So the facilities are varied, and they blend very well with the needs of our client base.

Diplomatic Connections: You’ve said all the way through that there’s a lot of care, there’s a lot of concern and there’s a lot of imagination built into the package all at the same time. And, that’s unusual because you’re not doing historic restoration; you’re actually reimagining the hotel with an eye to the past but with the planning firmly focused on the future. James Horsman: We’re very fortunate because we are passionate about what it is we’re doing. My staff will tell you this: I don’t take myself very seriously but I take what I do very seriously. And we are very passionate about service. We’re very passionate about creating something that is memorable. Whether you’re coming in for a one-day meeting out of New York or whether you’re coming in for five days of holiday out of the United Kingdom, we want that experience to be memorable, to be special, to be something that when you walk out of here — when you leave The Madison — you keep thinking to yourself, “I have to get back there. I need another fix of this.” We want to be a safe haven from all the trials and the tribulations you deal with out there. That’s something that’s very important to us. And, it’s not just me saying it. You talk to the doormen, you talk to guest reception, you talk to any of these professionals, and they’ll tell you the same thing. You’ll see it in our actions, and you’ll sense that commitment all around you. And that’s a big difference. They’re not doing their job because they have to; they’re doing it because they choose to . . . because they want to. I think that’s what separates us from a lot of the competition out there. Diplomatic Connections: So, there’s a very clear and a very rapid timeline for the remake, but it sounds as if there are no limits on the passion. James Horsman: That’s it exactly. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and it has been the ride of a lifetime. Truly, truly, if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over again. I’ve enjoyed it. And, again, being here at The Madison in Washington at this time surrounded by such a phenomenal team . . . it’s what it’s all about. It’s why I’m a hotelier. Diplomatic Connections: That’s a great note to end on. Thank you very much for talking with us and for letting us learn about the re-creation, the re-conceptualization, the “return of an icon” — The Madison Hotel. n


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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) attends an interactive session on “Ending Energy Poverty” at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He is joined by, from left: New York Times Journalist Thomas Friedman; Diezani AlisonMadueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria; José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo, Chief Executive Officer of Petrobras; Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF Suez; Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and International Development of Norway; Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director of Suzlon Energy.


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or most of the winter, Davos is one of Switzerland’s top ski resorts, but at the end of January it becomes the venue of the World Economic Forum, a gathering of the global financial elite who for three days discuss the world’s social and financial problems, and what to do about them. Not surprisingly, the mood among this year’s participants was very somber in the face of Europe’s economic plight and the global implications of a possible further unraveling of the Eurozone. A key question at Davos was whether the new European firewall would do

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Inset photos: far left - UN Photo/Evan Schneider; two right - UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

the trick? “Firewall” was hip cyber-age shorthand for the 500 billion euro ($600 billion) bailout fund set up to help EU members most in danger of financial meltdown. Already, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the Europeans to increase the firewall, but Chancellor Angela Merkel, ring-master at Davos by virtue of Germany’s wealth, rejected the idea. European leaders heard the constant refrain (from bankers and economists) that the austerity measures they had put in place were not enough to ensure recovery. They also needed to stimulate their respective economies and create more jobs, if they were to avoid stagnation. What about Greece? That country’s debt mountain is in a category all of its own, and many observers had the feeling that the European Union was increasingly in favor of Greece quitting the Eurozone. The idea of the firewall was to stop

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A close-up of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger at the tenth-anniversary dinner for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, co-hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, in Davos, Switzerland.

such an eventuality from leading to a domino effect, but for many the meeting had the feeling of Greece’s swan song as a Euro currency country. But Davos has never, to anyone’s knowledge, actually solved any of the world’s economic problems. The forum is a valuable occasion for information sharing and for creating consensus on key global issues. Over 1,000 senior business executives from around the world, 40 heads of state or government and 85 government ministers attended this year’s session, plus — of course — numerous economists, experts and journalists. The United States was represented by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the IMF by its head Christine Lagarde. As for the business leaders, one commentator calculated that there were 70 billionaires in attendance, including Bill Gates of Microsoft, and the financier George Soros.

The high-profile celebrity quotient included Sir Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones lead performer. He attended a few early functions including a dinner given by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates to mark the 10th anniversary of the Global Fund to fight AIDs, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Gates had just announced that his foundation was giving $750 million to the Fund. Shortly after the lunch, Sir Mick cut short his stay and was a no-show at a tea party (yes, a tea party) given by British Prime Minister David Cameron because — the rock star complained — he was being used as a “political football.” In a statement, Jagger said, “During my career I have always eschewed party politics and came to Davos as a guest, as I thought it would be stimulating…I now find myself being used as a political football and there has been a lot of comment about my political allegiances which are inaccurate.”

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Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The Global Fund board chairman Simon Bland (L) and Microsoft founder and U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates pose next to a cutout of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to promote the Global Fund’s 10th anniversary during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2012, in Davos.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chats with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at a dinner co-hosted by Mr. Ban and Mr. Gates celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in Davos, Switzerland.


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Two left: UN Photos/Eskinder Debebe; Far right photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The purpose of Cameron’s tea, which also featured the British model Lily Cole, was to promote investment in Britain’s 2012 Summer Olympics. Somewhat taken aback by Jagger’s unexpected reaction, British government officials claimed that they had in no way conveyed the impression that Jagger was a Conservative Party supporter. The forum drew protesters, as it always does, outside the fenced-in conference location. A branch of the Occupy movement that began on Wall Street and spread to dozens of cities around the world established a noisy presence in igloos in Davos, demonstrating in front of the town hall for jobs and the alleviation of poverty. The forum wasn’t all gloom and doom, but talk of the

Left: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu hosted a private sector brainstorming luncheon focusing on creating a better world for women and girls. Kenneth C. Frazier (standing), CEO of Merck, participates at the event, which highlighted the Every Woman, Every Child initiative, spearheaded by Mr. Ban, to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world. Also seated at the table are Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Right: The Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, Sebastian Coe, poses on January 26, 2012 in front of an ice sculpture representing Big Ben, the London Eye and Canary Wharf during an event to promote London 2012 Olympic Game on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos.

UN Photos/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium, right) addresses the dinner event “Nourishing People,” held at the UN World Food Programme (WFP) tent in Davos, Switzerland.

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European crisis overshadowed the more cheerful aspects of the global economy. The U.S. economy, for example, appeared to have weathered the worst of the recession, although short-term growth is expected to be slow. Countries in Asia and Latin America are in good shape, having faced their own economic problems earlier than in the United States and Europe, having taken the necessary measures to avoid an aftershock. Several countries in Africa — Madagascar, Ghana, were mentioned — are also doing well, although there was concern over the growing sectarian strife in Nigeria, where Christians have come under attack by Islamist militants. Brazil and India, two of the new economic powerhouses were well represented, and Mexico had a large pavilion in the center of the town. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led their respective delegations. But China’s leadership did not attend, perhaps because the forum coincided with the Chinese New Year, and everyone stayed at home. The forum organizers announced that next year the meeting will be held a week earlier which they hope will persuade senior Chinese leaders to come to Davos.

Also, as usual, there was a social program to liven things up — although the Huffington Post reported that, while the champagne flowed, the atmosphere was rather flat. There was a time when the World Economic Forum organized wine tastings led by well known wine critics as part of the official program. That stopped in 2009 when conspicuous consumption of first growth clarets (Bordeaux) was considered inappropriate in the context of the global financial crisis. Now wine tastings are back — not on the official schedule itself, but organized by private companies; and participants were able to savor some fine vintages, for example, a Cheval Blanc 1961 — one of the best years of the 20th century — and the equally famous Chateau Yquem 1937! Numerous small dinners and lunches were good opportunities for serious conversation. But Gideon Rachman chief foreign correspondent of the Financial Times said his favorite social occasion was the party by McKinsey and Co., the international management consulting firm. “It was really noisy so nobody could talk to each other — after all the talking we do in Davos. You just stood there and listened to this really good, loud New York band.” n

Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

The chairman of the Soros Fund Management, George Soros (L) and the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Zhu Min (R), pose for a photograph during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, on January 25, 2012. More than 2,600 businessmen, politicians, leaders of non-governmental organisations or scientists and hundreds of journalists pack the resort each year for the World Economic Forum.


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Left to right: Actor Sean Penn, Laurent Lemothe, Felix Veronneau, Micheline Bagudy, Benjamin Krause, Alexandra Dorcean onstage at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held on January 14, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.


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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace

By Meghan Lawson

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Actors Sean Penn, Diane Lane and Josh Brolin attend the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held on January 14, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.


Actress Olivia Wilde visits a camp for internally displaced persons managed by actor Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization on April 12, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The group, Artists for Peace and Justice work to rebuild Haiti’s education system in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


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Inset Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists For Peace And Justice

today’s Hollywood, humanitarianism has become the norm rather than the exception for celebrities. Seldom does a charitable campaign manage widespread success without the beaming face of an A-list personality at the helm. Rarely, however, does a celebrity put all-thingsHollywood on hold to immerse themselves entirely in their charitable cause. Actor Sean Penn is that rare exception. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake that crippled Haiti on January 12, 2010, Penn was on the ground in the country with medics and supplies in tow. Within a week of the disaster, the two-time Academy Award winner had helped to establish J/P Haitian Relief Organization, an aid group that began to fill the void for everything from medical personnel to rubble removal in the capital city, Port-au-Prince.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace

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Actress Demi Moore visits a camp for internally displaced persons managed by actor Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization on April 12, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“I came to Haiti in January with the intention of spending a couple of weeks, primarily helping to deliver intravenous pain management to hospitals, not to start a nonprofit,” Penn told reporters in 2010. But with the founding of J/P HRO, the star of such films as “Milk” and “Mystic River” traded acting for aid work, and hasn’t looked back since. On January 14, 2012, nearly two years to the day of the earthquake, Penn was recognized for his efforts in Haiti at a benefit in Beverly Hills. Organized by Cinema for Peace, the gala dinner saw $5 million raised in support of J/P HRO’s Help Haiti Home campaign. “Cinema for Peace is a fantastic organization that’s been doing a lot of great work for countries all over the world,” Penn told reporters at the beginning of the night. Launched after September 11, 2001, the Cinema for Peace initiative brings awareness to humanitarian challenges, such as those 72

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Inset: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists For Peace And Justice

Opposite Page: U.S. actor Sean Penn (L) and CNN reporter Anderson Cooper pose after they received their medal during a remembrance ceremony on July 12, 2010, on the grounds of the destroyed presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, on the six-month anniversary of the devastating January 12 earthquake.

faced by Haiti, through film. Funds for J/P HRO were raised through a live silent auction that included items such as a customized guitar donated by Irish singer Bono. The majority of the donations, however, came from television mogul Oprah Winfrey, who pledged in a video message to match contributions up to $2.5 million. With her Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, in attendance to receive an award, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also made an appearance via video, and thanked both Penn and Grammy Award-winning indie band Arcade Fire for their relief efforts. “It’s really a mistake to think of Haiti as a place where an

Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images

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Insets: UN Photos/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

earthquake happened to it,” said Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler after performing a song at the benefit. “The earthquake really revealed what was happening there.” Butler’s wife and bandmate, Régine Chassagne, is Haitian born, and the Canadian rockers have been donating part of the proceeds from ticket sales to relief work in Haiti. Taking in the evening’s entertainment was a who’s-who of Hollywood royalty, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Hilary Swank, James Gandolfini, Demi Moore, Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek and Diane Lane. But the benefit went beyond typical red carpet philanthropy. In addition to receiving a humanitarian award for his work in Haiti, Penn was offered the position of Ambassador-at-Large by the Haitian foreign minister, Laurent Lamothe. “I do accept,” Penn said from the stage, adding that the new title would be useful to “change being called ‘Hey you [bleep]’ to ‘Hey Mr. Ambassador.’” In a separate ceremony at Haiti’s National Palace, President Michel Martelly joked that the “only downside” to Penn’s new position was that he would now have to refer to the actor as “Ambassador” rather than by his first name. Members of the aid community, however, have not always viewed Penn in such a flattering light. Upon his arrival in Haiti, Penn came under fire for his lack of experience in disaster relief and development. At the time, Penn told reporters, “I think our organization has been a bit of a shot in the arm to everyone, because we’re getting things done and getting noticed.” Two years later, it is difficult to argue with J/P HRO’s impact in Haiti. As the driving force behind the organization, Penn has overseen real progress in Port-au-Prince, particularly at Pétionville Internally Displaced Persons camp. Situated

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and honoree Sean Penn at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles, California.

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Left to right: Actors Susan Sarandon, Dr. Bob Arnot, Demi Moore, Gerard Butler, Director-Producer Paul Haggis, actor Ben Stiller and actor Sean Penn visit a camp for internally displaced persons managed by actor Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization on April 12, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists For Peace And Justice

on what was once the capital city’s only golf course, Pétionville IDP camp is a sprawling tent city home to 20,000 inhabitants. Since March 2010, J/P HRO has been running the camp, setting up two hospitals, a primary school, a full-service women’s clinic and a cholera isolation unit. Now with a team of 300 workers, the majority of them Haitian, J/P HRO oversees sanitation, water, lighting and security for the camp. The organization also took the lead in rubble removal, clearing 200,000 cubic meters of rubble from the streets of Port-au-Prince. J/P HRO’s methodology has since become the blueprint for rubble removal by other N.G.Os. Despite J/P HRO’s tremendous strides, the problems facing Haiti still seem insurmountable. One of the poorest countries on the planet, Haiti has been rocked in recent years not only by natural disaster, but also by political upheaval and outbreaks of disease. Both domestically and internationally, responses from political leaders have been sluggish, with the work of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission stalled by an expired mandate. “It’s been terribly frustrating and slow,” Penn admitted to reporters on the red carpet at the January 14th benefit. But when considering Haiti’s future — and the progress made by organizations such as J/P HRO — Penn couldn’t contain his optimism. “There has been a miraculous amount of work done,” he said. “It’s a good night and it’s a good moment for it because Haiti has got a new momentum and a new leadership. There’s a lot of excitement about where things will go now.” n D I P L O M A T I C C O N N E C T I O N S B U S I N E S S edition | M a r c h - A p r il 2 0 1 2


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Ambassador Elena Poptodorova Petrova, Embassy of Bulgaria Embassy of Indonesia National Day 2011

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Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Embassy of South Africa Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zindziswa Mandela


Queen Elizabeth II visits Dersingham Infant and Nursery School next to head teacher Gayle Platt (R) on February 6, 2012, in Dershingham, England. The Queen is celebrating ‘Accession Day,’ 60 years to the day since she became Monarch.


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Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images

By Roland Flamini

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main numbers to remember in connection with Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee this year are 10, 26, 60 and 85. She was 10 when her father became king as George VI (unexpectedly, because his older brother had abdicated). When she succeeded him in 1952, she was 26. The United Kingdom is now celebrating the queen’s 60th year as monarch. And she is 85 years old. On hearing the news of their father’s accession, six-yearold Margaret Rose asked her sister Elizabeth, 10, “Does that mean you will have to be the next queen?” Elizabeth replied, “Yes, some day.” To which Margaret Rose said, “Poor you.” No, no. Not poor Elizabeth. Rich Elizabeth. Firstly, because Elizabeth II is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. But, more importantly, her reign has been rich in longev-


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ity, dedication to duty, and in its own way richly influential. In February, Buckingham Palace issued a message from the queen rededicating herself to the service of the nation, a pledge first made in 1947 when she was 21, and thanking her subjects for their continuing support. The then Princess Elizabeth was vacationing in Kenya when she learned of the death of her father: her “some day” had arrived. Unlike any other democracy today, the United Kingdom has someone at the apex of the system who has been there for six decades. In a country with no written constitution, the queen has wide-ranging powers but has rarely used them. We won’t know how many times she was tempted to use them until her death, when the diary she keeps will be made available

Fox Photos/Getty Images

May 12, 1937: King George VI (1895 – 1952), (centre) and Queen Elizabeth (left) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their Coronation ceremony with the Royal Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose (1930 – 2002) (center) and Queen Mary (1867 - 1953). Queen Elizabeth was 10 years old when her father became king.

Inset: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

June 3, 1953: Queen Elizabeth II (left) with Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret Rose (1930 - 2002) and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (right) wearing full Coronation regalia in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace after her Coronation ceremony.

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June 3, 1953: Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation at Westminster Abbey, London in 1953.

to historians. Because despite having been the subject of numerous biographies — one of them by this writer — what is known about her is far exceeded by what is not. In the latest BBC documentary on the royal family marking the jubilee journalist, Andrew Marr calls her “our most familiar enigma.” 84

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For example, the queen has had private weekly sessions with 12 successive British prime ministers, starting with Winston Churchill. Yet precious little has become public about what transpired, or how she felt about them. Every prime minister has respected the confidentiality of those one-on-one

meetings, and the queen’s personal discretion is phenomenal. She is, and has always been, the secret part of British history. She has never given an interview, and Buckingham Palace has dealt ruthlessly with those who leak her secrets. Constitutionally, she has a right to ask questions, express opinions and give advice. Yet former prime minister Sir John Major recently called his weekly meetings, “very free, very frank and very useful. Where else can you talk to one person in total certainty that it’s entirely secret?” As British columnist Simon Jenkins put it in The Guardian newspaper recently, “In over half a century, no historian or commentator has caught her out in the (constitutional) requirement for non-partisanship, even when she must have been sorely tried. She has been consulted, she has advised and warned, but few have detected the consequence.” In addition to meetings with the nation’s leading political figures, the queen is sent important government documents for her perusal, and the conventional wisdom is that she reads them and frequently writes comments — a practice known at Buckingham Palace as “doing the boxes” because even in the age of e-mails each government department delivers its papers in red leather boxes. As a result, she is impressively well informed — “there’s very little

she hasn’t seen,” remarks John Major — and enjoys political rhetoric. Most of today’s British politicians were not born when she was crowned queen in 1953. She has had a longer reign than any other British monarch except Queen Victoria’s 63 years and 216 days. Elizabeth will overtake her ancestor’s record on June 21, 2015, and given the longevity of the Windsor royal women (her mother Queen Elizabeth died in 2002 aged 102) the odds are that she’ll make it. “She’s able to go into a room and bring the room to life,” says her grandson Prince Harry. “These are things which at her age she shouldn’t be doing, and yet she’s carrying on and doing them, not only in (Britain) but around the world.” Despite the succession of headline-grabbing scandals involving members of her family, the queen remains well loved by her people. It is her distance, not the scandals, that continues to define the British monarchy. Yet her other grandson Prince William, who will one day succeed her, says she can work a crowd like no other: “She’s professional in the way she can engage with people within a few split seconds of meeting them.” According to the official British Monarchy website, the queen is host each year to more than 50,000 people at the

British School of Washington Open House Tuesday, March 27, 9:00 am An authentic international education, rich in the arts, languages, and technology. RSVP: 202.829.3700 or

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

June 2, 1953: Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and their children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, wave from the balcony at Buckingham Palace after her Coronation Ceremony.

AFP/Getty Images

June 2, 1953: Queen Elizabeth II, surrounded by the bishop of Durham Lord Michael Ramsay (L) and the bishop of Bath and Wells Lord Harold Bradfield, walks to the altar during her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London, as her maids of honour carry her train.

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775-room Buckingham Palace as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the annual royal garden parties. In addition, there are public engagements outside the palace — not to mention royal visits to British Commonwealth and foreign countries. The total number of Queen Elizabeth’s public engagements in 2010 was 444 — 69 more than in the previous year. And so, the Diamond Jubilee: a year-long program of festivities opened with a bang on Feb 6 when a battery of the Royal Horse Artillery deployed in London’s Hyde Park

and fired a 41-gun salute. But the high points will be in June including a concert outside Buckingham Palace on June 4, a service of thanksgiving in St. Paul’s Cathedral and a royal progression along the River Thames which is so much a part of London’s life and its history. The government hopes that some of the excitement will carry over to the 2012 Summer Olympics starting in London on July 27. Details on the open-air concert are sketchy, but Prince William and Prince Harry are said to have acted as consultants for the program which ranges from classical music

INP/Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images

A combination of photographs shows Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) seen through the window of the royal carriage, June 2, 1953, after being crowned solemnly at Westminter Abbey in London, and more recently, in the second photo as she travels down the Mall for the State Opening of Parliament in London. Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest monarch, overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. Victoria died in 1901, aged 81 years and 243 days.


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STF/AFP/Getty Images

June 2, 1953: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are seen through the window of the royal carriage as they arrive in Trafalgar Square. The Queen was solemnly crowned at Westminster Abbey in London that day.

to pop, with the emphasis apparently on a time when the queen was younger. Britain’s pop music knights — Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard — head the line-up of performers that is also expected to include singers Annie Lennox and Australian Kylie Mynogue. The classical side includes appearances by pianist Lang Lang and the National Ballet. The stage will be built around Queen Victoria’s statue facing Buckingham Palace, with seating installed for 20,000, and tickets obtainable by lottery. But the organizers expect thousands more to crowd into the two adjacent parks — Green Park on one side and St. James’ Park on the other. For the ride down the river, the queen — seated on a throne in a specially converted barge — will be accompanied by a flotilla of 1,000

vessels sailing, streaming and rowing down the Thames. In addition, Buckingham Palace will have an exhibition of major jewelry items from the monarch’s jewel room. Visitors will see the impressive necklace and earrings worn by Elizabeth II at her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey — the collet necklace, formed of 25 large graduated, round-shaped, brilliant-cut diamonds and a central dropshaped pendant of 22.48 carats. It was created in 1858 for Queen Victoria. The “Jube” will also have numerous sideshows. In Aberdeen, whisky that has been maturing on the queen’s summer estate at Balmoral, Scotland since the year that her father died was decanted recently, to be sold for charity at £100,000 ($160,000) a bottle. n

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Fight off winter blues with reds and whites The third annual Capital Wine Festival. The Fairfax at Embassy Row January 19th - March 28th


Thursday, January 19 Grand Opening reception | reception, 7 p.m., $65 Celebrate opening night with participating vintners and several local Virginia wineries. Wednesday, January 25 Beringer Vineyards | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 Get a taste of the oldest continuously run and operating winery in napa Valley. Wednesday, FeBruary 1 Frog’s Leap Winery | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 enjoy legendary organic wines, created with the earth in mind. Wednesday, FeBruary 8 heitz Wine Cellars | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 Learn about earthy Bordeaux-style wines and the vineyard’s unique concept. Wednesday, FeBruary 15 argyle Winery | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 an unforgettable evening with Oregon’s premiere maker of pinots and sparkling.

washington never tasted so good —

Wednesday, FeBruary 22 B.r. Cohn Winery | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 Flavors focused on aroma and balance, from a winery founded by The doobie Brother’s manager.

especially at this year’s third annual Capital Wine Festival, hosted by The Fairfax at embassy row. Taste wines from California and Oregon, paired with scrumptious seasonal

Make a dinner date today.

cuisine over 10 intimate dinners throughout the winter. Learn about wine from the vintners themselves, and tempt your palate in new ways. Winter has never been more colorful.

Wednesday, FeBruary 29 Cakebread Cellars | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $125 discover high-quality, unique tastes 30 years in the making. Wednesday, MarCh 7 Cain Vineyard & Winery | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $145 Celebrate blended cabernets from napa’s glorious spring Mountain district. Wednesday, MarCh 14 Chappellet Winery | reception and dinner, 7 p.m., $135 Taste wines of great fruit extraction from a winery devoted to sustainable farming. Wednesday, MarCh 21 Martinelli Winery | reception and dinner 7 p.m., $125 a grape grower since 1887, Martinelli is currently one of sonoma’s best. Wednesday, MarCh 28 Cliff Lede Vineyards | reception and dinner 7 p.m., $135 enjoy one of napa’s newest flavors, including their meritage blend, Poetry.

www.CapitalwineFestival.Com seating is limited, be sure to book your dinner today. Call 202.736.1453

Room rates at the Fairfax at embassy Row

starting at $249/night.

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INTERCONTINENTAL ® HOTELS & RESORTS STAYS ARE NOW MORE REWARDING THAN EVER When you stay at an InterContinental you expect the best—international luxury, local hospitality and world-class service. From now on an even more rewarding experience awaits you, because we are changing how you earn points with us. Starting on 15 February 2012, you will earn 10 Priority Club® points or 2 airline miles* for every US$1 you spend at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. We’ve made it so that there are practically no limits to the ways you can earn points. Stay one more night—earn points. Treat your clients to drinks at the hotel bar or order dinner and a movie in your room—earn even more. You’ll now receive points for anything charged to your room, which means more points for every qualified stay.

Do you live an InterContinental life?


Earn 10 Priority Club points or 2 airline miles* for every US$1 you spend at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. WHEN:

Start earning more on 15 February 2012, and never stop earning. The more you stay, the more you earn. WHERE:

Winner of the AAA 4-Diamond Award for the 8th consecutive year. Conveniently located on the campus of the renown Cleveland Clinic Call 877.707.8999, 216.707.4100 or visit

Any InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Visit to learn more. 97


World-class hospitality meets world-class care. We are connected to Cleveland Clinic via skywalk and just minutes from museums, sports, shopping, theater, galleries and unique dining destinations. When you stay with us, you’ll experience exceptional accommodations and guest services that are unparalleled in the area. We welcome guests from across the country, and around the world, every day.

• 24 Spacious Suites • Multilingual Staff • Concierge Services • Club InterContinental® • 24 - Hour In-Room Dining • Award-Winning Table 45 Restaurant and Bar • Complimentary Fitness Center

Do you live an InterContinental life?

• Valet Parking

For more details, please call 877.707.8999, 216.707.4168 or visit

Diplomatic Connections March-April 2012 Issue  
Diplomatic Connections March-April 2012 Issue  

Diplomatic Connections March-April 2012 Issue