Diplomacy students were given the chance to mingle with faculty and guests including United Nations ambassadors, consulate members and a former National Security Advisor at this year’s Whitehead School of Diplomacy Global Leadership Gala on the evening of Dec. 3 held at the Public Library in Manhattan.
In addition to alumni and Seton Hall faculty, prominent members of the diplomatic community attended, including UN ambassadors from Romania, Republic of Cape Verde, the U.S. and Afghanistan as well as Consul Generals from Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Romania.
“It’s great to see such recognizable people supporting the Whitehead School,” graduate diplomacy student Ryan Ouellette, who was a student ambassador at the event, said.
The honoree of the event and recipient of the Global Citizen of the Year Award was Frank C. Carlucci, who has served positions such as U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Deputy Director of the CIA, National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense.
The Whitehead School’s Dean John Menzies welcomed guests, thanking them for coming and explaining that, “This is one way that we as a school can help prepare the next generation.”
Master of Ceremonies David Brancaccio, Senior Editor of the new magazine, PBS Now, hosted the event. In his opening remarks he recounted the secrets to success he thought students should know: “Show up on time, shower occasionally and learn Mandarin.”
He went on to explain that today, the best thing one can do for success is to learn about another part of the world.
The first speaker was John C. Whitehead himself, who counts Frank Carlucci as an old friend, one whom he says “is much better to have as a partner than my opponent,” referring to how the two used to play tennis together.
The guest speaker of the night was the Stephen Hadley, who has worked as the assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, deputy National Security advisor and senior Foreign and Defense Policy advisor under George W. Bush, and is currently the senior advisor for International Affairs at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C.
“It was an honor to meet Frank Carlucci and Stephen Hadley. As a future practitioner of international relations, it is amazing to meet former practitioners in the field,” sophomore diplomacy student Betsy Dudley said.
Sophomore diplomacy student Amelia Snoblin agreed, and added that it is invaluable as a networking opportunity.
“It’s more than a networking event, it’s fun,” Snoblin said. “It’s almost like they’re lining up all the important people for us.”
Of Carlucci, Hadley said that “[he] never violated his instructions…but he never compromised his convictions,” and championed Carlucci for, “the breadth of his experience and the sheer variety of ways in which he served his country.”
He went on to describe some of the ways Carlucci served his country, from working in the Congo as it gained independence, and Portugal when they were in danger of coming under communist control.
Hadley credited Carlucci’s success to four key attributes: he treated people with respect, ran an open decision process allowing all prospective parties to be heard, was committed to a strong America politically, economically and militarily, and he always searched for the better way. He named Carlucci as being representative of a generation of great national security leaders, saying “These leaders were giants, and our nation may not see their like again.”
Upon his acceptance of the Global Citizen of the Year award, Carlucci gave remarks about his time working in international relations, saying “I could see the quality was ending, and we need the very best in our country…fortunately, that situation is starting to change.”
Carlucci also had some words of advice toward students going into the field.
“Rid the world of nuclear weapons. Either we rid the world of nuclear weapons, or they rid the world of us,” he said.
Katherine O’Brien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.