A small reminder of the fringe benefits of being home to a former president.
United States Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall will lead the Department of State’s latest Experience America trip to Arkansas with members of the Diplomatic Corps and their spouses during October 21 — 23, 2012. More than 45 ambassadors representing countries on four continents will spend three days engaging with Arkansas’ business and local leaders, learning about the state’s unique and diverse history, and exploring its cultural and historical landmarks.
The Office of the Chief of Protocol has organized a substantive and enriching trip in which members of the Diplomatic Corps will visit Little Rock, Fayetteville, and Bentonville. In bringing these distinguished diplomats to “The Natural State,” the Office of the Chief of Protocol seeks to strengthen America’s relationships with countries around the world by planting the seeds for new international partnerships and providing our visitors with a deeper understanding of our nation’s people and heritage.
More on the jump. Ambassador Marshall, who worked in Arkansas in 1992 on the Clinton campaign, wrote on op-ed for us this week about the visit. The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, isn't expected to attend, it would appear. She's kind of busy. But I'm thinking there's a chance her spouse might pay a courtesy call.
On Sunday, October 21, the ambassadors and their spouses will begin Experience America: Arkansas with a welcome reception and dinner at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. On Monday, October 22, the chiefs of mission will participate in a roundtable discussion with Governor Mike Beebe and business leaders at the Little Rock Club in Little Rock. They will then engage in a panel discussion with members of the Little Rock Nine at Little Rock Central High School. On Tuesday, October 23, the ambassadors will travel to Fayetteville to tour the University of Arkansas’ facilities and interact with local and regional business representatives. In the evening, the group will visit Bentonville to explore the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Experience America is organized by the Diplomatic Partnerships Division of the Office of the Chief of Protocol, whose mission is to foster international goodwill and cultivate the relationship between the Diplomatic Corps and the people and institutions of the United States through an exchange of ideas, cultures, and traditions. This is the eleventh Experience America trip since 2007, and previous destinations include Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, as well as multiple cities in Alaska, California, Florida, Texas and Wyoming. Since 2009, ambassadors from more than 100 countries have participated in Experience America trips.