Ambassador Harry Thomas examines the racial foundations of public policy in the United States and how race impacts policy choices and consequences at the global level. February 9, 2022.
0:00:19.5 Susan D. Page: Welcome to our Global Racial Foundations of Public Policy series at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. I'm Ambassador Susan D. Page, professor of practice in international diplomacy here at the Ford School, and a professor from practice at the University of Michigan Law School. Today's event is part of a broader series exploring the racial foundations of Public Policy which Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes developed this past fall as she launched the Ford School's New Center for Racial Justice.
0:00:53.0 SP: The Center for Racial Justice is an innovation and incubation hub focused on advancing racial equity and addressing intersectional injustice. It aims to cultivate, support and train the next generation of change makers, researchers, advocates, activists and artists working at the juncture of race and public policy. Our International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy Center are co-sponsoring this series. Working with my colleagues, Dr. Watkins-Hayes and Dr. John Ciorciari, we are hosting five virtual events this February and March to shed light on the various ways in which race infuses international politics. Themes include America and the colonial project, governance interventions in the global south, the development of the international relations discipline, the emergence of a transnational Black Lives Matter advocacy network and how race shapes the foreign policy profession, the subject of today's discussion.
0:02:00.0 SP: So today, I'm very honored to introduce my former colleague and the second guest speaker in our series on the global foundations of Public Policy, Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr with whom I will discuss race and foreign policy professions. Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr is a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a senior strategic engagement leader at Special Operations Command. He served as Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador to the Philippines and Ambassador to Bangladesh. He retired in March of 2018 with the rank of Career Minister after more than three decades in the Foreign Service.
0:02:44.6 SP: Ambassador Thomas also held leadership roles in addition to his three Ambassadorships, including serving as the Executive Secretary, as special assistant to Secretary Rice and as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director for South Asia at the National Security Council along with being Director of the Operation Center. Ambassador Thomas speaks Spanish, Hindi and Bangla. He's a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and he holds a master's degree from Columbia University. He was the commencement speaker at Holy Cross and Loyola University. He is a trustee of the College of the Holy Cross. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Care for the Homeless, The Asia Foundation, The Stimson Center and North American Committee on Foreign Policy. He is also a member of the American Red Cross of Central Florida and the Virgin Islands, and chairperson of Winter for Kids and is a former Northern Virginia swimming official. Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr, welcome and thank you so much for joining us today.
0:04:00.3 Harry Thomas Jr: Thank you Ambassador Page for having me. I look forward to this conversation and hail to the victors.
0:04:05.5 SP: [laughter] Go blue indeed. Well, let me start with asking you a few questions. If you don't mind, tell us a little bit about your 30-plus year career as a distinguished senior Foreign Service officer. And maybe how you came on this path on your journey to foreign policy. How did you... Your large extended family were graduates of historically black colleges and universities and several of your male colleagues and relatives entered the military, but you chose a different route. How did that come to be?
0:04:55.1 HJ: Pure luck.
0:04:57.0 HJ: And that is why I'm so high on young people joining the Foreign Service. When I finished at Columbia I became an urban planner. And the gentleman, Edward J. Logue, who did projects all over America and was graduate of Yale Law School, had been a diplomat and he's the one that told me about the Foreign Service. I did not know what it was. When I...
0:05:24.4 SP: Many people didn't.
0:05:26.0 HJ: Yeah, I had no clue. I'm an Ambassador, but I didn't know what the Foreign Service officer was. So in those days you had to go to library and I went to the library and I said, "Ah, these people look too snooty. USAID looks great, and the CIA looks cool because of the... "
0:05:44.9 SP: [chuckle]
0:05:46.7 HJ: James Bond and In Like Flint and so I applied to USAID and the CIA and they both rejected me. [laughter]
0:05:53.8 SP: Really?
0:05:54.5 HJ: Yes. So I had to take the Foreign Service exam, which was in two parts in those days, and I passed. If I had failed [chuckle] I would have just gone on to something else obviously.
0:06:07.4 SP: Okay.
0:06:09.2 HJ: But I had never been overseas, I did not speak a foreign language. So traveling all over the world is because of the Foreign Service, learning languages is because of the Foreign Service. These days most students I meet have had a junior year abroad or a sophomore year abroad, they studied languages in high school or university, or on trips with family, and they worked overseas. But I know that kids like me, and that's a kid who doesn't speak a foreign language and never traveled can still join the Foreign Service or any of the Foreign Affairs agencies, frankly, and have a chance to exceed 'cause I did.
0:06:54.9 SP: Exactly. So would you say that it was because of this person who informed you about the Foreign Service while you were at... You were still at Columbia, getting your master's degree.
0:07:07.3 HJ: No, I joined his firm, it was a public private firm at South Bronx development organization. I really wanted to change the world, help the poor, being from New York. And we built houses which are single-family homes still there.
0:07:23.8 SP: Wow.
0:07:24.1 HJ: Near where Secretary Powell's from. And it taught me that we subsidize them but if you give people a chance to buy their homes, even if they're subsidized, they'll take care of them, and if you go there today, you'll see, they've built garages and carports and green grass and vegetables, over 100 homes. But Ed Logue built Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market in Boston. He was the person who did New Haven Redevelopment Authority, Roosevelt Island in New York and many other places. So he was my mentor. The world was a different place, he understood. When he graduated from Yale, he had to convert from Catholicism to Episcopalian to marry the dean of the Law schools daughter in 1948.
0:08:16.2 SP: Oh my goodness.
0:08:17.8 HJ: Yeah, so there's been progress in so many areas. But Ed wanted me to go like he did for five years. He went in five years and he came and worked for Ambassador Chet Bowles in India, and then back in New York, we both had an advertising firm, he wanted me to do something, but I fell in love with the Foreign Service. I kept in touch with him but I never went back.
0:08:44.0 SP: So, alright, you have a large extended family from the South, not the global South, but the Northern South, if we can say it that way. And they were the products of historically black colleges and universities, but you chose to go to the College of Holy Cross, why?
0:09:11.8 HJ: No, in those days, we didn't look far. I grew up in New York and Boston areas, seeing the bastion of colleges and universities. And I'm like, "Wow, that's where I wanna go." My mom really wanted me to go to Howard. I wanted Hampton was the other place, I considered. But my dad really pushed me to go some place in New England, he really wanted me to go to Yale, he used to take us up there. So you know when you're 18, you don't wanna do anything [chuckle] your father wants you to do. But in all seriousness, I'd gone to a high school with 6000 boys and two girls. It was an Engineering High School, New York City has three specialized high schools. And Brooklyn Tech was one of them, it's a great place, but I knew that I needed to be in a smaller place. Back then you say, "Oh, Holy Cross is the only place for me." [chuckle] And it probably was but a small college is what I needed, a liberal arts college coming from that high school. Today there are more girls than boys at that high school, so I guess girls do do engineering.
0:10:18.8 SP: Of course they do. Girls can do anything. Girls know and women. Well, let me ask you a little bit. You were the Director General of the Foreign Service, which is the Chief Personnel Officer for the Diplomatic Core. How did you come to that position? And along the way, what were some of the challenges that you saw? I don't wanna get too far ahead of ourselves, but maybe explain for our listeners the evolution, not just of the Foreign Service, but even why is our State Department not called the Department of Foreign Affairs like almost everywhere else in the world?
0:11:15.4 HJ: [chuckle] Well, it's the oldest Foreign Affairs Agency. It's the oldest cabinet agencies of smallest, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, two of our greatest diplomats, led it. They did not want it to be seen militarized or interested in foreign affairs, something Jefferson particularly opposed. So you have the State Department, and maybe it should have been named [chuckle] Foreign Affairs, because so many people think we work for various states. But it's... For me, what happened, I was the Executive Secretary, which is kind of the Chief Operating Officer for the Secretary. My close friend resigned from that job and they looked, from being Director General, and they looked toward me, I did not want to do that, I didn't wanna do any human resources, but I was working for Dr. Rice and I was voluntold.
0:12:20.5 HJ: And that's the way many things happen. But it is... I think, they are calling it global talent position these days, as we search all of America for talent for the Foreign Service as well as the civil service. Also specialists, people who are technical; They're doctors, teachers... People don't realize that we have teachers in our Foreign Affairs Department, especially the kind of people who are willing and able to learn about cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence, the futures. What we need to do for the future.
0:13:06.8 HJ: So the State Department will continue to evolve. And I think our name will continue to cause people not to understand us as we try to be understood, and I wish we did a better job of that. But when you look at some of our distinguished diplomats, whether they were political or career, they have helped to make the world stable, and a better place, even among the challenge that we face today.
0:13:37.4 SP: So along those lines, as you came into the Foreign Service, how many other under-represented minorities... Or were they under-represented for that matter... And what were the challenges. We know that women had limitations, there were height limitations, but there certainly weren't very many people of color...
0:14:02.5 HJ: No.
0:14:03.5 SP: Even though today, the State Department Library is named after Dr. Ralph Bunche, but that's internal and not that many people know about Ralph Bunche, period. But how was it for you coming into the Foreign Service?
0:14:24.9 HJ: Well, once I learned about the Foreign Service, I wanted to be someone like Ralph Bunche. Who won the Nobel Peace Prize...
0:14:32.0 SP: Exactly.
0:14:32.7 HJ: Who also demonstrated for civil rights. I had... Growing up in New York City, we had tremendous admiration for Dr. Bunche. And the fact that he was offered a job in the State Department, but turned it down because he didn't wanna raise his children in segregated Washington. I met older Foreign Service officers when I joined in '84, who had been barred from the cafeteria. And we salute Ambassador Terence Todman who the cafeteria was just named after him. Who came form the Virgin Islands...
0:15:07.2 SP: Just this last or last week, right?
0:15:09.0 HJ: Yes. And I knew Terence Todman, very well, [chuckle] actually. And he had come from the Virgin Islands, the University of Puerto Rico. And he was told, "Hey, you have an accent. You can't join the Foreign Service." Meanwhile, they had immigrants all over from Europe. He said [chuckle] they were encouraging. But it worked out for Ambassador Todman.
0:15:33.4 HJ: And you may know there's a documentary on PBS, this month about Ambassador Todman, and Ambassador Dudley, and Dr. Bunche. Great, great, people. But when I joined in '84, unfortunately, and sadly, we have pretty much the same number of African-Americans that we have today. Fewer than 400. Very few Latinos, under 10 Asian-Americans, maybe a Native American, South Asians, none. And that has all changed. All of the groups with the specific exception of Native Americans... The people that humanity, and America has forgotten... We have seen increases. But at the same time when I joined if you were African-American, most likely you were going to Africa or the Carribean. Not a bad place, but you didn't have that choice.
0:16:42.1 SP: Yeah, so talk to me a little bit about that. Your early assignments were where? Before you became Ambassador... Obviously you had other assignments. Walk us through where you were, and even the challenges that you faced in those assignments, was race a factor? Was it more other issues? Did it depend on the locale? Did it depend on the nature of your job? Yeah, tell us a little bit about those experiences.
0:17:22.6 HJ: Well, I went to Peru for my first assignment. The assignments officer was an African-American [chuckle] So he... But it was a great place. We did visa work. I learned the language. I left there thinking in Spanish... You have to be able to speak a language to understand the culture. And... So that was fantastic. Visa work was difficult as it is now. But after that, I went to... The same officer sent me Kaduna, Nigeria. I didn't know where Kaduna was.
0:18:00.9 HJ: And when the plane landed in Lagos, the then capital, I saw a sign that said, 'Black is beautiful. Drink Guinness Stout'.
0:18:10.9 HJ: Whoa this is a little bit different. Again, you learn the culture. After that, I was sent to Harare Zimbabwe. I actually wanted to go to Spain, and they said, "Oh you have to be able to speak Spanish." And they sent somebody...
0:18:23.2 SP: But you have Spanish.
0:18:24.0 HJ: Yes. And they didn't send me. [laughter] But I was very fortunate to have been sent there because that's where I got to meet the great Nelson Mandela. That's where I met Thabo Mbeki, and knew his brother. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Getting to know a very little bit about President Mandela. Nothing, as well as Mrs. Mandela and Zimbabwe was newly independent and we had such high hopes for it. So the fact that... And it was an African-American office that would send me in these places. Now, that was irregular, because when Clif Wharton became the first Foreign Service, African-American Foreign Service officer in 1924, he was sent off to Liberia, he spent his career on what we call the Negro circuit before he became Ambassador to Bulgaria or Romania. That was typical, it remains typical, Latin Americans, LatinX go to South America, Asians to East Asia, South Asians... Now, some of this is choice, people want to go to their roots and understand, but what you see there is that we can serve everywhere, we're Americans, we can excel everywhere. Given the opportunity, we can learn the languages and we can bring different perspectives there. And so, I decry the fact that whether it was Wharton in 1924 or Thomas in '84, some young woman today, you're more likely to be sent to Haiti or the DRoC, I'm sorry, the Democratic Republic of Congo than you are to London.
0:20:22.6 SP: And, you say that some of that is by choice, and that can be true, but in a number of people's experiences, they get sort of pushed, as you just mentioned into the Negro circuit, of course that was the name that black people, black Americans were called at a certain point in our history. But there seems to be very little opportunity for black Americans, and maybe the same is true for Asians or LatinX people etcetera, to serve in, as you mentioned, whether it's Europe or even the Middle East. And most of us are aware that NEA, the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau has a particular kind of reputation, and it's where a certain club of people go, and then the others cannot seem to break into that arena. Has that been your experience? And have you seen that change? And maybe not just in the State Department, it could be also in Foreign Affairs more broadly.
0:21:47.2 HJ: No, with few exceptions, I have not seen a change. When I was Director General, we had no Assistant Secretary in Near Eastern Affairs who actually wanted African-Americans and wanted them to study Arabic. When we worked with them, and a couple of those people have been named Ambassadors, not necessarily in NEA, but they got be DCM's there, Deputies, number two in an Embassy. You need someone like that. And that has been rare, almost non-existent. So if you choose, if you choose to go to Nigeria or you're voluntold to go to Nigeria, then you cannot get into Europe, you cannot get into Near Eastern Affair Zone. Many times East Asian Pacific Affairs. I was able to get into South Asia, and actually they were offering me a job in East Asia also, because I was willing to take language for a year, I took year of Hindi, not many people wanted to do that, but I was also offered Thai, but I had the luxury of having been an assistant, a staff assistant to Assistant Secretary and Under Secretary, who are very powerful people in the department and could call on others to assist me. But if you don't have those connections, whether you're in the public or private sector, you're not going to get in there.
0:23:22.3 SP: So, just to continue on that line, for a number of our students, and you're also a professor now at Yale, where you did not want to go as an under graduate [chuckle], because your father wanted you to.
0:23:38.5 HJ: I wish he were alive to see me teaching there. [chuckle]
0:23:45.8 SP: But, what do we tell our students about how to make those connections? So when you were in your first assignment on the visa line in Peru, did you have a mentor there or did it happen, did someone come to you and say, "I want to mentor you." How did that work? Did you manage to... Here you were a black American or African-American, depending on people's choice of terminology, serving in Peru, speaking Spanish. Did you fit in? Did you... How did you represent the United States? Obviously, you were not yet at the highest level, but often times, the public thinks they have to talk to the Ambassador, but the reality is, the more junior officers are the ones meeting everyone and teeing up all of the information and documentation for the leadership of the Embassy and Washington, more broadly.
0:25:05.5 SP: How did you do it? And even as you moved up in the process in the Foreign Service, did you form coalitions with people, did you work with different groups outside of the Diplomatic Core when you were abroad? How did you effectuate policy change, even when you were a more junior officer? That's a loaded... There are a lot of questions in there.
0:25:37.5 HJ: You know that's Okay, I'm happy to answer that. And it's two-fold in Peru our consul, general supervisor was a blatant racist. It was the first time we were gonna celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, he didn't wanna celebrate that, he invited everybody to the beach, but me, he said, "All real Americans tan and you don't tan so you shouldn't come to the beach." I was... Somebody said I was selling visas, which clearly I was not. And they had to investigate those charges and we understand, but you're told afterwards that you were... The charges were false, and he told me, "Well, I thought you were guilty because African-Americans are criminals."
0:26:21.9 SP: Oh my gosh.
0:26:22.9 HJ: So that's a person, luckily, he didn't make it so much in the Foreign Service, but at the same time, there was no Internet then, but when we joined and we went through orientation, the great Ambassador Edward Perkins, and Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal.
0:26:42.4 SP: So just for our audience, who might not know who they are. Ambassador Perkins, he just recently died actually last year, late last year, but a phenomenal Black American Ambassador, real trailblazer Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal a woman, a black woman. And she was actually my Ambassador the first time I served in Kenya, just two amazing people and people who served in other bureaus besides only the Africa Bureau, which again, at least in my time, and certainly what you're saying is it hasn't changed a whole lot, which is really a shame, but I interrupted you there [0:27:35.5] ____.
0:27:35.6 HJ: No, it's okay, I'm glad you explained because what happened, they were not yet Ambassadors, they were mid-level or brand new senior officers, but they had barbecues and receptions and told us about, the Foreign Service told us how to behave, what to expect. It lessened the pain a little bit when you had these challenges and I was not unique in having them. So you could write them. And they wrote us back.
0:28:09.9 SP: Wow.
0:28:10.5 HJ: And they... It was tough love, because they knew that you were gonna face this, they knew this, and they didn't want you to whine or cry, they want you to find a way to succeed the tough... Find a way through it, and that person, another... That person who was my Consul General, ended up not doing well because Ambassador Irvin Hicks called him to account on it, he was another one of my mentors. So we had that mentorship system that evolved over years into emails and people checking your evaluations of what... Your report cards for the role, and that's something that continues to this day, so... Yes, we have those mentors. I don't think you have people as bad as that Consul General today, but there's also unconscious bias, again, not just against African-Americans, against gays, against women, LatinX. And so those things... I don't think that will ever change. I think we'll be going back and forth, you'll have the person who was the Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs, who wanted to help people, and most others don't. What they do is, they pick and choose their friends, people they know people that they are comfortable with, and that's the way most people do it, but when you only choose your friends, only those people you're comfortable with, then you make mistakes in foreign policy.
0:29:54.9 SP: So how... Why is it so important to have diversity? We're seeing a very big push back right now on all of these efforts that I think a number of us thought were givens that we didn't have to fight that fight anymore, always, there will always be new challenges and some of them have nothing to do with our identity, whether it's a woman, black, LGBTQ, etcetera, but we are seeing that some of these things are not quite as guaranteed as we thought. Why do you think in Foreign Affairs it is so important to have diverse views or maybe the converse, why is it when people choose only those that they are comfortable with, maybe in the mirror, that they make mistakes in foreign policy, how is that?
0:31:06.6 HJ: Well, it becomes a group thing, you're thinking with your friends, with your colleagues, you're not allowing them news to come in, you're not allowing somebody to challenge your way of thinking to have alternative thought, and this has led us into disasters in Vietnam when all of the advisors... They were from the [0:31:31.4] ____, while you and I are proud to have Ivy League degrees, we know that that reflected the Foreign Service. And if you were from Mississippi, you still are a Yale graduate. We want kids from Iowa and Ohio Wesleyan and Island College, as well as Wiley and North Carolina, ANP, and people from Alaska, all of the... Everybody brings a different perspective.
0:32:05.0 HJ: And they don't always have to be poor, they can be wealthy, they can be handicapped, they can have a family member with special needs, but it gives you different types of sensitivities. And one of my favorite books... Maybe this is politically incorrect, remains Mark Twain's, Innocents Abroad. Written maybe 150 years ago, 140 years ago, but it describes most Americans [laughter] abroad to this day. I always recommend it to people because we go overseas excited and blundering. And I'm from New York City and you're in Ann Arbor. And the language we speak in New York, the language we speak in Ann Arbor, both English are different.
0:32:54.9 SP: That's right. You have an accent. I don't.
0:32:57.6 HJ: That's right, I do. And I've never lost it. [laughter] I never lost it, but because I spent a lot of my summers in the South I always say y'all and ma'am to this day. Different culture. I went to Arizona... To Arizona State as a diplomat in residence. And their women and it's 90 degrees, they're wearing boots. I'm like, "You wearing boots in 90 degrees?" They say, "Well, it's the only time we can."
0:33:28.4 HJ: My wife is from the Philippines, they start celebrating Christmas in September, that's when you hear songs. People were like, "Is that crazy?" I'm like, "Not as crazy as you wearing boots in 90 degree weather."
0:33:41.0 HJ: "Like nothing is wrong with us, but you have to understand people's culture. You have to be willing. And you don't look at it as a threat. Somebody else's culture should never be a threat, we're all immigrants to this country." Obviously, I love President Obama as you do, but I know he would have never, ever been a President of Kenya, given his familial background. I know that Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, being immigrants would not have been Foreign Secretaries in their home countries in Europe.
0:34:20.2 HJ: So we want all Americans to have those type of opportunities, not just a talented tenth, if you call it, whether it's 20 years ago or 50 years ago or 80 years ago. Today we have... We're trying to recruit Americans from Puerto Rico. We have Americans Puerto Ricans from New York and Florida, but it's a different mentality, different background if you're from Puerto Rico. And that in the military... So I'm trying to work with our colleagues to do that, and some of our military colleagues who are interested in getting people into ROTC programs, the joint recruitment, because we've realize that you can't just look at everybody, LatinX as LatinX, just like you can't look at every gay person or lesbian or transgender as... [chuckle] they're all people, and they bring different perspectives. And that's extremely important, and that is why I support all of these initiatives to broaden, whether it's foreign policy. When you look at companies that succeed overseas, Coca-Cola. Or in Africa, Jumia, which is on the New York Stock Exchange, Moroccan company. They both do well in the Third World, why? Because they study their clients, study their consumers, use employees from those regions or from those specific countries, they learn about the culture, and they've been successful, and these companies have tremendous diversity. The State Department, the military should have the same.
0:36:12.2 SP: Right.
0:36:12.5 HJ: It's a simple formula, it's not always easy to achieve, but a simple formula. And I think some people are threatened more than some people are threatened now, see themselves as victims and see what they believe their way of life is threatened or maybe they didn't succeed in the way they wanted, and they look at immigrants as a danger to them, and it's becoming almost tribal, which is a sad thing I never thought I would see this. Maybe a few years ago... More that a few years ago, 30 years ago, Ellis Cose wrote The Rage Of The Middle Class, and describing middle and upper class African-Americans who were angry because they still had to go through so much hell. Excuse me, and then when President Obama was elected, he wrote a different book, he updated it saying, "Oh, all these kids are like everybody else, they're succeeding, they're going there." I bet he's gonna write a third book, updating it now. Because we're seeing retrenchment, we're seeing people afraid to allow other voices in. I love the Internet, but... And it's so successful and useful in bringing us closer, but it also lessens the opportunity for open debate and...
0:37:45.0 SP: Yeah. It can be very polarizing.
0:37:47.5 HJ: Yes. And I want our students of all colors to challenge themselves. And that happens when you're overseas.
0:38:00.2 SP: So when you first entered the Foreign Service, or even... As you mentioned, you were a kid who grew up without ever having left the United States. You ended up having this amazing 30 plus year career, traveling to all of these different countries, rising up to the senior most ranks of the US Diplomatic Service, retiring as Career Minister. What helped you get through those challenges that... Okay, there are new challenges today, but some of the old ones are still there, and they change, the face may change, but... And new technology, maybe, make some of things easier. Yeah, how did you cope when that Consul General not only accused you of a crime but also his treatment of you singling you out, and what recourse did you have or what gave you the strength even with the mentor serving in other posts saying, "Yeah, yeah, we've all seen it, we've been there." They're not there and okay, maybe you don't want to cry about it, but the injustice of it, how did you manage?
0:39:38.7 HJ: Well, you do wanna cry and you are angry, you can't show yourself, you can't be the angry black person.
0:39:45.6 SP: Why not? Why not?
0:39:47.4 HJ: Because, unfortunately in America, if you are, you're looked upon differently. And you... "This is a person we can't trust, so we're not gonna let this person into our club."
0:40:00.0 SP: But are they letting people into the club even when they're not the angry black person or whatever other stereotype people might have?
0:40:10.5 HJ: Well...
0:40:10.6 SP: Part of a different group?
0:40:13.2 HJ: You know what? It's the same as it was 20 or 30 years ago. They let one or two in and I was the one who was let in, doesn't mean I was the best or the first, I just happened to be let in. There were equally and more talented people who were not before and after me. I have the benefit of coming from a religious family and faith really helped.
0:40:40.3 SP: Okay.
0:40:41.2 HJ: And I'm very serious about that prayer, reading the Bible, I did all these things, and I... You and I share the same DC church, St. Augustine, and those Sundays at Mass helped me, and that's me. That may not be for everyone, but I have wonderful parents, uncles, aunts, cousins who were all succeeding in various ways, and I didn't wanna disappoint them, I wanted to help and... So that... And I was determined, my parents had always told me what your parents told you, "You gotta be twice as good." So I didn't expect just to be half as good, and I knew that I could outwork anybody. You can do all kinds of things, but you... If it comes down to work, I'll find a way.
0:41:31.6 HJ: Of course, when you look back on it, it might come at a health cost or mental health cost or physical health cost, and you... I think that one of the reasons we have African Americans, other minorities' higher death rates is because of the pressure we're under, whether you're a laborer or a CEO. Some people will say no, and that's whining, they'd look and say, "You did it, why can't others?" Because everybody's not getting the same opportunity. And... But I did have people who helped me. Ambassador Hank Cohen, Ambassador Jeff Davidow, who were Jewish and Jews could only serve in Africa for the most part, many even when they joined in the '50s and '60s, there was antisemitism and they weren't gonna let that happen, they weren't gonna let that happen. I have... There were women, like Ambassador Kristie Kenney who put me in the operation center, but Dr. Rice made me the Director General.
0:42:29.4 SP: Condoleezza Rice we're talking about now?
0:42:32.3 HJ: Yes. The Executive Secretary, to this day I'm still the first and only black Executive Secretary.
0:42:37.8 SP: Wow.
0:42:38.4 HJ: There have been several of us in Director Generals, I guess human resources are okay for us in private or public sector, but I was... I remain the only African American Ambassador to the Philippines. And under Dr. Rice, we had Ambassador Taylor in Asia, we had Ambassador Megan in Asia, Ambassador Brown in Asia, that hasn't happened again. President Obama appointed 45 African Americans Ambassador, President Bush, 44, okay? President Trump, three. [chuckle] And that's why the American Black Ambassadors Association advocated that President Biden appoint African Americans and other minorities. We work with affinity groups of all of the gays, the Asians, the Latinos to... For not just Ambassador senior groups. Recently, the American Black Ambassadors Association wrote a strong letter to the Secretary Blinken expressing our concern for the lack of African Americans as Ambassadors. He wrote back saying he promises he's doing something about it, so we hope this summer when the cycle comes around... But that's gonna be hard because there're fewer than 30 African Americans in the senior ranks of Foreign Service who can be selected, so...
0:44:11.9 SP: So is it... We have talked about this in lots of different circles. There have been endless reports on reforming the Foreign Service, reforming the State Department, reforming USAID, reforming the military, all of these areas to focus on diversity, but not just diversity, but also equity. It's when a minority or an underserved group, person from an underserved group is put somewhere, it's always assumed that it is a gift that they didn't work for it, but we don't necessarily make the same assumptions elsewhere.
0:45:03.0 SP: It's only in 2021 last year when President Biden appointed the first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, I don't know the exact title, officer, senior officer, a retired Foreign Service officer, to be one of his advisors for more inclusion and looking at a number of recommendations that have more or less said the same things. Do you see that as a positive sign? Of course, I think it's a positive sign, but what are the challenges even for her.
0:45:45.7 HJ: Well, Ambassador Stanley was also one of my Mass colleagues at Saint Augustin, we went back years, but I think I applaud this and we need to have a new system that includes everyone, what you have to have also though, because every study of Diversity Equity Inclusion leader shows that very few of them have line responsibility. So unless they have line responsibility for hiring or firing, public or private sector, they often are frustrated or other minorities, women look at them and say, You can't do anything for me. So I'm very much in favor of supervisors and managers being giving goals... I didn't say quotas, I said goals, which are employed in the private sector. Companies like Marriott use them, and they can be multi-year goals, and you measure people to ensure that these goals are being met, or are on the way to being met, and you incentivize it in the private sector, and you can incentivize it in the public sector to give monetary awards or whatever... In the private sector, definitely monetary, in public sector maybe others, but it can be monetary, and no matter what system you come up with, they're gonna be people who are outraged, people who cry, reverse discrimination, people who say, "This is not fair."
0:47:28.6 HJ: When you have three African-American Ambassadors now fewer than you had a decade ago, so we can't worry about that. We can't worry about the naysayers, we have to explain what we're trying to do and achieve for all Americans to people who have open minds who are willing to listen and think... Now, my daddy would say, "Son, liberals just hang you from a lower branch." And some of them do some of them do. But then they weren't really right thinking. And I do believe that this younger generation, after seeing what happened to George Floyd and Breanna Taylor and others seeing the video, we knew these things have been happening for years, but unless you have a video you are not...
0:48:24.2 SP: Even when you have a video, many times people are getting off.
0:48:31.1 HJ: It is, it is. So you're not gonna convince everybody and I'm old now. I'm tired of trying to convince, appease, everybody, you have to go forward with policies that are open for everybody, giving everybody an opportunity, explaining why and what you're trying to do, and as long as you have that moral core, that moral background. Dr King said that arc will bend towards justice. And I truly believe that, and I truly believe that the opportunities we have here in this country, we're not going to have in other countries, but Dr. King also said, Be true to what you put on paper, and we've gotta make sure that happens.
0:49:16.1 SP: Okay, so this has been great, so we've got some questions that are coming in, and I will just take them in the order that we're seeing them, but let me... So let me start with this one. Since you have just spoken about George Taylor, Breanna, sorry George Floyd Breanna Taylor etcetera. We're curious to hear your thoughts about whether you think racial equity efforts in the United States have meaningfully changed the landscape of international relations, or do you think the field continues to lack diverse racial and ethnic representation, or maybe I will add a slight twist to that, which is even if there is not diverse racial and ethnic representation, have these racial equity efforts change the landscape of international relations?
0:50:20.3 HJ: It started, yes, it started after the protests in the street, my wife and I were pleased to travel to Washington and to go to black matters square we went, it was... And we went because our son was saying he's coming back from overseas, he said, I can't wait to go with you, we better go, we gotta keep up with the young people, but what you saw then, is protests in Tokyo, where minorities in Japan [0:50:48.1] ____ protests in Dominican Republic in the Philippines, where people took a knee in honor of George Floyd and they live under President Duterte who is hardly a Democrat and very dangerous, but they weren't just protesting in support of human rights in America, they wanted human rights in their countries, and then minorities in every country. They can all be the same color. It doesn't mean they're not an ethnic minority, or tribal minority and us speaking up. I have a student who's from Kashmir in India, and he told me last year to my surprise that, look, just hearing you speak about democracy and human rights and relate... I could relate to that. And that gave me hope. I was blown away.
0:51:37.2 SP: But how okay, so in taking that, that maybe gives people hope and we're going to have a session towards the end of our series, even on this transnational advocacy.
0:51:53.6 SP: Coalitions like Black Lives Matter and how they are liaising with others in other countries for representation and rights of, as you say, their minorities which may not be black lives or whatever, but do you see that people also then look at you or other minorities representing the United States and say, but we're all hypocrites. How can we go into these other countries and tell them about their human rights record and what not, and as we know, the Chinese responded after the protests saying, "I can't breathe." Don't tell me about what we China are doing with our human rights when you clearly have your own problems. Is that changing at all? Or did people in the various countries that you've served, and it's not only for Foreign Service officers, but there are plenty of Americans and others who are living and working abroad, and they ask us, "What is our government doing?" Of course, the government is not the people, but how do you respond?
0:53:25.6 HJ: Well, frankly, I was pleased that I was retired in 2021. No, I'm very serious, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo were detrimental to our foreign policy. I'm sorry, people do not like that, but someone who wanted to bring the Taliban to Camp David who called African countries asshole countries, and did not have policies to help African businesses and trade other than just saying, "Don't deal with China." Not somebody I had a lot of respect for. I would hope that Secretary Blinken and President Biden are going to start chartering a new course. When I see our friend Linda Thomas Greenfield at the United Nations, a very strong person that gives me hope, is articulating what we stand for.
0:54:23.6 HJ: When I was in Zimbabwe, Africa has a large challenge with gay community. I was able to fly the rainbow flag on top of my residence, we were able to hold quiet meetings and programs for the gay community, you couldn't have marches that puts people's lives at risk, but you could do things, you could find ways. President, Trump and Secretary Pompeo did not allow the Ambassador of South Korea, who is Asian-American, retired admiral flew the Black Lives Matter flag over the Embassy before he was told to take it down.
0:55:03.8 SP: Right.
0:55:04.9 HJ: So let's hope we're back to some type of normalcy whether now and in the future, so that would have made it difficult. But let your students know that in November 2017, when I was in Zimbabwe and the dictator Mugabe was about to give up after years of corrupt and venal rule, our Embassy was right next to the Russian Embassy, and they had a massive protest march. When they marched past our Embassy, they chanted, "USA, USA." And the reason they did is because they were not suppressed... They were suppressed, they were not stupid. So when we live up to our ideals, you get, "USA, USA." When we don't live up to our ideals, people will remember promises broken, whether that was in Afghanistan or Iraq for 50, 100 years.
0:56:00.9 SP: And you can't get that back.
0:56:01.3 HJ: That's right. And that's why we have to be honest. And that's why you have to do the right thing. And that right thing, as people of Africa know included the President's Emergency Program for AIDS relief.
0:56:16.0 SP: Started under President Bush.
0:56:17.4 HJ: Yes, the great push from Ambassador Jendayi Frazer and Secretary Powell, but thank God a Republican was in charge of it because others would have cut it. I'm very serious about that, and President Bush is a major advocate for that, and he's brought a lot of churches into that, and it saved countless lives in Africa and now starting in Asia, and America led that effort.
0:56:47.7 SP: So on that point, with the pandemic of COVID-19, okay... We had the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and obviously it's still going on in lots of places, but we now have COVID-19, all of the targeting of Asian-Americans or Asians writ large, because people don't necessarily know what hyphen they might supposedly have, but do you think that there are implications for the Asian community and relations between the US and Asian countries, especially given the sanctions against China, and I won't use the other words that are sometimes used about competition, but how is this playing out?
0:57:49.1 HJ: Well, one of the things I saw with my wife and her friends last year was not just not wearing stop Asian hate mask, that they... It was like a page out of the '60s Civil Rights Movement, where they organized Zoom calls with Asian-American groups in America and overseas extorting them to get involved politically in America and back overseas, telling them as a Filipino-American, you can work this, as a Korean American, you influence this, work with your congressman, bring true democracy back to the Philippines.
0:58:28.6 HJ: And the younger folks who were... Many of them were academics, actually in California really would go on and stress that how we cannot have this model-minority where we, which really tries to divide us from other minorities of where we have to be part of this mosaic of something that some of their parents do not wanna hear so that gave me great hope. But then from there, you have to have caucuses, you have to advocate and it may be slower than I like, but I see that happening, people entering politics, you have Gina Ortiz who ran and barely lost in Texas. But she's now Under Secretary of the Air Force, and she was an openly gay Filipino woman running for Congress in our nation. So you have two Indian-American congressmen who enter, one male and woman who introduced the No-bid bill, N-O-B-I-D, which is to ensure that we give vaccines out through the world. You know, Susan I worked with the military and one of the great feats of the American military ability is logistics. We are the best logisticians in the world, and that's how President Bush, as well as President Obama dealt with SARS and Ebola, letting the American military to do the logistics.
1:00:02.8 HJ: And WHO and the UN and other agencies were able to do distribution medical, medical treatment. I clearly didn't see that under President Trump, I have not seen in the way I expected under President Biden using the military to help countries build airports, because trade is so essential in Africa and in Latin-America, increasing that type of trade. That's something I would like to see as well as alternative markets in developing countries. The supply chain is a challenge, you would like to see chips Made in America. But why not help chips in Nigeria, in Kenya, in Venezuela, in Trinidad, in Philippines, in Bangladesh. And if you help them, you're also helping yourself. You're making yourself stronger, but you're making these countries stronger, look at the burgeoning population in Africa.
1:01:16.4 SP: Yeah.
1:01:16.5 HJ: So security is safety and stability, and if you don't have health, you don't have opportunities for them, you're going to have major challenges that will threaten us, and we know this is not the last pandemic, so those are things that I would like to see from the Biden administration, it takes any administration time to gain coherence, so I hope that they will do this.
1:01:43.1 SP: And when you think about working with communities in other countries and in this country as well, do our racial biases, and it doesn't have to be race or let's just say race, culture, identities. Does that spill over into how we actually perform international affairs and create policies? Are we working with local communities or do you think we are too often working for our policies?
1:02:32.6 HJ: Clearly, some people have unconscious bias, I won't say no to that. Some people only want to use foreign policy, foreign aid as a tool to get your way, but I think most of us understand that diplomacy is a two-way street, that when you need to sit down with somebody and do what we don't do so well in America, listen, and cobble out ways. How can we help you with your markets? How can we help you with your trade, your schools, what do you want?
1:03:11.3 SP: But when they tell us, "Well, we want to have the factory here." Our response is what? "No, no, no, no, you keep shipping things to us, continue to ship the raw material," which in the old days, we didn't ask, it was just... We collectively just took. But now they don't have the tools. It's not to say that they can't develop them, but that's not really how the International Development regime is working. It is much better for foreign markets to import the raw goods and then add the value to it. But obviously, in the global South, they want to make the money there by improving the raw product before exporting it.
1:04:16.7 HJ: I do not argue with that Ambassador Page, but the challenge is we have to turn a new page. So we really do have to change the way... And if you look at this 20 years ago, very few mobile cell phones in Africa, today over 700 million, 700 million, that's a market. Companies like Jumia, which is the Amazon of Africa, are only active in 11 countries, and the reason is because they don't have the markets in other places, they don't have the roads, the infrastructure, so we need to do... Development professionals need to sit down with business people in these countries.
1:05:03.1 SP: But in the past, when they did things like that, I mean... We got structural adjustment programs, which 20 years after the fact, the IMF and World Bank admit, oops, we made a mistake, but most of these third world countries or global South countries, still end up having to pay those loans back. Some of it, a limited amount of it has been forgiven, but most of it has simply been re-calculated and yet... Even with all of the numbers and the natural resources in Africa, the free trade, the Continental Free Trade Africa Agreement is probably going to struggle because we see so many countries also wanting to do bilateral investment treaties with individual African countries, which we all understand, but the broader power being with the block, is that because of African nations' own biases or prejudices, how does that work?
1:06:27.1 HJ: Well, we can never look at Sub-Saharan or the entire continent as a whole. They are far different people, far different aspirations in each country. Rwanda has taken the lead, this isn't a western initiative on the African Free Trade Agreement, and the Rwandan President sees himself as a copy of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew that's what he sees himself as and he doesn't want democracy, he wants economic prosperity. You have the Chinese finding ways to give countries loans that they're doing the same thing the US and the UK did years ago. It's naive, but the US and China should find areas, particularly climate change, the environment, mining where we could work together, but that's not gonna happen, let's not kid ourselves too much anxiety on both parts of both nations, but the reality is they should if there's true interest and then you work with countries that have interest in this. You work with Rwanda, okay, and you try to change their...
1:07:47.5 SP: [1:07:47.5] ____ there.
1:07:48.9 HJ: Yeah, you work with them. Well, you know, the mountain kingdom people are very different than people in the west, but you can't ignore a market like Nigeria, you can't ignore a market like Kenya. Only half of the multi-billion dollar companies in Africa are in South Africa, the other ones are spread around, so you're gonna have to pick and choose, there are some where there's weak governance and corruption is so massive that it's going to keep companies, whether they're African like Jumia, or Amazon, and Walmart, whomever, Etsy from coming in, but the real people who suffer from corruption are the poor in those countries, they're the ones that have to pay the bribes and don't get the services that they deserve, and that's why we have to keep trying. Even if we're like Prometheus to end this, but every country is not gonna succeed, unfortunately, every country is not going to have a great leader, whether it's the United States or a country in Africa or Asia. But we've got to find solutions because many of these countries are poorer today than they were 50, 70 years ago.
1:09:10.1 SP: And what responsibility do we have for the global international community? I don't mean just the United States necessarily, but these systems were developed by the international community before many of these countries in the global South were even independent...
1:09:29.7 HJ: Yes.
1:09:30.5 SP: And didn't necessarily have a say, and then how do our professed values of respect for human beings and human rights protection and promotion, and then we turn and make allies... I'm not totally naive, but then we make allies in certain countries and turn a blind eye when it's a Saudi Arabia, or an Iraq, or an Afghanistan, the amount of money that we were pumping into these corrupt countries in some cases, but maybe realpolitik said, "But we want them on our side." How do you deal with that as a foreign affairs, foreign policy person in whatever area you're working in, and the short-term length of any administration in the US, four years, occasionally you get eight years, but... And in your time, since 1984, you served under how many different Presidents and Secretaries of State?
1:10:57.3 HJ: Too many.
1:11:00.1 SP: Different administrations, different priorities, how do you deal even with a career with those kinds of changes, or were there very many changes policy-wise regardless of administration? There are always some big ones that come up, PEPFAR or... And many other things around the world, but did it change much and how did you adapt from one administration to the next?
1:11:34.9 HJ: Well, in some ways it changed a lot, in other ways it did not. I think countries are always going to want other countries to be their allies and partners, always gonna look for their own interest, no matter whether it's Rwanda or the United States, it would be naïve to think that they would not. But what we can't be is hypocrites, what we can't be is liars, what we can't do is go back on our word. I think the hope is your students, my students, the next generation, bring them up and they're gonna have to be patient, maybe more patient than we were willing to do. And understand our way is not the only way. And because if you're an American, you're a Western, they think they are not, but they are... When they go to places, they have these same prescriptions and lack of patience, lack of listening, paternalistic attitudes, and when you have an opportunity to lead, lead, when you have an opportunity to work with others in a honest way, that way at least you can control your Embassy. Maybe you can't control everything, but an Ambassador is given much more leeway than I ever expected when I first got the job?
1:12:54.3 HJ: So you can shape things in your country, you can influence, and maybe everybody thinks you're gonna be the next Henry Kissinger and all that. But small things matter. Small things matter in the Philippines, the USAID Director Gloria Steele who's now the number two at CARE, came to me and said, over 4000 women are dying a year from postpartum bleeding, and all it would take is a shot that cost under a dollar a day. The families don't have it or they use it on other things, and we know what happens in any country, any place when children grow up without their mother.
1:13:36.9 HJ: So we worked with an American pharmaceutical company and came up with a shot that could be administered, and it didn't even have to be a refrigerated, so you save over 4000 lives. I will always be proud of that, of AID and State Department collaboration with the private sector. I only asked her to do one thing when I was there, there were a group of tribal people, Igorots, and I visited their village they had no water, and I asked Gloria, "Let's help these people." And I left 2013, 2017, I'm in my office in Zimbabwe, Gloria left she sent me a photos USAID put water in those villages. So those things you can help, you can work with civil society and in democracy, you can work with our military, and they have great veterinarians, and they also have most of the reservists were the doctors and dentists who treat people. Those are things that we have to do, but at the same time, we've gotta let people stand on their own two feet and get away from this paternalism. They'll be stronger, and we will be stronger. When we join the Foreign Service, people were thinking about communism, communism has gone away, there's totalitarianism, there's authoritarianism, communism may return, there's... I'm not naive to that but let's not pretend that Russia and China are really communist countries in the classic vein and again all of these things can change.
1:15:35.0 HJ: And let's not worry about competing with them, let's be the best we can be in these things, and I'm not being the American naive person on this. I just think there are ways that we can make a difference. In the Philippines we brought a baseball to the Philippines, they love basketball, they love boxing, baseball wasn't a big thing, and we bought Ken Griffey Jr, one of the great players there. And it was to a town, a part of Manilla, Smokey Mountain where kids climbed up garbage to eat, the smell was terrible, and they were playing with flip flops as their gloves. And we worked with Major League Baseball, Mr. Griffey and others, and local Filipinos to give these kids a chance. We taught boys baseball, girls softball, we got a family to put a library in, softball for girls, we got a local university to give them admissions. And I left, and a year after I left, they competed for the Little League World Series. The boys didn't win, the girls did. They represented... And they got to come to Delaware.
1:16:53.1 SP: Wow.
1:16:53.8 HJ: They lost every game, but imagine they had visas, they flew on a plane, they stayed in a hotel, communities gave them clothing, food, dental treatment, all of these things so they won.
1:17:07.3 SP: So let me ask you our final question, but of course, it's going to be two-fold, so you talked about leadership being so important, leadership in terms of diversity, selecting people that giving people opportunities. And you also talked about making small differences, that it's possible, especially working with local communities and working in coalitions, whether it's government together. But oftentimes, these different affinity groups don't work very well together, whether they are Asian working with black... Asian Americans working with black Americans or any of these different groups. Do you think that there are ways for that to grow stronger, where we maybe don't compete so much with each other? And then the last question really is, what are the skills that you think are essential for future individuals working in foreign policy? Whether they stay domestic or they go overseas or they're with a company or the military or their own government, yeah, what are the essential skills that they need to succeed?
1:18:44.0 HJ: Massive Page, the first question is the hardest one because even at the Holy Cross, my undergraduate college, they have affinity groups: Asian-American, Latino-American; they also have Caribbean and African. And everybody feels they have to have their home. And they have umbrella groups, but the umbrella groups doesn't work together. They have fundraising groups. They stove piping it. And it boggles the mind. And that's what we see overseas often also, minority groups fighting against each other, lack of confidence in themselves, disparaging each other. I don't know what the answer is to that. I hope it is people finding ways to have common cause. But that's a much tougher nut, and it's still going on today. And I've never been to Ann Arbor. I don't know what they have at University of Michigan, but I bet they have all of those groups there.
1:19:45.7 SP: Oh yeah.
1:19:46.5 HJ: And that is the shame of these students because that's not on the faculty or the alumni; it's on the students to find ways to come together. And I would hope that they do. I don't know how to make them. But I would hope that they do.
1:20:05.8 SP: So you... In some sense, maybe we need a shared identity, even though there are separate identities as well.
1:20:15.4 HJ: Sure. It's okay that you have a Caribbean group or an African group or... This doesn't mean that you shouldn't. But they should work together because there's a finite amount of money from the administration. And also, it makes it easier if you're in an administration that deal with so many groups who are diverging rather than groups that come together. They'll probably only come together during crises and over large issues and mirror the way it was in our day, which is unfortunate. But I would like to see that change. I just don't have an honest prescription for that. But it is something that saddens me, even at Yale, when we had Bobi Wine, a Ugandan policy advocate, come. And the students, the African students, asked me to be the person who talked to him, asked him questions. It wasn't the African-American union, but you did have African Americans doing students there. And this is just repeated. It's sad, and it's unfortunate.
1:21:18.9 HJ: But for your second part, it's simple. Even in this modern Internet world, young people have to learn how to communicate, how to speak well, how to write well and quickly, or draft, as we say in the Foreign Service. Communication skills are paramount. Also, in terms of having a little bit of a thick skin... I'm not talking about when somebody calls you a name or something like that. But don't take every criticism as the end of the world. We know students who are... Every study shows they're studying less and getting higher grades, and that worries me because are you really prepared for no? No is an answer. Our friend, Mark Grossman, Ambassador Grossman, told me that he was a spray pan butter door-to-door salesman, and having that door close in his face often taught him a lot when he got to the Foreign Service. So I don't make light of that.
1:22:33.3 HJ: And honesty. One of the things I learned as Ambassador is, unless you have somebody who has a personal or professional problem, you think your staff is great, but in reality, not everybody is great. They're great because you're Ambassador and they're treating you that way, but they're not always treating their colleagues that way. And that's something that I see... This bullying has to stop. And we did that in the Philippines. We worked with a TV station to have, "Stop bullying." We did... Because everybody remembers when they were bullied or they bullied someone. We're human. That's something that needs to stop to help people advance. It's still harder for women in the foreign policy arena than men, of all color, in their professional and personal lives. We've gotta find ways to change that. And that's simple if you want people to join. But I would... I'd stress the ability to communicate with people, the ability to listen, to lead people.
1:23:54.8 HJ: But if you are not honest, people don't even expect you to be honest. That's a reason to be honest. [laughter] And it doesn't mean you're not gonna pay if you make a mistake. You gotta be honest. Your staff will see it. They will reflect how you behave and be true to yourself. If you get the opportunity, if you're a minority or a woman and you think the person that you wanna work with, who happens to be minority or a woman are the best, you pick that person. Don't be afraid. Because white men are not afraid to pick white men. But we are looked askance if we do it. We don't. So I always... Three of my four DCMs were women. The fourth one would have been, but she turned it down for another job. [laughter] She's now our Assistant Secretary over Consular Affairs, so she's done okay, but when I was Director General Ambassador Teddy Taylor, distinguished African-American diplomat with my double. And when I was Executive Secretary, I had an Irish-American marine, two women and a Latino. And you can make those choices. And I knew Dr. Rice wanted me to do that. Linda Thomas-Greenfield has done that throughout her career at the State Department, now today at the UN. So we have power to do these things. Optimistic.
1:25:41.2 SP: So... That's excellent. I think on that happy note, I'm just gonna summarize. Communications are paramount, the ability to listen, the ability to lead people. Be true to yourself. Lean into the tools that you have. For you, and certainly for me, our faith was important as Roman Catholics. That may not be for everyone, but use those sources to give you strength. And perhaps, above all, don't be afraid to choose the best people, even if the powers around us are saying, "Oh, you're giving favors over there," and to be honest. And I cannot thank you enough for being our second guest. This global foundations of racial policy, and I so appreciate the time that we've had to speak today. Thank you so much, Ambassador Thomas.
1:26:47.0 HJ: Thank you, Ambassador Dave. I'm sorry, excuse me. I'm so... I speak there so often. Thank you, Ambassador Page. I wanna give a shoutout to my cousin Bobby, who is about to enter the University of Michigan as a freshman in the fall.
1:27:04.9 SP: Yay baby, go blue!
1:27:06.5 HJ: Go blue! [laughter]
1:27:07.5 SP: Thank you again.
1:27:10.2 HJ: God bless, bye-bye.
1:27:11.3 SP: You too.