IIRPS`20: Discussion about diplomats life: introduction (1/4)

so the style supposed to be charming easy not heavy because the topic is the life of deadlock the life and first of all for the very first introduction I want to ask every our ambassador distinguished ambassador to present himself in short how he started and what is how long experience he has in diplomatic service so please thank you very much I’m an old guy so i will go back a long time I once studied in kobane and I cannot really give a good reason but for one reason or another I began to study history and Russian language and that is probably the reason that I have been in this surrounding for the last 30 years or so and when I when I finished my studies like Omega University I thought that I would be a teacher at the university I began like that I was a teacher Nikki nation with Russian language and history and then after a couple of years I saw in the newspaper in my head join the European Union that they would take in young diplomats and I thought to myself but I think I would join but just for a very short one and after the new chairmanship i will go to Moscow because now I have tried to go wash for a long time so I’m training and then i will definitely begin and go back to teaching and university and here i am 25 years later so and so i joined the Foreign Service and after three years I asked to go as first secretary to Moscow that was nineteen eighty-two to eighty-five in the days of the Soviet Union it was bridge near from diet and sat yet when I came and then the drop of chenango and Gorbachev salimos own things then I went back to the foreign ministry is it now I want to go back to teaching and my boss said no you will not you’re going to nature who will be the deputy of making you know NATO dedicated delegation is it that sounds very boring but the money was not because a lot of things that into heaven ella was four years from 88 and 92 where our native integration came back and then something happened because that nature one had started to work with instant offense also and they said well can we take you or you could be get of our international department in ministry of defense and I said well that sounds I can say boring but that was not exactly what i have been thinking about what I spent five years there and it was very very interesting among other things working with you on the Baltic peacekeeping battalion and these things and after violence I said now I want to be a better and I want to come to videos and I was four years here from 97 201 so nearly until you join NATO and EU in those very very interesting days when we were working very close together after that they asked me would you like to the director of Foreign Affairs Institute well mostly something that I wanted to do 20 years ago so maybe I should try to do it so I was finally as you know qualifiers in two children ever when we worked a lot together with your Institute and after that I got the coach than if you’re thinking about Moscow for five years from five to ten of course South job a lot of work we also cover the five-cent relations and Belarus from Moscow some traveling love when interesting and after that I want a little more wine and I went back to the region back to Regan well thank you very thank you very much can you hear me is it on I can never tell with these things first I’d like to congratulate the Institute and all of you on is important the 20th anniversary and thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to talk about being diplomats I all could say that this is a job what I can’t believe they pay me to do it but I hate them to let me do this job it’s so wonderful and I’m sure that as we go through the discussion you’ll hear why but very briefly about myself some of you have already heard about the transformative experience I had when I was 16 years old I was a junior in high school in Chicago I had never really left the middle west of the United States and my family didn’t have any particular links with the outside world

but I decided one day to apply for a scholarship to study in France I don’t know why I can’t remember why I saw a poster hanging in the hallway and my suitable and it looked like a very interesting thing to do I applied I won the scholarship and they sent me from Chicago to Paris where I lived with the French family and studying French language and it completely transformed my life because I discovered the outside world I discovered language inside a particular love and interest in language foreign cultures I decided that in there at 16 that my life would be an international one but I didn’t know if I would be a diplomat or a business person or work with NGO or be an airline pilot air stewardess and those that is offensive and as I went to college I went to Macalester College and st. Paul Minnesota that should be of interest to you because your current foreign minister mr. Julis also studied there when he was a journalist at the world press Institute and in that University College is small but it had about 13% foreign students that’s a big percentage of foreign students for small American University so I had many friends from Brazil and from Iran from the Netherlands and I studied abroad again and went to France and I went to Italy while I was in the college years and as I was graduating and as a senior a friend of mine said I’m going to go take the foreign service examination and I said what’s that he said it’s an examination that you take to get into the Diplomatic Service and I said what’s that I really didn’t have an idea what diplomats do but I knew that it was public service a career where you serve your country and I knew it was international so I took the exam to make a long story short I got into the Foreign Service and I was offered a position in our state Department just as I was completing my master’s degree which I did at the Johns Hopkins School of the Nets International Studies in Washington DC and I recommend that to all of you they have a center in Bologna Italy also where I studied for a year and they offered me a job just as I had student loans coming due so I immediately joined and within three years I met my husband who is also a diplomat he had an expertise in Asia so we got married I was older I was 30 he was 38 we decided we wanted to have children quickly and we didn’t know it would be quite so successful we had for children within four or five years suddenly there we were to basically independent career people with a very large family and two careers and we decided let’s go overseas it’s easier to manage a big family overseas and in Washington so we were served in Singapore we served in Korea we served in Manila together and then we went to Brussels where we served for six years actually I worked at the bilateral embassy to Belgium and also at the US mission to the European Union and our children grew up in those places through those years and after Brussels the kids were basically on their own of their way to college and we were asked to go and help open the new embassy in baghdad iraq and so my husband and I went and we spent a year 2004-2005 together in bed now and I often say that if you want to test your marriage try living in a trailer with it was an interesting experience happy to talk more about it later happy we did it and after that I was lucky enough to achieve my career goal which was to become an ambassador my goal was to work as hard as i could and rise as quickly as I could to become ambassador and I became ambassador to Azerbaijan but then I was exceptionally lucky to get a second ambassadorship and come to lithuania both countries that are really interesting from the point of view of history and culture and where the US has important national interests so in that’s the long and short of my career thank you very much a very good story i’m not sure i will have an equally good one and thank you also to parrots interesting to see that we seem to have some somewhere traits in common which may be similar to many of the diplomats one is that it was also never mind my cable in life or dreams to become a diplomat but i was always very thrilled by learning about other countries other cultures learning languages so that is how i started i come from a town a 17 equal to a university town it’s a place where you feel that you should evoke outwards over the Celia the first thing you see is of course Copenhagen which I have to admit at that time I was considering my capital I would not say that you mind my authorities today so please don’t report it but but it’s a place in Sweden where you always feel attracted to go abroad and I also did that at quite early age I also had one year in France for instance when i was 18 i will belong to france i did not live in a family with completely

alone which may be perhaps even more fun and I that this was a type of experience that I wanted to have more of I I studied languages and during my studies I focused a lot on in other countries and languages and history as well as an international affairs so I took my master’s degree in New York at the Columbia School of International Affairs and I went on to take a PhD or nationalist issues in at village university but all through that time I think I always thought that I would be more of an analyst the researcher and then one day I started to feel that it was a little bit narrow I was opening the corridors I was analyzing I was assessing but I was starting to feel I want to participate somewhere I want to be where the decisions are being taken and that is what one day again is in a similar way that was the ad in the Swedish paper about the foreign service exam and I thought this is a good way to test whether i was competitive or not I was not really sure it would be a good thing for me but I was accepted and I have to say that ever since I have had not a boring day I it’s been a fantastic job so far I think it’s a combination of being interested in foreign countries in foreign affairs about foreign peoples to learning things being curious but also doing something that is important where you can feel every day that you are contributing with small steps to promoting not only your own country’s interest but I’m values but also to making the world a little bit better I think this is the underlying motivating force which I think it makes this job so very interesting I started in the foreign ministry in 1993 and I spent time doing a number of friend different things my first job from 93 to 96 was very formative in a way I was responsible for for all the work relating to the former Yugoslavia and you know what was happening in that country during these very tragic years and and we’re also very direct effects were were were felt in my own country we have a hundred thousand as I am seekers more than that coming during these years you had troops in the country we had very strong contacts and it was a around the home job so i would say being an ambassador here is is very much easier than being a very low level desk officer who is called up at night every night to answer all the questions but I then served in different positions both in Stockholm and also abroad in Tokyo I spent four years in Tokyo I also served in a prime minister’s office for a while and I’ve also served in the United Nations as an international service civil servant to you and diplomat as chief of the UN systems counterterrorism work so I had different different experiences and I think that serving one who government is in many ways very much easier than serving a hundred and ninety-three government of China I did in the UN so it’s a different experiences but that was also a very very interesting one because you really learn how to read the nuances are the different different perspectives of so many countries it’s very much opened my eyes to the rest of the world I could realize that even if I have been a Swedish diplomat for many years working with many countries my perspectives were still rather narrow in the sense that was always rooted in the Swedish perspective in once you become an international civil servant that really opened my eyes in very very very new ways I know that you have several other questions I will not be too long but as I mentioned having a family i also have a family I have not as successful as then I only have three children might it is of course both a challenge but also many opportunities that it brings to have how a family with you when you’re a diplomat my husband is a journalist which has been a rather useful combination he has been able to to work in many of the places in some places he actually worked more than I did when we serving chapada was the firm correspondent for the japan and the korean peninsula for instance for for the biggest Swedish days he was then working around the clock and and that was as you more work when I had in the embassies and we have been throughout our life trying to balance and to see that both of us have had during periods interesting tasks to perform and of course always taking

decisions that we have thought were good for as many members of the family as possible where the family grows one when you are five people finding a solution that is a good for the majority we have to spend more but that’s why I’m so very happy to be here in videos for many many reasons are being a diplomat in a very very close neighboring country with which we have so type accumulations is really something special and I can imagine no more interesting job because it really means that we have on a daily basis so many contacts going on and it’s also an extremely delightful place to be and I think that you will very soon interrupt me because I mean to Rome so i will have had a really like to my next book brazilian things and buddhist for inviting to this to this interesting gathering ten sentences for for the question actually i pushed up on the spot for writing an interesting book about the job of ambassador because like 10 years ago when I was lecturing here in this institute the subject with the strange title the art of diplomacy I suddenly discovered that there there were there were no books in Sweden language about diplomacy about being an ambassador now we have somewhat but that process has ritalin quite quite tall book it was his personal experience what it means to be an ambassador to the constructor of embassy and other aspects of diplomatic life so it’s a good guidebook and what for myself thinking about today’s discussion I made kind of them conclusion for myself that diplomacy probably was invented in the old times when drives instead of eating ambassadors started eating them giving them something for to drink and then it it started for myself diplomacy started 21 year ago so i’m a bit older and the Institute those times said philologists and mathematicians have the chance tilted to skip to the Diplomatic Service not just wrecks box of international relations and I joined a diplomatic service as a point to 4th year student of the University Faculty of philology I came and then there was a kind of small examination and then I was asked a question about languages in do I speak and actually I spoke English it was learning quite intensively we have in my native town again english language talks about from the first great range school for those times but then i mentioned also on languages i had a touch in my first year of university that was polish latvian and i have it also latin and actually there was no one in the room who could check of those languages so so my god enter into the job and seven of their different jobs I had to do was the latter half of the polish Prime Minister economy recognizing illustrated independence and as I you know red chili the Polish language I was given this this letter for translation and somehow it was my header Christmas all all my hours I translated the letter and made the only one mistake I somehow confused the word colorado’s electronic i translated as a map of United Nations which is in mind today same thing with nothing kind of the distance an ocean and that one of one of the first diplomatic challenges was the first near the years of Soviet push and immediately followed by my recognition of a wave of recognition of independence and I received Nicole and the voice said said in Russian death this is the Albanian embassy from Moscow calling albania recognizes the independence of this failure and I said thank you sitting and thinking what to do now with this independence and a corridor and they came across one of the quest experienced guy but he was kind of ready to give up and they what to do this is this was a telephone agra put this on the paper and

bring it to boss I did it this was beginning of my career albanian ago something to me and then I got had post so whether the diplomat in Warsaw Kaliningrad as it comes to general and in Berlin as an ambassador so all countries that were close to the area in terms of history also in terms of literature so felt well as a tautology seen almost those ordered hosting so so so I think that they have interesting life but of course it’s a very challenging job a challenging job probably we’ll talk a bit later well as ours already mentioned I’m in 1992 I was about to be spring of nineteen ninety-two I was about to graduation Phyllis University mathematics department probability theory and mathematical statistics disappear and and but what mathematics I really enjoyed a bike seat I was pretty good in school but then I clearly saw that it’s not for me and I started dreaming about diplomacy and one somebody from one of coming colleagues invited me to do come and join Ministry of Foreign Affairs I was really happy well she plays me that was definitely minister and he placed me in the administrative department as informational and technical maintenance officer and then there were five computers the business of work in advance and basically my function was in each basically retired to learning people and what that was not something that I really enjoy and I thought that I heard a news about this issue there was announcement and it was institute of international relations that that act was still only international relations no mentioning of political science it had to be established and of course I needed to brought my documents in the silversmith applied to join this summer 90-92 and I thought that that is the way how do you to squeeze into the Diplomatic Service move from my visit of department with the be supporting a political Department become a real development and I was always living with some jealous and his colleagues in the political department and I thought like me to be there and well then of course I was really quite happy to get a secondment from this institution for one year studies university instead instead school for political science they’re fine which friend of mine also was sent from this institute they are we got engaged and then married so I go to Denmark my wife and and then after coming back from Denmark I was in the Ministry of already considered to be well having a quiet quite considerable qualification and already a few departments were competing too they arise well I should just remind everyone that at that time a salary of the third secretary in the minister one in years was 180 liters and at that time that was the beginning of 1994 you chose that time to do to be a salesgirl or sales boy somewhere small shop you could get at least 500 meters so well you can imagine that it was not very easy for the minister for years to build up credible quality good quality good qualifications stop and of course anyone who has come back from Denmark and was

so mad and still wishing to stay the minister for the years he was absurd in value the best time I skipped into the political debacle I am also ambassador so I supposed to tell some words about my way to that position it was easiest way from all the company because I was professional historian was writing articles and books and teaching history of 20th century between two or European history and there was writing books about from the train in history 18 of them last was printed last month and suddenly in 93 I was so smart that I wrote the article criticizing both former and acting foreign ministers that still we are in loot rainia didn’t solve any reasonable article about what kind of foreign policy we are executing so next day I was invited to see the foreign minister and he proposed me to became ambassador in mongolia touch yes to took the issue was that dealer enlarging our embassy network at but that was a string of 93 and i was offered to go to Austria or to Finland and to open the Embassy of Lieutenant wanted to be a number two in the United States of America the ambassador was already selected and so I had one night to the side and it was revolutionary time you you will never offer such not have you will go many many competition you know and selections now but but that was revolution at a time was a restoration of the state so all the night I were thinking and vices of Strauss they’re sounding in my ear so next day I came to the minister and he said okay now sat on the chair and be strong now we have all of an offer go number one to watch it because our candidate refuse so I I said okay lunch parents nothing I knew diploma shown from archival documents that was very useful because i use all not all the time phrenology my first reports about then of course everything was modernized so and from that time i served as ambassador only in four countries that’s United States than two and a half years as a resident ambassador in Canada the two years in ministry back Dan ambassador in the State of Israel non-stop ambassador to more day oh that was my friends in Tel Aviv thought that I was going from the chosen people to the frozen people book and now back in the ministry I told that I serve only in for dentist you understand what I’m me it’s not finishing