by Maggie Prosser
The fifth annual Burlington Capital and University of Nebraska at Omaha Ambassador’s Forum took place on April 4. Local citizens from all over Omaha joined the college community at the UNO Thompson Alumni Center to talk about President Donald Trump’s administration’s foreign trade policy after one year into his presidency. Lunch was served as the speakers prepared.
Marian girls were just one of the three schools at the forum. International Issues teacher Mrs. Katy Salzman joined the ten girls for the field trip. Each of these two teachers has a passion for teaching young women about government and the world. Central was represented as well as abroad students from an organization called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from UNO. The girls even got a round of applause for being young leaders that cared about increasing their knowledge of international issues.
“I think it’s important to put a face to the people who are out in the world representing the United States and our interests. Many don’t understand the work of the State Department and the role of diplomacy in solving some of the trickier issues in the world that affect our lives (whether we know it or not). If it weren’t for the work of U.S. diplomats and their efforts to solve problems before they erupt into conflicts, we would find ourselves in a much more precarious situation in the world. I also hope that this event helps to educate students about the big challenges the U.S. faces in the world and inspires Marian girls to go into foreign service or at least become engaged in world events in whatever career path they choose,” Salzman said.
An ambassador is the president’s highest ranking representative to a specific nation or international organization abroad. Because of their high rank in government, their visit to Omaha was especially notable.
Former ambassadors James F. Collins, Earl A. Wayne, Susan L. Ziadeh and Deborah A. McCarthy presented at the meeting. All four of these former ambassadors have extraordinary resumes and have worked multiple jobs in different countries. Each ambassador had a selected topic to speak to for about 20 minutes. The topics included the rising economic and military authority of China, the security challenges presented by extremist Islamic terrorism and the dawn of North Korea as a nuclear power.
“I was interested in going to the ambassador’s forum because I really like learning people’s different views on political issues. I am planning to go into any type of international business,” senior Donna Yang said.
Moderator Tom Gouttierre introduced each leader and read through all questions asked at the end of the speeches.
All questions were asked in parliamentary procedure; everything was written down on paper and handed up to Gouttierre.
“I learned more about the United States stance on allies and trade with other countries. I asked the ambassadors questions on current political issues and U.S. relations with other nations,” Yang said.
Girls enjoyed hearing from the ambassadors throughout the afternoon. They even got to catch a picture with the four after the luncheon was over.