Left to right: Wilder School Dean Susan Gooden, Ambassador Pierce,99 and Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.

Yesterday, I met with Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, British Ambassador to the United States of America. Thanks to the diligent efforts by Susan Gooden, Dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School Government and Public Affairs, this warm reception highlights the significant strides the Wilder School continues to make to advance our reputation of excellence.  

Ambassador Pierce’s decision to visit the Wilder School during her short time in the United States is emblematic of the stature she affords us. The Wilder School is ranked No. 1 in Virginia for public affairs, and ranked in the nation’s top 15th percentile.

This was not the first time I’ve met with Dame Pierce, as she worked in Washington D. C. at the British Embassy while I was Governor, and she reflected on my visits during that time. During lunch, she encouragingly embraced Dean Gooden’s Research Institute for Social Equity and cited her country’s efforts in that regard.

Following lunch, she delivered a presentation to our students, with a question and answer session, exploring her international diplomatic experiences. The event, hosted by the Wilder School and the Political Science department, also saw her diplomatic colleagues field questions about career opportunities and the vital need for international diplomacy in our world.

Events like this develop our students’ hands-on experiences and create value to help prepare them to gain the skills and perspectives needed to become leaders. Our school’s vast professional network of alumni and policy influencers form these unique connections that are rarely found. Whatever their career interests, our students graduate well-prepared to take on any challenge.

I’m personally gratified to have the Ambassador identify with our efforts for leadership to be exported to demand what is right and to criticize what is wrong.

Stay tuned. 

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