Category: On Campus, University News

Title: Journalists Converge on the Hilltop as Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Receives Diplomacy Award

Author: Paul Dougherty
Date Published: February 27, 2020

On Wednesday, February 13th, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch received the 2020 J. Raymond “Jit” Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy at an event in Gaston Hall. The evening’s celebration was hosted by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Journalists and media outlets from around the world converged on the Hilltop to cover the event. The Washington Post highlighted Yovanovitch’s call to Georgetown students to “fight for what we believe in,” as she emphasized that “American diplomacy is more important than ever” right now. “We need public servants and diplomats when times are great. We need them even more when there are challenges,” she said.

The New York Times drew attention to Yovanovitch’s warning to students that she would be “blunt” in her remarks, as she argued that “an amoral, ‘keep them guessing’ foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear, and confusion for trust cannot work.” 

CNN also covered the event, focusing on Yovanovitch’s assertion that the State Department needs to better support diplomats in the course of their work. “We need to re-empower our diplomats to do their job. We can’t be afraid to share our expertise or challenge false assumptions,” Yovanovitch said. “Working off of facts is not the trademark of the deep state but of the deeply committed state in the words of Ambassador McFaul.”

Additional coverage was provided by NPR, Fox News, ABC, The Hill, Bloomberg, MSN and Univision.

International publications also covered the Award lecture and ceremony. The Kyiv Post concentrated on Yovanovitch’s remarks about the relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine. Yovanovitch stressed the importance of mutual support between the two countries, reminding the audience that diplomacy is not a zero-sum game.

The Guardian’s U.S. edition also emphasized Yovanovitch’s warnings about a zero-sum approach. She said, “At some point, the once unthinkable will become the inevitable—that our allies, who have as much right to act in their own self-interest as we do, will seek out more reliable partners whose interests might not align well with ours.” Additional international coverage was provided by The Independent and The Taipei Times.