British Ambassador to the U.S. selects the Wilder School for diplomacy tour
Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, British Ambassador to the United States of America, recently joined Wilder School students for an insightful discussion exploring US/UK relations, the challenges of global diplomacy and her extensive international career ranging from the United Nations to Afghanistan, and beyond.
“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,” said Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.
“Thanks to the diligent efforts by Susan Gooden, dean of the Wilder School, this warm reception highlights the significant strides the Wilder School continues to make to advance our reputation of excellence.”
Amb. Pierce’s presentation, entitled “Democracy and Diplomacy: Cultivating Our Future,” provided an in-depth look at the intricate collaboration and partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom. She shared the key processes for successful diplomatic policies, using the New Atlantic Charter, signed in 2021, as a prime example of multilateral collaboration between the U.S. and U.K.
"It was fantastic to meet Governor Wilder and to witness his vision in action; the breadth and ambition of the Wilder School is extremely impressive,” Amb. Pierce said. “It was a privilege for me — and our traveling team of British embassy diplomats — to engage with such a diverse range of young leaders and thinkers at VCU.”
“Our rich discussions with students and faculty reaffirmed the relevance and value of the dynamic ties Virginia and the UK enjoy — across education, innovation, defense, business and beyond," she said.
Amb. Pierce also explored diplomacy efforts between the UK and European Union, perspectives on the United Nations and other key experiences that have shaped her storied career. Amb. Pierce fielded questions ranging from career advice to international business relationships and the strains challenging the future of global diplomacy.
As the first female British Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Pierce also discussed her unprecedented appointment and the occasional challenges she has faced in breaking beyond gender stereotypes.
"It was fantastic to meet Governor Wilder and to witness his vision in action; the breadth and ambition of the Wilder School is extremely impressive,” Amb. Pierce said. “It was a privilege for me — and our travelling team of British embassy diplomats — to engage with such a diverse range of young leaders and thinkers at VCU.” – Ambassador Dame Karen Pierce, DCMG
Her fellow British diplomats Paul Rennie and Phil Dickinson fielded additional questions, providing details on the best ways to develop skills and prepare a plan for a career in international diplomacy.
“Governor Wilder’s diplomatic ties span the globe and help create unparalleled opportunities for our students.” said Susan Gooden, dean of the Wilder School. “It’s been an exceptional collaboration and the breadth of experiences these diplomats revealed was extremely thought-provoking and engaging.”
The event was moderated by Associate Professor Chris Burdett and hosted in conjunction with the College of Humanities and Sciences Department of Political Science.