The Santa Fe Council on International Relations is hosting an event at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 9 at the Estancia Primera Clubhouse, 450 Avenida Primera South in Santa Fe.
The event includes lunch and a panel discussion to hear Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, Ambassador Mark Asquino and Ambassador Pat Hawkins discuss the current status of the State Department under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
What comes next with Iran? With North Korea? With Venezuela? What are the effects of “foreign policy by tweet”? Has Secretary Pompeo restored morale at State? What is the status of treaties, trade and other arrangements with historic US allies?
Ambassador Vicki Huddleston: Ambassador Huddleston was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and held the same position at the Department of Defense. She led American diplomatic missions in Mali, Madagascar, Cuba, and Ethiopia. She was Director of U.S. policy toward Cuba at the Department of State and later Chief of our Diplomatic Mission in Havana before it became an embassy. In Haiti she was Deputy ambassador and later Chief of Party for a USAID Value Chain project.
Huddleston is a consultant with Transnational Strategies Group. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and as a Congressional Fellow worked on the staff of former Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Her opinion pieces on Cuba, Mali and Ethiopia have appeared in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. Her book “Our Woman in Havana: A U.S. Diplomat’s Chronicle of our Long Struggle with Fidel Castro’s Cuba” was released in 2019. She also co-authored “Learning to Salsa – New Steps in U.S.- Cuban Relations.” Huddleston is now a member of the CIR Board of Directors.
Ambassador Mark Asquino: Ambassador Asquino has a 37 year career in the Foreign Service. His overseas postings included assignments in Latin America, Europe, Central Asia and Africa. Before his recent retirement from the Department of State, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (2012-2015). As a public diplomacy specialist, he directed large, overseas International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP).
Asquino brings this experience to CIR’s work in setting up IVLP exchanges here. As a former Fulbright American Studies lecturer in Spain (1975-1976) who has an academic Ph.D. in this field, he has first-hand experience with teaching and international educational exchange and he is also fluent in Spanish. He has worked with U.S. companies overseas to gain their Corporate Social Responsibility financial support for non-government initiatives in education, health and environmental protection. Asquino is a member of the CIR Board.
Ambassador Pat Hawkins: Ambassador Hawkins began her career in the United States International Communications Agency in 1980. At USIA headquarters in Washington, D.C., she was the Country Affairs Officer for the eight countries of Francophone West Africa, and Policy Application and Coordination Officer (PACO) in the office of USIA’s Assistant Director. She also served as the Public Affairs Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the CSCE Conference on the Human Dimension, in Paris in 1989. Her first tour was in Paris, where she served as the Assistant Information Officer and Deputy Press Attaché. She subsequently served as Information Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire, as Public Affairs Officer in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as Cultural Affairs Officer in Bogotá, Colombia, as Counselor for Public Affairs in Abidjan, Cộte d’Ivoire, where she also served briefly as Acting DCM and then for several months as Chargé d’affaires.
In 2001, she was posted to the Dominican Republic, as Counselor for Public Affairs. Her most recent assignments have been in Washington, D.C., as Policy Application and Coordination Officer in the Office of Public Affairs of the Bureau of African Affairs, and as a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources. During a three-year hiatus from the Foreign Service, Hawkins served as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Otis Elevator Company, in Farmington, Connecticut. She succeeded David B. Dunn as the US Ambassador to Togo Aug. 22, 2008. She arrived at post Sept. 10, 2008 and presented her credentials to the Togolese President Sept. 12, 2008.
Cost of admission is $40 per person or $75 for two (includes lunch). For more information on registering, visit www.sfcir.org or call 505.982.4931, ext. 102.