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SmartChat: Ambassador Pope

March 15, 2015

Here at the Governor’s School we have a program called SmartChat, which brings in leaders of the professional world to talk to our students about what they have experienced in their line of work. From mathematicians and scientists to programmers and modern business leaders, GSSM provides its students with an opportunity to talk to professionals and find out firsthand how life can always take an unexpected turn.

Our recent speaker is not only a leader in the modern world but has worked for thirty-one years in the U.S. Foreign Service to preserve peace abroad! Ambassador Laurence Pope served as a political officer in embassies in Libya, Tunis, Morocco, as well as the Deputy Chief of Missions in Bahrain. Ambassador Pope served as Director for Northern Gulf Affairs (1987-1990), Associate Director of Counter-Terrorism (1991-1993), and as the U.S. Ambassador to Chad (1993-1996), where he helped in organizing the nation’s first democratic election. Ambassador Pope talked with our students via video conference from his residence in Portland, Maine, on subjects such as national security in relation to globalization, growing threats presented by networking, and military intervention vs. diplomacy.

This SmartChat was an absolute success! Ambassador Pope stressed the importance of one quality over all others in negotiation and maintaining peace: the ability to compromise. I have always been a fan of international affairs even more so after having talked with the ambassador. I have high hopes that future SmartChats will be just as promising!

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