MUDEC also recently hosted Thomas M. Barrett, the American Ambassador to Luxembourg, and students got the opportunity to discuss his work and involvement in international diplomacy with him. The Ambassador takes a great deal of pride in his role as President Biden’s representative in Luxembourg, and he mentioned the historical connection Luxembourg and America have. Due to the United States’ involvement in World War II, there is a certain sense of gratitude from older Luxembourgers; he emphasized that there is more of a challenge for younger people to realize that connection, yet there is still an American story that Luxembourg can tell.
He discussed his rise from an average citizen to local politician, running for Congress and then being approved by the U.S. Senate for an ambassador position. From there, he made note of the different types of ambassadors, noting that political ambassadors are generally positioned in less dangerous countries, whereas the career ambassadors are sent to more tumultuous locations.
Ambassador Barrett also spoke of America's affinity for resilience and our tendency to hope for the best. He moved to a conversation about the current situation in Ukraine, and praised the steps taken by the U.S. State Department and the connection that America has with the European Union. He affirmed that President Biden was able to rapidly get information to the Europeans, leading to an impactful collaboration with European allies to understand the evolving situation in Ukraine.
He hopes that the newest generation, one that has been defined by pandemic and now a war in Europe, will be able to maintain the resilient and hopeful nature that has defined Americans for so long. He placed emphasis on the notion of a local view versus a worldwide view, and urged the MUDEC class to become the best world citizens they can be.