Annanya - Meets American Ambassador Barzun

Dear Matthew,

I recall that you mentioned in your introduction that you would like to be addressed as ‘Matthew’ instead of ‘U.S. Ambassador’, (I deeply appreciate your plainspoken approach, it’s cool!) 

ambassador talk.jpeg

I have been part of RF for a year, and I can assuredly say that no other organisation I have joined has provided me with the opportunities, excitement and friends that I have been so lucky to enjoy in my journey, so far. I thoroughly hope that this positivity was reflected in your visit. I had a great time at the event which I had been looking forward to since I received news from it. I can confidently say that I found the interactive presentation especially stimulating, thrilling and thought provoking to the extent to which I went home that night and actually research climate change in the U.S. - pretty extreme stuff. I thought, I knew a decent amount about the United States for a dubious teenager, but to my delight you proved me wrong, which I thank you tremendously for. The welcoming yet critical approach that was taken toward attitudes and ideas toward the United States, I presume was appreciated by all. I understand that as the Ambassador you could have given a regular presentation about the wonder that is America, but instead your critical and inclusive approach (which still captured this) was something I found especially terrific.

ambassador presentation.jpeg

As with many of the young people you meet, I have vague idea (and a probably naive one in hindsight) of my future career at the mere age of 15, but I would really like to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Having visited there (and been bewildered by the people), and done Model United Nations religiously for the past 5 years, I can positively say I’m intrigued by this world of cooperation, poetic speeches and espionage, (I would love to do some work experience perhaps?). Your presentation made me realize, that becoming a diplomat is not entirely out of reach and to my relief, you are a living testament that one does not need to have impeccable artistic talents to prosper in diplomacy (judging by the map of the United States on the flipchart – as I too, cannot draw to save my life). 

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for the spontaneous selfie, and on behalf of RF I sincerely hope you enjoyed your visit as much as we did.


Ananya Chowdhury