Pixel Tracker

Friday, December 14 , 2018, 7:24 am | Mostly Cloudy 48º


‘Facing Global Challenges’ Focus of Laguna Blanca Symposium

Laguna Blanca School will hold its Global Studies Symposium, titled “American Diplomacy: Facing Global Challenges Past, Present & Future,” from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 19 in the Merovick Gymnasium.

Laguna Blanca’s second annual Global Studies awareness program will focus on American diplomacy and the role of the Foreign Service officer and embassy. Students, faculty and parents will tackle the topic from historical, present day and future perspectives. The global studies program was initiated last year to educate students on the challenges and responsibilities they will face as global citizens.

“Most Americans have no idea of the complex duties of diplomats,” said Upper School history teacher Martha Elliott, who also coordinates the Laguna Global Studies Program said. “We are extraordinarily privileged to have three ambassadors and an officer from the joint State and Commerce Department to give our students a firsthand look at diplomacy and foreign relations.”

Distinguished Speakers

Ambassador Susan Elliott (live from Tajikistan), “Role of the State Department”

Ambassador Elliott is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan. Prior to this position, she was the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs deputy assistant secretary responsible for Central Asia from 2010 to 2012. She has served as the deputy chief of mission to Moscow, Russia and as counsel general to Northern Ireland.

Abraham Tall, “Life Growing Up in the Foreign Service”

A junior at Cate School, Abraham will share a young person’s perspective on the enriching cultural experiences gained from life in the foreign service. Abraham was born in 1995 in Dakar, Senegal, and attended a private Catholic French school, Cours Sainte Marie de Hann, from 1999 to 2002, where he learned French and Wolof. In 2002, his family moved to Bamako, Mali, where he attended the American International School of Bamako. In 2009, he and his family moved to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where his parents currently live. Abraham attended The American School of Kinshasa until 2012 when he transferred to Cate School in Carpinteria.

Geoffrey Walser (LBS ‘62), “Promoting American Commerce Abroad”

Walser served a 19-year career as a Foreign Service officer in the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. He started his career at the U.S. Embassy Singapore (1981-84), where he served as the Commerce Department’s first senior commercial officer. From 1988 to 1992, he served as the senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand and in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He also promoted U.S. commercial and investment interests at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal, Quebec from 1988 to 1992. From 1994-95, he was principal commercial officer to the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Walser was a part of a USFCS team that implemented best practices programs at USFCS posts in France, Austria, Kuwait, India, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and China. He finished his USFCS career in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1998-2000).

Ambassador John Ordway, “Life in the Foreign Service”

Ambassador Ordway is a retired Foreign Service officer who is the commissioner to the U.S.-Russian Bilateral Consultative Commission under the New START Treaty (Strategic Arms Regulations Treaty). He served as ambassador to Kazakhstan (2004-08) and to Armenia (2001-04). He was director of African Affairs at the National Security Council during the first Bush administration, as well as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1999 to 2001.

Ambassador Susan McCaw, “The Role of an Ambassador” (Thursday Student Assembly)

McCaw served as the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Austria from 2005 to 2007. Prior to this appointment, she was president of COM Investments, a private investment firm, where she serves today.

McCaw was a principal at Robertson Stephens & Company, a San Francisco-based investment bank, and also worked as an associate in Robertson Stephens Venture Capital Group. She started her career as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company in New York and Hong Kong.

The Global Studies Program is made possible by a grant from the Mosher Foundation.

—Paul Slocombe is headmaster for Laguna Blanca School.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.