A subtle lesson I have learned from Ambassador Elam-Thomas is the importance and true power of one’s words. From her, I learned that in both diplomacy and everyday life, words have the power to change everything. Therefore, our words must be chosen wisely and used effectively. I have been fortunate to have the Ambassador so gracefully challenge and encourage me over the years. In her likeness, I aspire every day to use my words to build friendships and coalitions that can bring forth positive change in our world.
I firmly believe every student, regardless of their studies or career path, would gain from hearing Ambassador Elam-Thomas speak—for when she speaks, she inspires everyone in the room. She has a unique way of challenging young people to view their studies as an opportunity to not only advance themselves, but to also bring lasting and important change to this world. One cannot hear her speak and leave without feeling empowered and charged with the responsibility to be a leader in this world.
Charles B. Rangel Fellow
American University, SIS