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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office > Publications > Meet the Ambassador

Laura E. Kennedy, Ambassador to Turkmenistan



Ambassador Laura Kennedy and the Minister of Culture of Turkmenistan  
Ambassador Laura Kennedy and the Minister of Culture of Turkmenistan piece together remnants of a mosaic from the Seit Jemmalatdin Mosque during the opening of the preservation project in Anau, Turkmenistan. The project was supported by the U.S. Department of State Cultural Preservation Fund and sent a strong message of American respect for Islam. The restoration of the destroyed mosque also had powerful resonance post-September 11, as the U.S. enlisted Turkmenistan's support in the effort to restore and rebuild Afghanistan, lying directly to the south.

Ambassador's home state: California

Ambassador Kennedy: "Turkmenistan is, to put it mildly, a challenging environment in which to carry out traditional diplomacy. But the possibilities for public outreach in this new and isolated state are huge and exciting. We spread our message of the benefits of an inclusive, democratic, and entrepreneurial society through meetings with students, non-governmental organizations, and independent businessmen and women throughout the country. Despite the intellectual debate over a 'clash of civilizations' we have promoted dialogue through such means as hosting Iftar dinners during the holy month of Ramadan, sponsoring Turkmen folk groups at the Smithsonian Silk Road Festival, and presenting to Turkmen copies of the 'Mosques of America' poster.  Embassy Ashgabat's website in English-Turkmen-Russian is another great outreach tool which reinforces the inclusiveness message in this multi-ethnic society.

Visit the State Department's Careers page to find out about Foreign Service and Civil Service careers and about opportunities for students.

July 24, 2002


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