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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > November
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 9, 2006


Secretary Rice Appoints Michelle Kwan Envoy for U.S. Public Diplomacy

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced today that she has appointed figure skating champion Michelle Kwan as the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy. Kwan, a five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist joined the Secretary in the Treaty Room of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

"I want to thank Michelle for taking on this really important mission," Rice said. "It's a time of great consequence in the world and I know that she is going to play an important and valuable role for our nation."

In her new role, Kwan will work with Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen P. Hughes and Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dina Habib Powell, in their efforts to help promote cross-cultural dialogue with international youth and to increase understanding of America by sharing her story and life experiences. Kwan will reach out to international young people by visiting their schools and clubs to speak about leadership and to engage them in a dialogue on social and educational issues.

"I am honored to accept this appointment and to serve my country," said Kwan. "As an athlete, I have always been proud to represent the United States around the world. Being able to do so in this new position is very special and meaningful to me."

The most decorated figure skater in U.S. history; Kwan has won an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships, nine U.S. Championships, and two Olympic medals. She has taken a year off from figure skating and this fall began attending the University of Denver (DU) in Denver, Colorado, as a full-time student. She plans to major in political science with a minor in international studies. In addition to her studies and duties associated with her official appointment, Kwan continues to perform in skating exhibitions, work on special projects and serve as a corporate spokesperson.

Please direct media inquiries about this or other programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (http://exchanges.state.gov/) to Catherine Stearns, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 202-203-5107.

2006/1025


Released on November 9, 2006

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