Ambassador Mark Brzezinski visited Darden last week in order to speak with a variety of students, faculty members, and Darden leaders. The Ambassador has been a wonderful supporter of Darden and particularly the Global Business Experiences in Sweden. Read more in this post from this spring.
The Ambassador presented an address open to the entire U.Va. community about the relationship between the United States and Sweden. He described modern diplomacy as “global approach that is not just about burden sharing, but is instead focused on engaging and consulting with others around the world.” He emphasized the importance of people to people connections and his, and other diplomats, role in reaching and inspiring young citizens of the millennial generation.
Social media is one of the key platforms the Ambassador uses to communicate with the people of Sweden: “I use Facebook, I use Twitter, I use YouTube to digitally connect with and to bear witness to the people within my jurisdiction. . . using social media as a vehicle for transparency, bringing folks inside the Embassy walls, getting them to engage with us in a respectful, mutual conversation about the challenges of our time, whether it is foreign fighters or the arctic or overseas development assistance.”
Watch Ambassador Brzezinski’s community address here:
A U.Va. undergraduate student, Will Evans, with a strong interest in economic and environmental policy, enjoyed meeting the Ambassador after his community address. Will shared his thoughts on the Ambassador’s comments with the Cavalier Daily in this piece.
During his visit, the Ambassador spoke passionately about his environmental concerns, efforts to raise awareness and to bring the Arctic countries together to combat climate change. He discussed the work that he has done to increase sustainability and to address the issues facing the Arctic to the Net Impact Club at Darden. After the presentation, students engaged the Ambassador in a question and answer session, sharing their perspectives and delving deeper into the challenges facing the Arctic. The students were also curious how the Ambassador’s education and time in Virginia serves him in his career. The Ambassador, who is a graduate of the U.Va. Law School, explained that, “I love the Virginia outdoors and that is something that I brought to Sweden with me. My strong commitment to the natural resources started in Virginia and really became part of me.”
Watch this short clip to learn more about how the Ambassador’s time in Virginia influenced his perspectives and career: