State’s Hammer at Foreign Press Center on U.S. Foreign Policy
FOREIGN PRESS CENTER WITH MIKE HAMMER,
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
TOPIC: CURRENT U.S. FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES
THE WASHINGTON FOREIGN PRESS CENTER,
THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012
MODERATOR: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very pleased to welcome you to the Foreign Press Center this afternoon. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Susan Stevenson. I’m the new director of the Foreign Press Center since June. It’s my pleasure to introduce a man who needs no introduction, but I will add this is his first time briefing here since officially being confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Mr. Mike Hammer.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HAMMER: Wow. I like that. Thank you. Thank you very much, Susan. And we’re delighted to have her here as our new director of the Foreign Press Center. And I trust that she and her staff, Doris and everyone else, are providing you good support. We always want to make sure that we are accessible to you and try to address many of the issues that you’re interested in so you can best understand our foreign policy.
I wanted to just do a little shout-out. Having been previously an intern twice before coming into the Foreign Service, I know we have three interns that have been working here at the Foreign Press Center, and I know that it’s something that hopefully they’ll find inspiring enough to perhaps one day join us in the Foreign Service or civil service at the State Department, as we’re always looking for young and intelligent talent. Jessica Andrews, who’s pursuing a master’s at American University. We have Vicki Chen, who is currently studying at the University of Southern California. And we also have Margarita Botero, who is currently with the FPC HIV/AIDS tour down in Miami. So thank you to those interns for the contributions they make and for helping us out.
As – we’ll have a plentiful opportunity to have an exchange. I’d also say hi to our colleagues who may be up at the New York Foreign Press Center. I expect we’ll have a very robust agenda when we come up to UNGA in September, and I hope to have an opportunity to brief you all when I’m up there. I will focus the questions on the folks that are here, but if there are a couple from New York, we’ll probably try to accommodate those as well.
As you have probably seen from the Secretary’s incredible record-breaking travel, we are extremely engaged around the world with a very fulsome foreign policy agenda, doing the kind of work that is necessary to maintain and strengthen existing alliances with NATO and our European partners and addressing some of the economic crises that are ongoing and that perhaps some of you are interested in following, as the economy is something that’s critical. You’ve heard the Secretary and the President both speak to how important it is for us to take those steps necessary to improve our economy at home and also work with our partners to improve the international economic environment. And we’re doing a lot in terms of economic statecraft.