Baker Institute honorary chair and former secretary of state James A. Baker, III, joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., last week for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the U.S. Diplomacy Center. The center, scheduled to open to the public in fall 2014, will promote an understanding of U.S. diplomacy and honor the service of U.S. diplomats throughout history, Baker said.
"The lessons that this center will teach are particularly important for all Americans to know and to understand," he added. "America"s might cannot be properly exercised without the support of citizens who appreciate our nation"s role in the world and its relationship with other countries, because that"s simply how our democracy works."
The museum will be built at the U.S. Department of State and feature interactive exhibits and hands-on education programs. Exhibition halls and a pavilion will house more than 6,000 artifacts, including items that date back to our earliest days as a nation.
But the center is not just about the past, Clinton said in her remarks. "It captures the living work of American diplomacy and all the creative ways that our diplomats carry out their missions. Visitors to this center will get to experience for themselves what it"s like to be part of a diplomatic simulation, stepping into the shoes of a diplomat in Darfur, for example, trying to defuse a crisis ... They can even poke around an exhibit called, 'Inside the Secretary"s Day.' And, fair warning, it"s not all that glamorous, but it"ll give you an idea of what Jim and I and our other colleagues have done, and to learn for themselves how challenging, valuable, and rewarding diplomacy can be."