USA Ambassador Matthew Barzun visits Renaissance Foundation - Our Young Leaders were inspired!

US Embassador Matthew Barzun with the Young Leaders after his visit to RF 

US Embassador Matthew Barzun with the Young Leaders after his visit to RF 

Dear Matthew,

I recall that you mentioned in your introduction that you would like to be addressed as ‘Matthew’ instead of ‘U.S. Ambassador’, (I deeply appreciate your plainspoken approach, it’s cool) 

I have been part of RF for a year, and I can assuredly say that no other organisation I have joined has provided me with the opportunities, excitement and friends that I have been so lucky to enjoy in my journey, so far. I thoroughly hope that this positivity was reflected in your visit. I had a great time at the event which I had been looking forward to since I received news from it. I can confidently say that I found the interactive presentation especially stimulating, thrilling and thought provoking to the extent to which I went home that night and actually research climate change in the U.S. - pretty extreme stuff. I thought, I knew a decent amount about the United States for a dubious teenager, but to my delight you proved me wrong, which I thank you tremendously for. The welcoming yet critical approach that was taken toward attitudes and ideas toward the United States, I presume was appreciated by all. I understand that as the Ambassador you could have given a regular presentation about the wonder that is America, but instead your critical and inclusive approach (which still captured this) was something I found especially terrific.

As with many of the young people you meet, I have vague idea (and a probably naive one in hindsight) of my future career at the mere age of 15, but I would really like to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Having visited there (and been bewildered by the people), and done Model United Nations religiously for the past 5 years, I can positively say I’m intrigued by this world of cooperation, poetic speeches and espionage, (I would love to do some work experience perhaps?). Your presentation made me realize, that becoming a diplomat is not entirely out of reach and to my relief, you are a living testament that one does not need to have impeccable artistic talents to prosper in diplomacy (judging by the map of the United States on the flipchart – as I too, cannot draw to save my life). 

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for the spontaneous selfie, and on behalf of RF I sincerely hope you enjoyed your visit as much as we did.


Ananya Chowdhury