ESIA grads encouraged to witness history

An assistant secretary of state told graduating Elliott School of International Affairs students they will one day look back and reflect on all the historic changes they have witnessed.

Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for the Office of Verification, Compliance and Implementation at the State Department, said throughout the course of their lives, students in the class of 2010 will observe unthinkable changes, just as she did when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

“Someday, you will speak of the unfathomable things you’ve seen in life and how you’ve turned a page in history,” Gottemoeller said.

Gottemoeller, a leading expert on arms control, discussed her role in the development of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. She said the document was delivered from the White House to the Senate on Thursday.

“You heard it first here. I’m expecting this treaty to be ratified,” Gottemoeller said.

Gottemoeller joked that though she finds her career to be interesting, she did not attend the ceremony to recruit students. She said the nature of public service has changed, and today’s challenges are best-solved when the public and private sectors “join together in partnership to solve today’s pressing issues.”

Elliott School Dean Michael Brown also addressed graduates, offering them three pieces of advice – to show up when it matters, to stand up for yourself and others, and to “live it up.”

“In addition to changing the world, have some fun along the way.” Brown said. “Find a path that you enjoy; something that you value.”

Brown added the Elliott School likes to say its graduates are the next generation of leaders because “it’s true.”

Elliott School graduate Jason Usher said he found the speakers’ messages to be service-oriented.

“The message was more of ‘go out and help people’ rather than ‘go be rich and powerful,'” Usher said.

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