My op-ed in El País, Auténtica marca España | Opinión | EL PAÍS (True Spanish Brand, in Spanish) celebrates King Felipe’s decision to visit with Spanish academics as his very first official act as King in the U.S., two days before his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
The visit, which I had the honor to help organize, took place in the New York offices of the Institute of International Education (the organization that manages the Fulbright Program) and was hosted by IIE’s president (and the King’s graduate school mentor a few years ago) Allan Goodman. In attendance, in addition to the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain’s Ambassador in the U.S. and other officials from Spain and the U.S., a great number of current and past Spanish and American Fulbright Scholars (whose energy made me want to apply for another Fulbright!).
Following the public presentation, a small private discussion with a group of Spanish professors of economics, business, literature, science and political science in leading American universities on how to best engage the community of Spanish scholars in the U.S..
A symbolic but important message only a king can send: the recognition of the silent but very effective public diplomacy work that academics play every day by engaging in research and education with colleagues around the world.