Lora Berg '84, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
Laurie S. Fulton, Chair of Global Engagement for Meridian Board of Trustees and former US Ambassador to Denmark
Minjon Tholen, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist with Cook Ross
Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission
Presider, Kent Davis-Packard, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies and American Foreign Policy

February 13, 2017

SAIS Women Lead and the Global Theory and History program co-hosted a roundtable luncheon with foreign affairs experts on implementing diversity and inclusion measures.

Minjon Tholen explained how a rapidly changing marketplace and workforce are creating a strong business case for diversity and inclusion. To illustrate the meaning behind the terms, Tholen said "diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to dance."

Mischa Thompson shared a case study for establishing diversity and inclusion as organizational priorities. She advocated for a bill passed by the US Congress in December which directs the Department of State to track and report its efforts to recruit a more diverse staff.

Ambassador Laurie Fulton illustrated that inclusion is not always easy, even in Denmark—a worldwide model for tolerance. "Traditional Danes" are increasingly under pressure to reconcile their aspirations for tolerance with the fact that immigrants have struggled to achieve integration in Danish society. Working with local officials in many neighborhoods and towns outside the urban capital, Fulton brought immigrants and traditional Danes together to celebrate their common ground and the richness of what unites them as human beings and as Danes.

Drawing from her career in the Foreign Service, Lora Berg shared examples of different countries and their relationships to diversity and inclusion. To explain that awareness is not enough, Berg led an exercise helping participants to develop a personal diversity mission statement.