Council of American Ambassadors 30th Anniversary Gala
The Council's 30th anniversary celebration culminated in a black-tie Gala on May 7 at the Organization of American States. Two hundred guests, including members of the Council and the Diplomatic Corps, Administration officials, business leaders and friends participated in the gala, for which Ambassador Mary Ourisman served as Chair.
Following the reception held in the gallery, guests were seated in the Hall of the Americas. The Armed Forces Color Guard presented the Colors, and Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers sang the National Anthem. Rev. William L. George, S.J. of Georgetown University offered the invocation. The Strolling Strings performed during dinner. Afterwards, Ambassador Timothy A. Chorba, Council President, recognized the special guests in attendance and thanked the gala sponsors, including in-kind contributors Domenico DeSole and Tom Ford (fragrances), Randy and Meagan Morgan (reception wines), Clarke Swanson (dinner wines) and Ambassador Mary Ourisman (medallions). The surprise of the evening was the presentation of a plaque to Carolyn M. Gretzinger, in recognition of her 22 years of dedicated service as Executive Director of the Council.
Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Founding Chairman of the Council, gave an eloquent statement on the purpose for which the Council was founded. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, an iconic figure in American diplomacy, was the evening’s keynote speaker, discussing the attack in Benghazi and the investigation that he led in its aftermath. Ambassador Bruce S. Gelb offered concluding remarks, recognizing the late Kathryn W. Davis for her contributions to the Council and to the promotion of world peace, and invited Mrs. Davis’ daughter, Diana Davis Spencer, to reflect on her mother’s legacy. The Council’s Board of Directors greatly appreciates the outstanding participation of the speakers and attendees in the 30th Anniversary celebration and thanks Ambassador Mary Ourisman for her extraordinary efforts that resulted in a memorable evening.