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We’re so pleased. This MOU signing is a bit of a full-circle moment here, almost a year after these secretaries spoke privately about ways in which deepen our already existing partnerships, so we’re so pleased to be here today. Second time’s a charm. (Laughter. ) I also want to recognize the incredible collaboration of Smithsonian Director of International Relations Aviva Rosenthal and the whole Smithsonian team. (Applause. ) And our partners here at the State Department, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, led by Assistant Secretary Lee Satterfield – (applause) – and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs led by Acting Assistant Secretary J. His leadership as secretary and belief in the power of cultural diplomacy has been instrumental in bolstering our work here at the State Department, and we are so proud to have him as a partner. So please welcome Secretary Lonnie Bunch. ) MR BUNCH: Thank you, Under Secretary Allen. And I don’t have much power, but I can get you a job, so – (laughter). I want to thank you all for attending. What a tremendous occasion to be here in the Benjamin Franklin Room to formally renew the working relationship between the Smithsonian and the State Department. And to me it’s also a chance to see Secretary Blinken once again, which is always a great pleasure. And I want to say how reassuring it is to know that we can rely on your thoughtful, measured diplomacy to guide us through these especially turbulent times, so we’re in your debt. If you go back to the earliest days of our nation and actually to Ben Franklin, scientific exchanges have shaped and strengthened our country. Franklin’s portrait reminds us that this is part and parcel of our diplomacy. He was originally, of course, an inventor who was amazed by the work of scientists who were studying electricity in Europe, and he used their findings to help harness the power that we all use today. Eight decades later, as the United States was celebrating its 50 anniversary, an English chemist – James Smithson – was inspired by all that our young nation represented. He wrote in his will that he would leave his savings to the American Government to create “an establishment, ” and I quote, “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge” across humanity. And during the past eight years, our partnership with State to support cultural heritage professionals in Iraq has built trust and capacity. We’ve worked with Iraqi colleagues to deliver workshops in Erbil, and assist salvage and recovery work at the archaeological site of Nimrod. Thanks to State Department funding, we’re collaborating with the Iraqi museum in Baghdad, creating an online exhibition that tells the history and the culture – that will be available globally. I’ve been keenly interested in how this agreement has the potential to booster our educational efforts. If past initiatives are any indication, it will enable us to broaden our reach and have tremendous impact. ) And I think that during the past few years though we’ve been hard at work on diverse series of projects in collaboration with our colleagues here in the State Department. For example, the International Visitors Leadership Program, a signature initiative of the department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that fosters intercultural exchange and promotion of American values around the world. Over the past two years, more than 900 participants from 145 nations visit the Smithsonian, experiencing our museums, our research, and working with our colleagues. And when the war in Ukraine broke out, the Smithsonian, under the leadership of people like Richard Kurin, immediately became involved. Virtually none of these things did he do while sober. ) So, I find him to be a genuine inspiration every day in our activities. ) Secretary Bunch – Lonnie – thank you. Thank you not just for today, but thank you for truly visionary leadership of one of our national treasures, the Smithsonian, and all you’ve done throughout a remarkable career to make our public memory more inclusive. It’s hard to think of anyone who already has the extraordinary lasting legacy that Lonnie has produced. We feel it and live it every single day, those of us who are fortunate enough to live in this community, but Americans from across the country have the benefit of it when they travel here. or the United States or globally, when we don’t do it alone. The Smithsonian is this amazing complex of education, of museums, of research dedicated to the increase in diffusion of knowledge. But unleashing that full potential to do good in the world requires that we work with universities, nonprofits, communities, and governments. And the State Department has made all of that possible. So I am excited to see the impact this collaboration will have on the world, and I’m grateful to Secretary Blinken and the State Department as important partners in this endeavor. [[LIVE@LINK]] Sevilla vs Lens Live Streaming !Watch [LIVE@LINK]] Sevilla vs Lens Live Streaming !Watch Sevilla vs Lens Live Streaming, TV Channel, Start Time, dkp34365670.


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