Hollywood on the Potomac

The Social Secretaries

August 12, 2019

If you’re wondering why I’m going to be seated, I have a new fashion accessory on my foot.  I was racing up and down my stairs a couple days ago and I lost the battle with the stairs and the boxes, so here I am. I know it’s embarrassing, but now you know the reason,” said Ann Stock, former Social Secretary to the White House during the Clinton Administration and currently on the Board of Trustees of Meridian House. “This evening we celebrate the Embassy’s Social Secretaries and the Cultural Advocates. Thank you for the important work that you do to build relationships between our customs and culture.  As a former White House Social Secretary, I know the challenges that each of you face and the incredible devotion it takes to get your job done.”


After introducing special guests, – White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta and Acting Chief of Protocol Mary-Kate Fisher – Stock explained the role of a Social Secretary.

“We’re here today to honor the work that you do every single day. You are how Washington and the rest of America gets to know your country, your culture, your national character and your people. You’re very important in making that chain. Because of your efforts, your Ambassadors, Diplomats and Dignitaries are able to be more effective as it comes to your countries interests. Culture is a language we all understand. It’s a means of communication that connects us beyond region, creed and political belief. We also know that culture and  hospitality are the very backbone of the practice of diplomacy. That’s why we’re here today; to share experiences on how we can best use these tools so we build relationships beyond our countries borders.”

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Happiness is

August 4, 2019

“Happiness is,” according to Webster’s Dictionary, “a state of well-being and contentment.”  How you obtain happiness is another question. Enter Scott Galloway and a night in his honor at the home of Hilary Rosen, co-hosted by Kara Swisher and Tammy Haddad in Washington, DC for his latest book: The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning. But before we get to the happiness thing, Galloway talked about his love/hate relationship with the big four and their effect on our society.  It was his previous book: The Four

Synopsis: “Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong. For all that’s been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway. Instead of buying the myths these compa­nies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions. How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they’re almost impossible to avoid (or boycott)? Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms? And as they race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, can anyone chal­lenge them? In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world’s most celebrated business professors, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career. Whether you want to compete with them, do business with them, or simply live in the world they dominate, you need to understand the Four.”

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Bastille Day!

July 15, 2019

“Dear friends, I’m very happy to see so many of you here and I am delighted to be with you today to celebrate Bastille Day,” said Philippe Etienne, the newly appointed Ambassador of France. “As you know, July 14 is associated with the storming of the Bastille in 1789, but when it was declared a national holiday in 1880, the South Republic chose to officially retain the date of July 14th, 1790, the date of the Fête de la Fédération. However, in reality, we French celebrate these full symbolic dates in our history which we associate with the Republic and with its three core values  – freedom, equality, fraternity.”


Ambassador Etienne went on the remind us of the great friendship between France and the US. “The meeting between our two Presidents with so many veterans in Normandy on this June 6th served as a powerful reminder of the unwavering friendship and I would like here to pay tribute to our soldiers, fighting side by side to protect our people. I also want to say how deeply touched we were in France by the incredible solidarity that was demonstrated following the tragic fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.”

“On my right is a portrait of Lafayette,” he noted, “the most American of Frenchmen who described himself as the son of the United States. During this great American adventure, he became a close friend of George Washington. There are different ways to fight for our values. Here is with us tonight Nadia Murad who won the 2018 Noble Peace Price for her efforts to combat sexual violence in armed conflict. I pay tribute to your efforts. Thanks to your commitment the darkness of the world is fading and giving way to good.”

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