Runaway Spoon

High Society Lineage Lives On

February 25, 2018

American film star Grace Kelly was not the first American woman to gain royal rank in Monaco. That station in life belongs to a New Orleans grande dame who will be remembered by Prince Albert II in The Big Easy.

The Prince, accompanied by the principality’s Ambassador to the United States, Maguy Maccario Doyle, travels to New Orleans in March to participate in the dedication of a plaque commemorating the birthplace of American-born Alice, Princess of Monaco, who was a wife of Prince Albert’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I. 

Thus, Prince Albert II is Heinke’s great-great step-grandson.

Also, lest you forget, Grace Kelly of Philadelphia society married Prince Rainier III and became Princess Grace.  Prince Albert II is their son.

Prince Albert was in D.C. in May of 2015 when he was honored with a Peter Benchley Ocean Award.

Princess Alice was born Marie Alice Heine to wealth and status in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1857. Marcel Proust used her as a model for the Princesse de Luxembourg in his novel, In Search of Lost Time.  Differences between Princess Alice and her husband drove the couple apart and they separated in 1902.  She settled in London where is became the hostess of one of its most glittering salons.  The Princely couple never officially divorced.

Coincidentally, Princess Alice’s birthplace was on Royal Street.

The announcement of Prince Albert’s upcoming visit was made last week by Monaco’s Ambassador to the United States, Maguy Maccario Doyle, as she detailed Monaco Takes New Orleans, a week-long series of events now underway to mark the ties between the Principality and New Orleans and “to celebrate our historic and cultural bonds.”

"We are thrilled to have the Principality of Monaco participating in the New Orleans Tricentennial," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “As we celebrate 300 years of New Orleans, we will be remembering the cultural ties between our city and Monaco.”

For updates on Monaco-related events in NOLA in 2018 and more information about Princess Alice of Monaco, please visit MonacoEventsUSA.


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Finland's Ambassador In the Spotlight

February 19, 2018

Finland’s Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi hosted D.C. decision-makers at a CARE Global Leaders Network reception on Tuesday to underscore the connection between food and nutrition security, and a clean environment.

Michelle Cross Fenty (right) with Toni Ford (left) & Judith Terra (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Michelle Cross Fenty (right) with Toni Ford (left) & Judith Terra

Ambassador Kauppi, joined by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, said: “Environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development is necessary to ensure a stable food supply for people from the Arctic to Africa….We are grateful for CARE’s work around the world to support small farmers and advocate for global action against climate change.” 

She also noted that after World War II, CARE was instrumental in helping her country’s people recover from the incurred devastation.

Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn and Finland's Amb. Kirsti Kauppi (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn and Finland's Amb. Kirsti Kauppi

The reception is one of the ongoing events of CARE’s Global Leaders Network — an initiative to raise awareness about the importance of humanitarian and development aid for global stability and U.S. national security.

Next events in D.C. are scheduled for the Embassy of Australia April 17 and the Embassy of Canada May 22.

Brett & Tiffini Greene with Finland's Ambassador (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Brett & Tiffini Greene with Finland's Ambassador

Former Navy Secretary and former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ray Mabus talked about the importance of maintaining high levels of aid: Without it, he said,  “by the time we get to war, it’s much more expensive in terms of lives …” than what it would be if money were spent upfront in humanitarian assistance.

Congressional staff, business leaders, media and members of the U.S. and international diplomatic communities, as well as CARE supporters attended the event.

Ana Utley, (right), new member of CARE's Global Leaders Network with Finland's Ambassador in front of a CARE poster (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Ana Utley, (right), new member of CARE's Global Leaders Network with Finland's Ambassador in front of a CARE poster

The reception came on the heels of cuts proposed for the U.S. foreign assistance budget. Despite some $300 billion in new funding in the budget passed by Congress, the legislation includes approximately billions in cuts to foreign assistance, which would constitute a drastic reduction in life-saving humanitarian and development programs, said CARE.

Amb. Neil Parsan with Barbara Hawthorn (middle) & Michelle Cross Fenty (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Amb. Neil Parsan with Barbara Hawthorn (middle) & Michelle Cross Fenty

 “The U.S. foreign aid budget faces these devastating cuts despite warnings from national security leaders that such investments are essential to global stability and our nation’s long-term security, said CARE’s Chief Operating Officer Heather Higginbottom.

CARE Global Leaders Network Advisory Board member Rachel Pearson, Rebecca Cooper, Jacob Cooper with Sec. and Mrs. Ray Mabus (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) CARE Global Leaders Network Advisory Board member Rachel Pearson, Rebecca Cooper, Jacob Cooper with Sec. and Mrs. Ray Mabus

Recognized as new ambassadors for CARE’s Global Leaders Network were Ana Utley (with husband Jon) of Georgetown, Jackie Finn, and Col. Henry and Joyce Moak. Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine, now Director of Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, was named to the CARE Global Leaders Network Advisory Board

Mendelsohn is a chef ambassador for CARE’s International Chefs’ Table Program, working with top chefs in the fight to end global hunger.  He is chef/owner of Good Stuff Eatery, and WE, The Pizza, among other restaurants.

Dr. Michael Okoroafor (VP, Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation at McCormick & Co, Inc.), CARE's Abby Davidson and Rebecca Feinberg, Dr. Ngozi Okoroafor. (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Dr. Michael Okoroafor (VP, Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation at McCormick & Co, Inc.), CARE's Abby Davidson and Rebecca Feinberg, Dr. Ngozi Okoroafor.

Others at the reception, which drew some 110 guests, included:  Michelle Cross Fenty and Ambassador Neil Parsan (of Parsan Cross Global Strategic Advisors); Anna Gawel, Washington Diplomat managing editor; The Hon. Antoinette Ford of Double Nickels Theatre Co.; Togo’s Ambassador to the U.S. Frederic Edem Hegbe; Brett and Tiffini Greene (principles of American Management Corporation); arts activist Judith Terra; Georgetown photographer and D.C. diplomatic dean Didi Cutler, writer Annie Groer; interior designer Barbara Hawthorn; and Sister Cities International’s board member Christine Warnke.

Eric Shmitt of the New York Times, Felice Berkowitz, CARE's Beth Solomon and Amb. Kauppi (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Eric Shmitt of the New York Times, Felice Berkowitz, CARE's Beth Solomon and Amb. Kauppi

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world.   


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Women's Rights Priority for Kosovo's Ambassador

February 4, 2018

It is a true story of a road traveled from being a refugee to becoming an ambassador to the United States.

Now among the growing cadre of women ambassadors here in Washington is Kosovo’s Vlora Ҫitaku, the ex-refugee.

(left) Sister Cities International's Christine Warnke & Adam Kaplan, Kosovo Amb.Vlora Citaku & CARE's Beth Solomon (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) (left) Sister Cities International's Christine Warnke & Adam Kaplan, Kosovo Amb.Vlora Citaku & CARE's Beth Solomon
Co-sponsored by The City Club of Washington’s Ambassador’s Luncheon series, the CARE Global Leaders Network and Sister Cities International, Ambassador Ҫitaku said she fights for all human rights but places a special importance on women’s rights.

Ҫitaku, 37, likes to say that she is living proof that to be involved in politics, one does not have to be a man.

She was only a teenager when she became an interpreter and reporter for Western news outlets at the start of the Kosovo War. Then in the late 1990s, as the war escalated, she became homeless and in those difficult times was aided by CARE, an international charitable organization.

Amb. Vlora Citaku gives big hug to Agnesa Ljamadjema, sr. executive assistant at CARE USA (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Amb. Vlora Citaku gives big hug to Agnesa Ljamadjema, sr. executive assistant at CARE USA
Later, she entered into politics to fight for Kosovo’s freedom and independence. Before joining her nation’s diplomatic corps, Ambassador Citaku was a member of Parliament and served as minister for European Integration.  She became ambassador in August 2015. 

In flawless English, the ambassador proudly told the gathering at The City Club of Washington that all speak English in her home country. 

“Kosovo is a young democracy,” she said. “Seventy percent of the population is under 30.”  She also said the culture is highly diverse with a broad spectrum of people representing different ways of life and religions.

Moderating the discussion was Beth Solomon, managing director for external affairs & development for CARE, and a leader in CARE’s newly established Global Leaders Network. Ambassador Floreta Faber of Albania joined the luncheon, along with the Embassy of Australia's new Social Secretary Anthony Dainer, Council on Foreign Relations outreach leader Anya Schmemann, Global Ties US board member Barb Keller, The Newseum's Sonya Gavankar, CSIS outreach honcho Beverly Kirk, the American Legislative Exchange Council's Karla Jones, and The Georgetowner's editor-in-chief Robert Devaney.

Sister Cities International’s board member Christine Warnke and vice president Adam Kaplan presented the Ambassador with an illustrated book on that organization’s humanitarian works.


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