On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication awarded Congresswoman Nita M.Lowey (NY-17) with the IPDGC Walter Roberts annual award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy.

In presenting Congresswoman Lowey with the award, IPDGC Director Janet Steele noted that “the award was created to highlight the importance of something that for many Americans is largely invisible.”

Rep. Lowey and IPDGC Director Janet Steele.

“As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey has been a tireless advocate for international education and exchanges. Her fostering of learning and indeed her commitment to education at all levels has helped the United States to put its best foot forward, to lead with our values, and to enhance our international leadership.”

In receiving the award, Congresswoman Lowey said, “I have long believed that our national security is strongest when development, diplomacy, and defense are all well-funded and equally prioritized. That is why I’ve served proudly in leadership roles related to foreign affairs. I thank the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication for honoring me and accept this award not for a job well done, but as a reminder of our shared and ongoing commitment to doing everything we can to build a better world for all.”

At the event to congratulate her was U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce who said, “Chairwoman Lowey has been a champion for American leadership and diplomatic engagement around the world. Thank you, Madam Chair, for your enduring support of people-to-people exchange programs as a core element of our foreign policy.”

To accompany the Congresswoman’s award, the Walter Roberts Endowment presented a $5000 grant to Battery Dance of New York for public diplomacy outreach in her constituency.

Others at the intimate ceremony were National Public Radio President and CEO John Lansing, Voice of America’s News Center Director Yolanda López, Battery Dance Vice-President and COO Emad Salem, members of the Walter Roberts Endowment – Thomas Miller, Patricia Roberts and Shawn Powers, and even GW student Helen Jiang from Lowey’s constituency 

Jiang who grew up in Scarsdale, NY, first met with Congresswoman Lowey on a 5th grade trip to the Capitol. This time, she was able chat with the Congresswoman, and share about her own public diplomacy effort – as a Peace Corps Education volunteer in China (photo on right).

The grant to Battery Dance will be use to organize dance workshops, panel discussions, and screenings of the short film, “Moving Stories” for youths and students at schools in Westchester and Rockland counties, NY.

All photos by Harrison Jones/ GW University