Virtual Event
Tuesday, September at 8 7:00PM


in conversation with JOHN EMERSON

President Obama's former United States chief of protocol looks at why diplomacy and etiquette matter--from the international stage to everyday life.


History often appears to consist of big gestures and dramatic shifts. But for every peace treaty signed, someone set the stage, using hidden influence to effect the outcome. In her roles as chief of protocol for President Barack Obama and social secretary to President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, Capricia Penavic Marshall not only bore witness to history, she facilitated it. From arranging a room to have an intended impact on the participants to knowing which cultural gestures earned trust, her behind-the scenes preparations laid the groundwork for successful diplomacy between heads of state around the world and tilted the playing field in her team's favor.

If there's one thing that working at the highest levels of government for over two decades has taught Marshall, it's that there is power in detail and nuance--the micro-moves that affect the macro-shifts. When seemingly minor aspects of an engagement go missing or awry--a botched greeting or even a poorly chosen menu--it alters the emotions and tenor of an exchange, setting up obstacles rather than paving a way forward. In some cases, an oversight may put the entire endeavor in jeopardy.

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Capricia Penavic Marshall served as White House social secretary in the Clinton administration and as United States chief of protocol in the Obama administration. In her posts, she advanced the presidents' agendas, using new tools and innovative protocol methods to build relationships between digni-taries and industry leaders worldwide. She oversaw the diplomatic details of state visits and summits such as the G20, the Nuclear Security Summit, APEC, NATO, and the Sunnylands Summit. She is president of Global Engagement Strategies, LLC, which advises global organizations and companies on issues relating to the nexus of business and cultural diplomacy. Her clients include Bloomberg, 3M, and other Fortune 100 corporations. 

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in conversation


John B. Emerson is vice chairman of Capital Group International, Inc. He has 19 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. He most recently served as the United States ambassador to the Federal
Republic of Germany. In 2015, John was awarded the State Department's
Susan M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given
annually to one non-career ambassador, and in 2017 he was awarded the CIA Medal and the U.S. Navy's Distinguished Public Service award.