October 12, 2013

US Ambassador Addresses International Adoption Issues

Ambassador Jacobs addressing questions from AU students and faculty
US Ambassador Susan Jacobs, and a member of her staff, Kathy Sacco, arrived in Ashland on October 1 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences Symposium, Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean. During her evening presentation she shared about the importance of intercountry parental-child abduction and adoption treaties for providing a framework for resolving international adoption and abduction issues. Specific cases were discussed, for example what led to Russia banning American citizens from adopting its orphaned children. Ambassador Jacobs also educated the audience about career opportunities in the Department of State in international relations where there are many opportunities to work to help children, or with an international organization that works on children's issues. She emphasized that the Department of State is looking for young men and women to work with them on these issues. Audience members had many questions.

The following day, they met with two classes of Social Work students. Kathy Sacco, whose master's degree is in Social Work, shared how a major in Social Work can lead to a career with the Federal government and be used to help children internationally. Ambassador Jacobs shared her experiences as a woman in the Department of State. Finally, the two met with Ashbrook and Political Science students and, in addition to previous topics, she shared stories about her work as an ambassador in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The Ambassador arrived in Ashland the first day of the government shutdown and after returning to Washington DC was informed that further travel was cancelled due to the shutdown. She said she rarely visits a college campus as she typically speaks with foreign diplomats, government officials and agencies and she enjoyed meeting with college students. We were fortunate that her planned visit could actually take place.