Exploring diplomacy through the Foreign Service

“Being in the Foreign Service is being caught in a cyclone. It’s being tear gassed at a rally. It’s riding an elephant and tracking tigers with the latest technology. It’s building houses with Habitat for Humanity and knowing you’ll make a difference. It’s about reaching out and engaging with others. It’s different, sometimes dangerous and always demanding. And I hope some of you will explore the opportunity.”

As part of the Cushing Center for 21st Century Leadership Speaker Series, Scott DeLisi, former Ambassador of Eritrea, addressed the Cushing community on his experiences in the Foreign Service and the role and importance of diplomacy in the world today. DeLisi also met with members of Cushing’s Model United Nations group who were heading to Harvard and representing the African country.

“I look out into this crowd and see that you are already a model UN. You have different languages and different perspectives; you come from different places and represent different ways of life. You have to find the bridge to communicate and interact. That’s what diplomacy is all about. And you’re already doing it.”

DeLisi, who joined the Foreign Service in 1981, has been assigned to India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Botswana as well as his three-year appointment to Eritrea. Encouraging students to be aware and take action in the world around them, DeLisi urged students to consider ways in which they can use their Cushing experience to affect change in the future.

“Take what you use around you and remember it as you go out into the world,” said DeLisi. “You have a future ahead of you and I have to believe you are concerned about it. You have to live in the world we’re leaving you and you have to care. Knowing and understanding different cultures can help you engage and help build a better world.”


Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.