US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Karen Kornbluh’s Impact on Obama Land


karen kornbluh twn.jpgI recently had the privilege of attending the swearing-in ceremony for my friend and former New America Foundation colleague Karen Kornbluh who recently was confirmed as the new US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice offered comments both on the personal and professional side of her relationship with Kornbluh that were remarkable in what they conveyed about Kornbluh’s impact on President Obama’s policy course.
After the comments posted above, Ambassador Rice swore Kornbluh in — and on a later occasion, I will post Karen Kornbluh’s comments and other parts of the ceremony.
Although I thought Ambassador Rice’s comments are richly textured, thoughtful and quite worth listening to in their entirety, I found this slice particularly important:
susan rice un.jpg

Karen [Kornbluh], however, is famous in this town for her cutting edge scholarship and her eloquent advocacy on behalf of work life balance. . . Karen works extremely hard. I mean crazy hard — but she also works “smart.”
But as the trusted policy director in President Obama’s Senate office, Karen brought together leading minds in business, technology, science, economics, energy, and foreign policy in freewheeling and insightful exchanges.
And these dialogues she organized generated the groundbreaking ideas that have truly and profoundly shaped the President’s thinking and many of his subsequent policy initiatives in the Senate, the campaign, and now in the administration.
Karen has that extraordinary combination of intellect and creativity that lets her bring these big minds and even bigger personalities together.
She gets them to check their egos at the door and work together to craft innovative solutions to complex challenges both at home or abroad
In 2008, Karen changed forever the way that major political parties write their platforms by breaking free of the stale old conference rules and reaching out directly to the American people.
As the lead author of the Democratic Party platform, she organized 1600 hearings across the country to create a truly open source approach to producing a new blueprint for America’s future.
I was proud to get to work with Karen on a portion of that platform, the foreign policy piece. I was constantly impressed, not only by her tireless energy, but by her truly visionary approach.
She got ordinary Americans involved in a process and harnessed their extraordinary ideas.
So that is Karen’s unique genius – devising her own brilliant ideas and raising up other peoples’ creativity
And it served her well — across a variety of public and private sector jobs. . .

My apologies for the lackluster sound quality. When I got to the Treaty Room of the Department of State that Friday morning, I could immediately see by who was in the room and the positive feeling in the air that the event should be recorded — and pulled out my handy “flip video” to get what I could.
Congratulations Karen and family — and thanks to Susan Rice for making this ceremony one of substance as well as honor and celebration.
— Steve Clemons


12 comments on “US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Karen Kornbluh’s Impact on Obama Land

  1. Dan Kervick says:

    “Dan Kervick: Sorry to nitpick, but I did use my computer’s “find” function. The last mention of Afghanistan by a TWN source came on August 18, two days before the election.”
    Oh, sorry JohnH. I thought you meant the US presidential election last year.


  2. ... says:

    clemonsfan – steve mentioned a few weeks ago when those folks were being kicked out of their house in east jerusalem that he would be doing a story on it here… it hasn’t happened… i am quite sure he is busy, but i am just pointing out that he hasn’t written any story on this… maybe he will yet…


  3. JohnH says:

    Dan Kervick: Sorry to nitpick, but I did use my computer’s “find” function. The last mention of Afghanistan by a TWN source came on August 18, two days before the election.
    Official Washington seems to wish either a) the election results would just go away because they’re embarrassing to Democracy(TM), or b) they’re not noteworthy because it’s just business as usual.


  4. clemonsfan says:

    Easy, I watch many of Steve’s events and follow his posted interviews, and he has discussed the displaced East Jerusalem settlers on many shows. He has one hell of a schedule, and I’m surprised that he can post anything. But I just wanted to tell you that on other platforms, Steve talks about the Israel-Pal issue lots and in ways you would agree with I think.


  5. easy e says:

    Posted by …, Sep 01 2009, 12:51AM
    steve was going to discuss the east jerusalem settlers who were evicted but like obama on a mission to ‘change’, sometimes the idea never gets off the ground in spite of, or because of the degree of ‘intent’.
    The blathering puppets change, but the “string-pullers” most certainly don’t.


  6. ... says:

    steve was going to discuss the east jerusalem settlers who were evicted but like obama on a mission to ‘change’, sometimes the idea never gets off the ground in spite of, or because of the degree of ‘intent’…


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “oh and Honduras…its still there”
    And, uh, so is Israel. (But shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.)
    Israel Accelerating Settlement Growth in East Jerusalem
    Group Cautions Growth an ‘Urgent Threat’ to Peace Deal
    by Jason Ditz, August 30, 2009
    In a report issued today, Israeli peace group Ir Amim cautioned that even as the US was negotiating with Israel on a possible settlement freeze, the nation was dramatically accelerating the growth of settlements in East Jerusalem, a move the group cautioned was an “urgent threat” to the prospect of a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Authority, which has sought East Jerusalem as its capital.
    The report went on to note that though the expansion activity was largely being done by private groups, they were part of “a strategic move, coordinated and facilitated by national governmental units” to implant a Jewish population “precisely in the areas of the most intense dispute in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”


  8. silver slipper says:

    Honduras is off topic to the article about Karen Kornbluh, but why are we concerned that Honduras is enforcing it’s laws? Shouldn’t we be more concerned that Zelaya is about to force the government to allow him to stay in office when their law has term limits (as does ours)? For some reason, NY let Bloomberg stay on though. That was strange too.


  9. samuelburke says:

    oh and Honduras…its still there.
    Journal From Tegucigalpa
    Scenes of Resistance in Honduras
    I came to Honduras as part of a delegation of concerned activists who went to witness and accompany the daily protests, monitor human rights violations, and report back to the international community on conditions since the June 28 military coup. On that day, President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed from office by the Honduran military and expelled from the country. In the aftermath there has been an immediate popular uprising in his support, with many instances of severe police and military repression which continue today. The following is a reflection on time spent in and around Tegucigalpa during two critical weeks in August.
    Last night as I was packing my bags to go to Honduras, I heard that the military repression was getting worse. One hundred and fifty arrested, many wounded. I sit in the airport waiting room and scan CNN. Not a mention on the world news.


  10. Dan Kervick says:

    John H,
    Type “Afghanistan” into the search field at the top of the page and do a search. I think you will quickly convince yourself that your memory is quite spotty, and that there have in fact been several posts on Washington Note about Afghanistan since the election.
    However, it is probably true that there haven’t been as many posts here as on some other sites. I recommend Democracy Arsenal, where Michael Cohen has been engaged in a daily, one-man battle against Afghanistan “mission creep”.


  11. JohnH says:

    Funny, I haven’t seen Afghanistan mentioned once here since the election…
    Some times it’s hard to tell which way the wind is blowing in Washington, DC…


  12. samuelburke says:

    the washington note deserves kudos for taking a stand on the afghan fraud vote scandal…you guys arent going to get fooled on this one…
    i commend you guys for taking this stance on the fraudulent demoracy movement around the world.
    Fraud Claims Soar as Karzai Moves Closer to Vote Win
    Nearly 700 Major Claims of Fraud and Voter Intimidation, and Number Could Rise
    by Jason Ditz, August 30, 2009


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