Adam Namm, IES Abroad Paris alumnus (1983-84) and current Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission for the Organization of American States, will provide remarks at IES Abroad’s Washington, DC Alumni Networking Event on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Namm is also a former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador.
After participating in an exchange program in southern France during his sophomore year of high school, Namm knew he wanted to study abroad in college. As an International Relations major at Brown University, Namm decided to spend his junior year in Paris with IES Abroad. While there, he lived with a host family, which strengthened his ability to adapt to new situations. Exposure to new perspectives while abroad not only expanded his worldview, they taught him to put himself in others’ shoes—skills he has drawn upon throughout his career in government.
Inspired by his time abroad, Namm knew he wanted an internationally-focused career. He took the U.S. Foreign Service Exam on a whim. Little did he know, he would embark on a 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service that would take him across the world from the Dominican Republic to Pakistan to Colombia to Saudi Arabia.
From 2012 to 2015, Namm served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, where he brought a unique style of diplomacy – through music as a member of a local blues band. A piano player since the age of five, Namm explained, “I realized early on in my ambassadorship, actually before I even arrived in Ecuador, that music would be a way of presenting my ‘human’ side, which would show Ecuadorians that the U.S. Ambassador isn’t some stiff who only gives speeches and attends cocktail parties.”
Today, Namm serves as Executive Secretary, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission at the Organization of American States (OAS), a regional forum to deal with narco-trafficking and drug abuse in the Western Hemisphere. OAS is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States that was held in 1889.
Reflecting on the impact of his year abroad, Namm said, “My IES Abroad year provided me with wanderlust that has lasted my entire life, and studying abroad in France provided me with skills that have helped me work in many countries and cultures…including Washington, DC, which has a culture of its own!”
Ambassador Namm exemplifies the important role that study abroad plays in developing global leaders who have both the understanding and the skills to effectively, humanely, and positively navigate different cultures. We are excited to welcome Namm as our guest speaker at our IES Abroad Washington, DC Alumni Networking Event.
Please join us in Washington, DC, to network with alumni and hear from Namm:
Thursday, March 2, 2017 | 6-8 p.m.
The National Press Club
529 14th St NW | Washington, DC 20045
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