Wabash Blogs Washington 2006 Immersion Trip

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State Department and DHS Staff Discussions

Brandon Ehrie and Josh Bellis- Today we woke up early to travel to the United States Department of State to speak with officials about homeland security. First, we took a guided tour of the diplomatic reception rooms located on the 8th floor of the department building. These rooms have recently been renovated and decorated to reflect our nation's early history. Further, the diplomatic reception rooms are used between 5 and 15 times per day for official entertaining purposes. For example, the Secretary of State, the Vice President, members of the cabinet, and even the President use these rooms to inaugurate officials, entertain foreign ambassadors, and host benefit dinners. After the tour, we met with Steve Fox, a Wabash College alumn, and Pancho Kinney who spoke with us for an hour or so about the inception of the Department of Homeland Security. Along with the "ins" and "outs" of the department's protocol.

We also had the opportunity to hear from Tom Callahan, who talked about the domestic contingency plan of the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, he talked about the different aspects, or sub-departments that make up the DHS. Before leaving the State Department, we had lunch at the building's cafeteria, where we had the opportunity to explore possible internship opportunities with the department, that mainly include foreign relations. Unfortunately, we were under the impression that no cameras were allowed within the confines of the building for security purposes. Therefore, we regret that we have no pictures to share with you from the inside of the Department of State.

Upon returning to the hotel, we met with Steve York another alum and one of his co-workers, Glen Copeland about the organization of Homeland Security. Copeland gave us a more in-depth look at one of the departments primary duties, the assessment of risk. York finished the talk discussing the organizational hierarchy as well as the 27 other departmental agencies and their obligations towards the far-reaching goals of the Department of Homeland Security.

All 5 of these men with ties to the Department of Homeland Security have furthered our inquiries and increased our knowledge regarding Homeland Security.

For dinner, we ditched the Professors and went to the ESPN zone for some well deserved R & R. Stay tuned for tomorrows blog on American University, and political scientist, James Thurber.


*Note, pictures will be back tomorrow.  Due to security at the discussions, camera's weren't allowed.


You guys are having fun...and learning! See you Friday!

Wow, sounds like you guys are having fun. I'm jealous. I hope it rains the rest of the trip and liedel orders some bad calamari and throws up on a foreign diplomat.