Philmon Haile

Eritrea Philmon Haile Quoted in Remarks by the First Lady at Stanford Center at Peking University

“And then there’s Philmon Haile from the University of Washington, whose family came to the U.S. as refugees from Eritrea when he was a child.  And of his experience studying in China, he said, “Study abroad is a powerful vehicle for people-to-people exchange as we move into a new era of citizen diplomacy.”

“A new era of citizen diplomacy.”  I could not have said it better myself, because that’s really what I’m talking about.  I am talking about ordinary citizens reaching out to the world.  And as I always tell young people back in America, you don’t need to get on a plane to be a citizen diplomat.  I tell them that if you have an Internet connection in your home, school, or library, within seconds you can be transported anywhere in the world and meet people on every continent.” (Mrs. Obama)