Insider Quote: Diplomacy as Ultimate ‘Team Sport”

Diplomacy seems like the ultimate “team sport” in that you have to get a lot of people communicating and working toward a shared goal, especially in places with as many fractured interests as the Balkans and Iraq. Does your lacrosse background come in handy?

Absolutely. I’m a strong believer in the idea that if you played on a team, you can be a diplomat. You need different people to do different things at an embassy. Team sports, more so than sitting through a geography class, is a much better preparation for diplomacy. Also, I’ve joked that there are times that you just want to pick up a lacrosse stick and reach across the desk and hit the other guy.

Honestly, sir, that doesn’t sound very diplomatic.

[Laughing] You’re trying to force the ball and get a goal!

Ambassador Christopher Hill
US Ambassador to Iraq