Ambassador Fritsche Visits Pittsburgh

From February 6-7 Ambassador Fritsche paid her first visit to Pittsburgh. Upon arrival she was given a tour of the Pittsburgh-founded company Alcoa, a producer of aluminum-based products. Later she was interviewed by Steve Sokol, President of the World Affairs Council Pittsburgh, on KQV Radio for its weekly show Pittsburgh Global Press Conference. Ambassador Fritsche hosted a dinner which was attended by a diverse cross-section of people from Pittsburgh including local politicians, community, private sector, and academic leaders.

Ambassador Claudia Fritsche with Steve Sokol, President of the World Affairs Council Pittsburgh.

Ambassador Fritsche began her second day in Pittsburgh by speaking to members of the World Affairs Council Pittsburgh. In her speech titled “Changing Perceptions: Liechtenstein and the Art of Public Diplomacy,” she emphasized that a successful grassroots public diplomacy strategy in the US entails getting beyond the Washington beltway to not only raise awareness about Liechtenstein’s interest but to also develop a better understanding of the US. She noted that though social media is a powerful tool there remains a continued need for traditional diplomacy. “I believe diplomacy has become more important than it ever has been,” Ambassador Fritsche said. “Nowadays it serves as an outlet that can cut through the static, this background noise of input that can flood our computer screens.” She went on to say “I remain convinced that the actual human element will continue to play a role, that people will always need to connect personally in order to establish trust. Therefore, a balance between virtual and traditional diplomacy will serve us best.”

Ambassador Fritsche was also a guest at the University of Pittsburgh where she was received by Chancelor Mark A. Nordenberg. She gave an informal talk to students and faculty of the university’s European Union Center of Excellence and its Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. In her talk “In the Center of Europe, But on the Fringe?” Ambassador Fritsche explained Liechtenstein’s relationship with the EU through its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA).

A visit to the Andy Warhol Museum concluded Ambassador Fritsche’s visit to Pittsburgh. There she was given a tour of the many works done by the Pittsburgh-born artist.

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