ScholarShift Stories: A Luncheon with the Colombian Ambassador

April 26, 2017

Students learn what it takes to work in an embassy and meet with the Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. during a recent ScholarShift module.

What does it take to work in an embassy? How do I get a job where I can live or travel abroad? Shattuck-St. Mary’s students learned the answers to these questions and had the unique opportunity to meet with Ambassador of Colombia Juan Carlos Pinzón during a ScholarShift module on Monday, April 24. 

Led by Director of International Recruitment and ESL Andrew Garlinski ’98, the module began with a Friday meeting that provided more information on the Foreign Service officer test and helped walk students through the process of identifying and pursuing an international career.

On Monday, the group traveled to the Minneapolis Club for a luncheon with Ambassador Pinzón entitled “Colombia: The Path to Peace,” where he discussed Colombia’s ongoing partnership with the United States on trade promotion, environmental protection, and regional security.

Pinzón assumed his role as Ambassador of Colombia to the United States in 2015 and previously served as Colombia’s Minister of Defense. During his tenure, Pinzón played a key role in Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ peace strategy amid more than 50 years of civil war within the country. In November 2016, the Colombian Congress ratified a peace accord to end the civil war with Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, an accord that helped earn Santos the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Pinzón also discussed the challenges that lie ahead for the implementation of that accord, and how the peace will affect the Colombia-U.S. relationship. 

The event was organized by Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that aims to “deliver programs that allow Minnesotans to connect and participate in the international sphere, and for Minnesota to extend its influence around the globe.”