The Foreign Policy Association celebrated 100 years with a Centennial Gala chaired by Sana H. Sabbagh, Dame Jillian Sackler, and Daisy Soros on Tuesday, October 25th in the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dame Jillian Sackler, the FPA’s chairman (the first woman to hold the position) noted, “For 100 years, the FPA has been a leader in the United States’ foreign affairs community and played an essential role in developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on the issues of our time …. As we look to the next century the non-partisan FPA is in a unique position to bring together disparate points of view from around the world.”
Daisy Soros introduced the evening’s key note speaker, her friend of many years, The Honorable William J. vanden Heuvel. He told of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s trip to New York on October 21, 1944, when he addressed two thousand members of the FPA at the Waldorf Astoria: “Enduring Peace in the world does not have a chance unless the Nation, our Nation, our America, is willing to cooperate in winning and maintaining it … Peace, like war, can succeed only where there is a will to enforce it.” vanden Heuvel explained that this was one of the most significant speeches of his presidency.
Then, he added his own sentiments, “I believe that the greatest threat to American Democracy is endless war. I believe that America should use its great power to stop war and preserve the peace … There is so little talk of peace in our society today. Even at the United Nations, where the prevention of war is a primary mission, there is a sense of fatalism as valiant efforts are reduced to failure …” After his speech Mrs. Soros presented him with the FPA’s Centennial Medal.
Noel V. Lateef, the FPA’s President and CEO, presented the Centennial Medal to Kristina M. Johnson, Chancellor of The State University of New York. Dame Sackler bestowed the Centennial Medal on Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sana H. Sabbagh, FPA Director, presented the Centennial Medal to Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO of TIAA.
Music was also a great part of the evening. UN Music Society performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concertos. Sana Sabbagh arranged for the leading mezzo-soprano, Isabel Leonard, to sing a series of remarkable pieces.
The evenings Co-Chairmen were Judith L. Biggs, David L. Coulter, Brendan Dougher, Nina Henderson, Intesa Sanpaolo, Elbrun Kimmelman, Robert C. Miller, Lois B. Pope, Irene Pritzer, Hugh R. Roome III, and Michael Sabia.
Guests included Ambassador Katalin Bogyay (Hungary), Ambassador François Delattre (France), Ambassador Jan Kickert(Austria), Maj. General Robert Latiff (USA), Ambassador Diego Gomez Pickering (Mexico), Ambassador Karen Pierce (UK), Ambassador Marco Suazo (Honduras), Ambassador Maria Theofili (Greece), Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen (Finland), Consul General Phyllis Yaffe (Canada), Ambassador Mariangela Zappia (Italy) as well as Marifé Hernández and Joel Bell, Kenneth Buckfire, Congressman Chris Gibson, Leila and Henry Heller, Dean Fenwick Huss, Anne and William Nitze, Jill Spalding, Barbara and Donald Tober, Monica and Ali Wambold, and Donna Zilkha.
The Foreign Policy Association works with a broad cross-section of the U.S. public and U.S. leaders to expand awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on global issues and U.S. foreign policy challenges. Since 1918, FPA has provided programs engaging local community members, educators, students, business professionals, and key public officials. These programs build knowledge of current international developments, offer tools for continued learning, and facilitate connections between program participants and peers abroad. With balanced, authoritative, nonpartisan programs, FPA encourages effective citizen participation in the U.S. foreign policy process.
Says president Noel Lateef, “The Foreign Policy Association’s mission today—as it has been throughout its 100-year history—is to contribute to a more vibrant democracy through citizen participation in the foreign policy process. A private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization, FPA serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues. It is the nation’s oldest organization devoted to citizen education in international affairs.”
Photographs by Steven Martinez, Rosemarie Wallace, and James R. Brantley (FPA)