Small World: US Ambassador to South Africa knows the Dean of my graduate program

As the World Climate Summit came to a close, I was exhausted. After meeting several potential employers from a host of companies, including the director of sustainability for Siemens, I was debating on leaving without attending the closing reception. The US Ambassador to South Africa, Don Gips, was the host, so I decided to stay until the end. Interestingly enough, when I mentioned my alma mater, UC San Diego, Ambassador Gips immediately asked, “Do you know Peter Cowhey?”. I replied, “of course, he was my dean at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS).” The world is small indeed. I told Gips that it was because of Dean Cowhey and  IRPS’s support that I was able to attend COP-16 the year before. The dean taught me the purpose of “stirring the pot” unwaveringly engage business, government, and thought leaders – at large conferences such as these, but always remembering “that the purpose is to create a tasty result.”


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