Marshall Scholars – 60 Years Of Special Relationships
By James Kariuki, Counsellor and Head of Politics, Economics and Communications Group at the British Embassy in Washington.
This morning, 32 brilliant young American graduates touched down in the UK to become the 60th class of Marshall Scholars.
Earlier this week, Ambassador Westmacott hosted the send-off party for the 2014 class. We heard a moving speech from White House Legislative Director Katie Beirne Fallon (Queens Belfast and LSE, ‘98), who told us how her experience as a Marshall – studying conflict resolution in Northern Ireland and South Africa – helped prepare her for her role building bridges between the White House and Congress. Deputy Secretary Bill Burns (Oxford, ‘78) received a Marshall medal in recognition of his long standing support to the Scholarship as well as everything else he does for the bilateral relationship. We were joined by Europe Minister David Lidington as well as some 150 Marshall Scholars from each of the last six decades.
Nearly 2,000 Americans have won a Marshall scholarship since the British Parliament established the programme to give thanks for General Marshall’s plan. They are just a small fraction of the 50,000 Americans who study each year in Britain’s world class universities. These links drive collaboration between the best higher education institutions on the planet. They also oil the wheels of cooperation in business and finance, arts and culture, politics and law, defence and diplomacy well beyond the labs and ivory towers of our two countries. In short, they are a consistently profitable investment in the future of our bilateral relationship.