FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, June 10, 2011
Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529

"if a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.— The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and the American Academy of Diplomacy present “Diplomacy & Education: Discovering and Teaching Reality,” the inaugural public conference to be held at the Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto, Monday June 13, 2011.

The principal objective of the conference is to explore the connection between education and diplomacy as envisaged by Thomas Jefferson in the context of the contemporary world. Scholars will discuss the importance of diplomacy amid 21st century national security challenges and how current and future U.S. diplomats are prepared, educated and trained for their careers.

Ryan C. Crocker, President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Afghanistan, is among the many scholars and experts participating in the conference.  Crocker will take part in a panel discussion about the importance of teaching diplomatic history and Jefferson’s thoughts on diplomacy.

Dr. Ruhi Ramazani, Edward R. Stettinius Professor Emeritus of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, will give the opening remarks. Other speakers include Dean, Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service, Professor James Sofka, Lecturer, Federal Executive Institute and American Military University, Professor Frank Cogliano, Professor of American History, University of Edinburgh, Ambassador Anthony C.E. Quainton (ret.), Diplomat in Residence, American University School of International Service and Ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer (ret.), Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates.

The Robert H. Smith Center is the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s new world-class education center at Montalto, Thomas Jefferson’s ‘high mountain’ overlooking Monticello.  

 “Diplomacy & Education” is free and open to the public; registration is required. For more information visit


The Thomas Jefferson Foundation owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education.  About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit