Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Accomplished Friend

I graduated in 1963 from St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque. One of my classmates was a guy named Dennis Jett. He seemed to me to be a relatively quiet guy who seemed to get along with everyone.

Dennis went on to a stellar career with the U.S. State Department. He served as Diplomat in Residence at the Carter Center in Atlanta, as the Ambassador to Mozambique and Ambassador to Peru. While he was in Peru I was serving as Mayor of Albuquerque and he invited me to Peru to travel around the country to meet with Peruvian Mayors. I spoke on the importance of pressing the national government to decentralize and give more power to local government. It was a grueling week but my son Justin went with me and we got to see Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

Dennis and I had coffee early this morning. He is currently serving as Dean of the International Center at the University of Florida but will be moving on from there soon. Dennis is a progressive statesman who has just released a book titled, "Why American Foreign Policy Fails." He also writes regular columns that appear around the country. You can see them all at "The Smirking Chimp." You will understand the blog name after looking at it.

It is nice to know Dennis and people like him are out there talking sense.

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