Nita Lowey Receives GW Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy

The annual Walter Roberts Award from GW’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication went to the 16-term representative from New York.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey and IPDGC Director Janet Steele at Wednesday's award ceremony. (Courtesy Office of Nita Lowey)
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey and IPDGC Director Janet Steele at Wednesday's award ceremony. (Harrison Jones/GW Today)
January 21, 2020

The George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC) awarded its annual Walter Roberts Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy to U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.).

At Wednesday’s public ceremony on Capitol Hill, IPDGC announced that it is also providing a grant from the Walter Roberts Endowment to New York’s Battery Dance. The grant will be used to support outreach programs at schools in Westchester and Rockland counties, which Ms. Lowey represents in Congress. The grant to Battery Dance will be used for dance workshops, panel discussions and screenings of the film “Moving Stories” at schools.  

 “The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication created this award for congressional leadership in public diplomacy because we wanted to highlight the importance of something that for many Americans is largely invisible,” said Janet Steele, IPDGC director and professor of journalism at GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. “As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey has been a tireless advocate for international education and exchanges. Her fostering of learning and indeed her commitment to education at all levels has helped the United States to put its best foot forward, to lead with our values and to enhance our international leadership.”

In receiving the award, Ms. Lowey said that the United States’ “critically valuable diplomatic relationships, cultivated over years of engagement, are needed more now than perhaps ever before.”

“I have long believed that our national security is strongest when development, diplomacy and defense are all well-funded and equally prioritized,” she said. “That is why I’ve served proudly in leadership roles related to foreign affairs. I thank the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication for honoring me and accept this award not for a job well done, but as a reminder of our shared and ongoing commitment to doing everything we can to build a better world for all.”

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, National Public Radio President and CEO John Lansing, Director of VOA’s News Center Yolanda López, and Battery Dance Vice President and COO Emad Salem spoke at the event about the importance of American public diplomacy.

Ms. Lowey was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1988 and is currently serving her 16th term. She represents New York’s 17th Congressional District.

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