Duane Butcher – “Try to make a difference!”

Am fost zilele trecute sa vorbim cu Duane Butcher, care este Charge d’Affaires la Ambasada Statelor Unite ale Americii in Romania (avand rol de ambasador). Este un om cu o experienta uriasa si cu o poveste foarte frumoasa, care ne da un sfat foarte bun: “To try to make a difference”.

Si are dreptate. Pentru ca in Romania, fata de Statele Unite, avem aceasta mentalitate ca orice am face, este inutil. Ca nu vom schimba nimic. Fatalitatea. Miorita. “Si la nunta mea a cazut o stea”. Stiti povestea, ca o auziti fiecare in jurul vostru. Si pana la urma este o profetie care se auto-implineste. Chiar Duane spune ca americanii au norocul ca sunt crescuti de mici cu mitul “visului american”, lucru care ii face sa creasca cu mentalitatea ca fiecare dintre ei pot face o schimbare. Acest lucru trebuie sa il invatam si noi aici si sa nu ne dam batuti.

Cateva idei puteti vedea transcrise mai jos… Dar mai bine va uitati la film, pentru ca Duane vorbeste foarte repede si nu am apucat sa scriem nici 10% din ceea ce a spus 🙂



Duane Butcher, Charge d’Affaires of the American Embassy. I am the diplomat in charge in the absence of an Ambassador.

I am a career diplomat. I’ve been working for the U.S. Foreign Service for 25 years. […] It seems likes yesterday.

My father was an U.S. diplomat. I was born when he was on assignment overseas in Turkey.

I spent my childhood traveling from place to place: Africa, Asia, Europe.

My father was born in Oklahoma and was the first person from my family to go to university.

We had the classic American story. My father is an inspiring person. He didn’t have the money for university. He went on a sports scholarship because he was a good athlete.

I moved from place to place.

My first memories are from Germany. I have other memories from Saudi Arabia and Sweden. I finished my high school in Kenya… My first experience of education in the U.S. was in university.

I thought I would go to law school. I wanted to do something else… I ended up in the diplomatic service because I wanted to take a small break from school. I wanted to see what it was like. 🙂

In the summer of 1988 I joined Foreign Service… I was 22 years old. I thought: This was much more fun than school. […]

I have very distinct memories. […] It was a life that completely suited me. It was a good fit.[…]

I went from there to Munich.[…]

I was assigned to Baku, Azerbaijan during the first Gulf War. I was at the edge of the action.[…] Very exciting.

From there I went back to Washington. I learned a lot about how the organization works, about the profession. I made many friends. I was assigned to Belgrade (1999), then I studied Romanian language. I came here in 2000.[…]

My wife is from Azerbaijan. […]

I was the first American diplomat to fly to Belgrade after the war. It was very interesting. […] We built the Embassy from nothing. We started from a few hotel rooms. It was an amazing opportunity.

Advice: Be lucky 🙂

I learned that embassies are not buildings. Embassies are people![…]

The U.S. Embassy was abandoned for many months. We could not know what to expect.[…]

In July 2001 we moved for 2 years in Belgrade. They were so happy that Americans came back – we could not pay for our beers :). […]

I was then assigned as the Consul General in Hamburg, Germany. […]

So much history. They showed me a room in the Chamber of Commerce in Bremen, where in 1492 they celebrated the discovery of America!

We were not worried about our safety. We had a lot to do.[…]

I went to Uzbekistan, as Deputy Ambassador. […]

From there, I came back to Romania. […]

We have amazing numbers: 78% of Romanians have a favorable opinion of Americans. […]

Advice: People have to decide what is important to them and try to make a difference.[…] People who want things enough make things happen for themselves and the causes they are interested in. […] I try to make a positive difference!

What I am most appreciative of in my life is the chance to meet so many people from so many unbelievably varied backgrounds. Hang on to the people that you meet. It’s much easier now with Facebook to stay in touch with everybody.