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Welcome everyone to UCLA Global Conversation with Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Developing Global Leaders: A View from Los Angeles. My name is Cindy Fan. I'm Vice Provost for the UCLA International Institute. I'm also a Professor of Geography and a Professor of Asian American Studies. As a land grant institution, the International Institute of UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples as a traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar. A joint initiative of the US Department of State and Department of Education, International Education Week, or IEW is a time to celebrate the benefits and importance of international education and exchange around the world. Allow me to share part of a recent statement with two departments. I quote, ?Many of our most pressing challenges are inherently global in scope and impact, and can only be addressed by nations and individuals working together, from tackling pandemics and a climate crisis to reducing economic disparities and building prosperity to countering threats to democracy and maintaining peace. Resolving these global challenges requires partnership and collaboration across borders?, end quote. At UCLA whose mission is the creation, application dissemination and preservation of knowledge for the betterment of the global society, the International Institute and its partners have led the IEW initiatives since 2016. This week, 44 events organized by 52 Campus units, ranging from lectures to cultural performances and exhibits, and from students and career panels to scholarship workshops, offer something to everyone interested in education, research and service using a global perspective. And it's not too late to sign up for these events. The link to the events is in the chat. The global conversation is the week's highlight. And we are delighted to have Ambassador Nina Hachigian as our featured speaker today to discuss global leadership based on her diverse government service and her vantage point in the global city of Los Angeles. Before we get started, I'd like to thank Mani Jad, Jamaica Villegas, Peggy McInerny, Kaya Mentesoglu, Kathryn Paul, Oliver Chien, Alex Zhu, and the team at the Deputy Mayor's office, especially An Tran, who by the way is a Bruin. I would also like to go over a couple of housekeeping items. To submit questions to Ambassador Hachigian, please use the Q&A function. As time allows, you will address as many questions as possible during the Q&A session. And we will be recording this webinar and we'll share the link after the event. Now, it's my honor to introduce Ambassador Nina Hachigian. In 2017, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ambassador Nina Hachigian to be the first Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for Los Angeles. In fact, Los Angeles led the nation in creating this position.

Cindy Fan 3:21

Ambassador Hachigian and her team connect the world to L.A. and L.A. to the world. They build relationships with foreign partners to bring more jobs, opportunities, cultures, ideas, and visitors to L.A. and elevate the city's international leadership, including on climate inclusion and innovation. They're also laying the foundations for Angelenos to welcome the world for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. And from 2014 to 2017, Ambassador Hachigian served as the second US Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. And during her tenure, the United States established a strategic partnership with ASEAN, held the first Leaders? Summit in the United States launched a presidential initiative on economic cooperation, established the US ASEAN Women's Leadership Academy and grew the youth program to over 100,000 members and she was awarded the State Department's superior Honor Award for her service. Earlier, Ambassador Hachigian was a senior fellow and the Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress focused on Asia policy and US China relations. And prior to that, she was the Director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy for four years. She served on the staff of the National Security Council in the Clinton White House from 1998 to 1999. Ambassador Hachigian is also the editor of the book Debating China: The U.S.-China Relationship in Ten Conversations, published by Oxford University Press in 2014, and coauthor of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise, published by Simon and Schuster, in 2008. She also found a number of boards and councils including the State Department's International Security Advisory Board, Women Ambassador Serving America, and Leadership Council for Women in National Security Board. And she is an advisory board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, Foreign Policy for America and National Security Action, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ambassador Hachigian received her B.S. from Yale University, Magna Cum Laude, and her JD from Stanford Law School with Distinction. Without further ado, I would now like to invite Ambassador Hachigian to join me in a conversation. Ambassador Hachigian, thank you for joining us today. I'm so impressed with your long standing and multifaceted contributions to public service and international relations. And your various positions past and present. And that's including your scholarly contributions. I can't think of a better person to talk about global leadership and how to develop global leaders.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 6:23

Well, thank you, I'm so thrilled to be here. And you've done wonderful work at UCLA. And I know that you know, UCLA grads are all over the world changing it for the better. So, I'm just thrilled to be here.

Cindy Fan 6:37

Thank you. Thank you. Well, let me start with your role as Ambassador. Please tell me how you became an ambassador. And what were the roles of your education, upbringing, your career choice.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 6:52

It was a bit of an indirect route, I will say. I mean, I did grow up, you know, the, the daughter of an immigrant on one side. And on the other side, my grandparents were immigrants. And so, I had a fair amount of exposure to different cultures, I was lucky enough to travel to visit my grandparents regularly. My parents were also really avid aficionados of different kinds of food. So, I grew up in New York. So, we found ourselves in different parts of the city where, you know, other languages were spoken. So, I had that. But then, you know, when I went to college, I was a biology major, I actually got a B.S., not that I had any plans to do anything with a biology degree, but I just really liked it. And then, you know, I worked on Capitol Hill, that was my first job. And I think that gave me the bug about politics and policy, and I went to law school. Because the people in between college and law school all had law degrees. And I really admired the way they thought and it didn't really occur to me that none of them were practicing lawyers. So, when I graduated, I had a wonderful clerkship here in LA, and then worked for a firm for a little while and realize that it's really not, you know, what I was interested in. And so, my husband and I moved to Washington, and long story short, I had a job at the Federal Trade Commission, which was doing an international antitrust policy, but a lot of domestic antitrust policy as well. And then I just got kind of lucky that I'm giving you the long version of the story. I got lucky.

Cindy Fan 8:33

That?s okay, take your time.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 8:36

I got lucky at the National Security Council. And that's when I realized it was international law that I was interested in, it was international policy. And so, came back to Los Angeles and had a fellowship with Pacific Council, and then ended up working at RAND. And so that set me on my track of really working on foreign policy. And I, you know, had young kids when President Obama won, so I didn't want to go into the administration at that point, but threw my hat in the ring in his second term. And then again, just got lucky and was asked to do this, this job as ambassador to ASEAN, which was a really good fit for me, because I was, you know, a foreign policy wonk. And it's not a particularly glamorous job. Jakarta is a wonderful city, but not a, you know, not a glamorous city, I guess, most of it, but fantastic. And so, it was a really wonderful experience for me. It was so interesting. But anyway, that's how I landed there. Not a direct, not a direct path. And I will say, for the students who are listening, you know, I'm not one of those people who had a five-year plan or a 20-year plan. You know, I really just tried to do the next thing that was most interesting to me that really pulled me the most, and that has worked out so far relatively well. And so, if you're not that kind of person, you don't necessarily need to be to end up in jobs that are really satisfying.

Cindy Fan 10:14

That's great. On Monday, I believe yesterday, right? We had an alumni career panel as part of the International Education Week, and one of the questions actually coming from the students to recent alumni who already have a job. It's sort of how do you plan ahead, right, you know, how do you know, five years from now 10 years from now, what are you going to be doing? So, I think your example, your experience actually speaks to those students. Because your career trajectory is one that you didn't really plan ahead, when you were a biology major, when you were in law school. And then you just took the opportunities that were presented to you. And they all kind of make sense, they are all kind of big, they all become a coherent component of your career,

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 11:03

Right? I mean, I just want to maybe clarify one thing, which is I wasn't passive. It's not as if I was kind of waiting for opportunities, I was out there kind of trying to figure out what they were by talking to people and keeping in touch with people. And you know, the standard stuff. And, and that's what, you know, that's what kind of helped me get the opportunities. So, it's not, it's not exactly a passive approach, but it's also not a very planned one.

Cindy Fan 11:30

Right. And again, I'm thinking about that particular panel that I attended. Students were also very much the emphasizing, on networking, the importance to get to know people and know what's out there. Because you otherwise you become very passive. Right. So, you spoke about Jakarta, which is a very crowded city, of course. The traffic, I would say, is probably as bad as that of Los Angeles pre-pandemic, maybe even worse. But you were ambassador for a group of countries. Right? And can you speak to what it means to be an ambassador for a group of countries, as opposed to being an ambassador for one country?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 12:15

Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, I love this kind of work, which we would call multilateral work, the focus is different. So, it the focus is on, you know, what can this group of countries, all together, and the United States agree on, just to work on together, you know, given our priorities that will advance US interests. So that was basically my chief, you know, my chief, operating guide, right. And that's different from a single country, where the job of the ambassador is to, you know, meet the leadership of that country, meet the people and advance US interests in the context of just, you know, this bilateral relationship. You always have to take into account, you know, the regional dynamics and all that, but it was at the time, the only kind of permanent multilateral job in Asia, where either there have been more and more history of them and more of them in Europe. And so, it's, it's less deep in terms of any one country, in terms of what I knew and who I knew. But what but I was kind of focused across the 10 countries of, you know, what they all had in common and what we had in common with them that we could work on together.

Cindy Fan 13:38

And was there anything that was a surprise to you when you were in that job?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 13:43

Um, yeah, I'll tell you the first thing that came to mind, which was how important fishing is. I guess if you had asked me, I probably could have figured that out. But it's, um, it's critical to almost all those countries. It's actually critical to all of them if you include one, you know, in terms of rivers and stuff as well. And it really complicates the politics around the South China Sea or vice versa. There's not a lot of incentives for countries to curb their overfishing and illegal fishing. And there's other countries outside that do a lot of illegal and underreported overfishing in the South China Sea. And so, yeah, I guess I didn't, I didn't realize how big a piece of the picture that that would be.

Cindy Fan 14:41

Well, of course, you know, I can. As a geographer, I pay attention to not only where countries are but the size of the countries and you know, what are the economic activities and so on, of course, Indonesia, from east to west is as big as the United States from East to West. Right. And so, but much of Indonesia territory, its islands consist of 1000s and 1000s of islands. So, and therefore, of course, fishing must be very important. And that's just for one country. And there are other countries in ASEAN, of course. And so yeah, I think geography is important.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 15:19

Yeah. I mean, I guess I could also say, to answer your question that I mean, just the incredible diversity of Southeast Asia was, I mean, I read up on it, so I kind of expected it, but it's incredible, like, incredible diversity of religion and socio-economic status. And of, you know, industry. And I mean, just across the board, like, it's a really diverse region. And it's impressive that these 10 countries decided that, you know, they are not going to, you know, use force to decide their disputes, they're going to just, they're gonna talk about it and talk about and talk about it. And that has created this really stable environment that has allowed those economies to take off.

Cindy Fan 16:05

And of course, Los Angeles is also very diverse. And so, for closer to home, let's talk about Los Angeles a little bit. Why was there a need to create an Office of International Affairs for the city? And what does your office do?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 16:21

Sure. Um, so I think Mayor Garcetti wanted to take advantage of all the incredible global assets that we have here in Los Angeles. And so that would include our airport, which is the third busiest in the world, would include our huge diaspora populations, and the fact that, you know, some 200 languages are spoken in our schools, our port, that's the busiest in the western hemisphere. And our start our geography that is so connected to the Pacific Rim, and also to Latin America, although we have lots of European activity too and the 100 consulates. So, we have not been as a city taking kind of systematic advantage of all of that incredible global connectedness. And so, we focus on four goals. One is to create jobs and economic opportunities. The second is to give young people in Los Angeles international experiences or skills. The third is to work with global partners on solving global problems that affect Los Angeles, like climate change. And the final one is to support our partners, both international and domestic. And that, you know, includes the State Department and the NSC these days and includes the UN includes all the consulates, many countries that we partner with and cities that we partner with, and all the organizations here, including UCLA, and, and institutions of higher learning. So those are our four main goals. And anyway, we execute them in different ways.

Cindy Fan 18:22

That's great. And you were asked to be the inaugural deputy mayor, and why did you decide to take the job?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 18:32

Oh, well, it was too good not to. I wasn't planning on it, but you know, the mayor made me an offer I couldn't refuse because it's working for him. And I'm, you know, just a huge fan of him, I've become even more amazed with his leadership and management abilities. You know, the four years that I've worked for him now. And it was starting something, which is something I really like, I like getting in on the ground floor of organizations and institutions. And then it was, you know, getting to do international affairs in my city. And, you know, unfortunately, there are not a ton of opportunities to do that in Los Angeles. I hope over time that we change that and all of you, you know, folks listening out there, you know, you should start stuff. And let us help you build it. So, so yeah, it was just kind of a perfect, a perfect job.

Cindy Fan 19:35

So, um, I was intrigued by your comment on there aren't a ton of opportunities to do international work in Los Angeles. Can you elaborate a little bit on that? I mean, given the fact that this is a city with, you know, a lot of immigrants, those poorer communities, Oh, can we do international work, global work with them as well?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 19:56

Yeah, absolutely. So, it's not that there are no opportunities. I just think that for a city of our size, second largest in the United States and first city of our incredible global connections that I just, you know, listed only a fraction of them, that we haven't yet as a city developed the institutions, so the big nonprofits, so the humanitarian organizations, the think tanks, the track to dialogues, the, you know, multiple master's degrees in IR and International Relations, you know, an organization exclusively focused on bringing opportunities to young to, you know, to K-8, whatever students that are international and other cities that are less global than we are that are smaller than we are have these things. And so, you know, the big goal that I always have in the back of my head is creating jobs for students like yours, who want to work in the field of international relations. So, there are many opportunities that are here, right, we have many global companies, and we have diaspora organizations. And we have, you know, few like independent institutions, some of which do international work, the Pacific Council, RAND and others. But I just think for a city of this size, there should be more, and I hope, over time, there will be more. And we actually just launched a program this morning called Global LA, which is to attract foreign businesses and nonprofits, and social enterprises and entrepreneurs to come to Los Angeles and set up here. And so that is an organization, a new public private partnership, that I will hope will help to create these opportunities. We today announced this at the headquarters of VinFast, which is a Vietnamese electric car company that announced today that they are going to have their global headquarters in or their North American headquarters in Los Angeles. And so, they're going to create 1000 jobs in California and invest $200 million here. So that's the kind of work that we are trying to do to, to build on the ties that we have.

Cindy Fan 22:19

That's wonderful news, congratulations for starting this. I think this is really good for the economy, for jobs, for, like I said, networking as well throughout the world. But if I can, you know, kind of maybe continue this line up of topics as far as the city of Los Angeles compared to other cities, you know, whether they're West Coast or East Coast cities, actually, let's think about the East Coast compared to the West Coast. There seems to be a perception that a lot of the international activities in this nation, you know, happen in the East Coast, and that the East Coast has stopped a hub of international activities, including education about international work, how accurate is this perception? And, you know, what does the West Coast offer for students interested in pursuing an international career?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 23:16

Yeah, I mean, I think that, you know, historically that that is probably accurate. And it also depends on what you mean by international activities. So, there is a lot of international activity happening in this city every day. But it is not in the Council on Foreign Relations, for example, right. And that's what I meant by these institutions. Like we have the Pacific Council International Policy, which does an incredible job in the World Affairs Council Town Hall, but we don't have 10 of them, right. We have a couple of them where as you know, New York or Washington may have a lot more. And, of course, the State Department is located in Washington, DC, although they do have an office in Los Angeles, and a bunch of other cities. So, I think if you're talking about traditional foreign relations, you know, with embassies and diplomats and all that they a lot of it does happen in Washington, DC. But you're thinking about the new economy and new ways of communicating. And the metaverse. Barbados just became the first country to have an embassy in the metaverse I learned earlier today, you know, then we're, we're at that. And if you want to talk about art, and sports and food, and that's all here, and it's all global. So, I'm looking to try, I want to do some of the more traditional work as well, and I want that to continue to be located in Los Angeles. But sustainability is another example where, you know, it's incredible what Los Angeles is doing, and what is the leadership has been so the mayor brought 1,000 cities to cop to pledge our mayor to pledge that they would be their fair share of half by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. 1,000 cities took a lot of work to put that campaign together, and that's because of LA's leadership. And it's because we've done the work here, the hard work of making sure that we're doing as much as we can to fight climate change. So, there are a few there are areas where, you know, the Global Center is here in Los Angeles. And I hope that there'll be more and more areas like that.

Cindy Fan 25:39

So, you're absolutely right, that, you know, we have so much to offer, the city has so much to offer. But it sounds like we do need to have a systematic approach and build institutions, that kind of gel, all these, you know, potential together, right to offer more opportunities, especially to our students. And, you know, before this webinar, you and I spoke a little bit about our next generation now people, we sort of need to count on them to fix the world, so to speak. So, and I know that your office has done a lot in working with students and sort of helping them to think about going into a career that helps internationally. And can you speak a little bit about the programs that you've launched?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 26:30

Sure, sure. So, a few different things. So, we always have interns, right. So that's, you know, not a huge number of people. But we always have interns, and they're hugely helpful to us. We have worked with cohorts of students on our work on the sustainable development goals. So, these are 17 goals that the whole world is measuring their progress by and we were, I don't know if we're still the only city, for a long time we were the only city that had a dedicated portal to measuring our goals. And we're one of very few cities that's done it very systematically. Anyways, we had cohorts of students helping us and doing projects. So that was a second way, then we created this program called the mayor's young ambassador program. And that sends low income community college students on their very first trips, overseas. And so, for many, that was the first time they were on an airplane, first time they had a passport. And so, and these are completely free trips, that and we, we organize them with countries, we went to seven different countries before COVID. And we're going to start again, this coming summer. Very, I mean, for those of you who've had a chance to travel, you know how very eye opening it is so. And then we did a program where we were partnering, consulates, and high schools. And we will start that again. Once, you know, things have settled down a little bit more in terms of COVID. So that was another example. Then during the midst of COVID we created a two-week seminar series with a different person every day for like an international career fair. And UCLA was one of our partners, we partnered with just about every institution of higher learning in Los Angeles, and had a different a different kind of international person speaking everyday about the different kinds of international careers that there are. So that was, you know, another one of our efforts. But you know, it's really important to us, that we are giving young people these opportunities, and so anyway, it's one of our top focuses.

Cindy Fan 28:48

Well, thank you for inviting UCLA to be part of that program. And I was very happy when I heard about this programming, especially the goal of the program. I believe the goal is really to diversify, you know, the pipeline for international careers.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 29:05

Yeah, it was really targeted to black and brown students in particular.

Cindy Fan 29:10

Yes. And I hope that you continue that program next year.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 29:15

Good, good. But with your help, we will be able to do that.

Cindy Fan 29:19

And well, I also know that you've been involved in a lot of work that aim at gender equity. And both previously before you were a deputy mayor, and also when you were in this office, so can you talk about gender equity in international work?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 29:38

Sure. I mean, it?s a place where historically women are underrepresented. Particularly women of color, so when I was ambassador, we created the Women Ambassadors Serving America, which is you know, just a group for women to get together and talk about their you know, their challenges lots of war stories from earlier years and but uh, you know, a support network and a place where we could do certain things together. And then I started with some friends, the Leadership Council for Women in National Security, which is now a proper 501(c)(3). And its focus is to get more women into senior positions in national security. And we got all the candidates to pledge that they would strive for half. And the Biden Administration is doing pretty well, I would say how it looked, we have a we have an actual you can check it out. It's LCwins.org. And we have an actual like tracker, and I haven't looked recently, but you know, having an African American woman be our ambassador to the UN, Janet Yellen being our Treasury Secretary, Kathy Hicks being the deputy director of defense. So, lots of ambassadors and lots of, you know, assistant secretaries as well. And senior directors, majority senior directors in the White House at the National Security Council are women. So that was a big focus. And Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley was one of one of the co-collaborators on this project, and she is now the first chief diversity officer that the State Department has ever had. She's doing, you know, wonderful work, I'm sure.

Cindy Fan 31:36

That's wonderful. And of course, you yourself, you know, are very much a role model for our students, for women. And, and it's wonderful to, to have you also. Yeah, being involved in efforts to involve more students from underrepresented sort of backgrounds, and including women into international work. And I think earlier, you talked about a program that helps students to actually travel overseas, especially those who have not traveled overseas themselves, under other circumstances. So, the statistic that I remember that pre-pandemic, for US students, undergraduates, studying abroad was only 10%. Okay, but that's really low, and UCLA percentage is a little higher is 25%. But still, you know, there's a lot more we can do. So, one of our goals, at the UCLA International Institute is to is to raise funds to support more students studying abroad for credit, and not just travel, but for credit.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 32:45

Glad to hear that. That's terrific. Yeah, there's nothing there's just no, unfortunately, you know, because there is, of course, carbon associated with flying anywhere. But there is just no substitute for being there, unfortunately. And, you know, we do a lot more by Zoom than we ever did before. And I think that's really healthy and good. But it doesn't take away the need to once in a while actually visit a place.

Cindy Fan 33:14

Yes. Because the sort of, you know, I will argue that being away, you know, studying abroad is part of diversity, right? It's diversity. Because you're in a setting, you're in an environment that's completely different from maybe your upbringing, you are all of a sudden outside the comfort zone. So, you have to deal with that as a student. And then also, for international work, diplomacy, I think people to people, right, once you're, once you're friends with people, I think it's less likely that you think about, you know, violence and things like that.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 33:52

Yeah, I think there's something to that. You know, I think that those informal bonds can be helpful in, you know, in negotiations and intense situations.

Cindy Fan 34:04

Yes, yes. So, there are a couple of questions coming in for you, Ambassador Hachigian. But before I get to those questions, I wanted to mention to those who are attending that UCLA does have a State Department Diplomat in Residence, and so for students who are considering being Foreign Service officers, please check the chat window for the email address of the State Department Diplomat in Residence. So, I think one of my colleagues here is going to include, yeah, there you go. In the chat. So, Ambassador Hachigian, what hurdles have you faced as a woman throughout your career?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 34:48

It's interesting that at the time, I didn't most of the time realize that it was because I was a woman but in retrospect, I think it absolutely was. You know, I had the classic thing of like, making points and then having someone else make the same point as a man and having, you know him get all the credit for it, or, you know, and then my point really just wasn't heard at all. And I always thought, well, maybe I'm just not communicating well. But in fact, if, in fact, I think in retrospect, it was really just my gender. You know, is mostly stuff like that, like, I've been very lucky. I've never been a victim of, you know, sexual assault, you know, in the workplace. And, you know, haven't had anything blatant. But I would say generally, just, you know, not being taken seriously or not, you know, not being listened to. I had the classic thing where I went to a doctor's appointment when I was ambassador in ASEAN, and the person there said, ?Oh, you so you work for the ambassador?? ?No, I?m the ambassador.?

Cindy Fan 36:05

The ambassador,

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 36:05

and, you know, I had a number of my great staff who would, you know, they kind of saw this dynamic, and they will just push me forward and say, ?Here's my boss, the ambassador.? So, yeah, very, you know, a great team.

Cindy Fan 36:23

Yeah, you know, I hear you I to myself, and I have been in situations in which was my idea, but other people sort of get credit for my idea. And so that more questions coming in. A lot of questions, actually. Can you say something about did you have a role model? Did you have mentors that really make a difference in your in your career?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 36:50

Yes, I had many mentors who made a huge difference in my career, if nothing else than just to be a sounding board for me. Many of them were men, who, you know, gave me great opportunities, but lucky to have good women mentors to me, I think my mom was a role model for me, she worked. And you know, she slugged it out in 1970s corporate America with those goofy ties she had to wear and like, you know, it was awful. And she had kind of horrible bosses and whatever. So, she certainly did. I remember when I was little, like Eleanor Roosevelt was kind of the only, you know, just like the like, kind of international woman out there, American. And now, you know, there's so many more, I'm so happy about that. It's like, actually, you know, more common than not these days at the Secretary of State's a woman. So, you know, that I'm really happy for the improvement in the number of international American role models.

Cindy Fan 37:53

and internationally to other countries, of course,

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 37:56

oh, other countries are way ahead of us. In terms of women, you know, heads of state. Absolutely. Yeah.

Cindy Fan 38:03

Right. Right. And this question about Los Angeles investment. How can LA invest more efforts in Trans-Atlantic relations? It seems as if that point was focused on the East Coast, so sort of a continuation of my questions about East Coast, but more on about international relations?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 38:30

Yeah. Interestingly, I had my first international trip a couple weeks ago to Berlin, which is one of our sister cities. And there is, I know, there are a bunch of French and German and other European establishments in Los Angeles, there's the Goethe Institute, there's the Thomas Mann house. And there's a former ambassador to Germany who lives here, John Emerson, and his wife, Kimberly Emerson, who was really involved, also. And I was asked to be on this new program with a group called Atlantik-Br�cke, which is a German Think Tank membership kind of organization that's dedicated to transatlantic relations. And they have a new program to send a more diverse slate of American young Americans to Europe. And so, they had their first inaugural class and I you know, met with them we did a panel discussion with them and dinner with them and they're a really great group of young people from across the United States. So, I will continue to be you know, looking for Angelenos to nominate to that program, for example. But we actually do quite a bit with Europeans. I am not going to announce what we're doing but this week, keep your eyes peeled for something having to do with the UK. The United Kingdom, there's going to be a little, you know, thing that hasn't happened before happened this week with the mayor and a minister who is coming over from the UK. And we have, you know, wonderful Consul General from the UK here also that we do a lot of work with, they've been helping us, with the, with the games with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and thinking about that, you know, how we, how we do how we take lessons that London learned when they were doing it, and especially in terms of legacy, how to make sure that Los Angeles is better, you know, after the party is over. And that Angelenos get opportunities leading up to the games as well. So, there's actually more going on than you might think. And I would just, you know, think about, you know, trying to get on the newsletter of the French Consulate or the UK consulate or the you know, any of the any of the European ones are all here. Because they always want to have people coming to their events and announcing what they're up to. So, you can get involved fairly easily.

Cindy Fan 41:06

Oh, these are all exciting news. And I'm gonna keep my eyes open, like I said about all these new announcements that you've been making. And so, there are still questions coming in about, particularly regarding students? opportunities for students? Right. I think you mentioned earlier about the internship opportunities with your office. Can you say more about that?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 41:29

Yeah, well, we just have interns, you know, that that helps us do our work. And we're a relatively small shop. So, you know, it's, you know, it can be a, you know, grunt work and kind of boring work, but can also be really interesting sitting in on meetings and stuff, you have to be, you have to be willing to do the whole range of things, like, you know, setting up glasses, water for people coming in, or whatever. But also, you know, getting to do some interesting research about, you know, one facet or another or something that we need to know. So, so that's, you know, pretty straightforward. And, the email address is: mayor.international@lacity.org. If you're interested in internship opportunities. And, and then again, like I was saying earlier, we sometimes have cohorts, classes of students doing research. So, if you're, you know, if you have a, an international relations related class, you can speak with us about whether there is some research that the class can do, and we usually, you know, work with the professor as well. And, you know, to make sure that, you know, it's going to be useful to us as well as useful to the students. So that that is, you know, that continues to be something that we're very open to.

Cindy Fan 42:48

That's wonderful, and just your information Ambassador Hachigian, UCLA does have a number of study abroad programs, many of those in Europe, as you know, Europe, tends to be the popular destination for UCLA students studying abroad, US students studying abroad in general. And it will be wonderful to work with your office, you know, before, maybe, especially when you're launching your programs, and to see if there are opportunities to work together to prepare the students and maybe after your students come back, have them have them, intern in your office, for example.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 43:22

Yeah. And if you aren't already in touch with the consulates, they would love to meet the groups of students before they go out.

Cindy Fan 43:30

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So, this question about the Olympics. Are the opportunities for UCLA students to get involved as early as, as now?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 43:40

Yeah, so just to be, let me explain a little bit how the Olympics work because it?s different in every city. So, this is the third time that LA will host the Olympics, and the first time we're going to host the Paralympics. So, we're very excited about that. And we as the city kind of set the stage. And then there is a separate nonprofit called LA 2028, that is actually producing the games. And so our role is to work with them closely to make sure that, you know, they have what they need in terms of sanitation, and, you know, and, you know, fences installed, or whatever it is that they need signage, you know, around the city, and they're the ones who are really conceiving of what the games will look like, what the sports will be. And so, I think, at the moment in the city, you know, I mean, I'm sure over time, we will have job openings. Right now, the, you know, the director of Olympic and Paralympic development is in my office. I think over time, you know, that team will grow. But LA 2028 is another place to look for volunteer opportunities to sign up for volunteer opportunities and to and they may have actual, you know, real job openings as well.

Cindy Fan 44:59

And of course, you know that UCLA will be where the village is, where the athletes will be staying in the dorms.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 45:07

And by then there'll be a purple line to connect this village to downtown.

Cindy Fan 45:12

Yes, we are looking forward to that. We still have to wait for 6, 7 years. Okay, so this is a hard one. What is the city doing about the homeless population that seems to have multiplied over the past two years?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 45:29

That's a huge question, which could be the subject of several webinars. But let me just give you my perspective, that in the last four years, we have, by incredible amounts, increased the team, increased the money, increased the attention and increased the action around homelessness. It is absolutely an unacceptable scourge in our city. And it is not right that our neighbors and our brothers and sisters are living on the street. It is just appalling. And we're doing a lot. You know, we go to these international conferences and domestic conferences on homelessness. And people look to us to about our programs, right, because there's no magic bullet, we're doing all the things. So we're building more temporary housing with services, we're building more permanent housing with services, permanent supportive housing, we are encouraging more development in general, to bring housing prices down, we are working very hard to keep people in their apartments, through things like rebates on their water and power bills, paying back rent, and helping with eviction defense, and many, many more things that we don?t have time to go into. But it's a very robust program. We house, you know, this year, so far, we have housed 13,000 people, and the previous year, I think it was 20,000 people. So, it's not that we aren't finding housing, we are but people are still falling into homelessness. But the good news about this moment is that we are getting state and federal assistance. That is enough to make a difference at this point. So, Project RoomKey is something that's funded by the federal government. So that's turning hotels into homeless shelters, temporary homeless shelters, and then that's going to turn into Project RoomKey, which is money from the state to make that permanent, make those possibilities permanent. And we've learned a ton we've learned a ton about what works and what doesn't work. And so, we're and we have an incredible team led by a wonderful guy who has his own lived experience and who worked for a homeless nonprofit for many, many years before taking on this job. And he's leading the mayor's homelessness team, but it's a really, it's a city effort. It's a county effort. It's a state and federal effort. And affordable housing is a global problem. It turns out that everywhere, is that housing prices are becoming unaffordable in cities. And so, we have not yet had really engaged conversations with our foreign city partners about this, but I'm thinking it might be time to do that to see if there, you know, there's something that we can learn or something that we can share about how to do it faster, better.

Cindy Fan 48:48

Yes, like I said, this is a huge problem and work in progress, right to try to solve the problems. And then since you've talked about cities, and one of the questions that came in, has to do with cities and diplomacy. And I found this question very interesting. Do you think that major cities should determine the future of diplomacy? And if so what would that look like?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 49:09

I did not pay the person to ask that question. I paid nobody to ask any questions today. You know, I love that question. And in some ways, we I mean, we're out there doing it. You know, they're the United States is a little slow to this game. You know, there's really only a handful of cities that even have international offices, let alone a deputy mayor. I?m only Deputy Mayor of International Affairs in the United States. New York has a commissioner and they have a you know, a good setup, but they're focused very much on the UN, for obvious reasons. But in the rest of the world, you know, global cities are all over the place. They host conferences, they visit each other. There are many networks and we're part of most of those networks, or many of them at least. But It's just not quite happening at the pace that it does in many other parts of the world. So not just Europe, but also Asia, also Africa, Latin America. And, and so I hope that we, more and more are, are helping and leading on city diplomacy. Because after all, you know, we will be, you know, I think it's like 60, or more percent of the world population will live in cities by 2050, I can't remember the exact stat but in in the United States it?s 38%. So, you know, it will determine the welfare of a lot of people and in order to really serve our residents, well, we have to be out there learning and attracting and, you know, and engaging with our foreign counterparts.

Cindy Fan 50:52

So, so I should assume that you would be in favor of more cities in the United States having an office like yours.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 51:00

Absolutely. And I'm also in favor of having the State Department create an office of city and state diplomacy, which is really something that we need. Because, you know, I've been an ambassador, so I have a good network of people I can call and ask if I have a question about this, or that, head of state that's visiting Los Angeles, but not everybody has that. And, you know, cities and states should have an office, they can call to ask for help. And in turn, we can help with the State Department in all kinds of ways. We are, for example, our port is the port, that is part of a quad green shipping task force. So, the quad is a group of India and Japan, and Australia and the United States and President Biden elevated that to a head of state grouping. And so, they have a green shipping initiative. And so, it's LA that will coordinate with Yokohama, and Sydney and Mumbai, on trying to set up green shipping corridors, and decarbonizing our ports, something that LA really is very ahead in, in terms of the globe. So that's just an example of where having, you know, city engagement is important.

Cindy Fan 52:26

That's wonderful. I think these are all great thoughts and remarks and points for our students who are interested in this, so many questions have come in more questions than we have time. And we'll make sure that these questions will be sent to you by email or in other another format, so that you have a chance to look at these questions. And some of these questions that come in really have to do with opportunities for students, for women, you know, for internships, and, and, and for working with your office. And so, I would maybe close by one last question, trying to maybe put all these things together. And that is that any advice that you have that you would like to share with our students who are really now just, you know, re-emerged from a pandemic, to in-person classes, and we're really facing a variety of global issues such as climate change, systemic racism, living in a city of Los Angeles? What's your advice for them in terms of how they prepare themselves? What should they be thinking about, to potentially going into a career that involves international work?

Ambassador Nina Hachigian 53:43

That's a great question. I mean, I'd say, first of all, take care of yourselves. Because you know, you won't be help to anybody if you are, you know, stressed, depressed, sick, whatever. So, do take care of yourselves. And that can be hard in an environment where you may have to work as well as go to school, etc. So that would be the first thing I would say. And I'd say that, you know, a lot of issues that we've been, as we've been talking about, that are, you know, important policy issues that seem domestic are actually international. So if you want to stay in Los Angeles, and you don't yet find the international opportunity you want, you can work on policy issues for LA and then make the global connection because they're there, they are there, whether it's, you know, climate change, whether it's affordable housing, whether it's, you know, gender equity, racial equity, there are counterparts of all those problems in other places, and I think the networks of people that you Build internationally can be the ones that create the solutions. So, and I would just say, in general, in terms of career advice, just, you know, keep your focus on what you really care about. And you may have to take jobs that are not exactly aligned. You know, I think everyone's had to do that. But you know, that's okay. You just keep getting get out of it once you can. And then, you know, continue to keep your eye on where you, you know, think you may want to go or what is of great interest to you.

Cindy Fan 55:29

Thank you so much. Thank you so much Ambassador Hachigian, for all your advice and for your great work for the city and with our students. And I also want to thank everyone who has attended this webinar and for your engagement with the questions, and we hope that everyone will continue to join the rest of the events in International Education Week for the rest of the week. Thank you again, Ambassador Hachigian. Take care. My pleasure. Bye Bye.