Archive for the ‘May 2011’ Category

Ottawa: Doors Open 2011

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Last year, for the first time, we opened up the U.S. Embassy to visitors for a day as part of Doors Open Ottawa. While about 500 people were able to participate, we had hundreds more (actually thousands) we couldn’t accommodate.

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa

I said it last year and today I’m still so moved by all the interest in visiting the U.S. Embassy. I feel it is important for us to open our doors. We want to be good neighbors. Taking down the cement barriers on Sussex was a part of that effort. Welcoming our friends is another. Participating in Doors Open also helps us to meet the standard my boss, President Obama, has set for us being as open and transparent as possible.

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa

So this year we are going to be open for tours on both days during the Doors Open weekend, June 4 and 5, 2011.

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa

If you want to visit us during Doors Open click on and follow the Doors Open link to sign up. It’s really important that each member of your of your group fills out the entrance form.

The U.S. Embassy Ottawa

I would be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to the hundreds of other buildings you could also visit in town as a part of this amazing program. Check out Doors Open Ottawa for more information.

I can’t wait to meet those of you who have signed up for tours. It’s good to be open!


May 3, 2011

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

A win for democracy

I love elections. It’s what democracy is all about. And, like many of you, I have watched the Canadian election with great interest – as a political and news junkie it was impossible not to!

I want to extend my congratulations to all the candidates from all the parties – I know firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that go into campaigning. Win or lose it’s a great honor to contribute to democracy in this way. We’re always better for the effort. It’ll be our turn in 2012!

The President also extended his best wishes this morning. Here’s the statement of the call which took place between President Obama and Prime Minister Harper this morning:

Office of the Press Secretary
May 3, 2011

Read out of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Harper of Canada

Earlier today, President Obama called Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada to congratulate him on his victory in yesterday’s national elections.  The President said he looked forward to continuing his close cooperation with the Prime Minister, and renewed his commitment to the Beyond the Border declaration he and Prime Minister Harper announced February 4, 2011 and to the work of the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council.  Prime Minister Harper also congratulated the President and the U.S. forces responsible for the recent operation against Osama bin Laden.


We look forward to working with the Canadian government as we always have with great admiration and respect. The United States has no stronger partner, ally or friend than Canada.  We have a relationship based both on strong overlapping national interests, deeply rooted common values, and on mutual trust and respect. I can say that by almost every measure, the US-Canada relationship is at an exceptionally positive and productive time in our history and I have every confidence that will continue.


May 2, 2011: Take Your Child to Work Day

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Last week was national Take Your Child to Work Day, and the children of employees at the Embassy, as well as the children of employees at the State Department in Washington, D.C, came to work with their parents to see the world of diplomacy in action. We had an enjoyable day as 15 kids between the ages of 9 to15 visited the various offices, and we gave them the opportunity to try out some of the jobs their mothers and fathers do. I was quite impressed with their energy and enthusiasm, and invited a couple of them to share their experiences as my guest bloggers:

Ambassador Jacobson and kids on "Take Your Child to Work Day" at the Embassy

Meg, age 10  and Sophia, age 9

I had a great experience at the US Embassy for Bring Your Child to Work Day. I was surprised when I walked into the room and saw only two girls and eleven boys! Some of the boys just kept talking and talking. My favorite part of the day was visiting the marines. I hope to be a marine working in the US embassy when I grow up. My sister Sophia said her favorite part of the day was meeting the ambassador and getting candy and the embassy hockey puck. She also loved taking photos during the Ambassador’s interview. She wants to bring her entire class in for a field trip soon! We loved the embassy visit and hope we can come back next year.

Landon, age 9

I liked visiting the Embassy. When we started we took an oath that the Ambassador gave us. I think it was the same one my mother had to take. We visited lots of offices where their jobs were to help people. For example, if a kid like me loses their passport they can come to the embassy and one office will help them get back in to the U.S.  We learned all the jobs in public affairs. I got to be a pretend reporter and ask the Ambassador questions. What surprised me the most? I asked him his favorite restaurant and he said “The Works”. I like “The Works” too, but “Play” is my favorite. It’s more culinary. It was fun to ask questions, but I think Billy had the best job. Mike showed him how to work the camera. I learned that when a reporter does a story, lots of other people tweet about it. We learned other stuff too, like how many times a car crosses our border back and forth while it’s being built – up to 7 times!

 The coolest part of the day was visiting the Marines. Also – the Ambassador gave us hockey pucks and there’s a long hallway in the center of the building makes a great rink for kick hockey. It was a good day. But I think work is easier than school.


Ambassador Jacobson sits down for an interview on Take Your Child to Work Day, while a budding photographer captures the scene

It was a fun day, and as cub reporters, they were pretty good.  One hard-hitting young scribe asked me how old I was.  It turns out, he was trying to do the math to figure out how long it would be before he could take my job!  I’ve seen the future, and if they can give up the hallway hockey long enough to finish school, it’s looking good!