The Art of Diplomacy
As President Obama’s Chief of Protocol, Ms. CAPRICIA MARSHALL was the invaluable link between the administration and foreign diplomats—bridging cultural norms, languages and people from all over the world. She was a “balance of grace, efficiency, and effectiveness” while simultaneously “very tough, fearless, and fierce in her commitment to her job” (Cheryl Mills, former Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton). Her greatest accomplishment, according to The Daily Beast, was a seemingly impossible balancing act: making “Congress, administration types and American businesspeople more available to foreign diplomats, and to level the playing field for small nations who rarely get to compete with superpowers like Israel, France and England for access and face time.”
Few are better positioned to offer valuable lessons on the art of diplomacy, leadership and communication. This is a must-hear speech from Ms. Marshall, who will discuss the importance of adapting to unexpected circumstances, strategies for effective communication, and how to build and strengthen critical relationships.
Inspiring Women in Leadership Roles
CAPRICIA MARSHALL has consistently been recognized as one of the most powerful women in Washington. In this speech, she will reflect on her long history of working in the capitol—over two decades—and discuss her journey in becoming one of Washington’s power players. An invaluable asset to two presidents–Clinton and Obama– Ms. Marshall draws from her breadth of experience in political and personal life, to speak on what helped make her an influential leader, and how every woman can make her mark in any role.
Speaker Spotlight: Capricia Marshall
As a former U.S. Chief of Protocol (2009-13), White House Social Secretary (1997-2001) and Special Assistant to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton (1993-97), CAPRICIA MARSHALL has distinguished herself as an event-industry game-changer and set the stage for diplomacy at the highest levels. Consistently recognized as one of the leading female power players in Washington, Marshall is an inductee of the BizBash Hall of Fame, has been featured in Elle's "Setting the Agenda: How 43 Women are Changing the World for Women," as well as Elle's "10 Most Powerful Women in DC," and Washington Life's "Power 100." Marshall has devoted her life to public service, working to transform and create new methods of global engagement to build international goodwill. She's delivered keynotes on everything from "How hospitality sets the table for diplomacy," to how women can make their mark in any role, to strategic insights on effective communications and relationship-building. She consistently receives rave reviews, such as: "When I sat in the back of the room of 800 people and overheard attendees saying how incredible it was to listen to Ambassador Capricia Marshall, I was convinced that I made the right decision in recommending her as the keynote speaker... Her compelling, relevant, current and universal stories from behind the scenes of history offer a unique view that only a Chief of Protocol of the United States and a Social Secretary to the President can offer. I am not surprised at the level of her personal popularity and respect from leaders from every aspect of government and diplomacy as well as business and popular culture. She has also been one of the most popular speakers that I have ever had... Her polished presentation and sophisticated delivery has been universally praised by everyone that attended our events earning her our highest ratings." (BizBash Media)
Watch some of Capricia Marshall's talks here >>
As Chief of Protocol of the United States, bearing the rank of Ambassador, from 2009 until 2013, Capricia Penavic Marshall was the United States’ lead representative in setting the stage for diplomacy at the highest levels.
In her post, Ms. Marshall worked to leverage U.S. relationships with foreign governments. She reinvented modern protocol by building relationships between industry leaders in the U.S and economies worldwide, and created strategies to transform global engagement.
Charged with forging and managing relationships with countries around the world, Ms. Marshall’s hand was the first extended of welcome on behalf of the President and Secretary of State. She oversaw the details of diplomacy during six State and Official Visits, countless Working Visits, and the G20, Nuclear Security, APEC, G8, NATO and Sunnylands Summits. From the arrival to departure of presidents, prime ministers, ruling monarchs, and other foreign dignitaries to the United States, she worked with counterparts from nearly 200 countries ensuring the treatment and care of foreign delegations supported the policy objectives of the Obama Administration
Moving beyond traditional methods of engagement, Ms. Marshall used her background as a first generation American of Mexican and Croatian descent to foster international goodwill and cultivate relationships. With a focus on the nexus of economies, culture and foreign policy, she launched a new division in the protocol office, Diplomatic Partnerships Division. Through programming under this section she introduced the foreign Diplomatic Corps to business, government and community leaders across America, creating sustained, mutually beneficial partnerships. Ms. Marshall also created the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts, and established the Patrons of Diplomacy, a successful initiative that raised $20.1 million to create the first permanent endowment to preserve and protect the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State.
During her tenure as Chief of Protocol, Ms. Marshall worked tirelessly to set a new global protocol standard. As host of the first-ever Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference, she led a conversation among nearly 100 of her counterparts on 21st century diplomacy – fostering critical dialogue and envisioning the way forward.
From 1993 to 1997, Ms. Marshall served as Special Assistant to the First Lady of the United States. In 1997, Ms. Marshall was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary.
Capricia Penavic Marshall holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Purdue University and a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In 2013, Ms. Marshall was awarded the Order of the Cross of Isabel La Católica from Spanish Ambassador, Ramón Gil-Casares and The Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award by Secretary Hillary Clinton. She is married to Dr. Robert James Marshall, a cardiologist, and they have one son.