Magazine Feature / People

DU student Michelle Kwan appointed to new diplomatic post

Figure-skating champion and new University of Denver student Michelle Kwan has become the first American Public Diplomacy Envoy.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (BA ’74, PhD ’81) made the announcement Nov. 9 at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Rice tapped Kwan to help promote understanding of America by sharing her story in a cross-cultural dialogue with international youth.

“I want to thank Michelle for taking on this really important mission,” Rice said. “It’s a time of great consequence in the world, and I know that she is going to play an important and valuable role for our nation.”

Kwan will travel around the world with State Department officials, visiting schools, clubs and community groups to speak about leadership and to engage her international peers in conversations about social and educational issues.

“I am honored to accept this appointment and to serve my country,” Kwan said. “As an athlete, I have always been proud to represent the United States around the world.”

This fall, Kwan began attending DU full time; she plans to major in political science and minor in international studies. Although she shuns the spotlight at DU, she continues to perform in skating exhibitions and on special projects.

Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine U.S. championships and two Olympic medals.

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