By Nancy E. Zinn, Ph.D., and Eric D. Duyck
Following the successful opening of its preview exhibit “Diplomacy Is Our Mission” in 2019, curatorial staff at the National Museum of American Diplomacy (NMAD) looked for ways to highlight the specific contributions of women in American diplomacy. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, taking inspiration from the Smithsonian Institution’s “Because of Her Story” initiative, NMAD launched the “Her Diplomacy” project in early 2020.
“Her Diplomacy” was originally conceived as a series of physical exhibits to be featured in the “Diplomacy Is Our Mission” exhibit on view in the museum’s 21st Street Pavilion space. However, with access to so many unique items in the museum’s collection and an abundance of wonderful stories to share, the initiative soon evolved to include a more expansive online exhibit. The COVID-19 pandemic made the online aspect all the more relevant. Even with the challenges imposed by COVID-19, the museum installed four new “Her Diplomacy” stories in the Pavilion in September of 2020, and they are still on view today.
With the “Her Diplomacy” initiative, NMAD and the Department of State celebrate the contributions of diverse women in diplomacy—women who have blazed trails, negotiated peace, strengthened diplomatic relations, survived dangers, and opened doors for the sharing of cultures and ideas. All are invited to meet these dedicated women who have made vital contributions to the nation but whose stories are not well known.
View the online exhibits by clicking the names below.
Nancy E. Zinn, Ph.D., is a senior consulting curator at the National Museum of American Diplomacy. Eric D. Duyck is a collections manager and registrar at the National Museum of American Diplomacy.