In an increasingly volatile world, the Executive Council on Diplomacy (ECD) forges important partnerships that help build global understanding. By strengthening connections between foreign diplomats and the American private sector, ECD fosters long-lasting friendships. The Council presents programs that bridge cross-cultural gaps and promote cross-cultural dialogue. From intimate policy discussions to summer baseball games to white water rafting and historic tours of U.S. cities, ECD supports a personal understanding of American society and provides a platform for human connections to create a more cooperative world. 


The Council traces its origins to the period following the Second World War and the Korean Conflict when the role of the United States in world affairs had changed significantly.  The reality of the post-war period found new nations and new political and economic developments on every continent. Diplomats representing the newly restructured world arrived at embassies in Washington and at the United Nations in New York with important issues to address and a genuine interest in learning about the United States government and American society.

Founded in 1962, the organization's broad mission was to advance the understanding that foreign diplomats had about the people, economy and political system of the United States. The organization would sponsor trips throughout the country, introducing foreign diplomats to American leaders in business, government, and academia. The goal was to acquaint the Washington community of foreign diplomats with all aspects of American economic and political life. At the request of the Secretary of State, the Council later expanded its role to include education and training for U.S. diplomats.  The foreign service training program continues today as the Lawrence S. Eagleburger Fellowship Program.

Throughout 55 years of program activity, the Council has maintained its educational mission, while the world itself has undergone substantial shifts in power and realignments in international relations. The durability and effectiveness of the Council’s activities derive from two factors: its consistent and important mission and a unique program format which values diverse viewpoints and informality, while at the same time calling on experts in various fields to present facts and opinions. Today’s participants in ECD programs—foreign diplomats in Washington, representatives of American business, government and non-governmental institutions—find the Council’s work to be as relevant and vital to their mutual understanding as did their predecessors.

Board of Directors

Carolyn Brehm
Procter & Gamble Company (ret.)

Vice Chair
Dr. Trevor Gunn
Medtronic, Inc.

President and Executive Director
Solveig Spielmann
Executive Council on Diplomacy


Sylvia Aguilera
McDonald's Corporation

Karan Bhatia
General Electric Company

Dr. Fruzsina Harsanyi
Former Chair

Charles P. Heeter
Former Chair

George Ingram
The Brookings Institution

Kate Irvin
The Coca-Cola Company


Selina Jackson
Procter & Gamble Company

Chris Keuleman
International Paper

Dan Konigsburg
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

Yancy Molnar
Chubb Limited

The Honorable William Reinsch

The Honorable Toby Roth
The Roth Group

David Short

Peter Snyder
Air Products and Chemicals

Robert Sturgell
Rockwell Collins

Omar Vargas

Philip Vaughn
Fluor Corporation

Nancy Ziuzin-Schlegel
Lockheed Martin Corporation