UTC political science and economics double major Rohan Thompson was one of 25 students nationwide selected to attend a recent global conference hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, D.C.
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
Rohan Thompson had been invited for lunch at the Uzbekistan embassy in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Thompson, a senior double majoring in political science and economics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was in Washington in November for the World Affairs Councils of America conference, a three-day meeting with participants from around the world. He was one of 25 students nationwide selected to attend the conference, with the accompanying scholarship covering his expenses.
Shaking hands and making polite conversation in the embassy, Mr.
Thompson noticed a man standing behind him.
“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s probably just one of the many, many workers here,’” Mr. Thompson said, “so when I shook his hand, I said something like, ‘Hey, how ya doin’?’”
As it turned out, the gentleman was Javlon Abdujalilovich Vakhabov, the Uzbekistan ambassador to the U.S., who was one of the many dignitaries Mr. Thompson met during his time in the nation’s capitol.
Mr. Thompson, a 2019 graduate of Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, said the conference included speeches by heavy hitters like Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Philippe Lavigne, a French general and NATO’s supreme allied commander in charge of improving the military effectiveness of the alliance.
“There was a lot of information to pick up,” he said. “I learned a lot about Russian foreign policy with other countries because that is obviously a hot topic right now. I learned about China and their economic policies. We had some representatives coming from NATO and European parliaments as well as some policymaking think tanks.”