Visit of the U.S. Consul General Pauline Kao at ISR

Monday, 31 January 2022

We had the honor of welcoming the new U.S. Consul General for NRW in Düsseldorf to ISR last Friday. Ms. Pauline Kao assumed her duty as Consul General in the summer of 2021.

After a warm welcome from our management team, members of the ISR Advisory Board, and some kindergarteners, the Consul General was given an extensive school tour. The tour was led by our two ISR Upper School students Philipp and Marc, who will both be studying in America next year. The tour was also joined by  Head of Kindergarten – Ms. Alex Vrem-Ydstie, as well as the Academic Head Gr. 10 & 11 – Ms. Samantha McGee, who are both native US citizens.

The school tour was followed by an interesting keynote speech by the Consul General, in which she shared her personal and professional experiences with the students and invited guests. Besides about 30 students present, some former students joined the lecture via Zoom. In addition, we were pleased that some interested parents also attended the lecture.

During her talk, the U.S. Consul General emphasized that she particularly enjoys working with young people in schools, and so she took a lot of time afterwards to answer various questions from the students. Among the topics addressed were her professional career, climate change, and the protection of democracy.

At the end of the exchange, one student asked her what the profession of a diplomat was all about and what requirements one had to meet in order to be successful in this career field. In her inspiring answer, Consul General Kao highlighted three essential requirements for her: backbone, empathy, and, above all, the ability and willingness to truly listen to one’s counterpart.

Our students as well as staff members and participants of the visit were impressed by her confidence as well as her warm demeanor and her inspiring answers.

We would like to thank Consul General Kao for her visit to ISR and the time she took to share with our students. A motivating and very open lecture, which will remain among the best memories for all participants for a long time.