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An ambassador is a diplomatic representative that attends international meetings, banquets and parties and acts as a figure-head for their country of origin. Ambassadors are also known as diplomats, a more general term describing those that work in a foreign country while retaining citizenship in their home country. The foreign country, known to ambassadors as the host nation, serves as their base of operation for promoting international relations while concentrating on specific areas of government, including trade, military involvement and cultural relationships.
An ambassador will smooth relations between countries, especially in the highly sensitive areas of politics and trade. In addition, they send information about economic and political development in their host country to their home abroad. Ambassadors also assist travellers from their home country, explain foreign policy and evacuate refugees from hostile environments. Due to the sensitive nature of their careers, ambassadors perform all of their duties with a diplomatic demeanour, ensuring a positive relationship between their country of residence and home nation.
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Ambassadors are subject to a wide range of responsibilities dealing with foreign relations. Each task is carried out in a diplomatic manner that's engineered to meet the needs of the ambassador's home country while maintaining a positive relationship with that country.
One of the primary responsibilities of an ambassador is to notify their home country of economic and political developments in the host nation. They write formal reports in order to communicate foreign development, especially in the area of trade policies. Because of their unique and inside experience with the host nation, ambassadors are able to aid in the development of foreign policy with that nation. All of these actions seek to protect their home country's interests within the host nation.
Another responsibility of an ambassador is to act as a representative of their country of origin. They attend social functions, political parties and banquets with the intention of smoothing relationships between nations. As a representative, they also offer up their home country's position on numerous political, social and economic platforms. Additionally, ambassadors meet with important political leaders and greet or host other diplomats.
An ambassador must be a citizen of both their home country and the international community. They possess a solid background in the culture of the country in which they will reside as well as a proficiency in the native language. In addition, they must possess sharp skills in the areas of diplomacy, negotiation, bureaucratic protocol and foreign policy.
Ambassadors are made in one of two ways. They are either appointed to the position after a long and successful career with their country's foreign service department, or they are appointed by the country's president or other high-ranking official because of a political advantage. In some cases, an ambassador will earn their position just by having the right connections in the areas of politics or business.
Those who do not have many political ties, however, still have the opportunity to become an ambassador. A position in the field can be earned by first completing a bachelor's degree in one of the following areas:
Candidates must also complete a master's degree in any concentration, unless they are fluent in a foreign language. An internship with a local embassy is not a requirement, but recommended for those applying for a position as a diplomat.
Additional skills necessary for this career field include a high degree of dedication to the job, an adaptable but level-headed demeanour and a knack for negotiation. A thorough understanding of bureaucratic structure and how to work around red tape while maintaining positive relationships with a host country are also essential.
Depending on the day's objective, an ambassador will spend most of their time in meetings with either staff members, foreign diplomats or host country officials. In addition to time spent in meetings, they will spend much of their time in an office, writing up reports and implementing international programs.
The working environment will vary widely from country to country. An ambassador in third world countries may suffer through conditions they find extreme if coming from a wealthy country. In a war-torn country, though ambassadors are generally well-protected, they may encounter dangerous and hostile situations during the course of their stay. Ambassadors may also be placed in wealthy countries, but face more rigorous work in light of tense relations between that country and their own. In countries where international relationships are positive, ambassadors will tend to benefit from a more regular work week.
The first reaction of most professional diplomats, when they are asked about the criteria to be used in choosing ambassadors, is to describe their own qualifications...
Diplomatic posts start out with a modest salary, then advance to a more lucrative amount commensurate with experience, location and education. In addition, a diplomat can expect tuition reimbursement, healthcare and perks, like free day care.
When I started my career as a diplomat before the second world, war, it was under an ambassador who, to this day, seems to me to typify the accomplished classical diplomat...
At the embassy of a foreign country, there usually exists at least one person who is titled as an ambassador, and who stands as representative of his or her country.
Embassy magazine published this story in its September 24, 2008 issue. It notes that Carleton University tied for first place in a list of schools that produced the most Canadian ambassadors since 2004. Here is the full story:
The United States of America maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 180 states; an ambassador operates in most of the American embassies in these countries as the personal representative of the president.