The Georgia Council for International Visitors’ annual Consular Ball this year saw the passing of the torch from the longest serving diplomat in Atlanta to the next.
In his brief remarks, Miguel Aleman, consul general of Peru, pointed out the incoming dean of the Georgia Consular Corps — Shane Stephens of Ireland, who will gain that designation upon Mr. Aleman’s return to Lima this summer.
The dean is the career diplomat who has been posted in Atlanta for the greatest length of time. He or she takes on some of the lead functions in publicly representing the Georgia Consular Corps and keeping diplomats and trade officials from more than 70 countries linked together.
The corps hosts monthly luncheons, and diplomats are often invited as a group to community events such as the governor’s inauguration in January. Current and former diplomats have told Global Atlanta that the level of collegiality among the consuls general and honorary consuls in Atlanta is high, and that the cooperation here among the international community is strong relative to other posts they’ve held.
GCIV, which administers the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program and organizes programs for delegates from more than 100 countries a year, sees the consulates as key allies in its mission.
The annual ball is the only event of its kind in Atlanta dedicated to honoring the contributions of diplomats to the business and cultural landscape of the city — and connecting the state to the world.