Secretary Kerry to Host Annual Unaccompanied Tours Holiday Reception, "Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays"

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 16, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry will host the annual “Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays” reception at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17, in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State.

The holiday reception honors the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even during the holidays.

This year, the program will include remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, Under Secretary Patrick F. Kennedy, and Chief of Protocol Peter A. Selfridge.

During the event, children of U.S. diplomats serving unaccompanied tours will prepare care packages that include cards, gifts, confections, and other donated items for those serving abroad. Family members will also have the opportunity to take holiday photos that will be instantly sent to their loved ones posted overseas. Retired professional basketball players Dikembe Mutombo and Ruth Riley will also spend time with the families. This event is made possible through public-private partnerships.

Secretary Kerry’s remarks will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be open to the press.

Pre-set time for video cameras: 3:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 5:00 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).

For more information, please contact the Press Office at (202)-647-2492 or Jessica Andrews at