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Ambassador Karen B. Stewart graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and economics from Wellesley College. She has a degree in national security strategy from the National War College.

She has represented the United States in some of the toughest overseas postings any diplomat could endure.

So why not turn a baseball cap backward, jump on stage with a touring New York hip-hop group and rap in Laotian?

Miss Stewart, the U.S. ambassador in Laos, delivered a greeting to about 500 Laotian young people last month at a annual hip-hop festival on the Mekong River. By the cheers of the crowd, she apparently did well.

On her blog, she explained that she was asked to give opening remarks at the festival and joked that she should do it in a rap.

“What was I thinking?” she said.

Her performance is memorialized on

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