- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The U.S. will promote cultural diversity at the World’s Fair in Dubai, the first international exposition in the Middle East that starts Oct. 1.

The State Department has selected commercial real estate developer Robert Clark to serve as its commissioner general at the event. He will lead 75 young cultural “ambassadors” who will represent the country at the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“I’m personally looking forward to showcasing the diversity, culture and values of America through this group of youth ambassadors,” Mr. Clark, a 2010 Obama appointee to the White House Preservation Committee, told The Washington Times. “They embody the best qualities of our national melting pot, while presenting the great potential of our collective future.”

Last week, the State Department hosted an in-person orientation at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel for Mr. Clark and the youth ambassadors.

“Their excitement and enthusiasm for Expo were energizing, and I am very much looking forward to getting out to Dubai to work with the entire USA Pavilion team. We are planning a wonderful exhibition at Expo 2020, and I hope people come out to see it,” Mr. Clark told The Times.

He will serve as the U.S. government’s senior representative at Dubai throughout the fair, which will conclude on March 31.

Officials said America’s participation in the pandemic-delayed World’s Fair will seek to project a hopeful image of a diverse nation that’s moving beyond COVID-19.

The fair arrives amid international pessimism over the Biden administration’s handling of crises like the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, France’s recall of its U.S. ambassador over the Australian nuclear sub deal and the U.S. southern border crisis.

According to a State Department press release, the USA Pavilion’s theme of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Future” intends to highlight “the American vision of innovation, diversity, and our future.”

“Youth Ambassadors embody President Biden’s call to ‘lead by the strength of our example,’” the statement declared.

On the USA Pavilion website, a theme statement adds: “Our exhibits, events, and programs will showcase the United States as a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security throughout Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Construction of the U.S. Pavilion in Dubai began in March 2020.

The next World’s Fair will be Expo 2025 Osaka in Japan.

According to the State Department, the U.S. has had national pavilions at all but two overseas Expos since 1851, and has hosted a dozen World’s Fairs. New Orleans hosted the last U.S.-based fair in 1984.

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