Charting a Diplomatic Course
By Robert Schroeder
NLU Alumni Magazine
When Hurricane Ivan slammed into the island nation of Grenada in 2004, NLU alumnus Denis Antoine (photo, left) was far removed from the violent winds that lashed the beach shores of the Caribbean country. But as calm settled over the besieged lands, Antoine found himself in the eye of the recovery efforts.
With all communications to the islands wiped out, the British Royal Navy reached out to Antoine, the Grenadine Ambassador to the United States from 1995-2009, for permission to dock in the foreign waters on an aid mission.
“That was a very telling moment in my career,” Antoine said. “When the families of loved ones are calling on you and you aren’t sure what to say because you can’t reach the point of access in your country…you have such a critical role to play.”
Today, Antoine is channeling his diplomatic background as the chair ex officio of the Young Americans Business Trust (YABT), as well as the Ambassador at Large and Director of International Programs and Exchange at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). At UDC, Antoine directs the Global Affairs Institute, which brings in foreign ministers and officials for training in management and human resources allocation. As a member of the YABT board, Antoine is leading an effort to push youth entrepreneurship in developing nations in the Americas through business labs, seminars and workshops.
Antoine says he sees a need for the YABT to more quickly introduce Web 2.0 technologies to aspiring business leaders in developing nations.
“There has to be a critical focus on the impact not only of social media but the use of technology in business,” Antoine said. “We need to declare for young people to be on the front line, since they are more attuned to the use of technology.”
Read more from the Winter 2013 NLU Alumni Magazine