I didn't realize it when I first arrived in Madagascar, but an important facet of security cooperation work overseas is speech writing. A supportive Ambassador can be a powerful force multiplier for any security cooperation program. In Madagascar, I was fortunate to serve under a superb ambassador who always made himself available to speak at training and cooperative events. His presence meant that we'd always have a large media contingent covering the event. In Madagascar, that meant the event and subsequent interviews would be carried on the widely watched local news program in the evening. A large part of security cooperation is managing and shaping public perception of long-term strategic goals--media coverage is a vital part of this. The Ambassador's presence meant that I'd often need to prepare remarks for him to deliver. Ideally, writing speeches for someone gets easier the longer you know the person as you are able to better intuit their voice. This was the case with my Ambassador--by the end of my tour there, the edits required became very minimal.
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Madagascar