At The Washington Post, Emily Heil suggests that Mona Locke, wife and “secret weapon” of America’s superstar ambassador to China, has unused potential as a diplomatic “first lady”:
Despite her popularity, we hear that the former TV journalist has gone relatively untapped as a resource. She could (and is willing to), we hear, take on a heftier schedule of public speaking and meetings, effectively doubling the U.S. ambassadorial power in Beijing.
So why hasn’t she been given more leeway to do just that? Maybe the career types think it’s best to leave diplomacy to the professionals. That’s one theory, at least.
A State Department official told us there’s no prohibition against embassy spouses (who are most often wives) playing a “first lady” role in-country. And an embassy spokesman outlined to The Loop some of her recent work: promoting the president’s “100K Strong” initiative aimed at bringing more American students to study in China and supporting a global effort to promote leadership among women and girls.
Ms. Locke was recently featured as “The Toast of Beijing” in Vogue magazine. Read more about her husband Gary Locke via China Digital Times.