A cherished moment with JFK
I suspect you may not be aware of the similarities between SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon and President John F. Kennedy.
While most observers will be most impressed by their differences, I note a significant similarity: their determined purposefulness.
I have had the good fortune to know Ban Ki-moon for several decades, since he showed up as a student at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard of which I was the “founding dean.”
At an opening reception in which I shook hands with and chatted with each of the new students, when he arrived at the front of the line, he introduced himself as: “JFK.”
I reacted with predictable surprise. He responded with a wry smile: “Just from Korea.” Thereafter, among his classmates, he was nicknamed “JFK.”
His path from the foreign service in Korea to foreign minister and then secretary-general of the U.N. reminds us again of the role of accidents of history.
In the early 1960s, as a young foreign service student touring the U.S., Ban Ki-moon had a chance to visit the White House, where President Kennedy spoke to the group.
When Ban Ki-moon became secretary-general, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy found in the JFK Library archives a photo from that event that included both the former president and Ban Ki-moon, and gave it to the secretary-general. He has always kept it as a valued memento in his office.