As a first-generation immigrant, I’ve always said that it’s difficult to know Americans and not fall in love with them. I know this from personal experience. On my first day at Stanford University in September 1974, my freshman roommate gave her only blanket to a lost, drenched, and freezing foreign student. I still hold a very special place in my heart for her.

Fast-forward almost 30 years, and my job as U.S. assistant secretary of state at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)...

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