Peter Westmacott » Ambassador to the United States of America

Science that helps keep us safe

On Wednesday evening we gave a reception at the British Embassy for scientists, soldiers and senior government officials from the US and the UK. The event was organised around a workshop presided by Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman of King’s College, London and Professor Eli Berman of UC San Diego, with the support of Research Councils UK (RCUK), the US Department of Defense and the US National Science Foundation. The participants—academics … Read more »Science that helps keep us safe

Rethinking Development

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Back in the days when tweeting was what birds did, a cloud was something in the sky, an app was what you sent to the university admissions office, and Google was simply a misprint for the word which means 10100, who’d have thought that mobile phones could improve the daily lives of the world’s poorest people? Yet today, mobile communications and social media have brought political transformation through the Arab … Read more »Rethinking Development

Austin Triumphs with Formula One

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There is always a bit of uncertainty, even apprehension, when you embark on a big new adventure. So it was a real pleasure to witness on Sunday the great success, under a cloudless sky, that was Austin’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix motor race. A brand new racetrack, with a design which had rave reviews even before anyone had driven it, the warmest of welcomes from Governor Perry, the … Read more »Austin Triumphs with Formula One

Antony Gormley ‘Extends’ the Residence

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Some people have garden gnomes, but here at the British Embassy in Washington, we’ve gone one better. Last Thursday we inaugurated a new sculpture on the lawn of the Ambassador’s Residence: ‘Extend’ , a remarkable work lent to us by one of Britain’s most highly-regarded sculptors, Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley. The sculptor himself was there for the ceremony and for an interesting conversation afterwards arranged by the State Department’s … Read more »Antony Gormley ‘Extends’ the Residence

Witnessing history at the US Open

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What a privilege to be at the Arthur Ashe stadium last night, for the final, so long-awaited triumph of a summer of extraordinary sporting success for our country! A roller-coaster of emotions ranging from joyous admiration to head-holding agony when it looked as though the prize might once again be slipping from Andy Murray’s grasp. But that new resilience was there, together with the self-belief we finally saw in Murray’s … Read more »Witnessing history at the US Open

An Ambassador’s perspective: Boston knows innovation

The Boston area is home to many of the most famous sites of America’s break from Britain – the Old State House, where the royal governors sat; the Old North Church that launched Paul Revere’s famous ride; the harbour where the first tea party took place; and battlefields like Bunker Hill, Lexington and Concord where the colonists first proved their fighting grit. But visitors these days – I was there … Read more »An Ambassador’s perspective: Boston knows innovation

Winning Gold in the Green Race

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Today the UK is being recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), for its efforts and achievement in energy efficiency. The ACEEE believes that “a country that uses less energy to achieve the same or better results reduces costs and pollution, creating a stronger, more competitive economy.” This is what we’re doing in the UK. ACEEE looked at 12 of the world’s largest economies representing over 78 … Read more »Winning Gold in the Green Race

A GREAT Embassy Open House

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It isn’t every day that you walk out of your house to find 10,000 people on your lawn. But on Saturday, for EU Embassy Open House day, that is what happened to me. From the time gates opened at 10:00—with quite a queue already formed—until they closed at 4:00, a steady stream of visitors turned the grounds of the Embassy and the Ambassador’s Residence into a buzzing hub of activity. … Read more »A GREAT Embassy Open House

Embassy Open House: Experience GREAT Britain in Washington

What is the first thing you think of when you think “United Kingdom?” Maybe it’s Buckingham Palace and the generations of kings and queens who have ruled the British Isles since Roman times. Maybe it’s the plays and poems of William Shakespeare, or the fortunes of your favourite Premier League side. Maybe it’s the complex, smoky taste of a malt whisky from the Scottish Highlands. Or maybe it’s just our … Read more »Embassy Open House: Experience GREAT Britain in Washington

Strengthening Trade for Security and Prosperity

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Today the US/UK Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty comes into effect. In a ceremony presided by Rose Gottemoeller, the acting US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, our two countries finalised an agreement originally signed five years ago to strengthen our mutual security and build our shared prosperity. British and American manufacturers play a central role in our security relationship. US contractors contribute to the backbone of … Read more »Strengthening Trade for Security and Prosperity