As we once again celebrate National Protocol Officers Week (March 24-March 30) we talk with Duja Muhanna, the winner of last year’s PSOW contest. Duja reflects on the complimentary protocol training she received and discusses the important role protocol continues to play in today’s world.
Duja, tell us about your complimentary training as winner of last year’s National Protocol Officer Week contest. What class did you attend and what was the experience like?
I attended the May 2018 protocol training course in Washington D.C. It’s an intensive experience, covering a lot of material in a short amount of time. The training adopts a practical approach to protocol issues, emphasizing real-life case studies, scenarios and situations that staff from any international organization or government might encounter. The training includes a variety of simulation exercises to enable the participants to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the topic at hand. Every single detail of the training was planned to make the learning experience exciting and memorable.
What were the top takeaways from your training as it relates to the protocol profession?
I found the training session on personal leadership to be extremely valuable. Mark David Jones, an acclaimed consultant who worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, delivered a phenomenal session on world-class leadership and protocol excellence. One of the main takeaways from the session was the importance of the guest experience. Mark taught me how to execute a successful event by creating “the perfect protocol experience” for guests.
Can you update us on what you are doing now and what your future plans entail?
I am currently working as a Research Analyst with the Global Governance Program at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. My work focuses on assessing how well G7 and G20 countries comply with their Summit commitments. Last year, I had the opportunity to contribute to the success of one of our program events by providing protocol training to a few of my fellow analysts who were organizing an event with dignitaries present. Looking ahead, I hope to find professional opportunities to support the strategic operations of public service or international organizations. An understanding of diplomatic protocol and etiquette can play a vital role in this work.
Do you think the role of protocol professionals will continue to be important as it is today? Why?
The role of protocol professionals will continue to be important as companies and governments are doing more business with countries around the world. They are realizing the need to have protocol officers help treat their growing international clientele politely and respectfully. You don't want to commit an etiquette faux pas that can spoil your business or your government relations. That's where protocol officers come in and the need for their expertise is increasing.
What would you tell a prospective student thinking of attending a PSOW session?
The class is incredible. The knowledge you will gain is immeasurable. And at PSOW, you will learn from the best!
To celebrate the creative magic of protocol officers around the world, The Protocol School of Washington is sponsoring “The Magic of Protocol” contest as part of its annual National Protocol Officers Week (March 24-30).
The contest invites participants to showcase the magic, showmanship and illusion that protocol officers use to stage successful special events. Participants can either showcase a past event they have planned or observed or be creative and interpret the magic theme as it relates to the protocol field.
Submissions can be in the form of videos; a visual presentation (i.e. PowerPoint); essay; white paper or social media posts. The winner of the contest will receive a complimentary tuition ($7,300 value) to any 2019 scheduled Protocol Officer Training offered by PSOW.
Contest Closed - 2019 Winner Announced April 8.