Recommend an inspiring person

WE matter who is close to us and to our families. We wish to be close to us only reliable people who can be trusted.

    Наши люди WE:

  • Наш Человек стремится создавать то, что улучшает жизнь людей

  • Наш Человек в общении с окружением честен и справедлив, порядочен и верен

  • Вы доверяете ему и уверены в его искренности

  • Наш Человек живет полной жизнью: любимая семья, достойное окружение, любимое дело, интересное хобби

  • Наш Человек всегда идет вперед и развивается

  • Наш Человек неравнодушен и готов вместе с нами создавать добрые дела

Далее closerecommendheropopupa
Recommend an inspiring person

Выберете одну или нескольо рубрик, в которую вы рекомендуете человека

Закрыть поиск
Закрыть поиск

Спасибо за неравнодушие!
Нам важно узнавать о достойных людях, чтобы рассказывать о них городу!

Вернуться на главную


    [SRC] => 
    [WIDTH] => 0
    [HEIGHT] => 0
The U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and his spouse on how they met and what they think about Central Asia


The U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and his spouse on how they met and what they think about Central Asia

The U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and his wife shared their impressions of life in the country, culture and favorite places.

daniel and sharon

About us

Daniel. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. My family was always interested in what was going on in the world. This encouraged me to study international relations. I attended Yale University and then earned a master's degree in Soviet Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University. I worked for the American Federation of Labor for about six years, focusing on union relations in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. I then moved to the U.S. Department of State, where I have worked for 26 years. For the last nine years, I have been particularly focused on Central Asia. For a time, I was responsible for relations with the five Central Asian republics. Since 2019, I have been living and working directly in the region: I was Ambassador to Uzbekistan until 2022, and a year ago I accepted the position of Ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Sharon. I grew up in California. I have a professional and academic background in foreign policy and international relations. I worked for many years in the U.S. government and non-profit organizations in the humanitarian, human rights and business fields.

About the family

Sharon. We both worked in the U.S. Senate representing senators from different states. We met during a formal dinner.

Daniel. Sharon was with a friend that night. She told him I had a nice smile. This friend decided to introduce us and in some unbelievable way arranged for Sharon to drive me home in her car. She agreed, even though it wasn't her way.

Sharon. I was displeased! But along the way we got to talk. It turned out that we had been traveling around Africa for the past few years, sharing our experiences. One thing led to another, and we realized we had common interests.

daniel and sharon

Now we have two children. The older one's name is John. He is 24 years old and is studying computer science and engineering. He will soon get his PhD and we are proud of him. Leona is 20 years old. She is studying landscape architecture.

Daniel. Every family has traditions that bring it together. Even before our children left to study, we gathered every Friday for a family holiday dinner. We prayed together and sang songs. Another important tradition is that every year for almost forty years now, we have gotten together as a family: my three older sisters, their husbands and children. We rent a cabin for a week and spend time with each other, socializing and sharing memories.

Sharon. Another family tradition is celebrating Thanksgiving together. For a long time, we went to my aunt's house every year — she has a cabin in a beautiful and secluded place in New Hampshire. She's a great cook, so we enjoy the food and each other's company together.

About Central Asia and traditions

Daniel. Prior to my time here as Ambassador, I visited Kazakhstan several times as I worked closely with the region. Already after my appointment, I came to Astana in November. The first thing that surprised me was the snow, ice and cold all around. And then I was impressed by the cordial and warm welcome from the surrounding local people. This has continued throughout my stay here. Everywhere I go, visitors are greeted with respect, honor and warmth.

Sharon. One of the things that surprised me in Kazakhstan is the number of women in leadership positions. I have a special interest in this topic because of my background as a head of non-profit organizations.

daniel and sharon

Daniel. In nearly five years, I have had many opportunities to observe local traditions. The region has a rich body of cultural traditions that have been influenced by many different currents, beliefs and influences. I like Nauryz, an ancient celebration that has been celebrated for centuries. Last year I attended a celebration in Astana where I was treated to sumalyak and kozhe.

I enjoy Kazakh music and playing the national instruments: dombra and kobyz. I love traditional cuisine: beshbarmak and koumiss.

We also have a small collection of paintings. When we were choosing what we wanted to see in our house, we looked for connections between the United States and Kazakhstan. One of them was the Nevada — Semipalatinsk movement. American artist Angel Rafael Vazquez-Concepcion, who visited Kazakhstan this summer, has created a number of works that utilize photographs and newspaper clippings from the period. These are important works that touch both our countries.

daniel and sharon

Sharon. One of the wonderful traditions is to know the seven generations of your family. Before I came to Kazakhstan, I didn't know about this phenomenon, but now it is interesting to learn from Kazakhs where their parents come from. I think this tradition helps me feel my place in the world.

I am also interested in the tradition of serving meat. The ceremony of marching with the dish around the room always reminds me of the history of the country and the people.

Daniel. In January, I was in Ust-Kamenogorsk. Walked along the embankment, on the «Strelka» where both rivers converge. It was cold, lots of snow. Walking a little further, I saw people treating passers-by with warm baursaks. They were incredibly tasty, also because of the nice warm feeling they evoked. Now I always associate baursaks with that walk.

About the activity

Daniel. My first duty is to represent the President and the people of the United States in Kazakhstan. I should note that I am not the only «face» of the United States in the country. In addition to me, I have a large staff at the Embassy and a consulate in Almaty. But people see me as Ambassador most often. It is a great honor and responsibility.

My activity consists of three big parts. I attend events and ceremonies related to the initiatives we are undertaking. For example, a few weeks ago I was in Turkestan where I started an English language program for high school students. The second area is interaction with the governments of both countries. I act as an intermediary at the official level and deliver messages between the states. The third main area is outreach, where I gather information on how we can be helpful to Kazakhstan and its development.

daniel and sharon

I study relations between countries in different directions: academic, scientific, business and try to improve them. I communicate with representatives of the private sector, civil society groups, and journalists.

There are many different projects between Kazakhstan and the United States. Here are some examples to show the scale of work. In the area of education, every year we give thousands of Kazakhstanis the opportunity to visit the United States. The duration of exchange programs varies from a few weeks to a year. Many of them are student-oriented, but scientists and entrepreneurs can also participate. We promote business relationships. We give American companies information that will help them establish joint production. Last summer, representatives of 18 companies from the United States came to Kazakhstan to find business partners. We are also implementing projects in the field of security. We are organizing training programs and events that will help to learn from the experience of expert consultants from both sides.

About Astana

Daniel. I enjoy exploring Astana. I am impressed by the amount of cultural activities. We have visited the National and other museums several times to learn more about the culture and history of the country. There is a great selection of good restaurants here, so we enjoy great food. One of the interesting things is touring the old part of the city. Together with Sharon, we wanted to see what the city used to look like, back in pre-Soviet times. It was great: we got to know the architectural features of Tselinograd. For me, Astana is a mixture of the modern city and its old part, which is still inside it.

daniel and sharon

I love walks in the Central and Presidential Parks. And one of the most interesting places we've visited outside of the city is Camp ALJIR.

Sharon. I love the atmosphere of the old city, lively, filled with people. We were also able to visit the Korgalzhyn reserve and see the beautiful flamingos. Kazakhstan is not usually associated with these birds, and also with tulips and apples, although we now know it is the Homeland of these things.

Daniel. I want to visit Kyzylorda. I'm curious to see the city and then go on and see the Aral Sea and the efforts that are being made to restore it. I also want to visit Uralsk as I have heard good things about the local people. In addition, I plan to go to Ust-Kamenogorsk again because many people advised me to come back in the spring or summer and see the natural beauty.

About The USA

Daniel. The United States is interested in good relations with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. Stability and prosperity in the region are important and beneficial to us.

The United States is a large and diverse country. I appreciate and am proud of how Americans have managed to create from diverse groups of people a successful country with an efficient economy and democracy. Yes, it may not always work efficiently, but the connection between the people, their voices and the government is key.

daniel and sharon

Sharon. There is a phrase on American money: E pluribus unum, which means «Out of many, one». In this respect, the U.S. and Kazakhstan are similar: our countries have many cultures and nationalities, but we are united as a nation.

About the plans

Daniel. Next year I plan to complete my tour of Kazakhstan, to visit all the regions I haven't been to before. I am doing this because I believe that you cannot get to know a country by being in the capital all the time. After all, the rest of it may turn out to be different. This is true for my country: you can't understand the United States by living in Washington, DC.

In addition, I will continue to engage with civil society organizations, businesses and local governments.

Sharon. I am looking forward to traveling to the regions to explore the country. I hope to talk to women leaders from different parts of Kazakhstan and hear and share their stories.

Daniel. Another goal for next year is to bring our children to Kazakhstan and travel together.

Узнайте первыми:

Подписаться на рассылку WE project!

Мы пишем о том, что помогает сориентироваться в новом мире и выбрать то, что нужно именно вам.