Hitchhiking, Mountain Climbing & Vespa Riding

Q&A with Wolfgang Waldner, Ambassador of Austria

Michele Bendall
Mar 2, 2017 · 10 min read
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I started my career here in 1983 as a young diplomat, right here on Mass Ave in our old embassy, with our old ambassador who would later become President of our country. And the rest is history.

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Ambassador Waldner with Austrian-born neuropsychiatrist and Nobel Laureate Professor Eric Kandel in his office at Columbia University.

Get up when you fall, and learn from your failures. Every failure has success built into it. That’s how I look at life: you have to fail in order to succeed.

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Ambassador Waldner with his wife in the living room of their residence in Washington, D.C.

It’s a special situation here, because in Washington, you are better heard as an EU family. The EU as a whole has more access, power, and weight. There are certain problems you can never solve by yourself, so you attack them jointly with the other EU countries.

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Ambassador Waldner and his wife attending the Diplomatic Corps Reception at the White House in Washington, D.C.
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Ambassador Waldner on a morning run along the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.
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One of the four rooms in the Ambassador’s residence filled with books.
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Ambassador Waldner heading out to a meeting on his Vespa.

So the message is simple: small is beautiful, and you can fail but you can also rise again.


Delegation of the European Union to the United States

Writing from European Union staff on issues of interest to…

Michele Bendall

Written by

Editor + Content @EUintheUS | California born, Portland raised | @BYU Alumna

Delegation of the European Union  to the United States

Writing from European Union staff on issues of interest to the EU in the United States, with occasional guest posts

Michele Bendall

Written by

Editor + Content @EUintheUS | California born, Portland raised | @BYU Alumna

Delegation of the European Union  to the United States

Writing from European Union staff on issues of interest to the EU in the United States, with occasional guest posts

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