Stakeholder Spotlight: Sherry Mueller

The “Stakeholder Spotlight” is a new occasional series of posts highlighting people who are helping to advance Learning Life’s work.  Our second post in this series features Sherry Mueller, Ph.D., a widely admired American citizen diplomacy leader, and a strong supporter of Learning Life’s Family Diplomacy Initiative.  For more information on ways you can support Learning Life, click here.  

What is your current occupation?

I am a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the School of International Service (SIS), American University, Washington, D.C., teaching a graduate Practicum entitled “Cultural Diplomacy and International Exchange.”  I am also the President of the Public Diplomacy Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the professional practice, academic study, and advocacy for public diplomacy.   

Please tell us more about you.

I grew up on a farm in northern Illinois and went to the last of the one-room school houses.  There was one teacher for all eight grades.  If you were bright you would be asked to help teach the younger children.  By the time I was in the fifth grade I was teaching second graders spelling and reading.  I think this experience was the first step in defining me as an educator.  And I am still teaching.  I am preparing to teach a practicum fall semester on cultural diplomacy and international exchange at the School of International Service at American University, my undergraduate alma mater.  I have always enjoyed teaching because I view it as an intellectual journey of joint learning. I always say, if my students are learning as much as I am, we are having a successful semester.

Why did you decide to support Learning Life?

I donate to Learning Life because I passionately believe in the power of citizen diplomacy. There is an urgent need to connect people — to help them appreciate their differences but, most importantly, to help them appreciate their common human aspirations. That is the mission of Learning Life.