HomePoliticsThemed embassy parties: The latest trend replacing K Street gatherings

Themed embassy parties: The latest trend replacing K Street gatherings


Embassy parties have become the new hub for Washington’s political elite to network, forge relationships and enjoy unique experiences. From Iftar dinners during Ramadan to homage events to purple stones, embassy parties have something to offer for everyone. In recent years, corporate sponsorships have also become increasingly visible at these events, with more and more foreign governments looking to build relationships with US companies.

Iftar Dinner – A Symbol of Inclusion and Tolerance

One of the most popular events hosted by embassies is the Iftar dinner during Ramadan, which attracts a diverse group of guests including Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others. According to UAE ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, it’s his favorite event to host because it celebrates tolerance and inclusiveness, which are core values of the Emirates.

The event is attended by prominent figures from both sides of the aisle, including Former Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Special Olympics Chair Timothy Shriver. The Iftar dinner held in late March drew a star-studded lineup of prominent Jewish figures, including Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Biden antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt, Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog, and Republican wordsmith Frank Luntz.

The menu of the Iftar dinner is just as diverse as the guest list, featuring dishes like salmon, saffron chicken, eggplant, and beef kibbeh labanieh. Guests received a box of dates from the UAE, a traditional gift given during Ramadan, as a party favor. Otaiba believes that Iftar dinners promote unity and understanding between different faiths and cultures.

Améthyste Event – Bringing Republicans and Democrats Together

The French ambassador’s residence hosts an annual Améthyste event that brings together politicians, policymakers, and diplomats from both sides of the aisle. The event has a dual purpose of promoting bipartisanship and building relationships with K Street influencers. Former mega-lobbyist Heather Podesta co-hosted the event in December, which had companies including Toyota and SpaceX among its clients.

The event’s corporate sponsors included the South Korean conglomerate SK Group and the French investment firm Ardian, which is looking to invest in the US. Steve Clemons, another co-host of the event, whose day job is writing a newsletter for the media startup Semafor, revealed that the party attracted several Washington bigwigs from both parties.

While embassy parties have always featured corporate sponsorships, these sponsorships have become more visible in recent years. For instance, as part of the festivities around the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner, the Swiss commodity company Mercuria is sponsoring Time Magazine’s after-party at the Swiss ambassador’s residence.

The Finnish Embassy’s Long-Running Sauna Series

Among the quirkiest events on the embassy party circuit is the Finnish Embassy’s long-running sauna series. The event brings together journalists and Hill staffers for a long night of sauna time, conversation, and Scandinavian food. The ambassador even has his own sauna that he uses to have one-on-ones with top government officials and journalists.

Why Are Companies Sponsoring Embassy Parties?

Companies that have business with a foreign government or in a foreign country might sponsor an embassy event as a means to build relationships. A defense contractor, for instance, might use the venue to schmooze with a diplomat from a country to whom it hopes to sell military equipment. Alternatively, part of a government’s mission in the US is often wooing companies to show that the country is “open for business” and encourage investment.

Former French ambassador Gérard Araud believes that foreign ministries are all fighting under budget constraints, which has led them to seek corporate sponsorships for their embassy events. Araud revealed that when he was ambassador, he had to get approval from the foreign affairs ministry in Paris for any proposed sponsorship of an embassy event.

Final Thoughts

Embassy parties have evolved from simple diplomatic receptions to full-blown networking events and experiences, with an increasing number of corporate sponsors seeking to build relationships with foreign governments. These parties represent a unique opportunity for Washington’s political elite to come together and forge relationships across different faiths, cultures, and political affiliations.

Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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