Panel discussion organized by the Consulate General on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
At Consulate General Duesseldorf's 2012 July 4 celebration with North Rhine-Westphalia Minister President (Governor equivalent) Hannelore Kraft. It was a remarkable day - first time anyone could recall a Minister President attending a July 4 event - and with the speaker of parliament, the deputy mayor and me as US Consul General - first all female sweep of speakers ever!
With ambassador Murphy and his wife Tammy at Bertelsmann
Speech to German Gay and Lesbian Federation forum in Cologne, Germany
In Cedar Rapids, during the 2016 campaign. Anne Holton (Virginia's former Secretary of Education and Tim Kaine's wife) and I go way back to college, where we were roommates. Wonderful to reunite here in Iowa, with my daughter Lia.
The best day ever to be representing the U.S! Semi-final match of the Women's Soccer World Cup, in Moenchengladbach, NRW, Germany - the U.S. versus France. Ambassador Murphy's flight was delayed, so I enjoyed the pre-game interview, and of course, the game itself, which the U.S. won 2-1. My French colleague was very gracious - and all elected officials present had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing me jump for joy!
We grew up together in Coralville on 5th Avenue - Mike Petrak, me (in the wonderfully stylish glasses), and Leann Cortimiglia. Then (fourth grade) and now!
With George McGovern at Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany (his final book tour abroad)
With my dad, Gene Weiner, Boundary Waters, just before launching canoe trip.
Playing four hand piano duets with my mom, Jeanne Weiner, at our home in Coralville (the house I grew up in)
Portaging the canoe.
Janice Weiner will be as dedicated and effective an advocate for Iowans human rights she was for Turks. I know because I witnessed and admired her ability to bring Turks narratives of abuse to light and to persuade Turkish officials of their importance to the US.
Janice was the human rights officer at the American Embassy in Ankara in the mid-1990s. As her supervisor, I marveled at her ability to interview human rights victims in her flawless Turkish -- without an interpreter present -- which encouraged them to recount frankly having been arrested arbitrarily, imprisoned harshly and tortured. When she traveled to southeastern Turkey, where the army and police used violence to crush a regional uprising, she distracted her official "minders," spoke quietly with human rights victims, then persuaded Washington to instruct the Embassy to press Turkish authorities to concede that such methods were unacceptable.
Janice was later promoted to the position I had held and, I understand, maintained her commitment to human rights. She made it clear to Turkish authorities that their failure to observe human rights violated a key American value.
I first encountered the extraordinary Janice Weiner when she served as US Consul General in Düsseldorf. Having worked with Foreign Service Officers for more than 2 decades in 70 countries around the world, one quickly notices the characteristics of someone whose intelligence, passion and activism sets them apart from the pack.
Janice is one of the most exemplary people with whom I have had the good fortune to work. Her attention to the big picture while tracking all of the lesser details, her ability to lead by example, her deep humanitarianism, and her sharp intelligence all came together in our interactions in Germany in a region that was troubled by immigration issues and an economy that was trying to reinvigorate after much of the industrial strength had gone elsewhere.
I witnessed her mobilize a very mixed audience Germans and Turkish-Germans and heard a gasp of approval from the audience whom she addressed in impeccable German followed by equally impeccable Turkish. This is so very rare, but it points to Janice's capabilities as well as her care for people across the spectrum, as well as her understanding of how much such a gesture will mean.
I can't think of someone better prepared and ready to serve a next innings than Janice.
At last the loyal Coralville kid comes forward to serve this community after serving her nation, for years, as a diplomat. It's about time to have a woman of this caliber in this position!
In 2016, Weiner dusted off her grassroots political skills and worked for three intensive months as a field organizer in Iowa. The results of the election only deepened her determination to ensure that good, progressive candidates, who care about all people, get into office.
Weiner is exceptional [...] she is an intelligent and good person. But, when it comes to knowledge and experience, there is no comparison.
-Mary Kate Pilcher Hayek
Janice and I have been friends for life ever since we were college roommates. She was the correspondent who stayed in touch, kept up. I went to law school, and Janice visited me in Boston. She, too, took the law school plunge, and then joined the Foreign Service. When she moved to the Washington DC area between overseas postings, she drove down to Richmond (I remember our kids, one Halloween, on the swing set in costume), and we really connected as adults, parents and professionals.
We shared our ups and our downs, as good friends do. And I followed her career - Poland, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, and Germany - impressed by her capacity as a single parent to juggle the sheer logistics of parenting, moving, settling them all in, and climbing up the Foreign Service career ladder. After she moved home to Iowa, it was wonderful to connect as political kindred spirits on her home territory when I was there campaigning in 2016.
As a long-time friend, a mother, a former judge, and former Virginia Secretary of Education, here is what I know about Janice: When she says she will fight for public education, or better mental health care, believe her and believe IN her - she cares, she will look for every avenue possible, she will continue to learn, strategize, and find allies - and she will not give up. I can't wait to see her in the Iowa Senate.