Home Culture Culture Washington Diplomat closes out 2022 events; McKithen named trade center’s executive director

Washington Diplomat closes out 2022 events; McKithen named trade center’s executive director

Washington Diplomat closes out 2022 events; McKithen named trade center’s executive director
The Washington Diplomat welcomed Ambassador Ramón Martinez of Panama to City Ridge on Dec. 20 as part of the Ambassador Insider Series (Photo by Angelique Gingras).

Washington Diplomat hosts annual holiday party

On Dec. 9, the Washington Diplomat welcomed back our annual holiday party after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. It took place at the Embassy of Colombia, the same location as our last party in 2019 marking our 25th anniversary of publication. The event opened with words by Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Victor Shiblie, followed by a night of dinner, dancing and networking. It attracted ambassadors, local business executives and friends of the diplomatic community. 

Ambassador Insider Series: Panama

The Washington Diplomat closed out our 2022 season of events on Dec. 20 with Ambassador Insider Series: Panama. Contributing writer Adrienne Ross sat down with Panamanian Ambassador Ramón Martinez to discuss his country’s key cultural and political developments. The event followed three other Ambassador Insider Series events last year on Japan, Egypt and Slovakia. Stay tuned for more events in 2023. 

McKithen named trade center’s new executive director 

The World Trade Center Washington, DC has appointed Allyson Browne McKithen as executive director and vice president of international programs at Trade Center Management Associates, the exclusive manager of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and a privately held, wholly owned subsidiary of the Drew Company. She is the first African American woman to hold this position. 

“I am deeply honored to join the dynamic group of executives at Trade Center Management Associates and look forward to welcoming new partners and programs which support cultural diversity, global business and further the trade mission of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center,” said McKithen.

In her new role, McKithen will guide the company’s global mission by leading international trade missions, fostering diplomatic relations, developing cultural programming and more. She’ll represent the landmark building as the premier location to host international trade conferences, cultural expos and countries’ national day celebrations. 

McKithen joined the DC trade center in 2011 and most recently held the position of associate director. During that time, she was integral in the growth of the center, developing and leading new programs including the “Winternational Embassy Showcase,” several art shows and exhibitions held at the building in collaboration with embassies, and various virtual campaigns during the pandemic. 

Besides her work here, McKithen served on the board of Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit organization that hosts the annual “Passport DC, Around the World Embassy Tours” and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International-Protocol Officers Association.

“We are pleased to see Allyson step into this pivotal role. She has exhibited exceptional leadership, event management, and diplomacy, day in and day out,” said John P. Drew, president of Trade Center Management Associates. “Her passion, skills and experience will no doubt advance [the World Trade Center in Washington] and lead to new and exciting business opportunities, under her direction.”



Angelique Gingras

Angelique Gingras is an undergraduate at the University of Maryland where she studies Journalism and British History. Angel started at The Washington Diplomat as an editorial intern in August 2021 and was promoted to Associate Editor in March 2023.


  1. A very big congratulations to Allyson for the appointment as Executive Director and VP of international programs. We look forward to strengthening our relationship in the work front and make better in this 2023 with our African Union Mission to the US

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