The Washington Winter Show

Honorary Diplomatic Chairs
His Excellency Manuel Sager, Ambassador of Switzerland, and Mrs. Sager

Manuel Sager
Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America Washington DC, USA

Manuel SAGER was born in Menziken in the Canton of Aargovia in 1955. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the Law School of the University of Zurich and earned a Master of Laws and Letters (L.L.M.) degree at Duke University Law School. In 1986, he passed the bar in the State of Arizona and worked as an associate attorney at the law firm of O’Connor, Cavanagh, et al., in Phoenix for two years.

In 1988, he began his career with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and was posted as a diplomat in training in Bern and Athens. From 1990 to 1995, he worked in the FDFA’s Directorate of International Law in Bern, specializing in International Humanitarian Law. From 1995 to 1999, he served as Deputy Consul General in New York, and from 1999 to 2001 as Head of Communications of the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2002, he headed the Coordination Office f or Humanitarian Law EAPC/PfP of the Directorate of International Law. From 2002 to 2005, he served as Head of Communications, first in the FDFA, thereafter in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Sager worked as Executive Director, with the title of ambassador, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. From 2008 to 2010, also with the title of ambassador, he headed the Political Affairs Division in the FDFA responsible for coordinating thematic foreign policy.

He was appointed Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America in October 2010 and formally presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on December 7, 2010.

Honorary Chair
Mr. Pat Conroy

Acclaimed novelist Pat Conroy writes bestselling novels and memoirs that depict various facets of Southern life.

His experience attending Charleston, South Carolina's The Citadel inspired The Lords of Discipline, My Losing Season, and The Boo.  After graduation, Mr. Conroy taught English in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  His book, The Water is Wide, is based on his experiences as a teacher there. 

Mr. Conroy's masterful storytelling skills are evidenced by the fact that many of his novels have been made into movies, such as: The Lords of Discipline, The Water is Wide (Conrack), The Great Santini, and The Prince of Tides. 

Mr. Conroy currently lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with his wife, the novelist Cassandra King.