The simplest response is also the most comprehensive and true: I have NEVER worked with a colleague, in government, academia or business whose qualities of character, intelligence, dedication to principle and to the hard work of excelling in the performance of her immediate duties, capacity to observe and listen, empathy, temperamentally both steady and nimble, and whose broadly applicable interpersonal skills are of reliably higher quality than are those of Carla Minami. My association with her began when my wife, Steffi, then the elected head of the faculty at the German International School Washington DC, introduced me to Carla as a younger teaching colleague, an English teacher of the first rank but also one of a small handful of professionals whose personal values and qualities would mark her as a standout with few peers. That early characterization has been borne out over twelve intervening years. In sometimes stressed academic and political environments I saw Carla navigate challenges that senior diplomats moving within the same professional spaces could not handle as well, certainly not with her dignity, strength, grace and aplomb. One of Carla's most impressive attributes is her ability to articulate ideas, apparent or obscure, with clarity and in the most genial and accessible language. Her command of ideas is one thing, sure, but her easy ability to present them in compelling and immediately accessible English is another - specifically, another level of skill where her articulation and vocabulary never impressed as mere performance but instead wowed as revealing someone authentic, persuasive and approachable. (Of particular delight is Carla's brand of wry humor, indicative of a person sensitive to nuance and subtlety.) In fact, when I broke off a career as a contract speaker on International Affairs to start an IT business, I asked Carla to make time for the company, to help shoulder the responsibilities of oversight, areas where clarity of thought and expression were stand-ins for other critically important attributes, namely intelligence, ethical strength, reliability, fairness, flexibility and good judgement. Steffi (a biology teacher raised and educated in Germany) has observed many times that Carla's skills in German are equally impressive. In a phrase, Carla is nearly peerless as linguist, a teaching professional and a colleague. It has been one of the great joys of my life to have worked alongside Carla. I welcome further inquiry in as much detail as your evaluation of Carla may require.
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