With the recent reopening of the Embassy of Cuba here in Washington, DC, and the formal restoration of diplomatic ties between our governments, I am again reminded of just how important our diplomatic work is with our foreign mission clients. Each time a Foreign Mission entrusts us with a project, our relationship with the Foreign Mission becomes an informal extension of our government’s relationships.  
 
From work on projects for Australia, Belgium, France, Ecuador, Iraq, and Canada, we have been exposed to various governmental protocols, political structures, cultural mores, historical heritage, economic conditions, and gastronomic specialties. It often takes a sensitive understanding of these to develop the most appropriate project that is responsive to the many needs of the Mission.  
 
In Washington, DC most foreign missions are located in significant historic and ornate buildings. Our expertise and advanced skills with the preservation of significant structures combined with acumen in the design within historic interiors is perfectly suited for these types of projects.  
 
In our most current foreign mission project, we are charged with restoring the original elegance of the Old Ambassador’s Residence for the Embassy of Japan. Built in 1930 for the Imperial Japanese Government, the building is now an annex to the Chancery for special events. Through close collaboration between QEA and the Mission staff, the renovation project supports envisioned cultural and culinary events to be hosted by the Ambassador. Construction is scheduled to begin September 2015.

The Ambassador of Japan to the United States, Kenichiro SASAE, and I discussing the upcoming renovations to the Old Ambassador’s Residence at the Embassy of Japan. The photo was taken during the embassy's annual BBQ event.

The Ambassador of Japan to the United States, Kenichiro SASAE and QEA's Don Pruett discussing the upcoming renovations to the Old Ambassador’s Residence at the Embassy of Japan during the embassy's annual BBQ event.