When H.E. Denis G. Antoine began writing about his diplomatic career, becoming a children’s book author was not exactly what he envisioned adding to his already extensive resume.
“I didn’t initially see it,” Antoine said. “But it didn’t take me long to realize that writing children’s books are a special portal to channel my love of education and diplomacy for the greater good.” He is right. After selling more than 11,000 books, securing numerous speaking engagements around the world, and establishing several strategic partnerships, Antoine is ready to take on another ambitious goal: Engaging with future leaders.
In many ways, Antoine’s career and educational pursuits place him on a uniquely qualified stage to start this conversation with children and youths. Antoine’s tenure as Ambassador of Grenada to the People’s Republic of China, and service as Ambassador Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations, affords him a global platform. For fourteen years, he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (E&P) to the United States of America, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C., while concurrently as non-resident ambassador to Mexico, and Panama from 1995 to 2009 solidified the depth of his experience. In addition, Antoine had the distinct honor of serving as a Vice President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly.
“When you do this type of work for so long, you gain insights on how to approach difficult problems,” Antoine said. “But, more importantly, this work encourages me to share valuable lessons about how to survive difficult situations that I learned from others.
Antoine’s motivation began with his own children, and his years of work as Ambassador At Large and Director of International Programs and Exchange for the University of the District of Columbia; as Education Coordinator for DC Public Schools, Classroom Teacher, and as Education Coordinator for Catholic Charities. “I’ve always been interested in intergenerational leadership,” Antoine says.
“There is no need to wait for children to tackle the world’s biggest problems later as adults when their circumstances are impacted now.”
Antoine’s children’s books publications include Let’s All be Ambassadors for a Better World and Get on Board Dear Children of the World. The books are available in multiple languages including Spanish, French, Korean, and Mandarin, and they introduce children to the concepts of collective responsibility, leadership, visualization, and diplomacy as effective ways to engage and impact the world.
“Our youth will be our future leaders. That’s why the values we model for them now are so important,” Antoine said. “How leading adults care for our world and for each other, will help youths visualize what they should do as they take on frontline leadership. Together we have to get it right.”