The Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia (CCAP) is the oldest association of foreign consuls in the United States, encompassing representatives from over 30 countries around the globe. Members of CCAP are responsible for enhancing and coordinating relations between their respective countries and the greater Philadelphia region.
To Krista Bard, CCAP’s newly appointed president, that responsibility means much more. To her, international harmony and peace is what the Consular Corps really strives to accomplish, leveraging the city of Philadelphia’s special place in the world.
What is your role as the president of the CCAP?
As president of CCAP, my goal is one: to make sure that the other consuls do their jobs as well as they can for their countries, and then two: to better work as a whole in representing Philadelphia and its international character on a global stage.
What prepared you for this role?
I’ve been working and doing projects for Lithuanian since childhood. I went there in 1988, although it was still part of the Soviet Union. I’ve been involved for many years and then I was named consul, four years ago now, and became a member of the Consular Corps in Philadelphia.
I became one of CCAP’s officers and then joined the executive committee. From there I was asked to become president. There’s a saying that God moves in mysterious ways. In 1988 I was just following my heart. I really wanted to see Lithuania. Who would have predicted what it would lead to today? You just keep following your heart and God’s mysterious ways do unfold.
Were you afraid while you were in Lithuania because of the presence of the Soviet Union?
Yeah, I was scared. I do remember getting off the plane there were soldiers. Even then Americans who were on the trip didn’t understand. They were journalists, they were used to freedom of speech and I was telling them that they could not go off of the schedule.