Reflections on Protocol and Design Over Recent Decades:
Ambassador Lloyd Nelson Hand, former Chief of Protocol and Ann Hand, Founder of Ann Hand Jewelry and Design
The AAFSW gathering was titled “Reflections on Protocol and Design,” but it could have been billed as “Reflections on Long, Happy Marriages” or “Reflections on Serving America” or “Reflections from America’s Original Power Couple” or any number of subjects, when Ambassador Lloyd Hand and his wife of more than sixty years, Ann Hand, spoke recently at the Department of State. On June 10, more than fifty people sat in the Marshall Center Burns Auditorium captivated by a couple who shared a slide show “living room” presentation that spanned decades.
It was 1964 when Ambassador Hand was tapped by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve as his Chief of Protocol and some twenty years later, Ann Hand launched Ann Hand Jewelry & Design, with offices and a showroom now located in Georgetown. Ambassador Hand regaled the audience with stories that provided a rare glimpse inside America’s protocol world. Story after story, it didn’t take long to see the value that protocol officers add to the business of diplomacy.
Protocol tasks viewed independently might seem like mere trappings: dinners and ceremonies planned in the tiniest detail, customized and beautifully presented gifts for world leaders and opportunities seized on the spur of the moment (like a spur of the moment midnight trip to the Lincoln Memorial!). Collectively, these tasks executed by protocol professionals weave together to provide a backdrop for our country’s highest leaders to establish critical relationships in short periods of time that benefit America and the world. Ambassador Hand made it look and sound effortless. For him, the work was clearly made more joyful by the woman at his side at every event and every activity, his wife, Ann.
The woman supporting this mastermind of relationship building has herself become legendary. Known as “America’s Jeweler,” Ann encourages women to wear beautifully designed jewelry pieces depicting our country’s symbols of power and patriotism. Since opening her business, she has designed jewelry pieces for every president, many corporations, every military branch, and much more. The Ann Hand showroom is a happy glimpse into the best of America crafted into brooches, bracelets and necklaces.
Regardless of the White House occupants’ political party, this elegant, warm, and gracious couple has served America for decades showing all what love of country looks like. On Ambassador Hand’s recent 90th birthday celebration, he was quoted as saying, “It’s been a good life and I’m grateful for it.”
No, Mr. Ambassador. WE are grateful—for both of you.
Susan J. Pompeo
AAFSW Honorary President