Hillary Clinton returns to Washington, and to the scene of her last government job, for the ceremonial opening next week of a new exhibition and museum area at the State Department that will be partly named for her.
Clinton is slated to speak at the ceremony and reception on Tuesday, alongside fellow former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, according to an invitation to the event, which has not been announced. It would be only her second public appearance in Washington since losing the Nov. 8 election.
One of the four exhibition halls in the U.S. Diplomacy Center will be called the Hillary Rodham Clinton Pavilion, with others named for former secretaries James A. Baker and Henry Kissinger, and for current Secretary of State John F. Kerry.
The glass-fronted addition to the hulking State Department building will house a museum of diplomatic history and artifacts. It is also meant to give a welcoming front door to a forbidding structure otherwise walled off by security gates and concrete barriers.
Visitors will encounter Clinton’s name first — the Hillary Clinton Pavilion is the glass entrance hall to the complex, complete with a glass ceiling. A State Department website devoted to the project says this section will “engage visitors in exploring U.S. relationships with nations around the world.”
The Carnegie Foundation of New York has announced a $750,000 grant to support programming at the center, which will operate as a public-private venture. A private foundation pays for programs, educational work and updates to exhibitions.
Only the Clinton hall and the Kissinger one below it -- star attraction is a 14-foot section of the Berlin Wall -- are complete and ready to open. Estimated at $50 million, which was raised, the public-private project now needs roughly $20 million more to complete and outfit the other halls. That task would fall to the Trump administration.
The museum was conceived by Albright, who held a symbolic groundbreaking for it in 2000, near the close of Bill Clinton’s presidency. The project languished during the George W. Bush years and was revived by Hillary Clinton, who deputized longtime donor and friend Elizabeth Frawley Bagley to raise outside money.
The bulk of the $50 million raised so far came in during Clinton’s four-year tenure as President Obama’s first secretary of state, from 2009 to 2013. Clinton was not running for president at the time but was widely presumed to be contemplating a second White House run in 2016.
State Department emails from Clinton’s term, released under court directive as part of the fallout over her private email system, chronicle some of the millions of dollars in corporate, foundation and other donations she helped draw for the project.
Some of the donors overlap with Clinton’s network of political fundraisers and with donors to the Clinton family’s charitable foundation.