Overheard at the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy “Affairs of the State” party:

“Why isn’t Northern Nigeria considered part of Northern Africa if it is predominantly Muslim?”

“It has no Mediterranean coast line, but that is well outside my area of expertise.”

So, that was happening while people avoided the dance floor at the group’s sixth annual party.


A somewhat empty dance floor at the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy event. (Katherine Boyle, TWP)

But that’s because the hundreds of aspiring Samantha Power(s) are out reliving their glory days of crisis simulation, a la collegiate Model UN, over cigars and such.

Cigars at the YFP event (Katherine Boyle/TWP) Quickly, someone pass a nonbinding resolution, and let’s get this party started! (Katherine Boyle/TWP)

This is one of Washington’s less riotous parties, one where people are keenly aware that they may be working for State Department someday and (if dreams come true) might have to go through a Senate Confirmation hearing.

“I don’t think this party is typical of foreign policy people, I think it’s typical of Washington people,” said Ben Bodnar, resume bank manager for the group.

“It doesn’t get too crazy,” said Gary Barnabo, president of YFP. “Young people fancy themselves as the next generation of insiders. But honestly, we’re putting the wonk talk aside tonight and just enjoying the company.”

The most popular room was the one with the black jack tables, where chess and Risk champions outsmarted each other for the chance to win raffle tickets.

(Katherine Boyle, TWP)
(Katherine Boyle, TWP)

By the time this reporter left, the dance floor had heated up, taking a lesson from some seasoned professionals in foreign policy.