Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette was among fourteen commissioners and county judges to visit Washington, D.C. as part of the Commissioners Court Leadership Academy sponsored by Texas A&M and AgriLife Extension. Participants met with Senator Cornyn to discuss issues affecting Texas counties while other presenters addressed foreign policies, as well as domestic matters that affect counties. The group spent a day with local county officials in Cecil, Maryland, sharing solutions they have used to successfully boost their local economies, in addition to solving infrastructure challenges. Dr. Shelton Williams, a Midland native and tenured professor at Austin College, who heads the Osgood Center for International Studies, led the delegation on a visit to the Hong Kong Embassy.
Washington, D.C. is the home for over one hundred seventy embassies that participate in international relations because of the influence the U.S. has on world affairs. The group concluded their week-long visit with a tour to various historic landmarks, including the Arlington National Cemetery, where they witnessed the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier; the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials; and the WWII Memorial.