Blair House serves as a site for American diplomacy in action. In addition to functioning as the President’s Guest House for visiting foreign leaders, Blair House is a stage for a multitude of internationally focused events that help to advance America’s relationship with foreign nations.
Such events have included a summit of the G-8 Foreign Ministers, hosted in 2012 by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and many initiatives for the Washington Diplomatic Corps hosted by the Chief of Protocol, including “State of the Administration” briefings by Cabinet members and White House officials, and cultural and culinary exchanges for foreign diplomats and their families. President Obama hosted a healthcare summit with congressional leaders at Blair House in 2010.
Blair House is the residence of the president-elect in the days prior to moving into the White House. Blair House also serves as a residence for the family of a deceased former President during a state funeral. It is at Blair House where the family receives condolence calls from former Presidents and First Ladies, foreign leaders, and friends.
A typical schedule for Blair House in a calendar year may include up to thirty visits by foreign leaders, multiple foreign policy–related luncheons, dinners, receptions and teas, and countless official meetings, all of which underscore the unique diplomatic role of the President’s Guest House.