World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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A Crisis Averted: Coca Cola Surrenders

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Amb. Quinn recounts how at the end of 1984 he receives a call reassigning him from Vienna to the office of the Secretary of State in Washington, where he will have the title of Deputy Executive Secretary of the State Department. In this critical coordination position, he organizes trips by the Secretary of State and also the Department’s crisis management mechanisms. He describes that one of the first “crises” he deals with was the introduction of “new Coke” by the Coca-Cola Company, which affected him personally. Being a self-described “Coke-addict,” and finding the taste of “new Coke” abhorrent, he solicits signatures from the senior levels of the State Department on his petition to bring back “old Coke.” The issue comes to a head with messages being sent to him in highly classified channels during the NATO Ministers meeting in Portugal. 

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