Richard Holbrooke

The long road from Malta to Virginia Beach

By all indications, Maria Zammit, past president of the Greater Hampton Roads World Affairs Council, and Vice Chairman, as well as Secretary of the national organization, turned into a foreign policy expert by osmosis.

"Both my parents are from Malta, so I started out with an international perspective," Zammit said in a recent interview with the Gazette. "And I was born very close to the United Nations, and would play in the playground on the premises. But a major influence was backpacking around the world from 1974-75, and I fell in love with Southeast Asia and developed a serious interest in international relations."

During her last year of graduate...