One of Boston’s great strengths lies in its power as a convening city – a global crossroads that brings together people from all walks of life, often in intellectual endeavors. And who better than three ambassadors, whose careers covered half the world, to describe the remarkable paths that led them to Boston.

Friedrich Loehr was Germany’s Ambassador to North Korea, and also served in Beijing, Sudan, and Algeria, among many other places. Baktybek Beshimov hails from far-off Kyrgyzstan, and served as its ambassador to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. And Boston’s own Barry White is so fresh from his four-year stint as the U.S. Ambassador to Norway that he hasn’t even had time to unpack. All three described for Northeastern students Thursday night what it means to practice diplomacy in a global age.

White, who spent 40 years at Foley Hoag — 13 of them as CEO — before venturing into diplomacy, was clear about how his legal training prepared him. “It’s all about connecting with people,” he said. White is also a great example of someone who offered his time and talent at the local level, lending his leadership to organizations such as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Alliance for International Business, and then having the vision to take those very American values to an international level.