Joe stopped clowning around to organise presidential events

AT first, it would seem that Joe Goldblatt could not be less Scottish.

After all, this is someone who was raised in Texas and spent many years mixing with the great and good in Washington DC.

Yet, speaking to the genial 69-year-old, it soon becomes clear that he is devoted to Scotland, having lived in Edinburgh since 2007.

He also drops in Scottish slang during our conversation, despite retaining his subtle Texan drawl.

Joe, who held the world’s only professorial chair in planned event studies at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, is a global authority on the subject.

He has produced events for presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, as well as former First Lady Barbara Bush, and TV personality Oprah Winfrey.

Joe and wife Nancy’s move to Scotland came about while he was working at Philadelphia’s Temple University.

“I received a call out of the blue from a woman who had heard me give a talk at an academic conference,” Joe explained.

“She told me that the Scottish Government was advertising for a researcher in the field of events in the country.

“I knew nothing about Scotland — I’d been to England 30 times, but never to Scotland. We’d also just bought a new home in Philadelphia and we had two sons, so I told her it was not for me.”

But the woman’s persistence paid off and she asked him to take part in a teleconference.

“I had to go to a television studio to do it because, back then, there was no Skype or Zoom, or anything like that,” Joe said.

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