Global Ties U.S. is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Citizen Diplomat Award: Justin Powell, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City youth humanitarian organization Youthlinc, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with special recognition to Andrea Bertrand, the Museum’s Programming Manager for International Audiences.
Nominated by the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, a Global Ties U.S. Community-Based Member, Justin Powell is a youth humanitarian activist dedicated to increasing international engagement and experiences for local people in Utah. As Executive Director of Youthlinc, he works to create lifelong humanitarians through local and global service, and in turn, inspire the next generation of global citizens.
Justin has been a long-time resource and interlocutor for international exchange visitors traveling to Salt Lake City, including many cohorts of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Through the Utah Council for Diplomacy (UCCD), which helps to implement the IVLP, Justin welcomes numerous groups to Youthlinc. Justin formed a partnership with an IVLP visitor from Rwanda and the Utah State University (USU) Office of Global Engagement after a 2019 IVLP meeting, and through this connection, brought a group of students to plan and implement humanitarian projects in Rwanda. These were completed in 2022, and USU students cited the life-changing impact of this work, noting specifically the opportunity to create long-lasting friendships and dispel the stereotype of a homogenous Africa.
Said UCCD Executive Director Felecia Maxfield-Barrett on nominating Justin for this award: “Mr. Powell has not only amplified the International Visitor Leadership Program in the local community and around the world, but his amplification has planted the seeds of international understanding and global engagement for generations to come.”
We are honored to present this award to Justin Powell for his steadfast persistence to inspiring youth to pursue globally-focused careers and above all, for fostering future humanitarians who understand local and global needs.
A nonpartisan, federal educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the United States’ national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Located in Washington, DC, the Museum educates millions of U.S. and international citizens each year about Holocaust history and its continuing relevance.
While the impact of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is well-recognized, the 2023 Citizen Diplomat Award celebrates the Museum’s specific contributions to citizen diplomacy through its engagement with international visitors. The nomination noted the International Education Outreach Staff’s long commitment to welcoming international visitors, with special recognition of the excellent programming led by Andrea Bertrand over the years for participants of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). IVLP allows Museum staff an unmatched opportunity to engage with and learn from emerging leaders from around the world. Through a visit to its exhibitions and a guided discussion with experts, the Museum encourages participants to examine themes like the fragility of democracy, the dangers of indifference, and heeding the early warning signs of genocide and mass atrocities. Participants leave the Museum with a greater understanding of the Holocaust and its relevance today, and an increased awareness of their own roles and responsibilities.
Andrea Bertrand is the Programming Manager for International Audiences at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, organizing and implementing dozens of international group visits each year, and drawing on the participation of colleagues from across the Museum. In 2022 alone, Andrea led five IVLP project groups on Countering Holocaust Denial and Distortion, some of which were in support of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s pledge of action at the 2021 Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism. Andrea is dedicated to fostering global understanding, and her unwavering passion and enthusiasm for her work are just a small part of how she is making an impact at the Museum and on all who visit.
When nominating Andrea for this award, Danial Orange from the Office of International Visitors at the U.S. Department of State said, “Without exception, the programming arranged by Andrea at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was mentioned by the participants as one of the top highlights of their programs.”
We are honored to present this award to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with special recognition to Andrea Bertrand, for leadership to educate, inspire, and build an active and engaged global citizenry, and the significant work they have done to confront ignorance and hatred.
The 2023 Citizen Diplomat Award winners will deliver remarks Thursday, March 30, at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting. They will speak at the plenary, “(Re)Building Community at Home,” which celebrates how active participation by U.S. citizens in foreign affairs can help build more inclusive, integrated communities within the United States, and the power of individuals to make a profound difference in their communities and globally.
ABOUT THE AWARD
The annual Global Ties U.S. Citizen Diplomat Award honors individuals and institutions for outstanding achievements that advance the cause of international understanding and global engagement. Nominees are motivated by a deep understanding of world issues and committed to the exchange of people and ideas. Awardees are selected from a broad range of fields, including the arts, culture, government service, science, media, business, and education.