Exchange Matters / July 10, 2023

Congratulations and Thank You Annette

The Global Ties Network is a mission-driven community of service leaders, some of whom have spent decades building and strengthening community within their city, across our nationwide citizen diplomacy network, and among the scores of international exchange alumni whom they have hosted. One such exemplary leader is Annette Green Alvarez, Executive Director of Global Ties Miami from 2005 to 2023, who retired this past spring after more than two decades with the Global Ties Network.  

Annette at the Global Ties U.S. 2023 National Meeting. Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar.

During her years of remarkable service, Annette welcomed thousands of international visitors to Miami and led multiple U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), Open World, and so many others. She was also a leading voice, mentor, and champion for Congressional advocacy, helping to empower and coach countless members of the Global Ties Network to speak up for federal funding of international exchange programs. Her connection to this work runs deep: Prior to moving to Miami, Annette worked with international visitors as a volunteer and home hospitality host in New Orleans.  

Four women dressed professionally pose for photo in front of brick wall.

Annette second from right with Global Ties Network executives (from left): Marian Reich (Global Ties Detroit), Jena Mélançon (Gulf Coast Diplomacy), and Courtney Brooks (Global Ties KC). Photos provided by Jena unless noted otherwise. 

Annette also served as a member of the national Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors and mentored scores of Network colleagues, demonstrating her dedication to building the future of our Network and of the international exchange field. For her outstanding service, she was awarded the Global Ties U.S. Decade of Service Award in 2021 and the Global Ties Network Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.  

Annette will long be remembered for her dedication to citizen diplomacy, her strong advocacy leadership, and her commitment to lifting and building our citizen diplomacy community with confidence and compassion.  We will miss you, Annette, and wish you all the best in your next endeavors. Below, the Global Ties Network sends warm wishes and congratulations to Annette on her retirement.  

From the Office of International Visitors 

Three women pose for photo during bustling event.

Annette with OIV Deputy Director Alison Moylan (left) and Meridian Vice President Myra Best (right).

OIV Leadership Team 

Annette – Your passion for the IVLP is infectious and we will miss the energy you have brought to the program over the years. You have made a tremendous impact on not only countless international visitors but also among colleagues within the network and to us in OIV.  From drug reduction and trafficking in persons themed projects to the many projects on disaster management and everything in between, we have appreciated your ability to bring fresh perspectives and continue to engage the Miami community on these issues.    

Thank you for being a valued partner and friend to the International Visitor Leadership Program and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.    

We wish you all the best!    

Amy Carrdus, Community Relations Branch, OIV 

Annette – I will always remember the first Regional Meeting [a precursor to what are now the Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summits] I attended and meeting you there! Your enthusiasm for the IVLP was infectious then and continues to be to this day.  Thank you for your openness, honesty, and thoughtful approach to your work.  Your presence in the Network will be missed but your legacy of what it means to work in partnership lives on in all we do.  Thank you! 

Wishing all the best on your next chapter!  

Annette (left) with Amy Carrdus (OIV), Marian Reich (Global Ties Detroit), and Brittany Rock (Global Ties U.S.).

Marta Pereyma, East Asia and Pacific Branch, OIV 

Annette, congratulations on your decades-long leadership at Global Ties Miami!  Where has the time gone?!? 

I so fondly recall working with you on the Planning Committee for an Annual Meeting. Always respectful, always creative, always carefully listening to everyone, always responsive.  And because of all of the hard work in bringing it together, it was a great Annual Meeting. 

Thank you for your professionalism, dedication, energy, and commitment to the importance of international exchange and our IVLP.  And of course, in helping to make this a better world and making our country better as well. 

Thank you for setting a high standard for all of us.   

With best wishes in your future endeavors!  You will be greatly missed. 

From the Global Ties Network 

Cultural Vistas | Paul Champaloux, Senior Director 

Annette, it is truly too difficult to express how immense your presence has been in the IVLP Network and how much all of us at Cultural Vistas have so very much enjoyed working with you! Going back into my archives, I can see that the very first IVLP I ever ended up working with you on was a 2015 International Crime MRP! I recall seeing your passion, curiosity, adaptability, and kindness during that project, and many times since, and I loved how easily you made me and others feel like a part of the team. This really left a large impact on me and the type of leader I want to be myself. Thank you a million times for all you have done and wishing you all the best on what comes next!  

Gulf Coast Diplomacy | Jena Mélançon, Founder & Executive Director

FHI 360 | Shawn Davis, Program Manager 

What an absolute honor and pleasure it has been to work with Annette over the years. I have been so inspired by her infectious positivity, creativity, and ability to create exceptional experiences for our IVLP participants.  

I will never forget the time that Annette coordinated an evening event for an IVLP group from Lebanon focused on disability rights. After reading the participants’ bios and objectives for the program, she envisioned and realized this magical evening at the Our Lady of Lebanon church hall where members of the Lebanese diaspora in Miami and the Knights of Columbus hosted a reception for the group and then screened a documentary about an award-winning wheelchair basketball program in Miami, with the team’s coach as a guest speaker! Only Annette could successfully combine all of the perfect elements, hummus and baba ghanoush included! I had the pleasure to be there that night and witness so many individuals’ profound expressions of validation, belonging, and compassion as well as what I affectionately refer to as Annette’s “happy tears.”  

I will miss seeing Annette’s eyes fill with those happy tears that belied the fact that her work has always come straight from the heart. We’ll miss you Annette! 

Two women and one man pose for photo.

Annette (left) with Rogelio (center) during an IVLP project in Miami, FL. Photo provided by Rogelio.

IIE | Rogelio Cerezo, Team Lead 

Dear Annette,  

Thank you for always being a welcoming and kind IVLP programmer. I celebrate you on the tremendous impact you have had on the field of public diplomacy over two decades of service, and for being the very best ambassador for Miami, FL, my hometown.  

Congratulations and best wishes on this new chapter!  

World Affairs Council of New Hampshire | Tim Horgan, Executive Director 

Annette is certainly a treasure that will not be easily replaced. Annette would always brighten the room and bring a wonderful perspective to our conversations. I was honored to work with her and her presence will certainly be missed on the Network calls, at the National Meetings, and as a force for positive international experiences. While we never see people go far, it is always sad to see a good friend leave the Network. I wish Annette all the best in her next endeavor and know she will continue to leave her indelible mark on the world. 

World Learning | Ann Driscoll, Program Manager 

Annette, I have so many memories of working with you, all of them good – but the one that will always stay with me is the March 2020 “U.S. Elections” special initiative, and how you pivoted (and pivoted and pivoted) to ensure the participants had a good program and a good Miami experience despite the cascading Covid lock-downs and early departures. You handled it all with such grace and kindness! You are a class act in every way. Wishing you much joy in this next, well-deserved chapter of your life <3