Global Ties Forum Series

Conversations about how the United States can build trust to advance the partnerships necessary for 21st-century challenges.

The Global Ties Forum is a series of conversations, currently virtual, designed to examine how the United States can build trust between local and global communities to advance the partnerships necessary for 21st-century challenges. The series brings together emerging and influential leaders to deconstruct the data, programs, and strategy that affect the relationships we need for this moment. By focusing on the social dimension of global affairs and the role of citizen diplomacy, the Global Ties Forum will unpack the connections between U.S. foreign policy priorities and the subnational and public diplomacy programs conducted in communities nationwide by the Global Ties Network. 


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Special Virtual Screening & Discussion of Stranger At The Gate

Global Ties U.S. hosted a special virtual screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Stranger At The Gate. The documentary tells the story of a U.S. Marine who plots a terrorist attack on a mosque in Indiana and what happens when he comes face-to-face with the people he sets out to kill. Stranger At The Gate is a story of grace, transformation, hope, and of the power of community inclusion. Following the screening, Global Ties U.S. President & CEO Katherine Brown spoke with Joshua Seftel and Bibi Bahrami, the director and lead subject of the documentary, respectively, about the documentary’s core themes and how it’s been received across the country. We opened the discussion to members of the Global Ties Network and to questions from the audience.

The recording of the discussion is available here. You can stream the documentary here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Welcoming Refugees into U.S. Communities

Refugee assistance has been a dimension of the Global Ties Network for decades, the last two years especially as member organizations were called into action to support alumni of international exchange programs in Afghanistan and Ukraine. To mark World Refugee Day, celebrated globally on June 20, we hosted a special virtual Global Ties Forum event on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 focused on national and local refugee support initiatives strengthening communities nationwide. We were joined by Kit Taintor, Vice President of Policy and Practice at Welcome.US; Ahmad Zia Afzali, International Exchange Program Director at Utah Global Diplomacy; Carina Black, Ph.D., Executive Director at Northern Nevada International Center; and Sarah Gal, Executive Director of WorldOrlando. The panelists discussed the current state of refugee assistance in the United States and their experiences welcoming refugees to their communities.

Event recording and resources are available here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


Building New Forms of Citizen Engagement: Global Views and Trends

Richard Wike, Ph.D., Director of Global Attitudes Research at Pew Research Center, joined Global Ties Network speakers Muddassar Ahmed, Managing Partner of Unitas Communication, Felecia Maxfield-Barrett, Executive Director of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, and Katherine Brown, Ph.D., President & CEO at Global Ties U.S. for a conversation around a new Pew study on social media. The event provided an overview of the study’s findings and discussed what those working to broaden the scale of citizen diplomacy should take from the data. View the event recording HERE.

To access an additional resource from the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, view their white paper, “Benefits and Barriers: An Outlook on International Nonprofits in Utah” HERE.

Thursday, December 8, 2022


Foreign Policy and the People: Connecting Subnational and Public Diplomacy

Erin Bromaghim, new Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles, and other experts explored recent reports and initiatives on city and state diplomacy, including the creation of a new office in the U.S. Department of State, and how these activities connect with longstanding U.S. public diplomacy initiatives that engage international audiences. U.S. Department of State speakers Stacy White, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges at the U.S. Department of State, and Maryum Saifee, Senior Advisor for the Secretary’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion detailed the need for subnational diplomacy as part of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Jay Wang, Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and Janet Elliott (moderator), President and CEO of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, shared how Los Angeles is working to maximize citizen engagement in foreign affairs.

View bios, reports, and event recording HERE.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022


Experiencing Expos: U.S. Citizens’ Engagement with a Vital Public Diplomacy Platform

Following Expo 2020, this past March, Global Ties Network members across the U.S. hosted a series of Community Conversations to explore the socio-cultural impact of Expos. This event was a conclusion of the series, and featured Bob Clark, United States Commissioner General at Expo 2020 Dubai, in conversation with U.S. Department of State Expo Unit Representative, Anthony Pahigian, Youth Ambassadors Brienné Coates, and Mikyle Hassanali, Anna Kaplan, Ph.D., co-author of Experiencing Expos, and Global Ties U.S. President & CEO Katherine Brown, Ph.D., who discussed the impact of Expos on the U.S. citizens who experience them.

Thursday, July 7, 2022 | Watch


How the World Sees the United States Today

In partnership with Pew Research Center

What do people around the world like and dislike about U.S. society and politics? How does global public opinion affect U.S. soft power as we increasingly need allies to advance foreign policy? What does this mean for U.S. citizens who support our foreign policy goals via citizen diplomacy? Richard Wike, Ph.D., Director of Global Attitudes Research at the Pew Research Center, joined us for an overview of findings from his new study, “What People Around the World Like – and Dislike – About American Society and Politics,” and a discussion on what this data means for U.S. soft power, foreign policy, and the role of citizen diplomacy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | Watch


Building a Domestic Constituency for Public Diplomacy

In partnership with the Public Diplomacy Council

Annette Alvarez, Executive Director of Global Ties Miami, Felecia Maxfield-Barrett, Executive Director of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, and Katherine Brown, President & CEO of Global Ties U.S., discussed strategies for communicating to federal and other government officials the impact of public diplomacy and international exchanges on both participants and U.S. hosts and domestic communities.

Monday, November 1, 2021 | Watch


How Climate Change Impacts Global Conflict

In partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Tegan Blaine, Ph.D., Senior Advisor on environment and conflict at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), joined Katherine Brown, Ph.D., President & CEO of Global Ties U.S., and the Global Ties Network for a special conversation on environmental peacebuilding – what it means, strategies for practical application, and emerging priorities.

Thursday, October 14, 2021 | Watch

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