Exchange Matters / September 29, 2020

Farewell Message to the Global Ties Network

By Susan R. Crystal, Outgoing Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

During the past two years, I have had the privilege of working with the impressive Global Ties Network. As I transition to my new assignment as Consul General in Toronto, Canada, I want to say thank you for your dedication to the power of exchanges, most specifically the International Visitor Leadership Program. Throughout the year-long celebration of IVLP 80th, it is clear this network of citizen diplomats is key to the program’s longevity and excellence.

I have had the great fortune to interact with so many of you, whether in your home cities and towns, at the Diplomacy Begins Here Summits, at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, or through attending IVLP programs and participating in virtual activities. One of the honors of my time in ECA was the opportunity to participate in GlobalPittsburgh’s 60th anniversary, which afforded me the rare chance to come full circle to the internship that started my career in public diplomacy.

I know these past few months have been particularly challenging for all—both personally and professionally. Yet your resilience and dedication to the ideals of international exchange have shown through as we work together to find new ways to continue world-class exchanges.

Thank you for all that you do in the pursuit of mutual understanding and the advancement of the foreign policy of the United States.