Exchange Matters / April 29, 2016

Global Ties International Membership: From A(rgentina) to Z(imbabwe)

With increasing frequency, Global Ties U.S. and its network receive inquiries from people and organizations seeking advice or partnerships involving the 45 states or 90 communities around the U.S. which our affiliates can be found. When this happens, we refer interested parties to our community-based members. As the central hubs for global engagement in their respective cities and regions, our community-based members and other U.S.-based Global Ties U.S. partners can connect their constituents to the rest of the world, and vice versa. Once connections are made, those abroad who engaged with U.S. communities will try to keep those connections alive and invite their U.S. counterparts to visit, partner, and engage these international participants. The Global Ties Network is the ideal vehicle for keeping such mutually beneficial global partnerships and connections alive!

For the past three years, Global Ties U.S. has steadily increased its outreach to international exchange participants who seek to continually engage their American counterparts through cultural, educational, and professional exchange activities. Strategic outreach grew thanks to two international exchange alumni: Ricardo Vanella and Pascal Dupeyrat, who serve on our Board of Directors. Both play key roles, enabling us to build a truly global network. Thanks to Messrs. Vanella and Dupeyrat’s contributions, U.S.-based members are building lasting relations with their international counterparts on a path to a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Global Ties U.S. created a new membership category, designed to build on Ricardo and Pascal’s hard work. The “International Member,” designation lets us recognize organizations from across the world which are composed largely of international exchange alumni or exchange enthusiasts. A formal commitment to international exchange, and holding regular activities that promote global understanding and international exchange, are the prerequisites to becoming a Global Ties U.S. International Member. An organization based abroad is particularly welcome to join, provided it upholds these standards.

Our international membership has gained significant momentum, allowing us to advance beyond the early stages of building a global network. These efforts will improve our programming. Global Ties U.S. continues to pursue partnerships that allow our U.S.-based members to build bridges across borders. We currently have 19 International Members in: Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Cote D’Ivoire, France, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, Sudan, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. If any reader plans to visit or is traveling through one of these countries, please feel free to reach out. Likewise, if you know of an organization whose members may be passing through, consider urging them to visit our online Membership Directory for contact details. International Members form part of the Global Ties U.S. family. I urge anyone who interested exploring potential partnerships with them to read up and reach out directly.

Global Ties U.S. has responded to the opportunities of a strong International Member network by offering support to some organizations to take part in our National Meeting. While in Washington, DC, they engage participants in plenaries; break-outs; and special sessions. They also take part in International Member Congress sessions, discussing how a strong international membership can complement our U.S. CBMs and create greater global engagement opportunities for everyone.

The future of our international membership looks extremely bright. Current Global Ties Network members can look forward to exciting new partnership opportunities that involve our International Members. Coming soon: leadership profiles; accounts about the differences our International Members are making; and announcements about events and activities. More targeted opportunities for domestic and international member organizations to connect are coming your way. Be on the lookout.

By Carlton McLellan, Global Ties U.S.