After more than two decades with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and working with the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Global Ties Network, we extend warm wishes to Diane Crow in her retirement. Diane has made an indelible impact on Network members, and we asked two leaders each from our Community-Based Members and from our National Program Agencies to share their reflections of Diane and what they will miss the most about her. We also are grateful for the Office of International Visitors’ tribute to her, which Global Ties Network members can read on the Members Portal HERE (login required). Below, the Global Ties Network extends their very best wishes to Diane on her retirement.
Jena Mélançon, Gulf Coast Diplomacy
Diane is a committed supporter of the Global Ties Network. She has continuously worked to strengthen the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) by supporting relationships and building bridges.
Her work on the IVLP 80 Faces of Exchange campaign intentionally engaged young people across the Network, highlighting the work of Community-Based Members (CBMs). Then, with the start of the pandemic, she pivoted to an online, reoccurring 80 Faces speaker event to help CBMs reengage community supporters.
In 2016 when I explored creating a young professionals’ group, she introduced me to a citizen diplomat in California who now serves on my board. In 2020, she connected me to an Italian IVLP alumnus because she saw how a potential online collaboration could be mutually beneficial. She attended our virtual coffees, pointed me toward a facilitation network when I wanted to explore new techniques, and checked in with me periodically when she suspected I needed support due to illness in my family. She has been a steadfast friend.
My guess is many of us have similar stories about Diane. She has worked to support our network and create connections to nourish it. How lucky we have been to have her building bridges between us and the world.
Crystal Kelch, MCID Washington
Thank you for your valuable insight.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you for your honesty.
Thank you for your time.
Although you will be sorely missed, I am delighted that you will get this opportunity to rest and recuperate, check off items on your bucket list, and craft the next chapter of your life. As C.S. Lewis once proclaimed, “There are far better things ahead than we ever leave behind.” I hope your future is filled with exciting new adventures and the happiness you deserve.
Amy Barss, WorldOregon
Diane, you have made a long lasting, positive impact on the International Visitor Leadership Program network by creating a bridge of trust and communication between the Office of International Visitors (OIV) and Community-Based Members (CBMs) across the nation. We are a stronger network of colleagues and friends because of it, and we are a mission-driven, collaborative network. You helped us all connect and use our voices to advocate for what we needed, solicited our opinions, and mentored us. Your professionalism, leadership, determination, and care for those around you has contributed to making the Network a place — a home — that I want to be a part of for the long run. You are deeply cared for throughout the Network, and sincerely by me!
Mark Rebstock, Meridian International Center
One memory I’ll always have of Diane is from the 2010 Global Ties U.S. (then NCIV) National Meeting, the infamous Snowmageddon conference. Some CBM staff had made it to Washington, DC before the blizzard shut the city down and yet many more were not able to make it to the hotel conference venue. Government offices were closed, and most outside speakers had to cancel, so the meeting agenda was thrown into total chaos. But Diane was there, and we sprang into action to make the most of what we had to offer. We rearranged plenary speakers, rethought session formats, and found a way to make things work – all on the fly. Diane even offered an impromptu presentation about her experience doing public diplomacy work in Iraq complete with a slideshow that many said was a highlight of the conference. Diane’s can-do spirit in the face of adversity, supportive approach, and bold laugh were instrumental to that success and emblematic of her approach to her all her work with the broader IVLP ecosystem. Thank you for all you’ve done for the network, Diane! You are a super-star!