Exchange Matters / October 31, 2017

President’s Corner: Signing Off, For Now…

I am writing this President’s Letter on my final day with Global Ties U.S. What a journey it has been. I have enjoyed working with such a diverse range of partners including our amazing staff and Board, U.S. Department of State colleagues, Community-Based Members and National Program Agencies, alumni organizations, businesses, the diplomatic corps, supporters, volunteers, and so many others. It has been a nearly six-year journey of transformation, team-building, resilience, ingenuity, and camaraderie. Thank you!

Left to right: Alejandro Estivill Castro, Chargé d’Affaires of the Mexican Embassy, Jennifer Clinton, Mara Tekach, and Kyle Moyer.

It has been a true honor and privilege to steward this amazing organization and Network, and I hope that I have done my part to contribute to the ongoing evolution and advancement of our shared mission of strengthening ties between individuals and nations. I feel very confident in the team that will lead Global Ties into its next phase of history, and I am so grateful to those who will carry the torch forward.

During times when I have felt speechless, I have sought the wisdom of our literary giants who always seem to shed light on some of the most important and difficult human experiences. I have appreciated the poem “The Journey” by David Whyte, an English poet and philosopher, for some time and it naturally came to mind at this particular moment. In rereading the poem, I found that it articulates exactly how I feel at this time. He writes:

“One of the difficulties of leaving a relationship is not so much, at the end, leaving the person themselves—because, by that time, you’re ready to go; what’s difficult is leaving the dreams that you shared together. And you know that somehow—no matter who you meet in your life in the future, and no matter what species of happiness you would share with them—you will never, ever share those particular dreams again, with that particular tonality and coloration. And so there’s a lovely and powerful form of grief there that is the ultimate of giving away but making space for another form of reimagination.”

Global Ties U.S. staff at the 2017 National Meeting.

We have dreamt big dreams together, and those dreams will never belong to anyone but us during this particular moment in time. To me, the hardest part about moving on is giving away our shared vision of what is possible for citizen diplomacy.

What has captivated me the most in this role is the power of this community to imagine a world where peace and prosperity are abundant, and relationships built and strengthened out of genuine love and curiosity for the “other.” That vision will most definitely continue, and will take on necessarily new forms and colors.

I will forever cherish our time together and our shared imagination. Thank you for your leadership, partnership, friendship, and support throughout these years!