Exchange Matters / December 17, 2015

Professional Development at Your Fingertips

“In an era of diffuse and networked power… our diplomats and development professionals must focus on strengthening partnerships with civil society, citizen movements, faith leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and others who share our interests and values.”

These words, from the U.S. Department of State’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), are a rallying cry. And it leads to a question that drives Global Ties U.S.: How can we help the international exchange field develop the skills and build the partnerships needed to thrive in this new era?

Through our Diplomacy Begins Here and our upcoming National Meeting, Global Ties U.S., our members, and our partners have come together for face-to-face meetings, connection-building, and learning for all those dedicated to global engagement. And in the spirit of expanding the capacity and capabilities of our member organizations, this fall we launched the new Global Ties U.S. online learning center.

Our new online learning platform, powered by BlueQuill, is a dynamic environment for users to expand their skills as an international exchange professional. It allows all of our members, nationally and internationally, access to on-demand, self-paced courses that leverage our network’s expert public diplomacy practitioners. In addition, it provides users with the tools and best practices they need to advance their professional development.

The courses currently offered–IVLP Fundamentals, Crafting Winning Proposals, and Training & Engaging Volunteers—are designed to give international exchange professionals a foundation from which they can expand the capacity of their organization and amplify the impact and effectiveness of their programs. More courses are in development now, for launch in 2016.

The online learning center is the latest tool Global Ties U.S. has developed to strengthen our network and bring more of the public into public diplomacy. Members can learn more and sign up in the Member’s Area of And as an added bonus, complete all three courses by January 4 and you’ll be entered in a raffle for a chance to win one of three free tickets to an embassy reception during the National Meeting.

By Jason Terry, Global Ties U.S.